Made to Crave Week 2 – Identity Statements

…There once was a bunny who decided he no longer wanted to be a bunny – he instead wanted to be a beaver, but… so he went to be a bear, but… so he went to be a skunk, but… on he went until he realized being a bunny is who is was… he alone, couldn’t change this.  (Adapted from the story, It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny, by Marilyn Sadler.) Its not easy being a bunny

Oh, how I live my days like this sometimes.  From the moment I accepted Christ as my savior, I became a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17-21), that creation is God’s Masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), his precious child who he dearly loves (John 1:12-13).   However, many days I feel like something so different.  Thankfully, someone’s identity is defined by what they ARE, not what they feel like, what they look like, or even what they act like.  I may not feel like it, I may not act like it – but my identity isn’t defined by how I feel or act, it is defined by the creator.   Just as the bunny could try as he may to be something he wasn’t, he couldn’t change the fact that he would always be a bunny.

Today, I look in the mirror and remind myself –

“I am a princess of the true King”

“I am a child of the One Holy, Almighty God”

“I am anointed, blessed, and accepted by my Lord”

Parable of the KingIn Beth Moore’s children’s book, A Parable about the King, a young princess runs away because she doesn’t want to clean her room. Soon she finds a group of peasant children playing in the streets and joins them; pretending she is “one of them”, she tries to do and say what they do and say.  However, she is a child of the King and quickly discovers she doesn’t fit in with them. Humiliated and dirty, she runs back to the palace, only to find the secret door she left from, locked. Her only way back in is through the front door; when she knocks on the door her father answers. The girl throws herself at his feet and begs forgiveness. The King simply pulls her into his arms and says,
“You may have acted like them, but you are not one of them. You are mine, and you will never be happy until you accept both the privilege and responsibility that goes with belonging to me.”

Beth does a wonderful job of reminding us we are a child of God, a child of the King, a child who is deeply loved, forgiven and wanted more than we’ll ever understand.  Many times the pull of this world, the cravings of this world, beckon us to follow the world.  However, we find this doesn’t make us happy, it doesn’t fill us and we are left empty and feeling guilty.   We may act like we belong to the world, but we don’t.  As Christian’s we belong to the Holy God!

Lysa’s statement in chapter 5 of Made to Crave echoes in my ears this week, “We were made for more”.  With each craving, negative thought, empty desire – my spirit has reminded me “I am made for more”… but what more?  … God!   We are his children and we should act like it!  I was made to crave God, his forgiveness, his wisdom, his love… all of Him.  Until I understand who I am in Christ, follow passionately the path God has laid out for me, and fill my desires and cravings with the Lord, then I will not truly live.

Psalm 139:13-16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Ephesians 1:4-5
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship [masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Colossians 2:13-14
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

John 1:12-13
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Galatians 4:6-7
Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

John 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Galatians 3:26-27
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Psalm 138:8
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-do not abandon the works of your hands.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:14-15
because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

1 Thessalonians 5:5
You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:5
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Advertisements

M2C – Week 1

M2C – Week 1 – I’m Empowered

 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

“Marcus couldn’t remember a time when his chains did not rub his wrists and ankles raw. And yet one day a messenger stood before him with good news. News he couldn’t believe: “The truth will set you free.” Marcus didn’t understand how, but with simple faith he followed and the chains were broken. The messenger guided Marcus to his new home and introduced him to the king who had set them free.”  By Joni Eareckson-Tada from the book called, On the Wings of the West Wind.

Joni continues with the story with Marcus knowing he is free but finds himself back to where he came, feeling as if he once again was a slave.  It isn’t until later he realizes it was he himself who was allowing himself to be treated as a slave, but that he really was no longer truly a slave to his old life or his old master… he was free… free at last.

