Monday, July 14, 2008

30 Days of Praise - Day 8

It really is a miraculous thing, the way that worship affects you.

Today was an interesting day. I am going to confess that one of my greatest struggles is with my mouth. I grew up around a lot of "colorful language" as the world would describe it. And because I was always good with words, there was a time in my life when I could use them as a cruel weapon. I had a friend who used to admire my sharp tongue; I had on occasion put someone in their place on her behalf. Even after I became a Christian she would laud the "gift" as she saw it. It was something I struggled with, because I know the Lord never intended words to be used that way. He intended for words to be a tool to build, not to destroy.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

I have gained a lot of victory over the lashings, but the cursing is something that still will rise up and take hold. It's a great struggle for me, because I know what the bible says about this.

But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? James 3:8-10

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34b


And I know myself well enough to see that when I am going on my own way, my own strength, and am not plugged in and abiding, well, the curses come, because my heart is not filled with good things, but rather it is overflowing with self.

So this morning didn't start well, and in my typical frustration, a curse would come. Today, it wasn't there. And I know that it's because I have been spending these days seeking the Lord, focusing on Him, aligning my heart with His.

I have another clear indicator that tells me without question where my heart is at, and that's behind the wheel of my car. It seems whenever I am behind the wheel of my life, it is evident when I'm driving. I'm not talking necessarily about road rage or anything so severe, but it has more to do with my willingness to just go with the flow. When I'm not where I should be, I find myself always trying to rush through be in the front, to hurry ahead, let no car pass me. But when I'm focused on the Lord, suddenly the need to be first subsides. Hmmm... Hopefully that's true in more places than just behind the wheel, even if it's not quite as obvious.

I see other differences too. Today Neal and I took the kids to see Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D (which on a side note, I highly recommend, it was a roller coaster ride of good clean fun!) And as it happens, I ended up sitting in front of a kicker. You know what I mean, one of those people who just kicks away at the back of your seat. I checked it out after the first kick. I was more annoyed because we weren't dealing with a child or anything. The second time I looked back again, hoping to gently make a point. No luck. But the third time, I was just able to let it go. Consciously I was able to acknowledge, that for the Lord, I wasn't going to let it get to me. Now for some this may seem like no big accomplishment, but remember, I'm overcoming the girl with the sabre tongue. It is a work of the Holy Spirit, and that's pretty cool.

And all of these things I'm sharing, are just fringe benefits to taking my relationship with my God to a deeper level. None of these things are the goals I'm setting. It's not at all a matter of me deciding I want to better control my mouth, or my attitude. All I am doing is seeking the Lord, abiding in Him, and this fruit is growing. It is sweet fruit.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5

It's so cool to find God's word proved true in your life.

No comments: