"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Abiding and Following -- how?!

This picture just screams "Wheeee, I'm free!" I have recently felt no such freedom. Rather I was in bondage to my fickle emotions. It's like I just let them drag me down into a sad, irritated, angry, frustrated pit. Can't say I'm fully set free, but I did finally realize that while I can't really control my initial feelings and hurt, I can control whether or not I dwell on those things and allow them to bring me down.

I was allowing that and, boy, was I sinking low. Really very miserable, yet I felt like I couldn't break free from it as it was sucking me down further.

That's why I like those verses I quoted in last night's post. Finally I realized that I have to trust God to lead me along whatever path and purpose in life that He has for me. On Sunday at church I saw the verse again about he who follows Jesus will never walk in darkness. Yet I felt in many ways I was staggering through the dark and I felt at odds spiritually with what I knew to be true. So I've been wondering, "How do I abide in Jesus? How do I follow Him?" He says to follow Him and He will make us fishers of men. And without Him we can do nothing. So we should always abide in Him (John 15.) But how do I do this exactly? Read the Bible more? Pray more? What?

I had the radio on yesterday morning as I was doing things in the house. The words of this song caught my attention especially the first verse. It just seemed to express my heart's cry (or what I want it to be) quite well.

Can You take me by the hand
Can You use me as I am
Break me into who You want me to be

When the time is finally right
Will You open up my eyes
Show me everything You want me to see

This life is not my own

To God alone be the glory
To God alone be the praise
Everything I say and do
Let it be all for You
The glory is Yours alone
Yours alone

To God Alone
by Aaron Shust

Reminds me of Psalm 19:14. What a prayer!

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."


Coffee Bean said...

Beautiful post Susanne!

SarahC said...

I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling so down.

I know you've written before about wanting to find a purpose in life, or something to that effect... and I remember feeling this way at some point in the past. I wanted so badly to experience being used by God in bringing about His kingdom, however little I actually understood that.

I think God wants to take us on a journey, but we tend to have such rigid ideas about what that means. I always thought I needed to be helping others in some way if I was doing God's will, but now I think, I needed help myself. :) I had this obsession with being "useful" to God, this ideal of dynamic service and mature faith, as if it wasn't good enough to continue to be a "student". Now I think that learning to submit to God and through that, develop my character, is the only real satisfying purpose. Everything else is secondary, and the specifics probably don't matter that much.

I don't think God's will for us is any one specific thing. I think we should be proactive and push the doors. I think God can teach us things through almost anything we do. So pick something challenging and exciting, and just do it!!

Just my two cents. :P

Susanne said...

Coffee Bean, thank you! :)

SarahC, thanks for the wonderful challenge! I greatly enjoyed what you had to say. It seems very truthful and wise. I recently have been having thoughts that I need to be satisfied with God .. not trying to find fulfillment outside of Him. Honestly, I struggle with this. One can only read the Bible and pray so much. I have a hard time settling my mind and emotions so I can learn of Him and hear from Him. Though I truly AM aware that He is with me always. Sometimes when I sit on my porch, I "pretend" that He is in the next rocking chair and we "talk."

Learning Arabic is challenging and exciting (?!) so I guess I'll stick with that for now. Thanks much for the pep talk! :-)

SarahC said...

Isn't it possible that things "outside" of God can help us towards Him? I mean what is there that is really outside of God, anyway?

To me, there is no contradiction between being satisfied with God and being fulfilled in life. No stark divide between natural and supernatural.

I used to think with things like my self-esteem issues, either God would cure me, OR I'd cure myself by reading self-help books and applying the techniques. I wanted it to be God, and thought God would rather I wait for a miraculous cure that would glorify Him than try to "rely on myself". But I changed my mind. The truth of God always sets us free, but we have to use all our faculties to grasp it. He gave us those faculties to use, after all. And sometimes that means going out and experiencing life and what it has to teach us, rather than endless navel-gazing. (I'm talking about myself... no judgment intended!)

Amber said...



Well, as SarahC said, nothing is really outside of God. We tend to think of things as 'Godly' or holy and worldly or unholy, but really, *everything* can (and should) be holy, it's just up to us to make them that way.

Maybe (practically), you could get involved with more/other ministries in your church? I don't know what all you do, I know you've mentioned that you're involved with the food pantry, but that might help you.

Susanne said...

Sarah, hmmm. I hope I didn't imply we could be EITHER satisfied with God OR fulfilled in life. I think both are great and not mutually exclusive. Jesus said that He came to give us ABUNDANT life .. not a boring, unfulfilled one. I just got caught up in the wallowing, self-pity mode instead of choosing to walk in gratefulness as I remembered all the blessings He has poured out on my life. LOL @ the endless navel gazing...hehehe. Point taken. :)

Amber, thanks! Yes, I hope to get more involved in things like that. Joining the food pantry team was a first step for me and I really DO enjoy that.

Thank you, Ladies, for your comments. :)

SarahC said...

No, you didn't, it just seemed that you were equating looking for it outside of religious activity with looking for it outside of God. I don't think that's the case. :)

I hope I didn't imply that you were navel-gazing! It was me doing that ;)