Pardon Me While I Work Thru My Issues

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I fear the concept of being the “bride” of Christ is lost on most of the church. (Revelation 21:9) No man or woman in their right mind would tolerate a spouse who only spoke to them on Sunday. And only then through a third party. Monday through Saturday conversations might be grace at the table, but I doubt it, because even that is viewed as extreme Christianity by many. I know for a fact that many Christians use God’s name, although I don’t believe it’s directed to him but more at an object or circumstance. Many call on the Lord’s name in times of trouble, but what about every day conversation? I used to jokingly say I thought I was a prayer warrior until I realized I was just always praying for forgiveness. I stopped joking about that… it was too true and not funny at all.

Pardon me, while I work through my issues.

I began this mornin in James, thinking about my own relationship with Christ. How I desired more, but failed miserably. I thought about my relationship with my earthly husband David, who I have days that I want to knock his head off his shoulders, (in the name of Jesus)  and then other days I could not love another person any more. I wonder if that’s how Jesus feels about me? And then I got that image stuck in my mind about the woman pulling away for her beloved, and my heart broke to think of Jesus in that position every time I pull away from Him. What about you? How’s your marriage to the Lord? Or are you even on speaking terms? I can assure you that He will speak to you, because I’ve tested that theory too many times to tell. I walk away and when I walk back, He’s still there… and He receives me as if I’d never turned my back on Him. Would to God I understood the depth of His love.

In the book of James, he calls us adulterers and adulteresses. Wow. That’s pretty harsh. But God doesn’t mince words. So why should I.

I was in a meeting yesterday with some very “honest people.” I loved that about them. And almost everyone there agreed that they’d like to hear the truth and only the truth. My first thought was “would ya really?”  Cause if you’d like the truth I can stand up and start preachin’ right now because I’ve got a few things on my mind. But I did not. You know… timing and all. But together let’s you and I for the gospels sake, read these three little verses in James and see what God has to say about the matter of wayward children.

James 4:3-5 KJVS

[3] Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. [4] Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. [5] Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

What are you asking for?

Every time I see something shiny I ask God for it. And He gently reminds me about my “first world problems.” But for the sake of our conversation, what is the very first thing that comes to your mind of something you really want? Write it down. I did. I want in my life “stillness.” No waves, just a calm sea with everything: relationships, finances, spirituality… life. I have faith that Jesus can deliver, I also have faith that when He does, I or someone else will throw a rock in the water and the ripples will start!

James said we don’t receive it because we ask amiss. For all the wrong reasons. So I ask myself, why do I want “stillness.” And it’s totally for me. Because I am tired of waves.

Jesus said in John 16:33 KJV

[33] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

One of the reasons I don’t have peace is the fact that when I ask God to calm the sea, I just want to get out of the boat and away from the trouble. When often times God wants me to be very present in that storm. I hate confrontation, disputation, tribulation and any other “ations” that make waves. I also do not like being my own sermon illustration. But as I have said many times, I am because I make my life is full of material to work from. And usually because I merely want out of a situation that I got myself in, or God has placed me in someone’s life to be an example of Christ. Boy do I fail that one!

Point 2 in James conversation with us is:

That’s what you’re asking for?

One of the things that causes chaos in my life is our small home. Most people could fit my house into their living room. I have a small home and a large life! A large blessed life. On any given day there is upward to a dozen people in and through my house. Many of those, at least six if not more, are children. Rowdy, loud, wonderful, messy children who have no clue what a trash can or a dishwasher are for.

So in the context of James scripture he speaks of being friends with the world. Well, what does that have to do with me wanting some peace of mind? If God took my rowdy, loud, dirty house away from me, He would likely have to take the element of family away. Then I would have all the time in the world to deal with the world, but to what avail?

I was watching one of my favorite podcasts the other day with the Duck Dynasty Robertson family. They were all at Phil and Miss Kay’s house. Although his humble home is somewhat bigger than mine, it still had a lot of similarity. He was hosting a redneck dinner with family and friends and his house sounded a lot like mine. Except his was adults and they probably put their plates in the sink. But what I took from that was what I needed reminded of, it’s not the size of the home, it’s what you do with it. I know many people with beautiful homes and miserable lives. I’m not miserable… I’m just tired. Be careful what you ask for…

James’ 3rd and final point, dinged my bell when he ask: Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

Lusteth to envy? What on earth does that mean?

In the Bible according to Shari it would be worded something like this:

Do you think I’m just talking to hear myself talk? You just want that stuff so people will envy your life.

What? Is that true Lord. Do I want to impress people? I don’t know if that was so much the case as being ashamed of what God had given me. That rang my bell. And so a few waves calmed today. I’m not nearly so worried about keeping up with modern trends or who thinks what about my home. Just be prepared if you visit. We’re loud. The kitchen is likely going to have dirty dishes because someone is always eating or I am baking. The furniture is comfortable and moderately clean with the exception of the occasional dog hair. Okay, more than occasional. But people are loved and welcomed. And I have coffee.

I feel a little tighter with the Lord. He reminded me of how very blessed we are to be a child of God and that we have everything we need.

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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