Megan Lebo

"Just be. Its what the world denies you" – Brandon Heath

Category: To Believe…

The Quest for Living: Simplifying Our Faith…

I am tired.

My soul and psyche drained of life by the life that surrounds me.  Parasitic entities designed for market and consumption control that which should never have been given over.  At 29 years of age one should not feel so confused and cynical.  I was always under the impression that a college degree came in the shiny wrappings of clarity and purpose, and that cynicism was simply the gift of age.

I can’t be the only one out there that feels lost in the midst of a society driven by money, success, and fame.  Everyone fighting for their place, purpose, and mark in this world.  “We are the catalyst of change!  Become a better you!  Change the world in three easy steps!”  We’ve been fed some kind of line since the moment we were born.  We are as royalty and should be treated as such.  Live out your dream.

Do great things for God.

What has happened?  Where did we go?  How do we change?  In our efforts to make our children and ourselves someone great have we in fact planted a seed of disappointment and hopelessness to those of us who may never see that greatness?  Are we fostering a generation of people who have lost the ability to just live?

I think we have.

I think this influence, this mindset, while fairly obvious in the secular, pop culture world of our day has, in subtlety, begun to seep into our churches and has ultimately impacted our personal and spiritual intimacy with God.

I candidly admit that I am one of the restless.

I like to write, therefore in my mind I have often set forth to become a prolific and successful writer.  I love to sing so of course nothing less than a professional, well paid singing career will do.  I also love stage acting therefore I must be destined to move to NYC and become the next Broadway star.  I love travelling, I love people, and I love sharing the gospel through words and service which means God must have great plans for me to be an overseas missionary.  I’m supposed to change the world.

Greatness.  Has this lovechild, born from the god of self, been clothed in priestly robes and given a seat upon a throne in our own sanctuaries?

The more I think about it the more I am convinced it has.  I fear that we have made our faith an object of glamor, and our service and personal walk with God an object of fame. All of this under the guise of living out loud and doing great things for God.

Whatever happened to just living for God?  Wait, let’s pull that back even further and ask the question “Whatever happened to just living?”.

Who would have ever imagined that the lives of Amish communities and fishermen, oil riggers and pageant moms, would ever be considered lives of glamor and fame.  Before the era of reality television who ever cared?  Yet here we are, in the year 2013, a culture of  “greatness”.  Its not enough now to just live quiet lives of normalcy.

I love listening to my mom tell stories from her youth.  A child of the 60’s and 70’s.  A product of a small, close knit town in Indiana she often recounts her memories of neighborhood block parties, summer romances, and youth camp in Colorado.  The town was a community and churches were family.  This was a time when people, families, and children just lived.  It wasn’t until the 80’s and 90’s, with the introduction of MTV and Nintendo that we began to really see a shift in corporate social behavior.  Our kids began spending more time indoors and the worship of fantasy and celebrity really began to settle in as norm among youth.

I think we have reached a time when the things that stream out of popular culture should no longer surprise us or take us off guard.  Yet more pressing and more concerning is the fact that the impact and influence of our culture has permeated the walls of some of our churches.  This intrusion has now secularized the holiness of worship and has complicated the simplicity of our faith and how we live it out on a daily basis.

Sometimes I feel as though I am drowning in a sea of ambition and service without a real sense of power and joy.  This leads me to ask the question, has our service and role in the Church lost its joy and authenticity?  Has it become simply an exercise in survival?  Are our over-spiritualized Facebook statuses and tweets merely a lifeline that we cling to in order to feel assured of what we fear we might be missing out on?

Or worse, what we fear we might be losing.

While I cannot speak for the spiritual walk of others I can say that I have found these questions to be answered in my own life with a resounding yes.  Still I do believe that God gives his people a measure of discernment when it comes to the Church.  I will say that I sense, not just in others but also in my own life, that something is off.   And like I said earlier, I fear that it has to do with the influence and impact that our culture has had on the life and pursuits inside the walls of the church.

In Jerusalem there is a church called The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  This church is purportedly the site of the resurrection of Jesus.  I remember, during one of my trips to Israel, visiting this church simply for its historicity.  From the moment I walked in I remember every one of my senses being assaulted by the sounds, sights and smells that emanated from this relatively small sanctuary.  There were droves of people there, many of which were church officials performing ritualistic prayers and chants.  There were candles and incense and quite simply more stimulation going on than one person can mentally or emotionally handle.  I left about as quickly as I arrived and never even made it to the part of the church that housed the rock that supposedly experienced the resurrection of Jesus.

