Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wanting to Live for God Alone

The other day I read in a friend's blog a quote from John Owen which really blessed and challenged me. The quote was, "Be killing sin or it will be killing you."

And this morning read in the Valley of Vision the prayer entitled, "Man's Great End" which ends like so:

Give me grace always to keep in covenant with thee,
and to reject as delusion a great name here or hereafter,
together with all sinful pleasures or profits.

Help me to know continually that there can be no true happiness,
no fulfilling of thy purpose for me,
apart from a life lived in and for the Son of thy love.

Perhaps I shouldn't share this but... I am...

I have been thinking much about Andrea lately. Especially during these last two weeks of her life. I have also been thinking about our friendship and how it was primarily a friendship because of what she sowed in to the relationship. What I mean is, I didn't deserve her friendship at all. But she freely offered it time and time again.

What do my thoughts on Andrea have to do with killing sin and with the Valley of Vision prayer above? The Lord is showing me yet more of my sin and what it means to be in fellowship with Him. He is showing me just what it means to live for Him alone.

Give me grace always to keep in covenant with thee,
and to reject as delusion a great name here or hereafter...

I am guilty of so much pride. I crave attention, praise, glory, honor, applause, and more that only God deserves. I need to be killing this sin. I need to see it for what it is, an affront to a Holy God. I need to question my motives. Why do I really want to attend her funeral? (Thanks, Mom W. for asking me that tough question!)

There's nothing wrong with attending her funeral. I believe it would be a very visible and appropriate thing to do to express God's love to her family. But there's also the reality of our current situation: William's got three night meetings in a row next week, I'm 27 weeks pregnant and am experiencing way more physical limitations/challenges, and we've got three little kiddos that need to be cared for. And then there's the cost of airfare.

So it really boils down to me seeking the Lord and trusting Him to reveal HIS will. My life is not my own. I have been bought with a price! I desire to do what He wants me to do... regardless of the cost. But, I still find myself needing to KILL the sin of wanting to please man opposed to pleasing God. Urgh! Ridiculous questions like, "What will my friends think if I don't go? What does it communicate if I don't go?" But, truly, only God's approval matters. And that I can't earn. SO... I listen. I'm listening to hear Him in the midst of the noise all around and inside my head.

In thinking about Andrea I see how little I know about her life. My friend Cindy has communicated such sweet stories that give me a glimpse of just how precious of a friend she was. But even though I feel I know little about her, I have my own stories.

Conviction of my own sin slowly surfaces as I think about the kind of friend she was. I marvel at the remembrance of her and some other friends renting a minivan, driving from Jersey to Chicago at the last moment to attend our wedding. And she was SIX MONTHS pregnant! I can recall Andrea stepping up by cutting and then serving our wedding cake because no one else was doing it. I see our wedding picture and am reminded of how she took her own necklace off that she was wearing and placed it around my neck because I didn't have one. That's Andrea. She's the one who was always putting others before herself. Cindy even told me about how on school spirit day she painted her bald head three different colors for her students! (She taught up until two weeks ago when she went on disability.) I want to be a better friend in my relationships to bring Him glory.

Well, that's probably enough babble for now. I need to close by praying,

Lord of heaven and earth, I thank thee for saving a wretch like me and giving me hope in the gospel of Your Son, Jesus. Remind me of Andrea's life that I might be spurred on to live in a manner pleasing to You and worthy of calling to which I have been called. Help me walk the path of repentance. Change me and use me as You desire that others may come to saving faith in Jesus for there is no other name whereby men can be saved.

1 comment:

Katie said...

For His glory alone, I pray that He will reveal His will to you. Knowing that He gives wisdom as we ask, I'm confident that He will show you. Thanks for your example of humbly wanting to learn from others and wanting to learn from the Father.

p.s.-Forgot to tell you that a couple weeks ago when Tali came into class at church, Saraina came over quietly and gave her a hug, then went back to playing. SOOOO sweet of her!