Most of the time Sunday morning sermons have a way of speaking straight to my heart about what I am going through. On a rare occasion they dig deep into my soul, and wake me up from the awful path I am about to step onto. Today was one of those Sundays. Whew! When you get spoken to on such a specific level, in such a way that you have no doubt the words were to steer you away from the direction you were going... well you have to listen, don't you?
The other night I had a little too much wine, I was feeling sorry for myself, and I also was tired. I was tired of always trying to do the right thing, and then not getting what I felt like I wanted in return. I was feeling pretty entitled when it came to God. You see it was more of this if God is not going to give me what I want, then why should I worry about obeying the rules? Or why should I care about what I am doing with my life? If I am going to spend my life without a husband, then why not just give in to desires? What does it matter anyways? I have spent a lot of my life focused on doing right, and good... don't I deserve to have my dreams fulfilled? If they aren't going to be fulfilled the way I want them to, then I am just going to try to substitute for something that will fill the hole for a little while.
I was playing the it's not fair game a lot Friday night. Maybe you know it.... "It's not fair that this person or that person has been married two times, and has 3 kids, and I don't have any of that. It's not fair that that person has spent their life not following God, and they have everything they have ever wanted, a family and kids, and a great job. It's not fair!" Trust me about 1/2 bottle in, this conversation was pretty one sided, and pretty whiny. It was also pretty self-focused.
Conversations with people, and sermons have a way of pointing me back to where I need to be. I feel like I had a couple conversations this weekend that directed me to focus more on God, and less on myself. But actually that's not true, because in focusing on God I realize more of the weaknesses I hold, and the things I need to change about myself.
So, I am sitting in church today, and what do you think the sermon is on? Being shaped by what we love. Talking about how we love the lesser things more, and the greater things less. That was the first time that I was shaken a little. Of course my focus, especially the other night when I made this decision to just give in to things, because it is easier that way. Definitely I was loving the lesser more than the greater. I was letting that desire be what rules my life.
I am also having a really hard time finding my way in the current world we live in. Not being so focused on this world, yet knowing that my job here is to be His, and seek goodness. How am I going to seek goodness, if I don't truly understand what Jesus' goodness looks like? It is such a confusing way to live. Maybe I don't have enough that I am adamant about? Maybe my need to offend no one is actually harming my voice of love for others? I don't necessarily think that the sermon today was something that is going to help me understand this, but it did spur me down the path of thinking about this more.
Jesus lived the authority of the Bible, but I don't know that I have been living that. I don't know that my life truly shows the authority of the Bible. How do I live that out without becoming a pharisee, or a hypocrite? How do I portray the loving kind of righteousness? The Jesus kind of righteousness without turning everyone away from God? Is there even a way to do that?
One of the things that was said today is that "Righteousness is what your life looks like when you are living in God's kingdom."
To me living in God's Kingdom means being more involved in His word than other things. My desire is to know Him more. My desire is to not mess up this life too badly. My desire is to constantly know how I need to change in order to love Him with all my heart. So as I take a deep breath, and understand how He wants to change me, I open up my heart and mind to people that I need to learn from. I dive into things and community that are going to bring me closer to Him, instead of farther away. I try to say no to the things that cause me to be living in the world's Kingdom, instead of God's. It's a journey and I know that, but I truly hope that my life is shaped by His focus, rather than my own.