"The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.'" -Billy Graham
To say that God revealed Himself to me this week is an understatement. I have been encouraged to stand bold in my faith, and that's one of the most vulnerable feelings I have felt in a really long time.
I learned about distractions.
We live in a distracted world, yet Christ still tells us to take time for him and reflect on his power [Ps. 46:10].
I learned that Christ wants us to strip off EVERYTHING that wears me down, everything stopping me from getting to him.
I learned that I have made some good things bad. Some things are not necessarily evil until you make them your god. I have turned some of my friends and schoolwork into a god, forgetting to MAKE TIME for Christ.
I learned to truly listen to God.
I was encouraged by Psalm 119:20 which tells us "My soul is consumed with longing for your word at all times."
I was reminded that there is a difference between hearing and listening. One of my group leaders described hearing as "a water-repellent sheet where the word rolls right off" and listening as "a sponge soaking in every water droplet it had room for".
I have learned, in the words of Lilly Moscovitz [Princess Diaries], that sometimes I need to "shut up and listen". We are fast moving people, but there is ALWAYS time to stop and listen.
I learned to evaluate the things I spend the most time on. Instead of watching movies for hours, why not worship or pray or read Scripture for hours?
I learned that I must have the Holy Spirit to understand deep things in Scripture [1 Cor. 2:14].
I learned to stop and smell the roses... or admire the stars... or listen to the birds sing out... to admire the creation proclaiming the name of the Creator Himself [Ps. 19].
I learned to hate sin.
I learned that when we follow through sin, we are like the oxen willingly walking to their death [Proverbs 7:22-23]. We willingly get trapped in sin, leading to spiritual death.
I was reminded that sin is REBELLION.
I learned that sin breaks relationships. It broke the relationship between Adam and Eve in Eden. It broke the relationship between God and man in Eden as well.
I was shown the harsh truth that if i sin simply three times every day, I may sin well over 70,000 times in my lifetime... an extremely large number of offences would not be overlooked by any judge would it??
I saw how sin is like the bait luring in the fish. The fish sees the treat, but does not see the hook underneath which is leading to its death [Proverbs 14:12].
I learned that I can either choose to be a slave to sin or a servant for God.
I learned that my attitude toward sin matters. I MUST stand firm in my faith.
I learned to evaluate my friendships.
I learned that all of my friends could be classified into two groups: lamp posts or lamp shades. They are either shining a bright light that must be seen or they are disclosing the light that needs to be shared.
I was encouraged to build my friends up and not let them tear me down.
I was encouraged to purge my life of people who are acting away from Christ.
I was reminded that I will become like the people I hang around, so I should choose wisely [Prov. 13:20; 1 Cor. 15:33].
I was reminded that good friends don't take days off of being your friend. They stand by you. They encourage you. They hold you accountable to the commitment you made to Christ.
I learned to be PROUD of Christ.
2 Timothy 1:8 "So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord."
I was reminded to tell the WORLD about our hero.
I was encouraged to praise God how He tells me to praise Him. That may be jumping up and down. That may be on my knees. That may be with both hands in the air. That may be screaming for his glory.
I was encouraged to be involved in discipleship.
I was encouraged to love my friends and family, but love them less than I love Christ.
I was encouraged to place and keep Christ in the 1st chair of priority in my life. Besides, that's the only place he fits in anyway, right?
I was encouraged to carry my cross to Jesus.
I was reminded to be OBSESSED with obedience in Christ.
I was taught that the goal of discipleship is transformation.
I was shown that my relationship with Christ will have no worth unless something is given as payment.
I was reminded that CHRIST should be the only one calling the shots in my life.
"Your life is a blank check in which God gets to finish filling out." David Platt
I was reminded that... I am precious to God, so there is no point in me acting useless.