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Blogger Heal Thyself



Since I began blogging just three short months ago, the Lord has been so gracious to me, hearing my prayer, as He guides me through each and every post.  Many times,  the Lord has pressed a scripture verse or lesson upon my heart to blog about, but as I start praying and writing, although the main thoughts I am seeking to convey are still part of the end product, the journey the Lord takes me on to get there is so different than what I had loosely outlined in my mind.  The blog post truly becoming a testament of the Lord working to refine me...

"For the Word of God is living and active...".  Hebrews 4:12

But I have a confession...  I am not "practicing what I blog".  It's not that I think it isn't necessary because I walk in perfect obedience.   Quite the contrary!  I most certainly want to live in obedience to God my Father.  But the struggle is there...  I might say it is more so since I began blogging... 

When the Lord reveals lessons to me through weekly sermons, Bible reading, Bible study homework, and Christian blogs, I become so excited about what I have learned.  I have an overwhelming desire to practice the Spiritual discipline impressed upon my heart - to walk in obedience with the Lord. But then I don't...

"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing..." Romans 7:18-20

Bob Deffinbaugh, writer for Bible.org, states in his commentary of Romans 7:18-20 that "No matter how much we may wish to serve God in our minds, we find ourselves sinning in our bodies.  The Apostle Paul wants to do what is right, but his body will not respond.   He watches, almost as a third party, as sin sends a signal to his body, and as his body responds, 'What would you like to do?'  Our fleshly bodies quickly and eagerly respond to the impulses and desires aroused by sin."

When I read the above commentary notes, specifically about the Apostle Paul, I exclaimed to myself, "THAT'S HOW I FEEL!!!"

My take home message is that it all boils down to SELF, SELF, SELF.

I have modified Merriam Webster's dictionary definition of selfish as follows:  seeking or concentrating on ones own advantage, pleasure or well-being without regard for others{God}.

When I am focusing on SELF, I am rebelling against God with no regard for His commands or will for my life.   I am deciding that I know what is best for me.

"But My people did not listen to Me; 
Israel did not obey Me
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
to follow their own plans.
If only My people would listen to Me
and Israel would follow my ways."  
Psalm 81:11-13

Why would I choose to disobey God, to follow my own plans?  Why would I choose to come outside of the protection of His will for my life - the safest place I could possibly be...

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.   For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law, indeed, it cannot..." 
 Romans 8:6-10

I recently saw the above verse with new eyes.  As I read the verse, it struck me that the mind set on the flesh is actually set on SELF.  With that realization, the flesh {SELF} brings destruction.  When I gratify the desires of SELF, it may "feel good for the moment", but it will bring nothing but heartache ultimately.  Why would I desire ultimate heartache, when the mind set on the Spirit brings life and peace.

When the Apostle Paul shared his struggle in Romans 7, he answered that struggle with these words in Romans 8.

There is, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done, what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.  By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-4

...who do not walk according to the flesh {self}, but according to the Spirit...

I know that I am sealed with the Holy Spirit, that my Salvation is secure.  I know that Christ Jesus has removed my past, present and future sins as far as the East is from the West.

But...  when I continue to walk according to the flesh {self}, I am squelching the Holy Spirit with each transgression to the point of not hearing the Holy Spirit say, "...this is the way, walk in it".  Isaiah 30:21

Yes, the Lord still loves me and no sin will ever change that, but I will suffer the consequences of my actions.

For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.  
Hebrews 12:6

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"Indeed an honest and humble acknowledgement of the hopeless evil of our flesh, even after the new birth, 
is the first step to holiness.  
 John R. W. Stott


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What the Lord has taught me through this blog post:

Memorize scriptures that speak to my besetting sins.  When I am right with God, when I am seeking Him for wisdom, He ALWAYS brings verses to my mind that are applicable for the moment.  How much more do I need to hear the Holy Spirit bring scripture to my mind, when temptation is on the brink of sin.

I have hidden your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  Psalm 119:11

Keeping a short account with God.  I find that as I spiral in sin throughout the day, I separate myself from God so much that I won't come to Him in prayer, feeling unworthy, which leads me to sin even more.  I need to confess my sin to Him as the conviction comes knowing that...

If we confess our sins, He is Faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  
1 John 1:9

Be more intentional to serve others.  When I am wrapped up in my own life, you guessed it, I am wrapped up in SELF which leads to sin.  Yes, my life is very busy right now, but even the smallest gestures could be very significant to those I reach out to.  That is not to say that I shouldn't also serve as the following verse describes:

Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in Spirit, serve the Lord. 
 Romans 12:10-11

Become more involved in getting to know the body of believers in the new church that I attend.  In the last six months, we started attending a new church.  Unfortunately, it is about a half hour commute and with busy schedules, it is hard to be as involved in the church as I would like.  I can see a direct correlation with my struggles with sin with not spending time with fellow believers.

As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17

Make an effort to do at least one selfless thing a day.  Inevitably, some situation arises every day, where there is an opportunity for me to sacrifice what I want for someone else's desire.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in
humility, count others more significant than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3

Laziness is selfishness.  When I become lazy in the activities of life and especially in practicing Spiritual disciplines, self takes over, yet again, and sin abounds.

