Sunday, March 13, 2011

desiring righteousness

Here's a real unhappy thought... when did I stop desiring righteousness?

I came back last year from Mercy with a life full of purity. My mind had literally been transformed (thanks to the Word of God), my heart had been healed (thanks to spiritual warfare) and my soul had been refreshed (thanks to God's faithful spirit). Within this past semester though I have watched myself let go-- little by little the 'things' I promised I would never allow back in my life have crept back in. Now, don't mishear me- I am not talking about any one thing or any one person, but more overall apathy for these little compromises entering my life (and spirit) again. I am not stating all this to ask really when, why or how- I know those, more so to sit and really stare at my own words... when did I stop desiring righteousness?

Yesterday was great, I got to really hang out with a few of my friends and celebrate being young. Young as in the way our self-fulfilling culture defines young and at the end of the night we decided we would go dancing. At one of the clubs, this strikingly good looking mid twenties gal approached us. She started with the typical "My friend thinks you're hott" line and we just kinda danced it off and let it be. Stuck with each other and made small talk with her (well as much as is possible while dancing). She retreated to a corner with some guys and a few minutes later came back and asked us what we were doing after the club, we all responded with 'sleep' as she continued to invite us to a party afterward. My hopes are now that she really meant a party. Like an old fashioned stumbling drunk party (not that that's good but it is better than what she was referring to). I thanked her like a bazillion times for the offer while declining as we all continued to dance. It could have just been a typical moment at a club, no big deal. Except even in my cheerful state of a good day with some really great friends, as we were leaving the club- I thought back to the scene... her friends were not really her friends were they? and the party was not just a party was it?

*sigh. Entering the rainy streets that morning at 2am-- God broke my heart and I knew she was caught in the chains of prostitution. Could I be making this up, over social-working it? For sure- but I don't think I am. From our culture's standpoint she was beautiful, absolutely gorgeous. Hollywood would have hired her in a heartbeat. The glitter that covered her eyeslids shined throughout the whole place. My heart now wonders-- what if her heart and life shined of beauty as much as her appearances did. I am not going to act like she doesn't have another choice and that culture should pity her... she does have a choice-- she just does not know she is worth making the right one. In 2009, I wrote this post: But, she knows it not. (read it now, its real quick and will give substance to this post). Even in my apathetic state towards purity- this girl and her lost heart just kill me... I pray she will know the everlasting love of her Savior... and that she will know it very soon. I know God can transform, I know God can heal and use our lives of destruction for God-- I just pray she makes the right choice to bow to God and not to lust. 

Don't misread this either. This is not a wholesome christian praying on behalf of a lost soul, this is one sinner praying for another. One adulteress hoping the other can be stronger than her and escape the chains of promiscuity. The only difference is I know I am worth waiting for. I know I am a child of a God who desires to lavish me with love everyday. This is of course assuming that she does not know this (maybe she does) but for the sake of this post, 'she knows it not'.

We have to come to a point in our lives where we love ourselves more than we desire to receive love from others. *whoo- that's heavy, at least for me- wow thank you Holy Spirit. Another one of my famous lines deals with giving things up for the Lord or living righteously-- it is not about abstaining from something, but rather fulfilling ourselves in God so we no longer desire what it is that is not good for us, or our hearts. Then we can start really influencing those around us for the good of the Kingdom, not just to fulfill our own selfish desires. Similarly, I wrote this last week in my theology paper:
"I am desperate for the Lord to show up in my career. I desire for His will to be done over all of my to-do lists and meetings.I truly want to force myself to see “beyond [my] defense of busyness, and begin to see [myself] accurately as a thirsty person in need of a gracious Savior. “ (McMinn, 1996, p. 75). I want to know and stand solid in the fact that prayer is not about me getting my way or Him solving a problem but it “is a battle against distractions, discouragements and deadenings from Satan and from [my own] sinfulness” (Packer, 1995, p. 98). I do not wrestle with God, His ways are perfect but I distract my own self  from His goodness and guidance in my work." 

How much more true is this in my personal life? So I am going to fight. Fight myself and my fleshly desires with the best way I know how- the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. I am going to get that thirst back- not on my own effort but by allowing God to fulfill me with His love and wisdom.

  • Psalm 23: 3 - He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake. 
  • Psalm 17: 5 - As for me, I will continue beholding Your face in righteousness (rightness, justice, and right standing with You); I shall be fully satisfied, when I awake [to find myself] beholding Your form [and having sweet communion with You].
  • Isaiah 32: 17- And the effect of righteousness will be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.  
  • Psalm 5: 12- For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor). 
  • 1 Timothy 6: 11- But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.
  • 1 Peter 3: 12- For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil [to oppose them, to frustrate, and defeat them].
  • Proverbs 21: 3- To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

1 comment:

dana said...

Great post! Thank you for being honest and raw. I love you. (That 1 peter 3:12 you cited at the end was actually an answered prayer! Thanks girl.)