The Journey

This blog began in an attempt to provide resources and encouragement for homeschoolers. However, during this homeschool adventure, I've found it's also about life. Specifically about losing my own life, that I might find it in Jesus and thus discover the joy of REAL life. (Matthew 10:39)

In March, 2012, our family stepped out in faith again as we moved out to the country. The first step of faith was trusting the Lord to sell our other home before our emergency fund ran out. He is faithful, and though I was hoping this would happen sooner, He knows what we needed.

I just know that He is going to use these 5 acres and this old house to teach me even more lessons in abiding with Him...and I look forward to the Adventure!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Keep Directing Our Steps Lord

 As I was typing up my "Good Morning Girls" email today, I realized that I was also typing up a post for this blog.  Not that it has anything to do with homeschooling, nor what the past year has been like in my life, but God is showing me, yet again, that He is not without a sense of humor.  When I logged on, I saw that my last post was exactly one year ago.  As Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." (NIV, 1984) 

There have been several times over the past year I've had ideas for a post and I've even started a few, but none of them felt right.  They're saved as drafts right now.  I shared the following with the wonderful group of women I've gotten to know over the last few years as we hold each other accountable to be in God's Word.  It goes farther than that, however, as we share our hearts and what God is doing in our lives.  I thank the Lord for these women!

I read 1 John 1 this morning and these verses gave me pause.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. NIV, 1984

I have a son who does not like to admit wrong.  Admittedly, he is not alone in this phenomenon as many of us have an adversity to admitting wrong.  It seems, somehow, that when we admit we've done wrong or made a mistake that we are weak.  Maybe we feel that we're letting those around us down.  Maybe we feel less than whole.  Whatever the case, there it is...we don't like to admit that we have been wrong.

Now, that being said, we can add the following logic statement.  All sin is wrong, but not all "wrong" is sin.  As an example I'll use my son's school work.  When he gets something wrong in his reading work book, it's not a sin.  But when he yells at me when he gets something wrong, that is a sin! : )  He's not honoring me, which is something the Lord explicitly tells children to do with their parents. (Exodus 20)  If it's disobeying God, it's a sin.

As I read verse 10, I thought of my son.  I thought of his stubbornness in not admitting wrong.  I think mostly he doesn't like to admit when he's made a mistake, usually something which is not a sin.  This is a good thing, but to really humble ourselves before God, we need to be able to admit this kind of wrong too.

Then I thought of how so many people don't like to admit the sinful wrong.  To be accurate, the "so many people" ought to be changed to "we," because I think it's a human condition.  So many excuses are thought of to place the blame elsewhere or to argue that it's only a "small" sin.  Or we put ourselves on a ladder of sorts when it comes to the sinful wrongs we do.  "At least I don't....<fill in the blank> <another blank>."  But John makes it clear that when we do not admit sin, we make Jesus out to be a liar.  (He didn't need to die for us, because we're not sinners.)  And His Word has no place in our lives.  Wow.

I don't know about you, but that's pretty convicting.  I don't want to make Jesus out to be a liar and I sure don't want to leave His Word out of my life!  It's His Word, His Holy Spirit, His Grace, His Mercy, and His Love that has turned my life around.  And, to be honest again, I never thought my life was that bad before!  But how freeing it is to readily admit failure and sin to those around me.  Okay, it's more readily than it used to be! : ) 

As a result, I'm more loving to those around me (though my family can attest that God's not finished with me yet).  I see the common ground in our humanity.  How we all, believers and unbelievers, want to be patient and loving to those around us, but then this junk comes out.  Oh, the words of Paul in Romans 7: 21-25 (NIV, 1984) speak to this infirmity well:

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

I guess we need to do as the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 12 verses 1 through 3 (NIV, 1984):

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The next time you are wrong, whether it's a sinful wrong or a mistake, fix your eyes on Jesus, knowing that He loves you and knows you have done wrong.  He knows your past wrongs, your present wrongs, and your future wrongs, sinful and otherwise.  And He still loves you.  And He's covered those sins with His blood.  Your job is to admit wrong, confess it to Him, with a heart ready to steer clear of that wrong in the future.  Then, when you ask Him to forgive you, you will be able to hear Him say, "Yes, child, I forgive your wrong.  That is why I came to tabernacle among you.  It is why I hung on the cross for you."

I would love to hear if this encouraged you in any way.  It might give me a hint as to what the Lord is doing here...

Lord, we pray that You would keep directing our steps, even as we plan a course in our hearts.  Thank You, Jesus, for Your faithfulness.  In Your Name we pray.  Amen.  So be it.

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