It grieves me to admit that this is often how I feel entering the doors of our own churches.  Overwhelmed by stimulation and confusion, I struggle to find a place and a source of unencumbered and uncomplicated joy and purpose.  In short, I feel that I have lost sight of God’s face and the purity of His essence in the midst of all that the modern Church calls worship.  Now let me be clear.  I am not saying that those who find a way to participate in what we consider “great impact” are in any way wrong or misguided.  On the contrary I find it exciting and God glorifying when He chooses to use us in ways that have maximum impact on our church and culture.  But at the same time, it is easy to forget that often things done in earnest and passion can also be made an object of idolatry in our lives.  When what we do and how we do it becomes the focus of our walk and ministry then I think we can safely say that our focus off.

In first Thessalonians 4 Paul instructs us in how we ought to walk and please God that we will “excel still more.” (v.1)  Paul uses this phrase “to excel still more” again in verse 10 leading up to verse 11 which says, “…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend your own business and work with your hands just as we commanded you.”

Quiet lives.  Attending our own business.  Working with our hands.  This is what Paul refers to as excelling.  For me I find this incredibly encouraging!  For me this means that I may not be not be missing out on some great plan that God has for me simply by working a nine to five job with the occasional extra-curricular.

When was the last time you had coffee with your next door neighbor?  Maybe your child’s best friend has a troubled home and simply needs a place to come and unwind and escape for a few hours.  Or perhaps you’ve been noticing that a coworker has been keeping to themselves a lot lately.  Have you asked them to go to lunch with you?

I think this is the part of our Christian walk that we have set aside to make room for our personal aspirations of “greatness” in the Church.  Somehow we have convinced ourselves that there are greater works and there are lesser works.  I fear that part of the reason we continue to see a decline within the present generations in respect to Church is because we have forgotten how to simply be a community and have made our ambitions and our aspirations of greatness an object of worship.

Fellow believers, we must evaluate our hearts!   We must strip away the noise in order to truly see and experience God’s presence and power again.  We must get back to His Word and let it consume and transform us.  Our efforts and ministry must flow not from our desires to do great things for God but from his desires to do his work in and through us.  For some that may look like the foreign mission field.  But for others it’s the unseen acts of listening to, caring for, and having coffee with a co-worker.  Those acts we would simply call living while God sees them as living for him.  We need to let go of our ideas and pursuits of greatness and let God work in us the way he always has, in our life and relationships.  Only then will we ever see how great his Glory can truly be!

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On hate, hypocrisy, and love…

I find it difficult to reconcile the complexity of emotion surging in my blood, barreling through me like river waters through canyon walls. When is it ok to choose anger over grace, boldness over passivity? At what point are we allowed or even commissioned to venture beyond the boundaries of tolerance into the territories of justice.

Hate has no reason and hypocrisy no shame.

The voices of those who cry out for tolerance and acceptance, the ones who demand the freedom of individuality, now demand of others not tolerance and acceptance but compliance and change. They fight not for the freedom of individuality but for rule and uniformity.

There exists not one individual on the face of this earth whose views are left untainted by personal belief and conviction. Unbiased, in the context of individual thought and intention is a false descriptor. It is impossible to maintain an unbiased opinion when it comes to personal beliefs. We all have a moral compass that guides our decisions and our perceptions.

To demand the closure of a business based solely on the fact that they are a business of faith and choose to channel their profits into faith based charities and organizations is morally and ethically corrupt. To demand of a people not tolerance but full on support of a lifestyle they cannot uphold, whether for reasons religious or personal, denies our freedoms not just as Americans but as human beings.

Do churches walk into gay bars demanding that a portion of their proceeds be given to religious organizations? That would be absurd! So to demand that a place be boycotted and shut down because of religious affiliation should be considered bigotry and persecution.

Now I am not ignorant. I am fully aware of like actions that come out of so-called church environments. WestboroBaptistChurch, whom we have all become familiar with in the last few years, is a prime example of a people filled not with the love of their creator but with hatred and evil. I am also aware of other church environments and individuals who profess to be warriors of the faith but in fact only act in ignorance and emotion.

So what is our answer? How do we stop spinning these circles? At some point we need to just agree to leave each other alone.

Both sides.

So to those who do not embrace faith I say, “live your life!” Continue to fight for your cause in a way that will not infringe upon my freedom as person and an American. Share with me whatever truth you hold on to but don’t force me to embrace or support your lifestyle because I have every right to disagree.

