Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A today testimony

Several years ago I taught a lesson on having a "today testimony," the premise being that our relationship with God is not comprised of a single, one time event in the past. Rather, my testimony of His work in me ought to be both past and present (and future, if you think about it). I posed the following questions to my students: Is God presently happening your life? Can you articulate what God is doing in you today? Is the good news good in your day to day reality?

So I was thinking about that today, about how I would answer should someone ask me what God is teaching me today. What is my today testimony? Here are a few areas in which I sense the instruction (and conviction) of the Spirit as He works the process of sanctification in me...

Dying to self. My pastor preached passionately and eloquently on this subject Sunday and I've been pondering and praying through the implications ever since. Actually, that's not quite accurate: the Spirit has been doing His good work of conviction ever since we studied Brokenness in Bible study. What does it mean to take up my cross--daily--to follow Christ and to die? I must wage war, ruthlessly fight the sin in my life. I must crucify my hopes, my dreams, my earthly desires. If I would see Jesus, I must die and in dying, find Life, Jesus Christ, the All Satisfying Treasure...

My calling. This is closely related to dying--as I ponder the life I thought I wanted years ago and the life I now lead, sometimes I am resentful. Only some times. Sometimes I grow weary of the laundry and the whining, bickering kids. This has been my life for the past 15 years, day in and day out, and sometimes I fear it will be my life for the next 15 as well, day in and day out--and I wonder if I can stand it. Just keepin' it real. Don't get me wrong; I love my life. Absolutely I do. I am blessed, immeasurably so. But, like yours, my life can be hard and messy and only gets harder and messier. Sometimes--and only some times--I miss the life I only thought the Lord was calling me to. He's called me instead to what may seem to my flesh an ordinary, mundane place of service: to do the laundry and to referee whining, bickering kids, day in and day out. To take the measly bits and use them to glorify Him--in car line, at the pregnancy center, in Bible study. To die to my lofty ambitions and to humbly serve Him wherever He leads. To do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, presenting myself a living sacrifice to Him. This is my call.

Mediocrity. Wait, let me explain! I don't know if it's a firstborn deal or not, but I constantly feel pressure (the self inflicted kind) to live up to some perceived ideal, an ideal that changes according the whim of my insecurity of the moment. For instance, yesterday I was feeling guilty because I don't devote hours each day to working out. On another day, I might feel like a loser mom because I didn't go to the scrimmage game like the other moms. I've felt like a failure in regard to my home, my parenting, my appearance, my hobbies--you name it, I've probably felt great insecurity over it. I'm learning to let go of the arbitrary standards of what it means to be a good mom/housekeeper/blogger/you-name-it. I can't live up to any of them anyway. Instead, my mediocrity reminds me of my absolute dependence on His grace alone.

Balance. This is an ongoing struggle of mine: to be organized and efficient as I seek to balance my roles as wife, mom, Bible teacher, housekeeper, blogger and so on. I nearly always feel as if I am chasing after my life!

What is your today testimony? How is the Lord working in your life today?

4 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about the whole mediocrity thing, too. I generally feel like I don't measure up, feel guilty because I always feel like I'm doing ten things at 10% rather than a few at 100%. I think it's the frustrated perfectionist in me.

    God has been speaking to me so loudly about the need not to become attached to circumstances. Things are constantly changing, and I know I need to focus on Him, not the circumstances.

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  2. I use to feel that way about mediocrity as well (and I'm also the first child), but I finally decided a couple of years ago to take the pressure off myself. I decided that most of my expectations were unrealistic and unnecessary (and were causing me stress), and I realized that it wasn't worth it. Now, I set long-term -- and somewhat vague -- goals for myself and accept that I might or might not reach them. But I'll learn something valuable along the way.

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  3. Lisa, I love the idea of a "today testimony". I don't want to live on yesterday's experience, but I want a daily fresh encounter with the Lord.

    God is working on deepening my faith right now, as He is asking me to wait and trust Him in areas where I really need to see His hand.

    Blessings,
    Joy

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  4. Wow girl, you cut right to the chase & get to the heart of the matter, don't you?

    You have no idea how much I could relate to several points on your today testimony, but truly the one about Mediocrity struck a nerve.

    I know what God has called me too, but I also know what God has called me too "right now" and in the right now I am learning to be happy, find joy, & be fully present.

    Thank you once again for your honesty...I just love coming over here to see what the Lord has laid on your heart.

    xoxo,
    Melissa in Mel's World

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