"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chasing the Fire- Part 1

Jude and I through the looking glass at the Dallas World Aquarium


I am currently reading through Leviticus (just started), Psalms (will be here forever), and finished John today.  Here's what's been really interesting to me- I can make so many "text to text connections" (teacher word) between all 3 texts each day.  And it's kinda so fascinating- I sometimes sneak in an extra set of chapters.  Do you know how crazy it is to think that the Bible is more of a page turner than my New York bestselling novel?  I'm not the 'super Christian' type.  I'm pretty average.  And usually feel pretty steeped in sin.  I say this only to say that anyone can study the Bible and really glean something out of it.  Because it's not about being a super Christian- it's about the Holy Spirit.  He does it, and all of us terrible sinners get to join him for the ride.  #1000 gifts friends, 1000 gifts....

I've got to say Leviticus has been fascinating and convicting.  My heart just doesn't have Jesus on the throne enough.  For a long time my throne was occupied with Michael or someone else.  God removed that idol threw open heart surgery.  And lately I am noticing my idol is trendiness trendiness trendiness. This is driven by a desire to create and recreate.  It's not bad necessarily.  The problem is that it keeps me from having an eternal focus.  And I wonder if it keeps me from hearing God's voice?  

There are two things that have really stuck out to me:

an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord...

This line appears approximately 14 times in 6 chapters.  So given that it is mentioned nearly twice daily in my readings, I've been thinking about it.  In Romans, Paul mentions that our bodies our living sacrifices.  Heard that a million times, but reading through what a sacrifice actually involved is really giving me a fuller understanding.  All these sacrifices were made by fire.  Made by fire.  Looking back, I can think of countless trials in my life.  They have all made me the person I am, for better or worse.  Mostly better, because God has certainly used those more than anything to purify my heart.  Those times where the fire is raging around my life, are the times I am most likely beholding God's face and presence in my life.  Blessed are the persecuted...  And those are the times that my life is an aroma pleasing to the Lord.  Now I am not saying that in the midst of the good times, I am no longer pleasing.  But I will say this, if I am not willingly subjecting myself to the fire of doing more for others than myself or giving more than I spend on myself or being vocal about my faith as opposed to hiding it for popularity's sake, if I am running or hiding from the fire, I might have a problem.  (See the idol on my throne which I am working through...)  No sin is an easy fix, and this is certainly no different.  I am really trying to pray through this and understand what God is saying fully, although I have some ideas.



Here's the other thing:

All the fat is the Lord's - 3:16

There is a good bit mentioned about the fat, although not to the extent of being made by fire.  I am not sure what this means for today, but here are some things I've being playing around with.  (This could be totally wrong, by the way.)  Fat is used to insulate, comfort, protect, add flavor.  It's extra, or as we say in Louisiana, lagniappe.  Thinking in those terms, the fat of my life would be trends, new bands, changing my hair color, shoes, clothes, instagram, fashion blogs...  They add flavor to my life.  They are the little extras that I find interesting and fun.  But they aren't needs.  Those things belong to the Lord first.  None of these things are bad.  I am not saying I needed to be rocking an out of touch with reality look.  In fact, I discourage that, because I think we are supposed to be in the world enough to be able to carry on a normal conversation with anyone of any background/belief/gender/race/sexual orientation/whatever.  But those things should not be what makes me what I am.  I am not of this world.  

But how in the world do I find that balance?  What does a trendy Christian who has surrendered her interests for the sake of Christ look like.  These mainly hold me back in particular area, which I will talk about as God reveals more.  It's kind of hidden in my heart for now.  However, today, what can I do to surrender my love of the trends so that even my love of trends brings Christ glory?

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I don't know all these answers yet, but here's what I am looking for: ways to chase the fire...  Not the American dream, not my comforts, not myself- not when there is a world out there dying and unreached.  

I have so much to say on this regarding what I've been reading in Psalms and John and Acts... but that will have to wait... 

Please share your thoughts.  I really want this blog to engage me and you in conversation.  I love being challenged and growing from other ideas :)




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