Thursday, April 7, 2011

Encouragement for Today

I recieve these daily emails titled Encouragement for Today. Some days are better than others. I liked this one for some reason....
Shocked by My Own Advice
Lysa TerKeurst

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)

The choice is mine. If I want to be a sold out somebody for God, I have to break away from the everybody crowd.

Today's key verses are not easy for a girl who wanted nothing more growing up than to fit in. Don't cause waves. Don't stand out. Don't stand up. Don't rock the boat of norm in anyway. Just go with the flow in the same direction as everyone else.

But somewhere along my Christian journey, going with the flow started to bother me.

Verses like the one above in Matthew 7 and Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," started to mess with my status quo existence.

Conformed or transformed? The choice is mine. If I want to be a sold out somebody for God, I have to break away from the everybody crowd.

This is a message I shared with my son one day when he came to me scared. He admitted things had gone a little too far with his girlfriend and wanted help processing what to do. They hadn't crossed every line but enough that he knew they were headed in a dangerous direction.

We sat on the back deck and processed the situation together. We read a list of empowering Scripture verses seeking to filter every part of this situation through God's truth. In the end, he and his girlfriend came to the realization they needed to break up. It's really hard to put things in reverse after certain lines have been crossed.

I walked back into the house after that conversation with two things running through my brain. I was thrilled my son came to me to talk about such a sensitive issue. What an honor to breathe Truth into his physical struggle.

But, I was also feeling a little panicked at the realities of parenting older teenagers. And that feeling led me straight to the pantry, convinced I needed some chocolate. I deserved some chips! As I loaded my arms full of treats, I was suddenly struck by a gut wrenching question. How can I expect my son to apply Truth to his area of physical struggle but refuse to apply it to my area of physical struggle?

Ouch. I was shocked by my own advice.

If I wanted to model what it looks like to live out truth in my physical struggles, I would have to break up with unhealthy choices. God made me to consume food, but food was never supposed to consume me.

Making healthy choices with my food would have to be part of my breaking away. I would have to distance myself from my distraction if I wanted to become truly transformed.

What's your distraction? What's the one way you can start to break away from the everybody crowd?

The everybody crowd says, "if it feels good it is good." The everybody crowd says, "don't deny yourself... that's so old school." The everybody crowd says, "everybody's living it up – so should you."

Conformed or transformed? The choice is ours. If we want to be a sold out somebody for God, we have to break away from the everybody crowd.Dear Lord, I want and need to live apart from the everybody crowd. Free me of my distractions. Remove my insecurities. Help me to follow You with my whole heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.