Thursday, April 23, 2009

Two for the Price of One

OK...well, I can't decide which way to go today. Two verses have impacted me with equal importance, so today, for a limited time only, you get two posts for the price of one!

Dancing In the Street

"...I celebrate before the LORD. Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes!" 1 Chronicles 16:21-22

We often speak of the freedom of worship we enjoy in our Country. We are not like other countries who are imprisoned for their faith. Yet, a self-imposed prison often shackles me and holds me captive from complete abandoned worship. The urge to express myself is locked by the key of embarassement.

David seemed oblivious to those around him. Gazing eyes didn't stifle his spirit..or God's Spirit in him. He is at complete liberty to celebrate "with all his might" 2 Samuel 6:14. His action is ridiculed, but not restrained.

I struggle so much with throwing caution to the wind and following my heart in worship. I long to 'let go', but being a member of the "People Pleasing Association" (thanks for that Carol), I place too much importance on the reactions of others.

Beth Moore writes, "Hard lessons learned well undoubtedly usher in a fresh respect and a new freedom. As strange as this statement may seem, the more we learn about God, the more freedom we have to worship Him."

Trusting that as I continue this walk through the Bible this year, my love for the Lord will grow to such delight that I will not and can not remain part of the 'frozen chosen'.

May inhibition turn to joyful, uncontrollable expression.

Sweat the Small Stuff

"Because the Levites did not carry the Ark the first time, the anger of the LORD our God burst out against us. We failed to ask God how to move it properly." "Then the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders with its carrying poles, just as the LORD had instructed Moses." 2 Samuel 6:13,15

Just over a year ago now I received an e-mail from a lady at my church asking if I would consider editing a speech that she was preparing to give at an upcoming event with her family. I was blown away by this request. Why did she ask me? I'm not an editor. What did I know about revising anyone's writing? Did I even want the responsibility of looking over her carefully crafted preparation and correcting grammatical errors and sentence structure? What if I happened to offend her by correcting her work? I am far from a genius in the literary field, but I do have a passion for writing and a willingness to be available, so I agreed to at least look over her writing and gently 'tweak' it if necessary.

It's a daunting job playing 'Editor', and I do mean 'playing', as I've had absolutely no training. Meshing together someone else's words without inserting my own opinion or disturbing the authors perspective and personality. It was so tempting to insert my own thoughts and delete sentences based solely on individual preference. By the time I finished, I truly believe I kept her ideas intact. The message remained the same, just packaged with some new expression.

I wonder if I sometimes take on the role of "Editor" when it comes to God's Word. Do I believe that every sentence in the Bible is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, training and correcting? (2 Timothy 3:16) Do I believe that every sentence, every word, every thought in the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Do I sometimes desire to add or delete certain phrases, words and even complete passages based on my obedience quotient? God's directives that fit neatly into my life with relative ease I'll embrace and follow, but those that require effort, surrender and change I'll omit or re-write to suit my schedule and agenda. After all, God certainly didn't mean we had to follow ALL of His Word did He? It's not really commandments, but simply suggestions....right?

WRONG!! God doesn't want me to change one 'jot' or 'tittle'. I must leave every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed, for "not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved." (Matt 5:18). So, although I had freedom to edit this ladies paper, I do not, DO NOT have permission to edit God's Word. I must read it and apply all of it to all of my life.

May I not look to God's Word to make editorial corrections, but instead may I allow the Divine Editor to use it to refine my life and change my character to match my calling.

God cares about the details of our lives. He's concerned about the 'fine print'. If He says to use "carrying poles" then we use "carrying poles". He desires so much that we obey even the smallest truth in our life, that when we hear a new Word we immediately want to know how we can live it out for Him. In other words, we need to sweat the small stuff!

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On Purpose said...

There is a ton of GREAT stuff packed in here today. Just this week I was a 'student' to another great lesson of needing to end my membership of the "People Pleasing" club.

Dana said...

I'm so glad I came over today. I wish so bad I could break away from the PPA. It's such a wonderful feeling when I am in my car on the way to work and God speaks to me and I am free to raise my hand up toward heaven. To praise and worship him freely is such an awesome feeling. I've even went as far as to visit a different church. My pastor says he welcomes any show of worship but noone does. Let's pray together that God will liberate both of us. Thanks sweet sister!!

Still praying for your family,
Love in Christ,

Lori said...

I loved what you wrote, Joy...such insight...I agree we have to know God's Word. Period. John 6:63-
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." 2 Tim. 2:15-
Do your best to present yourself to God...who correctly handles the word of truth." Oh, that we could always study the Bible to know God's Word inside and out!

Praying that your Dad's procedures went well yesterday.

Blessings, Lori- AZ

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I'm afraid that I share the same problems! Inside I want to shout and praise but outside I sit prim and proper. Sometimes I can get a hand raised and when I do it feels SO good! If I could only worship in total abandon!!!

Joy,I am so blessed by the fact that even through all that is going on in your life right now you still make the time to do your daily Bible reading and then comment on it! That's real devotion!

God bless you!


Unreasonable Grace said...

Joy, that's a very cool perspective - His Word is the Editor of our lives. I need to read this one again and again so it steeps in my soul.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've just got to quote this here from my devotional reading this morning...

"Allow nothing to keep you from looking God sternly in the face about yourself and about your doctrine, and everytime you preach see that you look God in the face about things first, then the glory will remain all through." (Chambers).

Hearing your thoughts about "editing" Scripture made me think about this! We've been given a treasure; those of us who write about it, better be prepared to look in the face of God about it, don't you think?

God keep me careful in the matter!

peace, friend~elaine