Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Way Back Wednesday - Sailing to Seattle - Week Five

*This is a pre-written blog post from April 8, 2013 to look back on why we left Texas to live in Seattle.*

My patience is wearing thin, and I am beginning to get fidgety. I watched, feeling helpless, as my husband battled with discerning what God has called him to do in life, what he needs to do first, and where he needs to do it.
I truly love my husband and am so grateful he prays!
He desires with his whole heart to live a life honoring and obedient to the Lord. As do I. I’m thankful that he is not a hasty man, because I tend to be a hasty woman. That means I tend to make poor decisions because they are quick, thoughtless, and fear-driven. And moving anywhere driven by emotions can tend to be a painful experience. And ain't nobody got time fa dat!
The controlling part of me wanted to know what was going to happen, where are we going, when is this happening, so I could make a plan for us to get there, because what if we miss a deadline, or miss an opportunity, or job, or home, or life..? Then what? One of my greatest fears is a wasted life. 

When I was nineteen, I thought I’d have babies, a home, and a ministry by now, and my palms sweat at the thought of waking up and being thirty and NOTHING’S CHANGED!!! 

This, my friends, is sin. Point blank, sin. I am not believing that God is the loving Father that he says he is, and if we are going to be honest, he shows me everyday whether I see it or not! I don't believe he is in control, that he is sovereign, and that he cares for that which concerns me. This sin, like all sin, will destroy me. 

One of our other places on our “map” was Seattle. Mars Hill was introduced me to back in 2008 while I was looking for a marriage series to study. I thought “if I knew all that I could know about marriage, God would have to give me a husband…” SMH. The series was called Peasant Princess, and the Lord really got a hold of me through it. First off, this guy, Mark Driscoll, was talking about stuff I had never heard or imagined would ever come over the pulpit, and to be honest, it intreged me. He talked about sex within marriage, he talked about intimacy with God and your spouse, and answered tons of random, but relevant, questions about real life. He would address the women tenderly but truthfully, encouraging repentance, honesty, and knowledge with wisdom which I hadn’t heard before. But the men, boy, he certainly roughed them up, which I really liked. There were some sermons he would yell the whole time at the men! But it wasn’t this angry man making fun of and criticizing other men’s characters that got me excited, it was he was presenting the character of a man that was biblical and desirable in a husband. He yelled about their laziness, their rejection of any type of responsibility, the fact that they were still depending on their parents for everything, they don’t have a job, they don’t pray, they don’t read their bible, they don’t lead, they don’t take responsibility for their children, they don’t love and serve their wife, but yet “want to be submitted to and called men of God”. Now this… This was unheard of.

Overtime, I kept track of what Mars Hill was up to, new sermons series, Q & A sessions on tough scriptures and tough questions, planting new church, etc. Very exciting stuff. God really used this ministry to show me a different side of Himself that I honestly didn’t like at first. I even found myself asking questions with tears running down my face, like, “Who are you? It’s like I don’t even know you.” Well it was because I really didn’t. I knew somethings about Him, but I didn’t know Him. I was raised to believe that God was one way, and that was it. But now, He was showing me that their were sides of Him that my little brain couldn’t understand, because if I were God (which I acted like often) I wouldn’t do things like He would, did, or does. He began to show me that HE is God and I am not. HE knows everything, and I do not. And honestly how dare I, His creation, tell Him, the Creator, how to do His work. He sees the bigger picture, and I cannot.
"Purify yourself in the process of worship, carrying the holy vessels of God."
Derek wasn’t very fond of Mars Hill or Pastor Mark. He did like the important things, but I could tell he didn’t like getting yelled at, or Calvinism. (I’ve asked him to do an entry soon about everything, so be expecting that.) But he did agree to do one of their sermon series together to help us with getting back to studying scripture together.

The plan was to start the Doctrine series, which would help us know if we were going in the same direction of Mars Hill or not, theologically. We would listen to one sermon every other day and we would come together that night and discuss it. We learned alot, repented even more, and were encouraged abundantly. But through one sermon in particular, the Lord spoke clearly. Worship. God began to revealto us all that we worshiped instead of Jesus. Man’s opinion, food, financial status, clothes, alcohol, jobs, beauty, children, spouses, family members, anything that we placed on God’s throne that was not him, including ourselves was the object of our worship. Yes, worship. These are not actions that we can just start or "stop doing." These are idols in our heart that we need to identify as idols and by faith ask the Holy Spirit to crush them through his grace. He really opened us up to the freedom from which comes from Him being on the throne and no one and nothing else.
WHAT FREEDOM! I’m no longer bound to being the prettiest, skinnest, woman because beauty is not my God. I can receive corrective critcizism and not be crushed because man’s opinion is not my God. I can have a drink with my husband and not be an alcoholic or a drunkard, because it is not my God. I no longer eat a slice of cake and not be satisfied until I eat the whole thing because food is not my God. I can go out with my friends, enjoy their company and not judge them but encourage them in truth because I and they are not God. I don’t have to have all of our moving plans figured out, I don’t have to get Derek to figure our whole lives out so we won’t miss anything, and I don’t have to have a step-by-step plan of what I’m going to do in the next 5-10 years because I am not God.
When we worship something, someone, a thought, a desire, or anything, we bow ourselves, our lives, and those that depend on us, down to it, submit our ways, and our standards to what this thing requires of us. What we worship brings meaning and purpose.
Women and men are bound by bulimia because they worship the thought of being skinny. Women have hundreds of surgeries on their body because their heart worships the lust of youthful beauty. People are alcoholics or drunkards because they worship the buzz, the escape, the appearance, the numbing, the acceptance. People are addicts to substance because they worship the high, release, or experience. That’s why babies go hungry because their parents have to live large and then they can’t afford to feed them, because they worship themselves, what they want, and their lives. I have no room to judge nor am I trying, but I have been a worshipper of many of things and this really happens.

I, along with everyone, have allow these gods/idols to divide, steal, and destroy our lives. But Jesus now gives me the freedom to enjoy life and not be bound to it. We worship in all that we do. We were not created to worship, but created worshipping. Oh, such freedom we have in worshipping Jesus. With Him on the throne of my heart, I can breathe. And whenever I replace Him with myself or anything else, He has given me the gift of repentance.

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