Friday, September 5, 2008

I Want To Be My LORD's Friend

     So, I catch myself doing the very things that my spirit does not want to do.  In other words, living carnally.  Have you ever noticed that when you live in the flesh, your spirit feels dirty inside of you?  Especially when you sincerely do not want to do that sin anymore, yet you catch yourself doing it.  Well, that is something I have been dealing with lately.
     I know I have not been relying on the Lord for strength.  I have been feeding the lusts of the flesh, and I know that it is wrong.  I HATE it!  Yet, my flesh loves it.  I do take comfort knowing that I am not the only one who endures these hardships.  However, I am still disappointed in knowing that I have disappointed my Saviour, again.  I know, I know.  This is MY fault, not God's fault. I do not blame Him one iota:  I blame myself.  I think He lets me continue down this path, just to see how desperately I need Him; and, I thank Him that He cares enough for me to let me see myself as I am without Him.
     I thank Him that I do have Him, but I do not like being a rebel.  I want to be obedient unto Him.  Yet, there is no good thing in me, that is, in my flesh.  Thank the Lord that He is good, and He is in me.  Then I can glory in Him for His goodness that comes out of me!  I pray that I will do better with my days that the Lord Jesus gives to me.  I want to bring Him honor, for He saved my soul!  I want to make Him happy, for He makes me happy every day!  I want close fellowship with Him; to be friends one with another.  But, in order to do be His friend, I have to remember the very memory verse I taught to the children in my Sunday School class:  "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."--John 15:14.  Man, do I need some shaping up to do!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Relationships

     For the past two days, I have been contemplating the relationships in my life.  The more and more I think about some of them, the more saddened about them I become.  I know I should not dwell on them, but I do need to stop ignoring the obvious and come to terms.
     Since I came back to the Lord, and Dear got saved, our lives have slowly, but dramatically, changed. We are still the same, but yet not the same.  I have been saved for nearly fourteen years now, and Dear has been for two and a half years.  The first twelve years of my saved life was me staying a babe in Christ.  I truly was seeking to live for the Lord, but in my own understanding.  I would read the Bible, pray, go to church, but I was not grounded in the ways of holiness.  I attended churches that did not teach many sound doctrines; yet, the Lord Jesus Christ allowed me to get the food I needed to survive.
     It was not until the Lord directed Dear and I to where we now live, over three years ago, that things really started to change.  I had been backslidden for a few years by this time, and really had no plans on going to church.  I was in a new place, a strange culture, and around a people disinterested in me.  Those things, plus some Holy Spirit convicting, caused me to start seeking a church to attend, something I was not planning on doing.
     We tried a couple churches, which was fine for Dear.  He was a people-pleaser, laid-back, fun-loving kind of guy.  He did not mind going to the worldly churches, and he was even interested in going back to where he grew up for a time:  a Catholic church.  Yet, the Lord kept making it evident to me that these were not the places He wanted us to be.
     After visiting a very charismatic Assembly of God church, (briefly--we left after the first five minutes of service, for they were getting very wild and the spirit there was not of God), we stopped looking.  I was not reading Scripture, or praying; unless, of course, I was in need of something.  I did not start looking again for a church until after my father had left from visiting around Christmas.
     Almost two months later, I decided to give the Baptist church in town a try.  I had been to a Baptist church in the past, but that was only one morning service.  Yet, I thought I would still give it a try.  I got there on a Sunday night, half an hour late.  Regardless, when I entered, they did not give me weird or harsh glances, but took me in like family.
     Dear was not with me to attend this church service. He was so dead-set against going to a Baptist church.  He gave me any excuse he could think of regarding not coming.  Yet, I went.  Afterward, I was so glad I did.  They taught the truth, solely out of the King James Bible, and the love of Christ was very evident the moment I came.  I knew I was where the Lord wanted me to be!
     It took a bit longer for Dear to come, but not much longer.  By March he had been coming to a few services with me, and the pastor had started a "Basic Bible Truths" Bible study with us; especially for Dear, so he could understand what salvation was.  On March 12, 2006, my husband went to the altar during the evening service altar call, and sought to be saved by Jesus Christ!
     After that, we took off for the Lord.  We still have our struggles, but we see them as growing pains.  It truly is a much more blessed life to be following the Lord Jesus Christ than the world.  Due to following Him, I have noticed the distance between us and some of those that we dearly love.
     Our lost loved ones do not, and can not, understand our lives.  Some think we are in a cult.  Others think we are overwhelmed in our "religion."  Others are simply tolerant of all beliefs, whether they understand it or not.  Some get offended.  Some do not talk about it at all.  Many times people wished we were how we used to be before Christ took control.
     Because of our love for the Lord and trying to obey Him, it has distanced us from them.  We love them terribly, yet because of the differing lives, are unable to have close fellowship with them.  This pains my heart, but God has been good and gracious to us by giving us a family in the church members.  It is a close-knit group, for we do spend many times together outside of church services and activities.  We are able to have a close fellowship one with another.
     Even with the close fellowship with my church family, and my saved husband, the only relationship I can truly count on is the one I have with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He is my only constant.  He will never leave me, forsake me, or disappoint me.  I thank Him that even though the reality of my relationships with lost loved ones is being distanced as I draw closer to Him, He blesses me with a close relationship with Him and His other saints.  Thank You, Lord Jesus.
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