Have you ever felt like it takes like eight trillion times for you to learn one simple thing? I have been feeling that way lately.
The Lord is teaching me about absolute obedience.
Ben and I have decided to start studying our Bibles this way:
Read a passage of scripture
Write down the scripture in your own words
Write down a list of how you can obey the scripture. A list of "I Wills"
Then you have to do the "I Wills" and you have to talk to other people about it. Just say, 'This is what God has been teaching me lately..."
Very simple. Yet oh so difficult.
I've been reading in Luke and it's basically the Sermon on the Mount only in Luke's words. Yesterday I read two things that hit me.
One: What is done in secret will be disclosed. If you say anything in secret, if you do anything, it will someday be shouted from the rooftops. Now, it may happen on Judgement Day or it may happen before then, but really, none of our lives is hidden. Everything is seen and heard.
Now I'm going to get a little more down and dirty and how this applies to my life. Lately I have been eating in the afternoons. Eating a lot. Let's just say the other day I had eight cookies. I'm just saying that so that there will be no imagination used or anything and I just believe that absolute honesty is the best way to go. Something I have struggled with for years has been closet eating. The secrecy of it is terrible. Maybe that's why I have to say that out loud, so that it doesn't have power over me any more.
It's usually that my kids are down for naps and I think to myself, Ben won't notice these cookies being gone. Or: he doesn't care what I eat. Or: this is MY time, I've had a rough day and I've EARNED this by gosh.
Yesterday the Lord really convicted me in that I think that because I'm alone I can get away with this sin. Yes, it's a sin, I'm harming the body God has given me and I'm going to food for comfort. It's a sin. Really, He's right there with me. He sees everything. what I do in secret, when i'm along in my house is important. That time when no one sees me does matter. Not so I can be skinny or awesome or anything like that, but my heart needs to be towards Him and not towards food.
Now, just to clarify the freedom: I believe one or two cookies are not a sin. God did make food to be enjoyed but the excess of eight or ten or twelve... I know that I'm not simply looking to enjoy a part of God's creation, I am being selfish and I am over indulging and treating a good thing in the wrong way.
Okay, on to the other thing I am learning...
Two: Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
Really Jesus? What do you mean by that? How many possessions should I sell? What should I keep? How do I sell them?
I read that one this morning.
Honestly, it kind of scares me because I don't know how exactly to obey that one. I hated having a garage sale and really I did about 8 hours of work for about a hundred bucks. So dumb. I have often thought about selling stuff on Ebay or Craigs List with dollar signs in my eyes thinking, I could make money and be rid of stuff. (I hate how much stuff we have in our house). But then I think about setting up and Ebay account and taking pictures and setting prices and then mailing the stuff and it all becomes very overwhelming. Is that dumb? I feel so dumb to say all that. But it's really how I feel.
So, here's my prayer for this last scripture I read.
Lord, I know that you don't want us to be held down by our stuff. I know you want us to give to the poor. You say that we will have so much greater treasure in heaven when we do those things. But Lord, I'm really lost in how to obey you in this one. I don't want to obey you. I feel like I sound like my three year old when he was whining about not wanting to eat his green beans last night. "I don't like it!" Thank you for being patient with me. Holy Spirit, please empower me to obey You. I have no idea what I'm doing and I feel stupid sometimes but You can enable me to do the things I need to do. I want my heart to be right and ready and willing. Help me to be able.