Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Knowing Who it is about...

More Ephesians...

Knowing it is not about me, I realize how important it is for me to really know who it is about, to really know God. Internalizing the idea that it is not about me tempts me to think that I really don't matter. Since my life is not for my benefit, but for God's, truly understanding God's nature is what makes life worth living.

As I thought this through, I continued reading and saw that Paul was thinking the same thing. In Ephesians 1:17 he tells the Ephesians that he is praying for them to "know Him (God) better." Paul wants them to know the hope they are called to and the riches of his glorious inheritance. It struck me that these are not earthly things, but eternal. We won't even clearly "see" these things until after we leave this life.

So, how to go on? How do we a live a life not for our benefit? How do we live a life for goals we can not reach during our lifetime? We can go on because God has great power for us (vs.19). And Christ has been given dominion and all authority (vs. 20-22). Christ also spent time here, we can read about His life, His love, forgiveness, and patience. He is someone we can trust.

It is just making me realize how important reading my Bible is. The more I know about God, the more I see of the hope I am called to and the inheritance I have. God is so big, He is so wise, He is so good. As I get to know him better, I better understand that while it is not about me, it is about what is best and what is most important.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It is not about me...or more on Ephesians

I've been reading the first chapter of Ephesians and trying to really have it sink in. The first 14 verses have really hit me with a theme... It is not about me!

Paul even starts out by pointing out that it isn't about him. In verse one he states he is an apostle "by the will of God" Then verse by verse he shows us how it is not about us.

In verse 3 we find we already have every spiritual blessing.

In verse 4 we find He chose us before creation began.

In verse 5 we find it is His pleasure and will that motivates our predestination.

In verse 6 we find He has given us his grace freely.

In verse 7 we find our redemption and forgiveness correlates to His riches of grace.

None of this has anything to do with what I have done or will do. None of it has anything to do with my talents or potential. It isn't about who I am or can be, it is about what He wants to do with me. But there is more...

In verse 9 we find we now know the mystery of His will.

In verse 10 we find His will is to bring all things together under one head.

In verse 11 we find we are chosen according to his plan and purpose.

In verse 12 we find we He has done this for the praise of His glory.

In verse 13 & 14 we find we are marked and His possession again for the praise of His glory.

None of this has anything to do with my plans. He didn't choose me for my benefit. It is not about what I want or need, it is about what He wants to with my life.

My first thought was how wonderful. A feeling of freedom filled me. But my immediate second thought was "Oh, it really isn't about me." I read this passage and realize that I so often live like it is about me; "God, I want to do this so please help me," or "God I don't like this please take it away." In a way it made me feel like I'm not really that important. I mean God could do without me. Isn't that bad for my self-esteem?

But that is where that freedom comes in. God could "do without me" but he chose to "do with me." How cool is that? My talents and potential aren't critical to His success. I am free to just be what He makes me. My plan may fly out the window, but God's plan is the one that will have success. My failures may just be exactly the achievement God is going for.

If I can only remember this I could eliminate much of the worry and fretting from my life. Growing up in public schools in the 70's, and 80's they spent a lot of time telling us that we were "free to be whatever we wanted to be, and free to do whatever we wanted to do." I think a lot of us were let down when we discovered that in reality our plans often don't work.

But I want to remember that I'm truly free. Free to be what He makes me and go where He leads me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

And then life happens...

Well I meant to get back to blogging, but you know there is this thing called life.

In the beginning of August was the fair, then we went camping, then we had the boys stay w/ us for a week, then babygirl's (littlegirl now) first bday party, then my Aunt and Uncle came for about a week. We thought things were slowing down... but August 31st we found out we are having another little one!!! due date May 4th. So, while very happy, I barely had energy to function until the middle of October.

On September 2nd we found out about some farmland for sale. This will fulfill a lifelong dream. But in order to safely make this investment I ahve returned to work 2days a week. Littlegirl enjoys spending one day a week at each grandparents' home. And since I grew up w/o grandparents around I am happy for her opportunity. I actually really enjoy my work overall. While the paperwork and government regulations get annoying, serving my patients is such a blessing. Even though I get paid for it, it feels like a ministry to me.

So here I am, hopefully back again. I am sort of glad I didn't blog through the election. I think I have gotten past my tirades and frustration about that now anyway.

Right now I am reading Ephesians. I have been reading it for several weeks. But started to jot notes down today. Do you know God has already blessed us w/ every spiritual blessing? We are already blessed. We just need to make use of those blessings...Also he chose us before he created the world. This one was amazing to wrap my mind around. Although I know that God is eternally omniscient, it just never ocurred to me that he knew what was going to happen to my life before the world existed!