To the church, I simply direct you to Romans 1:18-32. A wise believer knows when to fight and when to finally lay down the sword. As the passage makes clear, even God eventually gives people over to the lusts of their hearts. We need to ask ourselves if the time has come to turn our backs and leave the world as a whole to its own self destruction. Because Christ’s kingdom is ours through our salvation in Him, we will not have dominion over the kingdom of this world.

With that said, we are still responsible for sharing Christ’s love and salvation with people. While we may lay down our efforts for changing the course of our nation or our world as a whole we should NEVER give up on the individuals that God has or will bring into our lives to minister to.

So I say, be gracious and full of God’s love, share with those whom God places in your path, and leave the rest to their ways. Speak up, be bold and fight for your freedom but turn your backs on Sodom lest you yourself be caught up in their judgment.

Read the book of Ephesians and be encouraged! “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Vanity of Vanities!

I never realized that you could gain so much knowledge and still have so little understanding.

Years ago I, like Solomon, asked God for wisdom and discernment.  My desire to distinguish between the wisdom of God and the foolishness of man was strong and I wanted to always be able to know what was right and to have the ability to choose.  While certainly nowhere even close to the wisdom of King Solomon, who God endowed with wisdom that no man on earth apart from Jesus would ever match, I do believe that God blessed me with a certain amount of wisdom and discernment as I had asked of him.

But there is a difference between possessing wisdom and understanding it.

With the gift of knowledge and wisdom comes an insatiable desire to unwrap the intricacies and meaning of every circumstance in life.  For knowledge demands reason.  But reason cannot comprehend or traverse the muddy waters that is a life of faith.  For faith denies reason, that is, the reason that demands understanding.

Faith by definition is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things unseen.  (Hebrews 11:1)

But reason is ruled by the senses.  To see, to touch, to hear, to smell, to taste.  Faith, you see, is not confined to the five senses that so dominate how we perceive the world around us.  Faith demands that sixth sense which we have been told by the world cannot exist.

And so engaged, is a life of faith, in a bitter battle with reason.

I believe this battle that rages between our faith and our reason has everything to do with the act of dying to self as Jesus commands us to do in Luke 9:23.

To know, to understand, is a desire deep within our being that is rooted in the desire to be the god of our own lives.  It’s a possessive emotion that stands before God and says “You are not enough!  I have to have more.  More knowledge, more understanding, more control, more power.”  In essence it is our desire to be God.  It is telling Him that our ways should be higher and that our understanding should be greater.

That lust for greatness and power was the driving force that preceded the fall of heaven’s most glorious being, and ultimately what drove Adam and Eve in the garden to fall from perfection into a life of destruction.

So by Solomon’s side I cry Vanity of Vanities!  All is vanity.  Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.  For in the end, when all has been heard, we are to simply fear God and keep his commandments, because this applies to every person.  For everything which is hidden, whether good or evil, God will ultimately bring to judgment.  (Ecclesiastes 1:2,18; 12:13-14)

Redemption…

As I reflect back on the last couple of years I grieve over time that seems to me wasted and meaningless.

But is anything ever meaningless?

Maybe the hardships allow us to appreciate and see clearly the times of abundance.  Maybe the emptiness of a barren wilderness allows for proper fulfillment when you reach the land of plenty.

Its an incredible feeling, coming to the end of a dry and desolate road, looking out onto the flourishing landscape that now lies ahead of you.  So what is gained from that time spent in darkness and desolation?  What is it we find that gives meaning to such cunfusion and emptiness?

Redemption.

Everything in our lives plays out this drama, for we discover that there was never anything within ourselves to give us direction, strength, or endurance along this road.  The truth we find and the reality we can now embrace is that we were never really lost and we were never really forgotten.  Our lives were merely playing out the beautiful picture of redemption.

We were always Yours and You never lost sight of where we were.  You brought us home.

