Monday, January 6, 2014

Love Is Patient...But Am I

Happy New Year!  What is it about a new year that gives people such hope for making big life changes?  I've been contemplating that quite a bit.  The Bible tells us that God's mercies are new every morning.  So, shouldn't we have that hope every day?

However, like many of you, each end of December/beginning of January, I reflect on the past 12 months and set goals for the coming year.  I've set goals to exercise more, eat healthier food, grow my business, etc.  What I have never done is pray before setting my goals.  Honestly, the thought had never occurred to me.  I feel like I shouldn't even be admitting this!

This year is different.  I've spent the past week considering what God would have me change, rather, what He would like to change in me.  The overwhelming response is that He would like to create in me a gentle, quiet, and humble spirit while becoming an on fire disciple of Jesus.

Yesterday morning, I was part of our worship team.  Because my husband was running the lights for our service, he and I needed to be at church at the same time which meant our children did too.  I set my alarm for 6:00 so I could have quiet devotion time before getting ready for the day.  At 7:00, I woke my husband and asked him to wake the children and make sure they were getting ready.  He didn't do things how I wanted them done.  Because of that, I was snippy and snotty.

After our first service, I mentioned to a few friends that I "wasn't feeling it" but I didn't know what was wrong.  As I gathered with the rest of the worship team to share communion, I realized exactly why I hadn't felt worshipful during the first service.  I had unconfessed sin.  My attitude of that morning was not kind or loving.  It was sinful.

I am currently reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  He is one of my favorite pastors, authors, speakers.  This is a quote from the chapter I was reading last night.  It is in regard to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (which has become very familiar to many):

"I was challenged to do a little exercise with these verses, one that was profoundly convicting.  Take the phrase Love is patient and substitute your name for the word love.  (For me, 'Francis is patient...')  Do it for every passage.

By the end, don't you feel like a big liar?"

For me, it would go like this:

Misty is patient and kind.  Misty does not envy or boast; she is not arrogant or rude.  Misty does not insist on her own way; she is not irritable or resentful;

Yes, Mr. Chan.  I feel like a big liar.

Then this morning, this verse was included in my devotion:

1Peter 3:4 "Instead, it (speaking of beauty) should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."


However, the promise is this:

Ephesians 3:20 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, ..."

I believe that God is at work within me.  I believe that God wants to change this in me.  So, I also believe He will.