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He makes me new, He is making me new

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Psalm 30

Psalm 30
1I will exalt you, O LORD ,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
3 O LORD , you brought me up from the grave
you spared me from going down into the pit.

That is where I am today.Right alongside David. Praising God for His mercy.A couple of weeks ago I was praying and reading a Max Lucado book called "It's not about me" where he talks about how when we dont pray for "the things of God" but instead long to see "God's Glory" we cross a threshold.I believe in my case the threshold was my own sinfulness.I believe that when I prayed to see God's glory, He must have thought "really?You really wanna see it?Cuz that's going to hurt" what happened next is (I believe) I was placed in a situation where I had a clear choice to make: choose sin or choose LIFE. I will let you guess what I chose.That's right, what foolishness!! I CHOSE SIN, I chose DEATH.Before I knew what hit me, I was hardened to God and His Spirit and His conviction was falling on deaf ears, or more accurately on a cold heart. When my heart was finally convicted and I opened my eyes I could not believe the destruction around me.That is when the Spirit started His work in me and I realized the extent of my sinfulness and the path my life could have taken if I didn't choose LIFE.
I had been wondering what had happened to my prayer...to see God's Glory....THAT is when I SAW IT.I saw God's glory in HIS GRACE. When I saw the truth about my sin I cringed and ached and sobbed and reached out for God's mercy,and what I saw was His GREAT MERCY, His love, His generosity, His heart....HIS GLORY.I am realizing now that in no way can I as a finite,sinful,imperfect,limited human being begin to even grasp God's Glory before I truly SEE with my own eyes my own state,my sinfulness,my weakness,before I truly understand that without Him I am nothing, without Him my path is destruction and DEATH.Only then in that clear moment,in that moment of "temporary sanity" where I truly recognize my own state,can I see a fragment of His Glory, and then I can see by contrast HOW MUCH i depend on Him and how much He longs to give me everything I need,how GREAT His mercy is.I am in AWE of His Love and His Mercy.So grateful that He chose to bestow that on me and,as David said,"spared me from going down into the pit".
I'd like to close with David's words:

"You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever. "

Monday, May 03, 2004

"It's not about me"

"It's not about me" is the name of the book I am currently reading,by Max Lucado...
It would seem obvious,that as Christians we would be familiar with that concept;the "It's not about me" concept...but,turns out, I am not. I AM SO FAR from that! In reading this book and pondering on the different ways that it ISNT about me,I realize how far I've strayed from knowing what it truly is about. It seems so obvious and yet, I am re-learning,or perhaps on some level learning for the very first time,that the ONLY way that it is about me, is when it is about me seeking God. Seeking to glorigy God,seeking to please him,seeking to see him,seeking to be in the presence of His Glory. Or as Max puts it (much more eloquently than I can)"When our deepest desire is not the things of God,or a favor from God,but God Himself,we cross a threshold". I am realizing that I have been wanting and yearning for the wrong things all along....My focus shouldnt be on ministry or evangelism or giving opportunities..etc although all those things are great, what I really need to focus on is GOD Himself,His presence, His Glory,and pray with Moses's words "Show me your Glory" and hope that I would reflect His Glory once He grants my wish,just as Moses reflected God's radiant light.
All this time I have been much too concerned with me: my performance,my appearance,my reputation,my status,my image....HOW COULD I FAIL to see what truly is at the core of Christian Life!!! How could I forget that MY body,MY reputation,MY image, is GOD's!!!!!!!!!!!!NOT MINE!!If I am to be fully honest, I must say,I didnt forget, I conveniently "stored" that notion away somewhere where it wouldnt get in my way. MY way.MY agenda.MY time.
I am slowly coming to realize what it truly means to "Put away self" although I am nowhere near what it means to live that out. But God has all the grace I will need on my way there.