Redemption by Jars of Clay

We made it to a strange town

Going down the wrong road

Like any story retold

Couldn’t find a common ending

We’re way gone, be gone, looking for our own way

We needed a distraction

You said you were redemption

We knew it as a wrong turn

We couldn’t know the things we’d gain

When we reach the other border

We look out way down past the road we came from

We’re looking for redemption

It was hidden in the landscape

Of loss and love and fire and rain

Never would have come this way

Looking for redemption

We were looking out past the road we came from

Looking at redemption

Hidden in the landscape

Of loss and love and fire and rain

Never would have come this way

Looking for redemption

In the eyes of sorrow, eyes of rage

What a sordid histories they played

The drama of redemption

Redemption

I am new life…

I am new life

I am restored, emerging from ashes

You have brought me up and steadied my feet

I stand restored and alive

Renewed

I am new life

No longer asleep, eyes opened to the dawn

With hope of new beginnings

I tread now on ground once weak but now firm

Alive

I am new life

What I was is now gone

Washed by the water

Refined by the fire

Reformed

I am new life

In freedom I stand

In freedom I shout

In freedom I dance

Free

I will paint Your grace

I will sing of Your mercy

I will dance to Your freedom

For I am new life

Our Great Commission…

It amazes me how quickly I become a victim of my own emotions.  Emotional reactions can often be devastating, leaving you backtracking in regret and feeling foolish.  It is always better to wait until the dust of your emotions settles before speaking on something that incites extreme emotions in not only yourself but in others as well.

The dust has settled.

As I have said before we live in strange times.  Times when everyone does what is right in his own eyes.  There is no longer one moral compass that defines what is right or wrong for the collective body.  According to the world we no longer have a choice about who we are as individuals.  We were born that way.  And because we were born that way that means its good right?

What most people don’t realize is that, yes, we were born that way and the Bible tells us so.  But that does not mean its good.

Genesis 8:21 says “…the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth…”, Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick…”,  Psalm 51:5 says “behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

We were all born that way.  We were all born into sin and corruption.

Because we are born into depravity we have to actively fight against the lusts of the flesh.  And the reality is that we are incapable of fighting the battle of our flesh successfully on our own.  Holiness is not born out of our own efforts but out of the righteousness that was imputed upon us through the blood of Jesus.

As a believer in Christ and the Word of God I do not agree with immoral lifestyle choices whether that be homosexuality, gender reassignment, adultery, abortion, or even cohabitation outside the walls of marriage.  I have becom increasingly concerned with the direction that our nation is going and the depths of depravity which we have now reached.

And yet I am torn.

Can we as Christ followers actually expect morality out of those who choose not to recognize the only true moral compass, that is, God’s Word?  Is it really our place to fight against the immorality of a world without salvation?  Morality cannot be found outside of who God is.

We cannot demand Christian character out of those who do not know Christ!

I am not saying that we should lay down our fight.  No.  I am saying we need to pick up a different weapon.

The only way we can fight immorality is by being the image of Christ to the world.  Hearts need to change before we can expect actions and lifestyles to change.  The change has to be from the inside out not from the outside in.

Romans 1:21-32 says:

“For even though they know God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four footed animals and crawling creatures.  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, adn worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.  Amen.  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural funchtion for that whcich in unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them”

Because we as Christians understand the ways of God and what He desires out of His creation (holiness, and righteousness) we often begin moral crusades that while rooted in good intentions and passionate convictions can be a devastating witness to the Character of God.  The most effective witness to a lost and dying world is to display the life that has been given to us by the one who put it in us!

It is the act of living out the change that has occurred in us through His blood that either draws or turns away those who hear.  And while we grieve along with God over those who turn away it is their choice and we simply have to pray that God will be merciful in the end and bring them to saving faith in Him.

 

Chag Sameach and Happy Easter!!!

Some people view Easter and Passover as 2 separate celebrations by 2 separate faiths.

Passover is the Jewish rememberance of God’s salvation and deliverance of the people of Israel from the slavery and bondage of Egypt.  It is observed to remember that solemn evening where the blood of an unblemished lamb saved a people from the angel of death that had come to destroy the firstborn of all of Egypt.

Easter is what is observed in the Christian faith.  While clouded by many unfounded traditions, at its heart is the rememberance and celebration of a solemn evening where the blood of an unblemished lamb (Jesus, Yeshua) saved us from that dark angel of death, which is sin, that seeks to destroy every man.

I find no separation between the two events and desire to celebrate this weekend with both my fellow gentile friends and my dear Jewish ones.  This weekend is a celebration of life!  Life that was given to us by God through the sacrifice of a spotless lamb.  There can be no separation of the two events for one is the fulfillment of the other.

So happy Easter to all who celebrate and Chag Sameach to all of my Jewish friends celebrating Pesach (Passover)!

