Galatians 5:16-17

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:16-17

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm giving up, Lord.

I still fall into trying to be a good Christian:(
I'm learning that's a seriously dangerous goal. Beneath that seemingly good goal, is a performance, 'me-focused' understanding of walking with God. It reveals my misunderstanding that I have to do stuff well - I don't, I can't. If I really understood how free I am by the cross ALONE - and how my performance seriously has nothing to do with God's love and affection for me. I would live differently.
I had a breakdown on Friday and it was the culmination of try, try, try harder, try to figure it out, try to piece it together, try, try, NOT WORKING!
I am living by the false gospel that says, "Billy, make sure you nail this presentation at Children's ark today...make sure you say the right things when you meet with this guy today...make sure you affirm 8 (not 6) people today...make sure you don't spend more than x amount on food this month...blah blah blah."
I am seeing that the things most forefront on my mind over the past year or so have been things having to do with the Gospel, but not the heart of it. Things relating to Christ, things that can better my relationship with Him, spiritual disciplines that have to do with Christ, spending time with community that also loves Christ...but it hasn't been Christ Himself. Community is flawed, disciplines are flawed, small groups are flawed, services are flawed, Christian books are flawed. Christ is not flawed. Neither is the cross(Heb 10:14).
I am seeing how easily it is to fall into setting my mind on things other than Christ's cross. It is the most important thing to ever happen, and there is no better thought for me to set my mind on than that. When i sit on it, I am reminded of my sin, and I can temporarily see the frailty of trying. It - out of love - affirms that "Billy, apart from me you can't do anything. Literally nothing. Apart from me humanity is screwed. But because I love you. I made a way, offering renewal and regeneration."

And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Ezekiel 36:26-27

Father, I can't walk in your statutes. I try and try and fail and fail, I'm sick of it. I feel like my walk has led me to give up - and I feel like that's a good thing. Would you help me give up and just press into You who will never deny my seek. Would you captivate me so that I am able to sit at your feet and wait, aiming to live obediently while you refine my heart. Will you give me the strength to endure the many, many withdrawals of my flesh as my heart is transformed in You. You are so good, Lord. Truly soo far beyond all comparison.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

forgotten foundation

These lyrics really jumped out this morning:

When the walls close in around me
Let Your glory light the darkness of my night

When the suffering's all that I see
May I walk with You by faith and not by sight

Amidst a season of the Lord cautioning me from a 'me-and-my-works' based understanding of serving Him, working me down instead of up, simple instead of complex:

I'm realizing a wrong way in which I approach God in struggle. 
Somewhere along the way I've began to develop this horrible misunderstanding that says since I am growing and now know more about walking with the Lord, I've lost my rookie excuse and can't use the "I have no idea what's going on God, but I need you." I still miss the Truth that says I don't have to become a good Christian, I don't have to diagnose all of my spiritual problems and prescribe remedies, I can forever cry, "Lord I'm sinking, I have no idea what's going on, save me! Let your Glory light the darkness of my night!"  

Praise Him for being the most incredible teacher ever; revealing to us where we're missing it, and blessing childlike desperation!
I love you FATHER!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Prayer please

Hi guys!
I really miss you.

Hawaii is beautiful. My living situation is really blessed, 4 rad guys, who all serve and are so nice and fun. They're all really adventurous and disciplined and older than me and it's been really good to be around that. We went spearfishing on Memorial Day - awesome! I didn't catch anything but when you see a fish and start chasing it, the anticipation was enough fun in itself;)
The people are nice to haoles like me, waves are great, the exposure to church stuff is awesome, the Spirit moves so visibly and so often!

But I'm tired spiritually. It's like stretching a sore muscle - or working out a muscle that I don't even have yet;) But God is so faithful and even amidst my irritation, frustration, and ungraceful exhaustion I am hearing him more clearly than I can ever remember.

Can you pray for me please, I need it.
For courage to step into anything that he asks of me. And for an awareness and strength to call on the Spirit for help to push through when I get tired and/or frustrated.

How has circles been going?