Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Personal...

I'm in session 5 of Beth Moore's Daniel study. God has used this study to challenge me beyond words. I haven't blogged on it much because it is so personal, so close to my heart that I need it to just stay there for awhile.

This morning, something Beth wrote hit me hard.

For some, the flow of the world can be easier to resist than the flow of Christian mediocrity.

I struggle with both. Until this study, I didn't realize how much the attitudes of my culture are just a part of me. Even more so, how the attitudes of other Christians around me affect me.

Beth says...

We abide in our subgroups by unspoken codes dictating how far we'll go in our devotion to God. Anyone who goes overboard or takes it too seriously is considered eccentric, not extraordinary.
The truth is, worldly individuals already think I've lost my mind. I came to understand that very, very early in my Christian experience. I get that...I understand that. I can handle that. After all, why wouldn't they think I was a little strange?

What I seem to never get used to is the backlash that sometimes comes from fellow believers during the times in my life that Christ has called me to be different. I can be going about my business, quite happy and content and then God goes and grabs my heart again with something like this Daniel study. And during those times...He requires something different of me. Requires a change.

I've learned that sometimes other believers view my changes as judgement on them. And often, I've wrongly viewed other's changes as judgement on me.

And they're not.

I do have a point to this incessant rambling, I'll try to find it...recently God has convicted the parsonage family that it's time for us to do something different in one particular area. It has nothing to do with how anyone else does this particular thing. He's just calling us to it differently for now, and we can either obey what He's asking and risk being viewed as the weirdos, or we can maintain our norm and just go with the way we've always done it.

But only one way leads to obedience for us.

At the end of each day, I want to be the Christian that is an encouragement to the person who tells me God is convicting them and they want to change. I want to rejoice with them when God calls them to something radical. I want to encourage them to trust and follow even when it seems crazy. I don't want to get in the way of what God is doing in someone elses life...I want to cheer them on instead.

I am so thankful for those people in my life that have cheered us on when God called us to something that seemed crazy at the time. And I'm especially thankful for those who've set the example before me, living out a radical faith.

17 comments:

  1. Very powerful! Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!
    I especially like this "I don't want to get in the way of what God is doing in someone elses life...I want to cheer them on instead."

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  2. Great post, Sarah. It's so hard to be different from the world sometimes...but even harder (to me, at least) to be different from other believers. Even those whom we love, respect & admire. But it's not about those people. It's about God and being obedient. During this time in my family, others are looking at us and wondering how we can view these circumstances as a blessing. But we do. Even though it may be radical, we honestly do.

    Keep on pressing on, friend.

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  3. Thanks for this Sarah! It's easy to want be cheered on when God is teaching and convicting and moving us, but I'm not always the most encouraging when others bring those things to me....

    Good stuff. Thanks!

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  4. Love your post today!

    God speaks to each of us differently at times. I think the results are amazing when God presses something on a family's heart and they respond in obediece! God truly smiles!

    Stick to what God is impressing upon you. Don't worry about other people or what they think. You only must answer to God.

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  5. good stuff, friend.

    I hate how much I worry about what others, Christians included, think about what I do and say.

    I think our drive to do the right thing as parents, helps us "pull out all the stops" and just do it!
    "Who cares! I just want to rear my boys as God leads. The End."

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  6. Wow Sarah. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    You hit the nail on the head. It is much MUCH easier to be seen as radical or eccentric by the world, but when it's other believers -- people who are supposed to "get" us, so often it is tempting to give in to peer pressure, just go with the flow.

    Way to go for daring to be radical for Christ-- and thanks for the encouragement to me, in a general sort of way, to do the same!

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  7. Sarah this is so good. So good.
    Thank you for being a reckless crazy woman willing to be uncomfortable in your persuit of His will :)

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  8. LOVE THIS. so very encouraging. hoping you can spell it out more...so we can cheer you on to obedience in christ!

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  9. Beautiful!! I loved that study when I did it!

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  10. Why does the power of what others think have such a hold on u?. Oh that we can be obedient to what He asks of us personally, no matter what other say.

    Thanks for sharing this Sarah.

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  11. isn't is a sad thing when we feel we need to explain or defend our obedience to other believers...and almost make excuses as to not make them feel bad or like we are judging them...I have been there too. And it robs us of peace if we aren't careful and even can rob us of the very joy that follows obedience...
    (though sometimes it seems to follow further behind than other times :)

    excellent post sarah.

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  12. I'm hearing you loud and clear, friend. I felt a lot of these same things when I did that study. Now I'm doing Esther and it's rocking my world again.

    An example that's not that big of a deal, but just an example of being seen as weird is our conviction about TV in our house. Even my parents think we're strange. My mom asked me how I could think my kids will be normal if they don't watch TV. And so often people DO take our decision as a judgment on them when it's just not. We're SO not perfect, we have SO far to go...SO FAR. Our convictions CAN be different than the next Christians. Because every believer is different.

    I'll stop rambling now...

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  13. Thank you so much for your words. I have felt the same way myself recently. It's hard to step past what you have always understood or practiced when God calls you to a new understanding. But I am so thankful when He does. Be obedient, be obedient!

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  14. This is so well-put, Sarah.

    I have a good friend who has many personal convictions about how she should live her life. She HATES that, in living her convictions, other people feel judged or condemned by her, because that is NOT her attitude. Yet she can't ignore these things that she feels God has asked her to do.

    It's odd that some people will put that pressure on themselves. All we can do is be faithful to God and live with an attitude of grace toward others.

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  15. Yeahhhhh for YOU! Or should I say you go girl....You & your family are doing just what God calls us to do...Obey HIM....and I can't wait to hear the blessings that are going to unfold as you do (even if you get those "looks" from your "family in Christ"!)Thanks for being YOU and for always being Real! Sweet blessings!

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  16. Wow. I finally pop back over to see what's up in your preggo world, and get hit with this powerful post. :-) Rich, and true. I've straddled both sides, I fear. I 'tone down' God's work in my life so I don't seem too radical in Christian circles...but I've certainly been known to misinterpret God's work in others...mostly 'cause their lives are convicting to me.

    I'm glad to hear God is calling to your family; that's a good thing. And you're hearing; which is a very good thing. So I say, "Go after Jesus." I preach to myself when I say, "He's worth the {crazy-looking} pursuit."
    Love,
    -J

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  17. Okay....first can I just say that you are A.DOR.A.BLE!?!
    It's been a while since I've checked in on you. I always love catching up. Loved to hear how God is at work in your heart with Daniel. I love when He takes us deep!! Also loved ideal vs real Sarah. I can SOOO relate! Ideal Aimee is always haunting me! :)
    Finally...question - (Is it weird to ask a serious question to a person you've never actually met but you feel like you know via bloggy world? Hmmm...) Did you know that you knew that you knew that you wanted another baby? Did I totally confuse you? :)

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