Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Be Willing to Be Used

I live in a culture where being used is one of the worst possible things that can happen to you. If you feel as though you are being used in a relationship, that relationship is sure to end. If we feel as though we are being used in business (somebody ALWAYS wants something for nothing!), we put certain bylaws and regulations in place to avoid it. So, when dealing with a phrase that has such negative connotations, why is it that I cannot wait to tell you about the good stuff?

When was the last time you were willingly used? When was the last time you gave something of yourself expecting absolutely NOTHING in return? When was the last time thoughts of your comfort were the last thing on your mind? Yeah, we all suffer from a degree of self inflicted pre-imptive selfishness. You can call it self-perseverance.....but God calls it sin.

Sometimes, NOT doing what you should do is just as bad (if not worse) than blatantly doing something you know you shouldn't do. Are you confused yet? Hang in there, we'll get through this together. there is a Biblical truth that should really be tattooed across our foreheads. Backwards, so we can read it every time we look in the mirror. God is more concerned about our character than He is about our comfort. Let that sink in.....and before you run to the nearest tattoo parlor, maybe you can just place some sticky notes on the mirror.

We get it all mixed up for most of our lives. Is God a loving God? You bet! In fact, He loves me (and you) more than I can even fathom. Am I a loving mom? Yes, but on my best days my love fails in comparison to the creator of all love. Do I avoid disciplining my children in favor of their comfort? NO. In fact, I think avoidance of discipline is what is driving this nation straight down, but that's another post. I discipline (not beat, haters) my children to help them grow in character.

Last night I had to have a firm talk with my daughter about responsibility. Correct me if I'm wrong, but by 11 years old you should know NOT to lay your Kindle down beside the tub and then commence to splash ALL of the water out of the tub? I did not yell or spank. As a matter of fact, both of my children outgrew spanking some time ago...the hardest part of parenting is when the discipline really has to be thoroughly thought out. I simply sat her down and explained the fact that she MUST learn responsibility to go anywhere in life. Mom is not always going to pick up your Kindle people! At some point, we have to grow up and take the responsibility of actually living.

Now, God loves me far more than I love my daughter, that is a truth. He has to use circumstances to grow my character worthy of the calling He has given me. In order for a character growth to truly take place, I must be willing to be used. I have to be willing to face the fire. More often than not, I'll rub 2 sticks together with all my might and once the blaze starts going I scream "Why are you doing this to me?!?!?" Is that just me? We blame Him for our own poop we get into. Yes, I said poop. We are quick to point out when He "wasn't there for us", yet we struggle to find the last time we set aside ALL selfish desires to be used for His purpose. We struggle with growth...

Perhaps you do give. Maybe you even work in the church. Heck, you might even let babies barf all over you every Sunday and may God truly bless you for that....but have you allowed yourself to be turned inside out for Him? Have you let go of where you find comfort and solace to follow Him alone? Some of us find comfort in our work. Some in our homes. Some in our spouses. I wasn't afforded the comfort of my family being with me on my first mission trip. As a matter of fact, I couldn't even talk with them most of the time I was gone. God needed that to happen to get my undivided attention. And it was in these moments that I clearly heard "I've put up with you for 35 years...your time is now. Suck it up, we have work to do". OK, so it may not have been those exact words, but I do know He speaks in ways we understand! And I understand I have been a pain in the butt from day1. I am selfish, I am weak in Spirit, I am angry....but through HIM I am made clean. All it takes is a willingness.

What has He put on your heart? Does it scare the poop out of you? OK, I had to use the word again, just to keep with the theme :) Seriously, DOES IT SCARE YOU? Are you trying to get it off your mind because just the thought makes you uncomfortable? Well child, that is your calling.....Grow up and grow into it. I have said this before in talks, but it needs repeating now:

Death does not scare me. What scares me is facing my loving Father in Heaven, the ONE Who gave His Only Son to save my sorry butt.....and he points to a mountain of opportunity and talent and asks "Why did you refuse to use what I gave you?'

What are you refusing today? Let go of self-perceived control, and BTW: it works best if you do this DAILY. Let God take you down the path He has already carved. Will it be easy? I pray not. Will it be worth it? More than you will ever know here on earth.

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