Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wisdom Living

Yesterday was a day that is worthy of two blog posts today.

The first one is my response to Pastor Sheila's message last night. It was actually amazing...and really got me thinking about wisdom.

Wisdom - being skillful and successful in the art of living.
What is the art of living? It's modeling wisdom.

Pastor Sheila made the statement that the church, in general, should stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world.

"Why," you may ask?

Well, let's go back to the basics.

God is wisdom.
The Trinity has three parts. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
When we got saved, the Holy Spirit came and took up residence in our heart.
Holy Spirit = God.
God = wisdom.
Holy Spirit living in us = built-in wisdom.

If you take all that into consideration, it makes sense that Christians should be recognized for the wisdom that exudes off of them. However, that rarely seems to happen.

In the past, I've been so wrapped up in knowing the right things to say and sounding smart that I neglect to examine my behaviour. You know the saying "actions speak louder than words"? Well, that's perfectly applicable in this situation.

I was saying all the right things at all the right times, but my life was in shambles. It's no wonder I wasn't seeing any fruit when I tried to reach out to people. I was so intent on telling my friends what would happen if they got saved...that they would experience true joy and freedom, etc. The thing is, I was clearly living in bondage. I can just imagine the thoughts running through their mind...

"If that's what Christianity is, I want no part of it."
"She's worse off than me! Why would I want to be like her?!"

In wisdom living, our actions should have the same weight (if not more) than our words. People should notice a difference in the way we live before we even open our mouths to tell them about God and what He can do for them.

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5

In this passage, Paul is talking to the Corinthian church when they were young in their faith. He's talking about how he didn't approach them with big, churchy words. He just went in with the raw honesty of what Jesus did in him...and for them. He didn't go in their with a "holier than thou" attitude. He didn't take credit for his awesomeness.

In fact, he says that he came to them in weakness. To me, that shows that he wasn't afraid to be human...and to let them know that he was just like them, but his message was so full of power. Not because he used big words, but because of the work of the Holy Spirit in his life. He went to them in such a way that he would get none of the glory and honour, but God would get it all.

I want so badly for my life to be a demonstration of the Spirit's power! I don't want to take any glory for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. It all belongs to Him.

Pastor Sheila shared another scripture that really got me thinking as well.
Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding."

Daniel 2:20-21 (NKJV)

"God gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding?! What the heck is the point of that?!" That was my response when she first shared that scripture, but as she began to unpack started to make more sense to me.

"The wise get more wisdom added to their life because they are smart enough to seek God fervently. To contend and not give up."
~ Pastor Sheila

How many times have I approached God in my prayer times to ask for wisdom regarding a certain situation only to give up a short while later because there was no response? I got so discouraged because nothing was happening. I was no closer to having any more knowledge of what to do in the I just decided to try to figure it out on my own.

When I think about that, it makes sense to me. God desires me to diligently seek Him...not just go to Him for wisdom on a one-time basis. He wants me to be flat on my face before Him, desperately seeking after Him. He wants to know that I know that whatever wisdom I receive is not just coming from my own brain. He wants to know that I will give Him the glory for the results of the situation...because without Him, I would be stuck in the same place that I was before.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6
The whole purpose of wisdom is that it would glorify it makes sense that He's not going to give foolish people wisdom, because they'd take all the glory for something that wasn't even their own in the first place.

As I walk into this next season (I'm still trying to determine exactly what it's going to look like...), I really need to be seeking God diligently. He is the only one who has a clear enough vision of my future to show me what steps I need to take. As I spend more time with Him and develop a more intimate relationship with Him, He will give me revelation about the steps that I am to take that will lead me down a path of success.

All in all, I want to be a safe person for God to share His wisdom with. I want Him to be able to trust me to handle the wisdom in a responsible manner.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Decidophobia - The Fear of Making Decisions

Here I am again! It's 3:45am, and I am just starting to write a blog. For some odd reason, I think my deepest thoughts and have the most self-realization at night. Gosh, I love the way my body is so mixed up! [/sarcasm]

Just once, I'd love to realize something major during the day...

