I am super excited because tomorrow I get to speak at another church, and this one’s not so local! Haha, I seriously always love this time of preparing for a speaking engagement as I always change my message each time based on what I feel lead to speak about. It’s always a time of growth for me spiritually, and what’s not to love about that?? In a few weeks, I get to speak at a women’s retreat thingy and that’ll be a first for me, so cool! This cancer has opened so many doors, doors that I never asked to be opened or would have ever necessarily wanted to be opened, but it’s really cool to just kind of sit back and watch God do His thing through this cancer.
One thing that’s hitting me especially hard right now, is our expectations of God. I am often awake for an hour or two at random hours of the night, and I try to spend that time praying for people (although admittedly, sometimes I’m just on facebook.) But as I was laying awake last night from around 4am – 5am, I couldn’t stop thinking about the amazing, and sometimes ridiculous, things that we expect from God. We expect a happy, comfortable, prosperous, long life, although that was never promised to us. Although people like the Osteens will tell you that is what God wants for you, scripture tells us otherwise. Scripture is clear that God wants us to live a humble life of service to others, and that makes perfect sense because what a testimony that is to the world! We can be persecuted, and outcast, and beaten down and still be joyful. I don’t think there’s anything innately wrong with being happy, but happy is a fleeting emotion based on things that are happening to us by external forces. I’m happy when my dog greets me. I’m happy when my kids are sweet and snuggly. I’m happy when my husband gets home from work. But I’m suddenly anything but when the dog pees on the floor, the kids are screaming and hitting each other, or my husband comes home with a chip on his shoulder (that last one is purely hypothetical 😉 )
But joy is the inner peace that we always have once we’ve accepted Jesus and are living in His will. No matter the circumstances. Paul speaks so much about this, about how our circumstances cannot determine our level of joy once we are surrendered to The Lord.
We expect so much from God, although He owes us nothing. And although He owes us nothing, He’s given us everything worth having. Salvation through Jesus Christ. Do we even realize how much we DON’T deserve this?? Why isn’t this enough for us? But God loves us enough to listen to our cries for help, on our own behalf and on the behalf of others, He loves us enough to work in our lives and the lives of others.
And then we disregard God’s expectations of us for once we are believers. It’s too much. We’re only human. He couldn’t possibly have meant it when He said that. He seriously expects us to obey all of Jesus’ commands? Even beyond all the really nice-sounding “Love each other” stuff?? Paul explains very well in Romans how we are free from Levitical law, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t guidelines and expectations of us. Jesus laid them out for us in the gospels and the rest of the New Testament flushes all that our for us.
It actually doesn’t make any logical sense to proclaim being a believer and then disregard any commands that make us uncomfortable or would require us to change. Why do we do this so much? I’m including myself here.
I don’t really have an answer, it’s just a thought. I had a small health scare yesterday with some lung pressure and pain in my right lung, but a trip to the ER and a CAT scan showed nothing. It just reminds me to be so thankful for this time that I have and to not let my faith get stagnant again.
“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” -Romans 5:2. That, truly, says it all. We don’t deserve the privilege of being the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth, but if we claim it, we must do it. Confidently and joyfully.
Oh, I almost forgot! I was hoping someone would get the joke at the end of my letter to myself, but it’s cool, maybe you all aren’t as obsessed with The Office as I am (: