Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The End of Me - take 17

So, I haven't updated in a solid week, and there is good reason. I have had nothing to say. In fact, I have started 2 posts and couldn't even finish them. . But I am here today because of my commitment to post something weekly about the book "Radical" by David Platt, in connection with another blog you can see HERE.

The truth is I think I am being quiet because the Holy Spirit just might have my tongue. I'm screaming on the inside, but nothing comes out.

Chapter #3 of this bold and brave book is entitled "Beginning At The End of Ourselves" The Importance Of Relying on God's Power.

I'm gonna say it again, people. This book is a must read.

This chapter was a real struggle for me because I could be guilty right this very minute of searching for, needing and relying on the strength of my own power. Both intellectually and spiritually, I would not normally be caught guilty of claiming my own strength, power, ability, wisdom, etc. In your face and out of my mouth, the words always fall "It is all from God" no matter what the topic may be. I would quickly credit HIM for my coping mechanisms, my parenting abilities, my mad negotiating skillz in Real Estate, and for my family. I will not wait to proclaim HIS name and HIS glory when I have traveled as a solo missionary into lands that I do not know. Even the relationships I have formed in Africa.....they know GOD is the reason for my love and my support. They don't credit "Melissa" any more than I do, which is nada.



here I am in Nashville, TN working with an attorney to start a non-profit to aid orphans and what am I doing? I am relying on myself. I am trying to make myself smarter by studying more about non-profits so I can run an effecient organization that I am in control of. I am somehow thinking that I am going to have to impress people to give and blah blah blah. At exactly what point did I drop off Jesus on this path and think that I could steer? OH, this makes me so frustrated with myself. I am such a dork. The "beginning" of this is at the end of "me". I just can't jump back in and be my own idol. Seriously.........it scares me that I can be this guilty of the thing I am so turned off by.

The author does an eloquent and just hard core real job of describing the church in Acts, and comparing it with our American standards....and oh how opposite they are. He says he longs to be a part of a church that looks like the New Testament truly functioned. In one sentence alone my heart was pierced by a powerful conviction. He states that he dreams of a "scene where we refuse to operate in a mind-set dominated by an American dream that depends on what we can achieve with our own abilities."..."A scene where the church radically trusts in God's great power to provide unlikely people with unlimited, unforeseen, uninhibited resources to make his name known as great!" Ok, that was 2 sentences...but you get it.

Bottom line, we live in a society where we are taught we can be powerful, achieve successes, accomplish impressive things....and we are taught that we can achieve through education, work, etc. These things are not bad....not bad at all. But until we realize that the reality that God received the greatest "glories" through the commitments of simple, unassuming, faithful men and women....it would seem that almost the opposite of what we have believed is true. The presumably MOST POWERFUL people on this earth in reality are most likely the least. Because, if Oprah does something great....Oprah is getting all the attention. She is being celebrated, loved, adored, butt-kissed, praised....... oh my......"praised". People in the highest places do a little thunder stealing. I don't want to steal thunder. I don't want to intercept some praises. I want to want to just reach the end of me so I can really experience that beginning of craving with desperation, the power of the one true Holy God. If I could just lie down on my face and rise up with the Spirit.....then a life lived for Him can truly begin. And there is nothing I can do to assure that I lack nothing. Only He can assure me of that, and only if I duck and get out of the way of praise.

Heavenly Father I have choices in this world. I can go my own way, and even in doing so I might be successful. I might achieve and knock peoples socks off along the way. I can live large and I can enjoy fine things. You will allow me this if I so desperately seek it. Lord, I want less. I want much less. I want to not be so significant to myself when I wake up in the morning and glance at my calender. I want everything that I do to honor you. I want to be invisible when your light is shining. The children were fed, praise YOU Lord. The school fees were raised, praise YOU Lord. The mouths of the orphans spoke your great name, praise YOU Lord. The addiction was conquered, praise YOU Lord. The marriage was healed, praise YOU Lord. Shawn utters words, can draw and L and is learning colors and ABC's despite his cognitive disability.....praise YOU Lord. If there is any power in me Father, let it be Yours. If there is love in me, let it speak of You. Please heavenly Father let today be the end of me. "rid of myself Lord I belong to You.....lead me to the cross".

Praise ye Jesus,


guidanceforvictory said...

Hi, I'm Jen, and I've been guilty of that control issue for 37 years now! It's a struggle that I'm trying to give over to God.

Michelle Jeffcoat said...

Oh sistah... Im RIGHT there with you. I am continually confused about JUST exactly HOW many things I think I can manage on my own. I whisper a prayer for "help" but in essence I'm acting on my own and tossing a small-ish trust floss...
Great word from your mouth to my eyes!!!
Michelle J

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I can completely relate- it is so hard to surrender, minute by minute, to His power. It shouldn't be so hard because His power is so superior..I get frustrated with myself too, for sure!