Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This year, I want to be more FAT!

I'll never forget a Bible study that Bryan taught to teens we were ministering to in Yakima several years ago. He told them all that they needed to be FAT.

Faithful. Available. and Teachable

Faithful: Over a decade ago, when I was in the midst of some seriously discouraging parenting times, my mom shared a precious truth that has stuck with me ever since. "God does not call you to produce fruit in your child, He calls you to be faithful. The fruit is up to Him." Faithfulness does not mean you will have everything go your way. Faithfulness means you can rest in God's plan and watch HIS will unfold in HIS timing!

How many times have I been found faithless instead of faithful, though? More than I could ever dare count. Yet, my precious Redeemer has a track record so unlike mine. Faithful....every single time. And, because of His death and resurrection, His record of perfect faithfulness has been credited to MY account. It's unfathomable!

The depth of the riches He gives is unsearchable and His kindness and grace lead me to repentance and a heart that swells with a desire to be faithful. One baby step at a time....in all the mundane moments of life and in the bigger decisions, too. In all my writing, facebooking, speaking, actions, and the roles God has called me to as a wife, mother, family member, sister in Christ, neighbor, patient, and friend. Faithful to love Christ above all things and have that love spill over and affect every relationship in my life. Faithful to cling to God's Word and find my daily sustenance in His life-giving words. Faithful to speak words that build up and give grace to those who hear. Faithful in repenting of sin and asking forgiveness. Faithful to take my thoughts captive to obey Christ.

Faithful to clean up the kitchen with joy and not grumbling. Faithful to have the teaching of kindness on my tongue with my kids when they are all arguing and being rude and I just want to send them all to their rooms and tell them they are being brats. Faithful to give thanks and rejoice in God's mercies that are new every morning...especially when I find new sticky fingerprints all over the fridge handles, new crumbs and dried on "who knows what" on the countertops, and strewn articles of clothing and shoes in all the wrong places. Faithful to be a genuine helper to my husband and not a dripping faucet!

Martin Luther once said: "What you do in your house in worth as much as if you did it up in Heaven for our Lord God."

Available: My life is not my own. I have been bought with a price. All that I do should be for the honor and glory of the One who now calls me His own. There is nothing I have that I did not receive from His hands...and that includes my time.

I don't want to live life thinking I deserve "me time". I don't want to live life as a slave to the schedule that I made up at the beginning of the week. I want to live with an open heart, open hands, an open door, and open ears. I want to be quick to lay down what I want to do for the joy of obeying God and being ready and available to meet the needs of others. I want my comfort to never be the main thing. God used Matt Chandler to convict my heart with these words: "Comfort is the god of our generation, so suffering is seen as a problem to be solved, and not a providence from God."

Teachable:  In order to be teachable I have to be humble. There is no room for something that I often make plenty of room for: my pride. I don't have it all figured out...not even close. And, even in the things that God has grown me in and taught me a lot about, I still sin. I truly know what Paul was saying in Romans 7! The very things I don't want to do, I still do...and the things I want to do I don't do.

Sanctification is a lifelong process and that means there will never be a day that I don't need to have a spirit of teachability. If I can learn this truth...not just with my head...but truly believe it in my heart, I will be quicker to accept rebuke, more speedy in asking for forgiveness,  and find myself running to seek the face of God through His Word and in prayer. I'll also be more diligent to pursue the wisdom that God has given others...through asking advice, reading solid books and blogs, and listening to sounds words from pastors and teachers.

By God's grace and through the Holy Spirit's power alone, I truly want to be FAT this year. How about you?