Tuesday, October 04, 2011

In Other Words---No Complacency Allowed


Welcome to "In Other Words"!  I pray that in the words of one of the participating writers you will find something to encourage you and to challenge you. If you are able, I'd love for you to link to your own post regarding this quote--perhaps you are the one with the encouraging words!

I wonder if I am the only one who argues with Scripture God whilst I have my quiet time? I sincerely hope that I'm not! Sometimes the struggle is just that, grappling with what the text is saying and how to effectively make it a part of my life.  Other times, it is just arguing. Not liking the implications of what I'm reading. Often, I want my quiet time to be easy, ticking the box of meeting with God, but not really changing anything. *sigh* That is never what God wants. He wants to grow me, change me and make me more whole. To grow involves grappling.

When I read,
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."(Luke 9:23)<
I want to say "Really? Daily? And what exactly is this denying myself?" I struggle with what am holding onto when God is saying "Let it go and follow me."

Or, what about,
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)?
Does he really mean first. First as in before my tea or before I check email or before I settle into reading blogs? I know, personally, that when I give Him my first moments of the day, the day truly does flow more smoothly. But is it really a command?

In this way I'm grappling with how my relationship with God must be first and foremost. But what of my relationships with others? He has plenty to say about that as well.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
Ugh. That tone of voice that I used to make my point yesterday, probably not very effective in building up the children. Just last night when German and I were talking about something and I said that we were on the same page he responded with "Good, because you haven't been there in a while." Ouch. Wholesome talk. Encouraging talk.

Paul has previously reminded us to
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3).
Keeping unity because we belong to God. Sunday our pastor said something to the effect that there were probably people in the room with whom we really did not relate and may not even really like, but that was "tough cookies" because God said we had to get along and work together as the body. The statement got a good laugh, but there is much truth there.

Our Bible study should be causing us to grapple with the spaces in our life which do not align with God's spirit. It should be pushing us to become better. We should be asking questions and evaluating every step of the way. A complacent, easy reading of Scripture is not what God is calling us to do. He wants to see us changed.

“ We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”

by John Stott

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18

Father, God, take away the complacency of my attitude when I approach your word. Give me a heart that seeks to know you first, and foremost, and deeper than ever before. Transform me into a useful vessel for your love. Amen.

Again, thank you for joining us. Please link up your post below!


Tami Boesiger said...

I don't always want to be challenged either. Nor do I like the thought of being in a constant process of change. But I have to remember God is gracious and merciful and patient, making it less painful.

Thanks for reminding us it's not enough to read the Word, MiPa.

Cin said...

Hey - when I read this quote, I knew I would be out of town working and unable to participate. However, I wrote it down and shoved it into my computer bag. This confrontation and grappling has sent me to my knees, begrudgingly sometimes, this summer. I have been disturbed and rattled and ultimately overthrown. God is good. And in hindsight, I see where I was being lead and can kinda imagine where I am headed, which is closer to Him. Although I realize my tee-tiny brain cannot fathom the wildness He has in store for me. So grateful for this quote, your incredible honesty, and who you are. Truly. I'm lifing you high up over the waters, Friend.

All thru Him,