Joshua 24:14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.”
Micah 6:6-8 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousand rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
2 Corinthians 1:12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.
2Corinthians 2:17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
Ephesians 6:24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-8 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.
1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
When I started my walk with Jesus I was at first excited, then uncertain, and finally a little mistrustful. ‘Would He really be there for me?’ I had no reason to not trust others; my parents followed through on what they told us to expect and what plans were.
I certainly had teen insecurities as I was aware girls loved to gossip and there was a competition amongst them—not that I understood what the competition was directed at, but certainly was aware that somehow some of the girls found me lacking in some areas. It was a source of embarrassment and insecurity, but nothing I could identify. And if one can’t identify what needs to be changed or altered to be more fully accepted, it’s difficult to be successful at trying to change.
I found myself sometimes uncomfortable with whatever things I tried to change. The alterations I attempted were not who I was deep down. I was never quite comfortable with many of the changes I tried. I did not mind trying my hand at makeup or a different hairstyle, and although I was friendly with many of these girls, I was not totally accepted. And could feel….something off. And those relationships were just not a comfortable fit
And I knew me as a stinker—a bossy older sister, a threatening older sister if the youngest was preparing to tattle, and I knew I was doing things my parents had forbidden—sneaking cigarettes, going to places that I’d been told not to go, hanging with kids that were on the NO list…I was full of sin.
“So, wait a minute, wait a minute. I need to re-think this. Jesus is going to look at me and my record of naughties, and discard me. Maybe I should discard Him first; at least that would be my choice and I would not be shoved to the curb. Right?” Thankfully, that is not the way my life continued. I did choose to hold on, with the barest of hopes he would stick with me.
By the time, I answered Jesus’ invitation, my self-esteem was quite low. I had confidence in my schooling and on that front, but socially I was not comfortable with new situations and made some mistakes because of that.
Walking with Him was at times confusing. Although I’m a good reader, and love it, most of the bible was just confusing to me. But I found avenues that did open me up to better understanding; Charles Stanley, Dr Jeremiah, Joyce Meyer….and with her I could laugh as I recognized myself at different parts of her story. She opened the thought to me of “being in the desert wilderness” as we are trampling around in our own mistakes and not moving forward. We are stumbling through our own wilderness and continuing around mountains repeatedly. Oh! Eye opener!
Once some light began to shine, and I realized that we also can ask the Holy Spirit for help, guidance, enlightenment, more clarity came. And boy, that Holy Spirit is good! I’d get stuck and confused on another section, send up a quick prayer and ask for understanding. It might not come right then, but within 48 hours I would have an answer and understanding—sometimes the subject came up in a bible study, sometimes it was one of the tv preachers I followed, but LIGHT and TRUTH were given to me.
As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I realized he wanted my heart. “Oh, shouldn’t I hold just a bit back?” No, not the way it works. If you really want to know Him, you have to give Him all. So, I do try to turn things over to Him. Yet, still I find I’m holding on to this, and occasionally that. Time for confrontation of self. ‘Why are you holding that? Not good for you, does not really give you any positive feedback and because it is not that good for you, you are holding back something you have now made into an idol. Gotta go!’ That is still sometimes a struggle even though I know whatever I’m holding onto is disposable and SHOULD go, I’m still like a bratty toddler screaming ‘MINE’ while clutching a toy.
But, I want to sincerely know Him more and more and have a deeper relationship. So although I may not want to, I know the right thing to do. Time to hand it over. And be thankful that I do recognize his learning and teaching. He wants our sincerity, our heart all fully exposed.
Lord, I know I have been a struggle and a brat over the years. Thank You for patiently waiting and encouraging as I continued in disobedience in many things. You have stood and encouraged me and ‘mybellaviews.’