"So lets not get tired of doing what is good.  
At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up." 
 Galations 6:9

I hope to be accountable to all those who read my blog - that future posts will reflect the Holy Spirit's continued work in me to walk in obedience bringing Glory and Honor to God so that I might say with the Apostle Paul:

"I have disciplined my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.  
Otherwise, I fear after preaching to others, I might be disqualified."  
1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me MondayTell His StoryTitus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceGood Morning Mondays A Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill Saturday

Comments

  1. Karen, welcome to the blogging world. I have been so blessed by the linkups and people I have met through their blogs. It truly is incredible. Oh how easy it is for us to focus on ourselves...ME, ME, ME but that is not what it is about at all. God wants us to focus on him. And LOVE your website look!!!

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    1. Thank you for all your kind words and warm welcome!

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  2. What you are writing about seems to be a theme for what I'm reading today. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, but we have to chose that. God cannot force His will on our lives. Your list of suggested activities, while letting God's grace still save us, is a good one! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!

      Indeed, there but for the Grace of God go I.

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  3. God reminds us of His way over ours. He has given us a will, those choices...we make many each day. It is through those choices where He can teach us as long as we remain moldable...that clay. He is our Potter and I want Him to shape me. We all...ALL...lack for perfection while here on this earth. Your words at the beginning of not walking your talk...I am that way too, Karen. I feel guilty for writing and then turn around and do just the opposite of what I have written. But I so very much want to grow in the image of Christ, so I am in the school of Christ every day.
    Visiting form W2W.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Thank you for sharing your struggles too.

      Thanking God for His great mercy and love for us His precious children.

      Thank you for visiting! :

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  4. First off, welcome to the blogging world! I learn so much through writing posts as well. I never quite know where God is going to lead me until I'm done :). It looks like He taught you so much here. Switching from a focus on self to obeying is huge. It's something I think we all struggle with. Many blessings to you on your obeying and writing journey!

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    1. Thank you for the warm welcome!

      And thank you for visiting! :-)

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  5. May God continue to bless your blogging ministry! Praise God that He gives us exactly what we need, when we need it, whether it be words or ideas to write about or encouragement to strengthen us. Without Him, we can do nothing. May we die to self to allow Him to shine through us. Linked up with you at Thought-Provoking Thursday -- hope you'll stop by Saved by Grace for a visit!
    God bless,
    Laurie
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you so much Laurie!

      I have been blessed by your visit! :-)

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  6. Hi, Karen:
    Your blog is lovely and your words express well what I feel too about being focused on The Lord and His kingdom and less of self. I visited a blog today and the writer shared a challenge. She asked the Lord for a bible verse that would describe what her life is about so she could focus on it for her writing. I loved that and share it hoping it encourages you as it did me. I'm still waiting for his leading and excited for what He will tell me.

    Thank you for stopping by and visiting me!
    Blessings,
    Mary

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!

      I LOVE the idea you discovered and graciously shared with me!

      Thank you for stopping by! :-)

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  7. Hi Karen, this is amazing! Really!
    Firstly, I love the soft background music. I stopped to listen for it to finish, then I started reading *Smiling at myself*.
    Secondly, love your honesty! We aren't perfect but God helps us through each phase.
    Don't beat yourself up, enjoy in God's grace and relax. Just keep speaking the undiluted Truth. The Holy Spirit we rely on will help us live the life he wants us to live.
    God Bless Karen.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. The two hymns that play on my website are my two most favorites. It blesses me that you were blessed by listening. :-)

      Again, thank you so much for your encouragement. It means a lot!

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  8. Anytime I focus on myself, I am a miserable person. I don't want to go there. Oh Lord, keep my focus on You!

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    1. I know, it's so true!

      Thank you for stopping by! :-)

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  9. Very rich post, Karen! A lot of great tips and revelations-- I pray that God blesses your blogging journey and gives you a perseverant heart to press on. It isn't easy, but it is worth it. (Sidenote: I too have learning that blogging is like a ministry to myself. Funny how that works out...)

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    1. Thank you so much Sharita. Your kind words are always such an encouragement!

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  10. Wonderful post full of truth and encouragement! Isn't it amazing how His Word spurs us on, no matter how we receive it?! Thank you so much for sharing it with us at Grace & Truth!!

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    1. Thank you Holly for your kind words. :-)

      Indeed! His Word is living and active.

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  11. "But I have a confession... I am not 'practicing what I blog.'" - This statement really hit home for me today. For me personally, I often write about the things that God has placed on my heart... things that I long to put into practice in my own life. But like you, I struggle. I know what's right. I know what God is teaching me. But I'm also a work in progress. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your heart. It's so encouraging to know that I'm not the only "work in progress" out there. :)

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    1. Alyssa, When I would see people in full-time ministry, I would think that there life must be so full of obedience. Since beginning my blog, I spend a lot of time each day in the Word as I am preparing for different blog posts, the same "rule" would apply. But sadly, as I have shared and you have experienced obedience is a daily struggle. I feel like Paul when he said, I do the things I shouldn't and don't do the things I should. So thankful that we have such a gracious God who is always ready to pick us up and show us the right way.

      Thank you for sharing your story as well. Indeed we are God's work in progress.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so glad you visited! :-)

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  12. Welcome to the blogging world. : )

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