Today the song that caught the attention of my heart is a new song I've been hearing by Michael English entitled, "The Only Thing Good In Me".
[Chorus] The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus I’ve lived long enough to know No matter what this life may show The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus If you could walk the hallways of my heart And see things as they really are I wonder if you might be surprised Seeing faded walls of pride and fear Rooms I’ve filled with faithless tears And corners where I’ve stood in compromise But you’d see the work His grace has done You’d know just how far I’ve come [Chorus]
I always want to make sure I'm giving credit to God in all things good in me. I never want to come across in my blog or in real life in an arrogant, "oh yeah well look at what God is teaching ME" type of way. I want this blog specifically to be a positive outlet for me, to help clarify what He's teaching me, and maybe even encourage others because maybe they will see themselves in my words or stories. I want to focus on my blessings and positive to give others hope that God is good! That life can be enjoyed and can be a wonderful, abundant experience! Not to say I won't have tearful posts or negative thoughts that I need to get out. But I just hope that my heart shows and that nobody ever thinks that any of the things I type are me trying to shine light on myself. I hope any light you see, you realize is just God's light. He really is the only good in me.
I believe the changes in my life in the past year, the past 5 years, the past 10 years are an awesome testimony to what can happen when a person accepts God into their life. He fills my heart and I simply overflow and want others to know the changes I have seen and felt in my world!
I'm a failure, I'm a terrible sinner, THAT hasn't changed at all! but what did change is that.....I made eternally important decisions to accept God into my heart number one...and two, believe the Bible to be the absolute Truth, words from Him to me. I hate my sin. I hope I never stop hating it. I hope I always get a little irritated at myself when I sin. Daily, I disappoint myself. I am disgusted with a lot of my actions, I am discouraged with my daily sin.... but I don't let it tear me down like I did before I knew God.
I truly believe that shame from God is a good thing - it should fuel us to change. The shame and guilt I feel nudge me to repent and it breaks me down to keep me ever humble....but after I repent and ask forgiveness - the KEY step - the step that so many are missing - is to realize that that sin is forever forgotten. After you are broken down, God fills you back up IF you let Him. That will never cease to amaze me. I hurt Him, driving another nail into Him, and then He lifts me back up in a bear hug and says come on let's keep going, I want to bless you. BUT so many times, intead of getting back up and jumping into His arms...we want to act like Eeoyore and mope around and feel sorry for ourselves.....we want to say, no no I don't want any blessings, you just go ahead and I'll catch up, eventually finding something else to fill us (our husbands, our kids, shopping, food, exercise). WHY do we constantly forget that after God comes in..we're not just us!! His spirit is in us! When His spirit is in us, that means we're part of the body of Christ --- so when we mope around and don't get back up - we're keeping the Body of Christ Down, we're keeping His spirit down too.... we aren't allowing Him to use us. It's a selfish act. We're listening to the wrong voice.
God doesn't keep any record of wrongs. Can you really even put your mind around that thought? If you sin and continue to fall back on that same sin, to God, each time you do it.... is the first - He forgot about all the others! He will never say I told you say. The only thing that keeps us down is ourselves! Our heart is the only thing that needs to be changed back when sin crowds us with shame. God's heart and love for us is never changing! The sins we commit...don't affect the love in our relatinoship with Him, because love isn't about how much we love Him, it's all about the fact that He loves us and gave His Son so that we could be worthy of a relationship with Him.
When we ask for forgiveness - He wipes the shame away forever and completely. After He does that, if there is any shame or guilt left at all -- it's not from God. That shame is from ourselves, it's from our peers, it's from our enemies, it's from wordly views that we let creep in. The enemy will use anything to keep us separated from God, and one of the most vulnerable times the enemy can nab us is after we've sinned. Sometimes the seeds the enemy plants if we aren't in God's word will allow us to never even ask for forgiveness! He will make us believe we aren't even worthy of asking for forgiveness, yet again. The enemy wants us to believe that God thinks the same way we do. He wants us to believe that God is saying, "well you just asked forgiveness for this yesterday - get with it lady"....but the ever important step of making the decision to have FAITH that God's word is true that Jesus Christ covered ALL our sin and shame is one of the most important decisions to make in our day.
This key step is I believe why so many Christians don't live to their full potential. Not understanding this key ingredient is why there are so many wasted talents, hurting people, and just ...issues. We listen to the world that says, "she's always been like that"...."that's just who I am"...."she can't be a christian, she did xyz".... "my mama was like that, my daddy was like that, I'm just meant to be like that". This victim mentality is not the way to live. We have to start realizing that YES we are sinners, yes we are ugly, disgusting, broken, sinners. But God has overcome the world --- and when we accepted Him into our lives....we became new! We now have the ability to overcome! He put a new spirit in us (Ezekial 36:26 - verse of the week from last week). Although WE don't deserve forgiveness, and the ability to get back up refrehed and renewed after messing up --- that opportunity is given to us. We just have to appreciate it and understand it enough to accept it! We MUST realize that after we ask Jesus to come into our lives...that we ARE destined to win, we don't have to be full of shame and we have no excuse to not fulfill our purpose. "Those who look to Him are radiant. Their faces are never covered in shame" PS 34:5. We are radiant because His light shines through us!
All that being said....I realize that my relationship with God, although it does make me feel good about myself, is not to be used as a way to shine light on ME. I want everybody to be sure to know that any light you see in me, my blog, my phone conversations, in person, any changes you've seen, are HIS Light, not mine! I want to always reflect that light He gives me, back to Him. Our relationship with Him should not be about learning just so we can be showy to others with our wisdom. God examines each of our hearts and He knows what we intend with our words and actions. Are your words used to cut others down? Are they encouraging words? Are they words that will somehow stir others to make a good decision to spend time with God? Do they reflect His own light back on Him or are you just trying to absorb that light and keep it on you?
I think that's all I have tonight!
Hope you all are having a great weekend! :) Love!