Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Life Set Apart

In the Priscilla Shirer study I am doing, we have been talking a great deal about what it means to live a life "set apart". I have found myself examining my own life and really finding so many areas that need work. By nature I am a people pleaser. I just want others to like me and think I am a responsible person they can count on. God has really been dealing with me in this area of my life. He reminds me that there is only ONE opinion that matters, and that is His. As long as I align myself with Him and His desires for my life I cannot go wrong.

The thing is I thought I was aligning myself pretty well and I am learning quickly that I have much work to do.

You see, the Bible tells us that we are to spiritually die to our sins. DIE! That got me thinking...I mean, I make a pretty good effort to do things the way I think God would want me to, but am I dying to myself and my sins? He desires my FULL obedience and I have to admit most times my obedience is half hearted at best. As I have done this study I am becoming convicted to be better, to do better, for the God I serve.

He offers us freedom and a new life in Him but we have not fully accepted that if we have not died to our previous lifestyle, whether that means, addiction, sexual immorality, lying, gossip, gluttony...and the list goes on. We are to take off all of those things and put on the full armor of God and if we leave even one of those sins, it takes up residence where an important piece of His armor should rest.

In order to fully follow where the Lord is leading we must willingly give things up and leave that old life behind. This is hard, but when we sin, we are creating our own bondage, and Christ offers freedom. I constantly feel this gap between myself and my God and I think this is the issue. I have some old baggage that I have not gotten rid of. Some bad habits and sin that follows me around preventing my growth. We don't get to pick and choose which sins we want to surrender, you know just the big ones maybe, we must surrender ALL. When we repent, we must turn from sin, not just say, Hey God, I know this is really wrong and I am sorry, BUT...it is hard, or I can't just yet, or I will when the timing is right. If we repent we must turn from sin, all sin NOW. That is not to say we won't stumble. We all do, but to repeatedly go back to the same sin over and over only creates a barrier between ourselves and the protection of our Heavenly Father.

He wants our obedience, it isn't easy, but the Bible clearly states how we are to live our lives and He makes no mistakes about it. Several year ago before Howard and I were married, shortly after I accepted Christ, we got engaged. After this we moved in together. I found myself constantly defending myself to others, as this was seen as a sin. You see I didn't get it. I knew what the Bible said, but I figured that one maybe didn't apply to me. I mean we were GOING to get married. We weren't just living together indefinitely. We searched the Bible for the truth and we just didn't feel it was wrong.

As I said I was young in my faith and I did not see then what I see now. I came up with every excuse in the book...finances being the biggest of those. I mean why should we both pay rent if we could just split it. I was in college and he was working construction. I see now that part of the reason, is that we are to live "set apart". What Howard and I did, was not living "set apart" it was what EVERYONE was doing, it was what was easy. We had become so integrated into the world that it didn't seem wrong. We had our priorities messed up. Our sin kept us from God's blessings at the time.

I can tell you that that sin that we committed then has reared its ugly head in our marriage. There is certainly a reason that God made an order for things. We have been able to repent and move past this sin, but there are others that I have been clinging to. Sometimes sin seems the easier route. I mean eventhough God is calling me to spend time with Him, I often want to just tune out and tune in to the TV. I put TV before God! Sometimes, I have a friend who has done something to hurt me, and instead of confronting the friend and mending the relationship, I grow bitter and cold toward the person. Sometimes, I am in a room where people are gossipping or saying things that belittle a person, and I chime in instead of refusing to allow my words to be used as weapons.

I can tell you friends, I have come far, but I have far to go, and I have made a commitment to stop living a lukewarm life toward God, only choosing to obey the rules that suit me. God is not concerned with my comfort. Sometimes I find myself on the fence between what God wants and what I want. I am taking a leap of obedience to His side of the fence. He is the only one I can count on. He deserves my whole self, not my half hearted self. I am ready to live a life "set apart" I am okay with it if people think I am NUTS! Many thought that of Jesus. How about you?


Kate @ When Hello Means Goodbye said...

thanks for that great reminder! very well said!

Corie said...

Kristy...what an amazing post. Thank you! I appreciate your willingness to voice truth and even share yourself to others...THAT IS BRAVE and couragous. Thinking of you often

Sheryl said...

Wow - good for you! Partial obedience is still disobedience, isn't it? Ouch. I needed these words today. But I need to put them into practice, not just think they are "good words". God is so pleased with your desire to be set apart. May we find others in our lives than can help us be accountable. You really do inspire me. -Sheryl

Kenzie said...

Love you girl. It feels like we all mentally strive to be "set apart" but... gosh, what exactly are we doing each moment to fully rely on the Lord for that and truly be "set apart"? Thanks for the reminder and the reflection!

Have a wonderful day. Praying...

Joanna said...

Oh my. I walked through this study last summer and I have been where you are right now. It is one uncomfortable feeling isn't it? Especially when past sin is brought into light! It most certainly is easier to watch a show that makes you laugh and zone rather than read His word and have to THINK! UG! And the truth is God does want us to enjoy ourselves and rest BUT not BEFORE time with Him! Julianna lost tv for a whole week (what was I thinking?) and I can't tell you how much more time WE have spent with Him. I get you ... my tongue is my biggest problem! You should read 30 day tongue fast...it is funny but sooo good! Just know, we never "arrive" in this journey as long as we are here on earth. That is why it is called a journey. Everyones journey is different.
You are in a good place right now. Keep chugging along it is amazing what you will find up ahead.

Anonymous said...

Very good! Praise God!-your fellow sister in Christ and fellow mother in mourning-Ruth www.caringbridge.org/visit/babyrenner

Unknown said...

I don't think it's nuts- I think it's awesome! I am so encouraged after reading your story and seeing that you truly want to follow God- thank you!

Laurie in Ca. said...

Thank you so much for posting this Kristy. We are walking on the same path here, learning so much while so much is still ahead to learn. I am thankful that God is so patient with me as I stumble through, letting go, holding back, getting stuck and unstuck. We are all works in progress being guided by the best as we learn His ways. I will be praying for you as I work on myself Kristy. I love you and your sweet, honest heart.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Amen Sister. You are so right Kristy, we all have a long way to go. We gotta keep on keepin on! Thank you for the beautiful reminder! Love your heart friend!