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P.S.  There is a song that is sung during Jewish passover celebrations called Dayenu.  Dayenu essentially means “It would have been enough”.  It is a song that looks back and remembers all of the Great works that God has done for His people.  The text speaks of events such as their deliverance from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea stating that if God had delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians but not parted the Red Sea it would have been enough.

I have taken that theme and have written a song to remember, ultimately, that if today were to be my last that everything God has done for me would be enough.

Enjoy!

It was never supposed to take this long…

The Journey

I would have to say that I have recently journeyed down the most desolate road of my Christian walk to date. Our journey with God, much like Frodo’s journey through Middle Earth, (You’ll have to forgive my frequent LOTR references as I have recently returned from the great country of New Zealand.) or like Dorothy traveling through the land of OZ, is an ever-changing road that looks different with every fork and every turn.

In youth everything is illuminated.

The trees on that road are green and thin as the sun beams through the branches lighting your way.  You have travelling with a group of companions, all walking together heading toward that first fork in the road, college.

Things are good.

There is a bitter sweetness that comes over you with a hint of anxiety as the group splits at the fork.  While you still have the fellowship of some of your companions there is a change that comes over you as the crowd thins and the trees get thicker.  More companions begin separating from the group as they choose that path that leads to marriage and family.

As you walk the road you begin to find trinkets that others have left behind along their journey.  As you pick them up and stuff them in your bag you notice how dark it seems to be getting.  As you approach the next fork in the road the last of your companions splits from your company.  You turn your head to gaze down the road that has been laid out for you, and discover that you can only see a few feet ahead.  It has become dark and the load you carry, the one that holds the treasures of this world that others have left behind, has become very heavy.  That bag will be your only comfort for you now walk alone in the darkness.

Darkness, if not overcome, will corrupt the mind.

You know you should have left those things lying in the road.  They were left for a reason right?  There is something inside of you that knows you should have never picked them up and yet you have now become dependant upon their presence because you cannot find anything else to comfort in.  The voice that guided you through childhood and throughout your youth, that instructed you on which turn to take at each fork, has now been almost entirely absorbed by the canopy that hovers above your head.  Almost.  You know that the voice is still speaking instructions but those trinkets you have gained offer a pleasing distraction in the midst of the consuming darkness.  You can no longer hear the voice that offered guidance.  You have abandoned Him in the precise moment you needed Him most for the temporal idols that now offer you a false sense of security.

The Reality

This has indeed been my reality.

The Israelites, when brought out ofEgypt, abandoned God, who was showing them the way to the land He had promised to give them, for idolatry and disobedience.  As a result, what should have been an eleven day journey across the wilderness ended up lasting forty years.

Forty years.

My life has, in every way, reflected that of the Israelites.  These past four years, after graduating from college, have been some of the darkest years of my life.  In this darkness I have picked up so many things that, in my lack of discernment, I have placed upon the altar of my worship and called them god.  As a result I had forgotten what God’s voice really sounded like.  And in my desperation I began grasping at whatever was in my bag of idols to give me purpose and comfort.

This is the life lesson that I am now grappling with.  In my madness I was somehow able to catch a faint whisper of God’s voice that had been carried, for a brief moment, by a breeze that brushed past me.

It was enough to stop me in my tracks.

I had been so distracted by the idols that I was carrying that I completely lost sight of the light, although faint, that was still dimly lighting the path.

And so now begins the shedding of weight that has so slowed my journey.  The light has become slightly brighter and that voice has turned from a whisper into hum.  While the canopy above me is still thick I am now back on the path instead of wandering aimlessly through the forest.  I now possess hope, for I’m beginning to see the faint shimmer of sunlight peering through the brush ahead.

Its not that I chose the wrong turn…It was just never supposed to take this long.

Adjusting my eyes…

Ok, so I know that I said that I would not be blogging or anything for a while but to be honest, I have to write.  It is how I deal with the things around me that I cannot comprehend.  It is how I cope.  Now I still will not be accessing Facebook or Twitter but this blog is linked to both so as I write these entries they will continue to show up. 

 

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My life, it seems, is a never ending quagmire of uncertainties and blind spots.  Just when it looks as though the ground around me is leveling out and the path ahead seems clear I step into another soft spot and lose the traction that had given me stability and hope.  Yet I find that my resolve gets stronger in the face confusion, frustration, and (more often than not) anger.  I sometimes feel like Frodo trudging through each difficult pass knowing I’ve been charged with a great task but yet not fully comprehending its purpose or weight. 

 

And I, like Frodo, find myself in lament wishing this task had never fallen upon me.

