Monday, July 31, 2006

Proverbs 27:21
"The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise. "

The thoughts about what true humility is - in the heart - kept me up all night last night......Sometimes I wonder if Jonathan Edwards knew that his writings would tend to keep people up all hours of the night pleading with the Father for a nature change. He probably didn't get much sleep either. If my thoughts seem scattered, that's why, and I'll probably come back and edit for readability later.

So, as brothers and sisters we are commanded to exhort and encourage one another and to say only that which is helpful and what will build up the body in love........well then, how do we receive encouraging words?!! Honestly, I would rather be rebuked 100 times a day than praised once. It is far less confusing for me. I feel like everyone can see my folly so plainly, and I wish that they would encourage me with scriptures to fight against my corruption........but instead it seems that the Lord convicts me, leaves me feeling foolish and broken hearted and desperate for grace, and then a brother or sister mentions something kind about seeing God's grace working in me........and then - the testing begins. (see above verse) I have wrestled in conversation for hours on the phone with a friend when I was doubting that I was truly born of God based on the lack of fruits of the spirit - evidences in my life.
(subjectively, is there more love more humility more ability to see the sinful nature of sin)

And I know that my brothers and sisters desire to be obedient by encouraging me - truly....but I doubt what is said most times because it's so plain to see that I am low in grace, and it feels somewhat like I'm being patronized.......I have not come close to where I should Edwards said "it is astonishing that one so despicable and vile is brought no lower before God"

So, how do I keep from error in denying God the praise that is due to HIM for what He is working in me and avoid the potential for error in merely desiring to be praised and accepted by people? This is so hard because I DO care that people don't give up on me. I NEED to be around them to be sharpened and to imitate and learn from them......and so even if I doubt that what they are saying is true of me, (accepting it externally and internally dismissing it) it seems that if they think that I have grace, it's better because then they will keep me in fellowship a little longer. I think that sometimes people think it's no big deal that they overlook a persons faults......but it is a huge deal ~ I thank God for my small group people so often, and my heart for them is huge when I pray respecting them....because I know that keeping me in fellowship is due to the grace God has given them to accept me as I am. That God Himself hasn't given up on me............All of the grace to persevere and the means - purchased by Christ Jesus on the cross - just Priceless.

Is 25:4
"Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm."

Hiding in Him ~


At 7/31/2006 10:38 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey dearie! You know - Sparkly Building was disappointed I didn't bring you with me tonight to the Cheescake Factory. She said when she saw me "Where's Oatmeal??" :)

Thanks, friend, for coming over and attempting to infuse my life with awesome, Biblical, Calvinist rap. Maybe it'll work next time...? :) Love you!

At 8/01/2006 4:33 PM, Blogger Frank Martens said...

Keep your eyes on the gospel and rest in the Grace provided.

It's ALL about Christ and His glory :) I've struggled with the same issue and I'd say the only way to battle that one is to realize GRACE.

Remember sitting at Jon's table and I was talking about when I really understood what GRACE really is? Uhm yea :) That would be when I struggled with similar issues.


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