Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What Do You Hold Onto?

God wants to develop a character in each of us that when we look in the mirror or when others look at us we show a reflection of Jesus Christ. What does this really mean? The characters of Christ are many, but the ones that I am working on right now is patience, acceptance, unconditional love, and a strong faith in our Father. Each day these seem to be so unreachable, but each moment when I am faced with a decision I must go to who I am in Christ. How do I get there? Prayer and a constant continual communication with Him all day long. Sounds a little "churchy" doesn't it? It is more of a state of allowing my heart and mind to not be clogged with the day to day trappings that will slow and stop yourself from being with Him.
Several months ago, I made some bad decisions in my life that were a result of allowing this communication from Him to be blocked by my own sins. I had lowered my shield to Satan's attacks and allowed a long time sin struggle to re-enter my life. Slowly it ate away at my soul piece by piece. You see, Satan is crafty. He knows how to make a person a mediocre Christian that is uneffective to their God given ministries. I made the choice to move into this sin. It was deceptively enticing and full of false pleasures that are empty and hollow. I allowed myself to be dragged away from what was holy, right and true in my life and traded it for sin that was fleeting and destructive.
God knew what choices I would make and then prepared a way for me to return to Him, when I hit bottom and decided that His way was the only way. As humans we always look for the easy way naturally. We drift toward what is comfortable. This is true with food, exercise, quiet times, relationships, and even with intimacy. All of this drifting is a slow fade away from Christ and His fullness for our lives.
I believed the lies even when I felt the guilt and shame of the sin. When it came to where I could bear no more hurt to myself and especially those around me, I felt God's hand with me. He said to me, not audibly, but in my head: "What are you holding onto more than me?" "Is it pride, selfishness, your career, your family, the image that others see in you, or your own perceptions of who you are?" I was holding onto all of those things more than Him and I ended up in a pit of Hell. I allowed myself to be everything that everyone else wanted in me and lost who I was in God's Eyes. This place is scary and lonely. This chasm is a very empty and hollow place where Satan can smother you even while you think you are "doing" good things instead of "being" what God desires.
From that moment on I made a decision to be a reflection of Him. Was this easy? NO! It meant I had to let go of everything that I had grasped so tightly and give it away to Him. Trusting that He knows what is the best for my life. I had to confess my sins to my wife and family hoping for forgiveness, but not sure if it would be offered. Taking a look deep within who I am and the stories I believe in my head. My self-worth was so small and I had to allow myself to learn from God's word who I really am in Christ. All of these and so much more are a daily continual process of submitting myself to the One who made me and knows me. Am I perfect? No! But I am learning from the Perfecter!
You may have seen this video before, but I have found that you can never watch it too much. It speaks something new to me each time I watch it. Gary is God's Original Masterpiece. Do you believe that you are too?