So, for the past few hours, I've been sitting here on my bed trolling the internet for whatever I can find. Tonight, that "whatever" happened to be Liberty University's website. Liberty then turned into UCLA which turned into Biola. (No, I don't understand the different progression of schools. It just...happened. :P)

I've been looking at different schools in different states (none in Canada of course...). Different undergraduate degrees, Masters degrees, and even doctoral programs. Each different school, different degree, and different state could lead to a whole different life for me.

I know that I've been accepted at Trevecca and have decided to go there in the fall, but the money hasn't come in yet. I'm starting to wonder whether it will come in at all. The money isn't really where I'm going with this blog though - well, it kind of is, but not entirely.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I kind of don't want the money to come in for Trevecca. It's not that I don't want to go there, because I do. I want to go to university. I want to get on with my life. The thing is...

I'm scared.

My whole life, I've bounced from one city to another, one school to another, one life to another. I don't like the idea of settling down...of committing to something long term.

Some of you might think that four years in one place is not that long. I, however, beg to differ.

This week coming up will be four years of my family living in Ontario. It's the longest length of time my family has stayed anywhere in my whole life. Even in these four years, I've been out of the country a few times on trips (which isn't highly unusual but my main motivation for the trips was the need to get out of here...not for pleasure, but to preserve my own sanity), spent 8 months last year in Nashville, and tried to live in Toronto for a few weeks.

In the past four years I have attended 6 different schools. Been at four different churches for an extended period of time. Gone through many, many peer groups. Seen a bunch of different therapists and doctors.

With all that in mind, four years in one place seems like a hell of a long time. I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I can commit to staying in one place for so long.

Throughout my life, there has only been one thing that I have been able to stick to through everything. That has been my eating disorder. It has been what I fell back on in every situation. When something went wrong, I could always resort to my distorted thoughts and behaviours regarding food. It was my safety net. If my life was chaotic, I would use the eating disorder to bring stability. If my life was too stable, I'd use it to shake things up a bit.

Going into this next season, I don't have that safety net anymore. It's not even an option for me if I go to university. I'm going to be paying top dollar to receive my education, and I'm not going to throw it away because I'm too busy counting calories to write papers.

That being said, I'm afraid to commit to anything in regards to my education because I know that the eating disorder is not an option. If I fail, I'm not going to have an excuse.

Part of me thinks that it would be easier to just not go to school because I won't have to deal with the disappointment of letting myself down. I won't have to feel weighted down by commitments because I won't make any long term decisions.

The thing is...I'm letting the present hang in the balance right now. I'm not making concrete long term plans, but I'm not making any plans in the present either because I don't know if I'm going to make any long term decisions. It's a catch-22. I can't make the decisions that I need to right now if I refuse to make the decisions that I need to for my future and vice versa.

At the rate I'm going, my life is going to be spent right here where I am right now. Sitting on my bed in my parents house, staring at my computer screen. Not doing anything besides dreaming about an amazing future but knowing that it will never happen because I'm too afraid to get out of my comfort zone and actually DO something.

I have a very avoidant personality when it comes to things like this. I avoid making big decisions because I'm afraid of failure, but I avoid making small decisions because...well...eventually small decisions aren't enough and I'll be forced to make a big decision. So I don't make any decisions besides the one not to make decisions.

I don't really know how to get over that, other than to just do it. But...when I do go to "just do it", I become paralyzed with fear and trepidation. I over think things...and I just get myself into a big mess.

It's so easy for me to have all these big dreams of things that I would love to accomplish one day and to plan things far down the road because in the back of my mind, I am convinced that I will never achieve them. As far as I can tell, that's an issue that I probably need to work on.

So...what does that mean in the present? I guess that means I need to mail off the OSAP papers and stop trying to self-sabotage my feeble attempt to overcome that paralyzing fear of actually committing myself to something and sticking with it.

On a completely unrelated note...does anyone know why we capitalize both the 'h' and the 'b' in Happy Birthday?
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