Monday, March 7, 2011

Making Cheese out of Skim Milk

"If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O LORD, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope..." - Psalm 130 (sung by pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem)

I wasted a whole bunch of time today at work. Probably 2+ hours! It makes me feel like a heal. Here I am supposed to be raising support for my family and for the mission of reaching out to youth with the Gospel and I find myself simply whitling away my time. Craigslist and Google were my gods today as I looked for shiny bikes that I couldn't or shouldn't buy. Melissa is in charge of finances, so I never really know where we are. Or at least that's what I say when I want to buy something.

Why the endless browsing and internet-powered-window-shopping Phil? I guess it stems from a lack of satisfaction and a restless spirit. On top of that I'm often given to laziness. And these are not characteristics that are outside me, they lurk in the inside. To say that there is some profound fear or anxiety or wrong thinking that drives my disobedience is to shirk the reality that I sin. There may be, but I still choose to disobey. I choose to be deceived. I run.

Am I being hard on myself? I don't think so. Have I been called to something that's difficult in fund-raising? Definitely. But who is it that strengthens us to do anything? Who is it that equips where he calls? God. And honestly guys, I have a hard time making up my bed in the mornings. I can be really lazy. I pray almost every morning that he'd give me the strength to get up and make the bed.

But the flip side to my sin is that the God I believe in and follow I fear for the exact reason that he forgives. I honor him because he forgives me. He gets my allegiance. If he didn't forgive who would stand?

But at the same time he gets so little of my allegiance and fear. It's a difficult thing being a sinful human in this broken world. But God knows this (and in Jesus he knows more deeply then we can imagine) and his provision for me runs deep. If only I'd run to him and find my life in him. Simply trusting and obeying, the children's song to true Life.

I believe that life is difficult and confusing. I also believe we have all we need in God. I believe it 2% of the time anyway. Maybe 1%. Or I guess I'm a skim milk Christian. But I'm God's and he works with me. He even wants to churn me into creme and make a fine cheese of me. Good luck God! He's really surprising. And it's why I want to honor him all the more. May my life reflect the Psalm of ascents above!

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