 

I have no illusions of grandeur.  Or maybe I do.  Don’t we all wish to be used and purposed for something greater than ourselves? 

 

Everyone’s relationship and walk with God is very different.  It is so easy to look at someone else’s life and then indict God for what we consider withholding or judgment.  Why God, does this person get the job, or the husband, or the social life, etc.  The list could go on and on and quite frankly does in my case.  Every single door it seems gets slammed in face with no real answer as to why, when to me its seemed so perfect and so calculated. 

 

It is like I’m walking around in a room that’s pitch black, full of locked doors except for one.  That one door is the one that I simply cannot seem to find.  I have circled that room a thousand times knowing that I have tried to open what I feel is every door and yet I know there is an exit.  I know its there.  I just have to get there.

 

And maybe this is all just part of the journey.  Maybe this is all part of Him teaching me to listen closely.  To adjust my eyes to the dim lighting so that I can see clearly in the dark.  Its easy not to stumble over something when its clearly illuminated by the light.  And to be frank there are many who will still stumble even when things are illuminated.  But the only way to avoid stumbling in the darkness is to be immersed in it until your eyes adjust.  Until the blackness begins to take shape and become shadows, until the shadows morph into shape, and the shapes become clearly formed objects. 

 

Isn’t this what I asked God for so many years ago?  To be molded and shaped into a tool that he can use for His glory?  Why then do I envy world around me?  I have not been called to chase after my dreams.  And for some reason God has not allowed me the freedom to make my own choices as he has many other people.  Maybe that’s because he knows me better than I know myself. 

 

I have been called to obedience and that obedience will look different every day.  I am learning (and these life lessons have been very hard) to let go.  I’m learning to let go of everything.  I cannot assume that I know what God’s plan for my life is.  I cannot assume that I know what is best for myself.  He is calling me to lay down everything I had planned because my plans had become my idol. 

 

And God will not share worship and glory with anything or anyone.

Addressing my idols…

One of my greatest fears is being forgotten.

I have become the type of person who is so dependent upon the approval of others that there are times where I am almost crippled by the idea that people don’t really care about what is going on with me.  I know that’s a strong statement and I know that its not true but it is in fact a great fear of my life that I deal with every day.  As a result of that fear I have been sucked in to the current of the mighty river that is social media.  I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, and now Instagram.  All of these are ways in which this generation has chosen to stay connected with each other.  You can know everything about someone (even down to what they had for dinner last night) without ever having a conversation with them.  You can keep up with the growth of families, engagements, weddings, life stages, everything!

But the grave truth is that we have now bred a culture with absolutely no social skills, and no REAL friendships.  It is a false reality and is breeding a generation of depression and isolation.  This is the reality that I myself am now facing.  I feel increasingly hollow and I fear that I have lost the ability to really build relationships.

A few years ago I was a part of a co-ed small group that met once a week in someone’s home.  I remember looking around the room at the circle that we had formed one evening and almost every single person, about 20 or so people, was looking down at their phones.  Not one person was having a face to face conversation with anyone.

The relationships that are present in my life I have recently discovered have very little weight.

And this makes me very sad.

But this entry is not really even about the problems with social media.  Its more personal than that.  As I stated at the beginning, I have become so dependent upon these outlets that I now panic over them.  I keep up with how many people visit my blog.  I’m constantly checking to see if new people are following me on Twitter and then get upset when I realize that certain people still haven’t started following me.

Its madness!  Its idolatry.

As I have mentioned in previous posts I have been reading through the Bible chronologically this year.  In reading about the children ofIsraeland their relationship with God I have come to realize how much my life reflects that of the Israelites.  God commanded them again and again to purge the idols out of their midst.  Through reading about the idolatry of the Israelites in the Old Testament I have become acutely aware of the idols in my own life.

In response to these truths I feel it necessary to address this idolatry.  I need to spend my time not dwelling on the lives and cares and opinions of others out of fear of being forgotten and looked over.  No, my time needs to be spent discovering what God thinks of me, and what God is up to, and what God cares about.

I am suspending, for a time, all of my social media accounts.  I am fasting from what seems to matter most in my life in order to gain what should matter most in my life.  I will however still be available by phone, email, texting, and of course face to face.

I challenge everyone to try and recapture the act of building TRUE relationships.  Meet up with someone for lunch, coffee, or even dinner.  Make an effort to reconnect with people.  Ask about their lives.  Be involved.  We are not intended to go through live alone.

We were created for fellowship.