 We, too, were bought from our slavery of this world.  (1 Corinthians 7:23 “You were bought for a price…”)  How easily we forget and walk as if we still live by only our fleshly desires, slaves to our old patterns and ragged life.  Groves from our past life are worn thick in our thought patterns and habits.  Thankfully we don’t have to be stuck there, for we are free. (John 8:36 “Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free”)

 Many days I feel a slave to my desires of the flesh, my thoughts, and my cravings.  I misunderstand my desires of my heart and my cravings are to be towards my Lord Jesus, not to food, approval, or worldly love.  I am free to say “no” to that dessert, it doesn’t own me.  I am free to say “no” to commitments that aren’t in God’s will for me, so I can focus on what God has planned for me instead.  I am free to seek the Lord with all my heart, mind, body, and soul – for he too yearns for me to come near to him. 

 In reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book Made to Crave, I found myself relating to her emotions, frustrations, and struggles.

“I relied on food more than I relied on God.  I craved food more than I craved God.  Food was my comfort. Food was my reward.  Food was my joy.  Good was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness”.  Page29

It was me… Although this same food I craved for the moment satisfied for the moment, in the long run it left me feeling trapped, frustrated, and my voice in my head screamed, “Failure!”  Although, I found myself once again acting as if I was a slave to my cravings, a slave to my choices I, like Marcus in Joni’s book, must live the life I was given – I’m free.  I’m free to walk by the Spirit and not give in to my flesh.  I’m free to make choices that are healthy, free to stand up to my past groves and patterns I’ve worn for years and say, “NO MORE!” 

Galatians 5:22-24 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.” 

 Lysa choose to use her cravings for food as a prompting to pray.  She choose to fight her fleshly patterns to create new groves in her road she’d now fall into… this is a great idea and something I too will grab onto! I’d better get knee pads; I may find myself on my knees… a lot!!!  But I am EMPOWERED by the Spirit, by my redeemer, by my Lord to overcome what is in the world.

Empowered

All things new…

Quote

New – it is a great word isn’t it?  I love getting a new dress or a new pretty pair of shoes.  I love the smell of a new born baby or newly cut grass.  I love the feel of the pages of a new book I’m about to start reading.  New is a great feeling, especially when it is a new beginning.

Each year we make New Year’s Resolutions, for many of us only to break them only weeks later.  However, each day is a new beginning.  It is a fresh start to do things right that day.  Not to look back and relive the wrong we’ve done, but to start doing right.  God is the master of new beginnings.  He makes each of us a new creation when we come to him and believe in him.  I love the thought of my creator, removing the dirty, filthy stuff from my life only to replace it with something new and better!

Sometimes we can see exactly what God is trying to remove from our lives.  Sometimes it isn’t something we really want to give up, but it is always for the best.  In a Bible study called “The Life” by Bill and Anabel Graham, Bill stated that more than 75% of all Christians walk by feel not by faith in their Christian walk.  A bell went off, “Yep, girl you do that!”

How many times have I allowed the “gossip gals” at work to determine my identity?  How many times have I felt that if my kids misbehave, that this defines me as poor parent?  As moms or even just as women, we like to control.  We juggle so much, especially in this day in age, that we feel the only way to stay on top of it all – is by controlling it.

So what is “new” with me?  My next Bible study – Let.It.Go. by Karen Ehman.  It is an on-line Bible study that I’m already getting excited about and it only officially started today!  It is to give insight to how to let go of control and let God do it through us.  From the review it is to help us take control of our schedule, yet allow God’s interruptions, to help us learn to micromanage less and just be a mother, how to be an influence to our husband, learn to control our emotions (even if we can’t control the circumstance) and to stop pursuing the appearance of perfection and just allow God to shine through our lives.

Here is a quote from the book that I connected with:

“There exists a minuscule line between being conscientious and being controlling. A marker so fine, we women cross it without even noticing that it’s stretched out right there in front of us, waiting to trip us up.  What we must do is determine the difference between being conscientious (our part) and being in control (God’s job).”  –  Let.It.Go by Ehman, page 17.

Will you join me?  There is still time and the first chapter is on Melissa’s website if you need to start there.

http://melissataylor.org/and-more/