Discovering what love is one day at a time
I saw a quote the other day that said “You may be alive…but that doesn’t mean you are living.” As I chewed on it that one song by Guns N Roses went through my head… It goes something like this…
“When you were young & your heart was an open book, you used to say live and let live, You know you did(x3), But if this ever changing world in which we live in… Makes you give in and cry, Say live and let die…”
In this life, crud happens, and sometimes it locks you up emotionally physically and spiritually. In order for us to find a place where we feel more in control, we may take matters into our own hands, harden our hearts to the pain, and cut ourselves off emotionally from the thing that originally caused the pain in the first place. The “live and let die”…may become our attitude to ourselves and others around us. The seed of that thought then grows into a plant that chokes out the good things and changes our heart from when we were young, innocent open and free; to a one with a closed and hardened heart. Hardness of heart can sometimes be identified by pride, unbelief, cynicism, judgment, fearfulness, or legalism or all of the above and more.
Fear of discomfort or the love of comfort, whether it is emotional or physical really is a bondage maker. It binds us to behaviors that keep us in a place where growth doesn’t happen, but a slow and steady chain wraps itself in and through our lives in such a way that it chokes the life right out of us, and tries to choke the life out of others we are connected to.
Sin separates us from God. It was God’s plan from the beginning to make a way for us. Jesus Christ came so that we might have life and have it in abundance, and yet our enemy the devil comes only to steal kill and destroy.
The enemy wants to keep us in a place where we are out of relationship with the God who created us. With knowing these things, we each personally have a choice to make. What do I want, and who do I want to be subject to? One who steals from me, or one who wants to add to me?
Because the Truth simply is this: “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”John 3:16-17
God by His great grace and mercy chases after us. His kindness either leads us to repentance, and we seek out the change that His Word promises, or we are so offended that we hide from His grace.
For everyone practicing evil hates the light, and does not come into the light, that his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes into the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3:20-21
I love that He loves us so much to chase after us, that He hedges us in, and that He disciplines us, because He loves us. He loves us right out of our rigid and stuck places.
Change includes risk, we all know that. However, when we actually realize that what we are doing is not good, it is by God’s grace that we are allowed that glimpse of “sight.”
In that moment, we get to decide for ourselves. ”Do I want to continue in this “pain” this “slow death” or do I want to reap the benefits of loving discipline?” God’s discipline is for our profit. The risk is worth the benefit in this case.
No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed into the image of His Son. Romans8:28-29a
God has predestined us to be conformed into the image of His Son. In Jeremiah 18, His Word illustrates Him to be the potter and us the clay. If we to take that imagery even further and say the image of His son is a cookie cutter and we are as clay or play dough. There is a whole lot of excess left over when that shape cuts into the play dough. God by His grace and mercy is constantly working in our lives. But He waits for us to partner with Him, and receive what He abundantly supplies. What doesn’t fit into the cutters shape is the stuff that He removes from us by His grace and mercy. It represents those things that take and rob from us.
His Word tells us that in order to see the Kingdom of Heaven we must be born again. In order to continue in that new life, we must partner with Him in all things, submit ourselves and surrender to Him fully as King over every part of our life, our hearts, minds, soul and strength. It is then when we experience life again as a child with an open heart. And life then truly becomes an adventure. We then have the freedom to live, truly live. Because where the Spirit of the Lord is there is FREEDOM. Our hearts and minds are able to rest in the provision that if God is for me who can be against me?
Today, where do you find yourself? Are you an enemy of God, living like the walking dead, and have not accepted His grace for you? Or are you finding yourself in a repeating pattern, locked in a cycle of unhealthy behavior, or thought pattern. A slave to your sin, obstructed, restricted and hampered. No matter where you find yourself the answer is simply this. Do not harden your heart to His amazing grace. Call out to Him. Talk to Him about your needs. Be completely honest. (He already knows it anyway.) And as His Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, respond back with what He asks. It’s that simple. FREEDOM awaits you. What will you have? Will you let yourself have life and have it to the full? Or will you live and let yourself die?
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 22 years. We have two young men ages 19 and 13.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.