Thursday, July 3, 2014

Denying self + relying on Jesus = Faith (which equals a thankful attitude)

I've been pretty discouraged about my attitude lately.  Don't even try to tell me that there's NOT a spiritual battle going on all around us.  My life is living proof that there IS!  Every single day, my flesh is dukin' it out with the Holy Spirit inside me.  My selfish nature wants things MY way ... easy, happy, carefree, no responsibilities, and just plain boring, really.  But the Holy Spirit wants me to be challenged, convicted, and empowered to be the woman GOD wants me to be.  My attitude has always been my main vessel for sin.  Thank you, Jesus, I have a "simple" testimony ... no drugs, no alcohol, no sex outside of marriage, no abuse, no "big-time" mistakes ... but man, if I've learned anything about myself over the past few years, it is that I am PRIDEFUL ... I am a WORRIER ... and I am UNGRATEFUL fffaaarrr too often.  I'm also a PERFECTIONIST and a SELF-CONDEMNER, which means that I beat myself to a pulp every time I mess up.  I have so much to be thankful for ... I'm the most blessed person I know (yes, I'm bragging ;)).  And so I have NO, absolutely NO, reason to have a bad attitude ... especially about frivolous things.  I know I'm human and all that jazz, but I just wanna do better.  So I've been struggling ... wanting to do the right thing, wanting to truly be a good example (not just look like one on the outside), wanting to stop messing up.  Hence, my Facebook status recently about feeling like an imposter.

Thank you to everyone who posted on my status or sent me a separate message or text.  I was humbled to see how many people took a minute to post encouragement for me.  And as a response to all the encouraging posts, I wanted to post something special God used in my life this week.  I've been reading through the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and a couple days this week, my readings have been all about facing challenges head on because God is trying to teach us and make us stronger because of them.  This one, in particular, spoke to me this week.  It says ....

"Do not resist or run from the difficulties in your life.  These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth.  Embrace all the circumstances that I allow in your life, trusting Me to bring good out of them.  View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Me.  When you start to feel stressed, let those feelings alert you to your need for Me.  Thus, your needs become doorways to deep dependence on Me and increasing intimacy between us.  Although self-sufficiency is acclaimed in the world, reliance on Me produces abundant living in My kingdom.  Thank Me for the difficulties in your life, since they provide protection from the idolatry of self-reliance."
- Jesus

Wow!  That just hits what I'm dealing with right on the head!  I do not rely on the Lord ... I rely on myself ... because I am prideful.  The root of my bad attitude is a lack of faith.  Faith is denying myself and relying on God.  God has been trying to teach me this for so long, and I keep forgetting the many ways He's been trying to teach me over the past few years especially.  I must remember John 15:5 when it says, "Apart from Me, you can do NOTHING!"  It's so true.  I need Jesus for the very air I breathe, so why do I think I can sustain a godly, joyful, and thankful attitude for any length of time without His help.  If only I could see my failures and difficult circumstances as opportunities to depend on Christ, just like my Jesus Calling reading says.  Wow. ......... I guess I can keep practicing. :)  Practice is one of my life words.  I will keep practicing denying myself and relying on Jesus ... I will keep practicing my faith. :)

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