Monday, September 5, 2011

the importance of not skimming over the stories you know by heart

The last two evenings I have been in Mark 4. This chapter includes the parable of the seeds - the ones being picked up, not growing, attacked by thorns, and growing a harvest. If you grew up going to Sunday school for any portion of your childhood, you most likely know the story by heart.  I did.
But I've been doing the Inductive Bible Study method lately, and I love it because it is making me slooooowwwww down. And in the slowing my eyes/heart/mind kept being drawn back to verses 18-19.


And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Last night a thought popped in my head when I read the verses, but I pushed it down.  However, I couldn't escape an ah-ha moment tonight.  My worries, insecurities, jealousies,desires for more, etc. are choking the Truth out of me.  Without the dependence on Truth, I am lacking fruit both in my life and the ability to help others live a fruitful life.

And if this wasn't ah-ha enough, I remembered that a week or so ago I wrote down Gal. 5:22-25 on a card.  The first part is the nicey-nice stuff about love, joy, peace, etc. But the second half is the hard stuff - the crucifying self because we belong to Christ, the Truth that if we "live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." That's hard stuff, but powerful.

I feel like whining - the easy life seems so much, well easier.   But I have to keep in mind I am not alone on this path.  Anyone else out there feel like sometimes life tries to choke the Truth out of them?  How do you deal?  (Please no cookie-cutter answers.) A friend reminded me today to live like I am forgiven. What does that look like for you all?

There is strength in encouraging one another and walking together, right? Feel free to be real here.  Some days are great for me, but some days  I want to put about a half-a-dozen pumpkin spice lattes and a pair of new boots on a credit card just to make myself "feel" better, and since I am too practical to do that I feel doubly-frustrated. Anyone? Buhler? Buhler?

3 comments:

  1. Ah, yes, discontentment. My biggest struggle. I *thought* I was doing better, in fact, I know the Holy Spirit had been working in my heart about this. But I had a relapse the other day when I went to a new friend's house for a playdate. It was a new, spacious, gorgeous home, with new furniture (i've been wanting a new couch forever). I was already weak and tired from the long week, and Satan knew just how to creep into my sinners heart and whisper to me that it's not fair that i don't have these things.

    I think walking together, encouraging each other is the way to go! God made fellowship to be an integral part of our spiritual growth. So let's keep being honest, encouraging one another. I'm so happy to hear the lessons God is teaching you in His word!

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  2. I find new lesson every time I read. I just need to read more often.

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  3. I, too, have been struggling with this. I have found that the enemy doesn't always use strangers and culture to choke the truth out of us. He uses friends, family, our own insecurities and situations. I'm not jealous, for example, when I look at the cover of a magazine or a stranger walking down the street. But, like Behn and Meg wrote, I am inclined to feel sorry for myself if a friend has gotten something I have been working for or if I don't get what I think I deserve or if someone I know looks better in a dress than I do (and more serious examples as well)! I think the enemy hits us in this area where it really hurts--our relationships with one another and personally with Christ--because that is how "The Church" grows. If we live like we are forgiven, the responsibility is two-fold. We have to first, like you wrote about previously, wake up each morning and chose to be filled with the Spirit's power. We also have to choose to walk in forgiveness and grace when dealing with those around us. We all experience times of worry and doubt and jealousy, etc. But who are we turning to in those times of "weakness"? You choose not to give in to retail therapy (or whatever) because of the power in you. It isn't that you are too practical, but you realize that you don't need that to feel forgiven or empowered. I think the Christian walk is kind of like being on a diet. Someone who has given up sweets will suffer for a while when they walk into a grocery store or go to a birthday party, but over time, those feelings will subside. On a grander scale, a Christian is daily surrounded by things that appeal to "the flesh", and choosing to turn away from those things that lead us away from Christ is difficult, but will GRADUALLY become easier over time. The longer we live in contentment, the less we will desire material things, for example. (Ok, I am going to stop now...I am just rambling!)

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me.