chrysalis

Posted: December 30th, 2010 | Filed under: God, life | Tags: | 11 Comments »

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.Ecclesiastes 7:8 ESV

The process of becoming whatever it is you’re becoming is much like that of an uncut diamond becoming a jewel worth showing off. You have to experience the vice grip, the relentless grinding, and the inevitable loss of things that shape you.

Vice grips, grinding, chipping, and loss don’t feel like the ‘gentle’ touch of God we’ve been taught to look for. They feel like the opposite of our growth stunted idea of God. Especially when these things are most effective when they’re the result of hardship and trauma. The deeper the cut, the more effective the procedure. If you walk around like you’re a victim of life, like everybody else is causing your difficulty and making life harder than you think God wants it, then you’re rejecting the process and blaming your circumstances.

Scripture says that wisdom comes from the ‘fear of the Lord’. When you think of your version of God, is there reason to fear Him?

People usually reserve their fear of God for the times when they mess up. They fear the lightning strike, hell, or the removal of ‘blessings’. That’s a superficial fear and is, no doubt, keeping you trapped like a cow in narrow livestock shoot. You’re getting used to the claustrophobic faith. People can withstand an unimaginable amount of pain if they believe they’re doing it with an eternal spiritual payoff. Suicide bombers are able to do what they do because they believe that kind of death is the door between this world and 72 young virgins just for them.

Most religious motivation has nothing to do with devotion to God, it is intensely motivated by what the individual thinks they get from it. It’s a reward based devotion. Remove the reward, is there any devotion left?

Fear of the Lord has less to do with His angry punishment and more to do with the lengths God will go to when He’s intent on showing you who He is. There is nothing outside of His reach. He’s the God who turns evil intent into something that is good for you. This means, He doesn’t keep evil intent from you because He doesn’t have to. Even your own sin is used to bring about something good. This doesn’t make your own sin less painful to own up to, it only makes it easier to get up.

Do you know what it is to fear God when His intentions are awesome for you? The problem with being a human being is we usually don’t learn, grow, or become unless our world is horribly rocked or destroyed. We’re stubborn as mules and need to lose what we keep going back to, otherwise, we’ll never risk the loss for the trade-up.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understandingPsalm 111:10 ESV

If you want to learn how to tap into that kind of ‘fear of the Lord’, then look at your life and consider the possibility that every bit of it is part of God’s plan. There are things, good and bad, that God allows and it’s always for a purpose.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can be in the ‘special forces’ of a spiritual army if you’re not willing to accept the terms of training. To reach the ‘fear of the Lord’ part, you have to undergo a complete undoing of everything in your faith that holds you together. Broken and destroyed to be rebuilt and re-birthed.

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.Romans 8:29

Look at what His son went through. You want to be a follower? You have to walk along His path. Jesus had no sin in Him. You do. You don’t get to pick the terms of how God chooses to mold you into who He has created you to be. We build things that we want, but if they’re keeping you from His purposes, then He will destroy them. It’s not a matter of keeping everything in line so that He doesn’t take it away, it’s a matter of doing your best knowing that He knows better and can use the wrecking ball of life to reshape you. You ask to be used, to have a purpose, to not be just another believer with no impact, then you go and reject the very process that God is using to answer your heart’s desire.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.‘ When you know that God is sovereign and that the will of another can never supersede His, then and only then do you have nothing to fear.

With God on our side like this, how can we lose?Romans 8:31

Wisdom that comes from a ‘fear of God’ enables you to be patient with yourself and others in the most gut wrenching experiences. Wisdom enables the deep assurance of grace and reason. You may never know the answer to ‘why’, but wisdom keeps you locked in trust and assurance that everything will be worked out in His time and for His purpose.

Solomon said, ‘Better is the end of a thing than it’s beginning.’ Wisdom is knowing that there is a ‘thank you’ at the end of a horrible beginning.

You must bear the cross, or you shall never wear the crown; you must wade through the mire, or you shall never walk the golden pavement.Charles Spurgeon

chsls


11 Comments »


11 Comments on “chrysalis”

  1. 1 Eileen said at 5:33 am on December 30th, 2010:

    So appreciate your posts. Thank you. "There are things, good and bad, that God allows and it’s always for a purpose." Just said the same thing this morning on my blog. I think sometimes it sounds like a cliche but it is so true!

    Also love, "even your own sin is used to bring about something good." He is one awesome God!

  2. 2 Sarah said at 7:23 am on December 30th, 2010:

    "You ask to be used, to have a purpose, to not be just another believer with no impact, then you go and reject the very process that God is using to answer your heart’s desire."

    That stings a little bit…very true though! You have to remember that sometimes change, growth, and maturation don't feel exciting and fresh, sometimes they feel frightening and painful.

    Sometimes-often- God's teaches us via practicum rather than lecture. I've always found that the practical lessons are always harder and less pleasant but the knowledge gained is always deeper and richer.

  3. 3 Sunny said at 7:29 am on December 30th, 2010:

    Thanks Serena, I needed this.

    I spent the night searching through Scripture and I'm pretty sure my faith has started its journey through fire. One promise that I'm clinging unto is that God wants to find me. The hardest thing is stop running to realize the gravity of what it means to be chased by the God of the universe.

    What am I worshiping- the temporary high of a "Christian" appearance or the Savior who has the power to forgive even sins?

    I'm not sure what I'll find but I know God will get me there.

  4. 4 Angela Mackey said at 7:34 am on December 30th, 2010:

    AMEN sister. Our God is the Lion of Judah, but also the Lamb. Do we think of Him as our God who is worthy of fear or do we think of Him as only our friend?

    I know we don't know each other, but I have been praying for you these last few days. Mostly for provision…God is Jehovah Jireh.

    Blessings to you!

  5. 5 Serena Woods said at 2:17 pm on December 30th, 2010:

    We have a pathetic habit of attempting to de-claw the Lion. God is not docile or uninvolved. He's intrusive, demanding, and relentless. When you think you're walking away, you're running into. When you think you're messing it up, you're playing perfectly into the role He created.

  6. 6 Leah said at 7:31 am on December 31st, 2010:

    I really enjoyed this post…I enjoy all of them. I'm also challenged by them, and by your book. You stated above, "…then look at your life and consider the possibility that every bit of it is part of God’s plan. There are things, good and bad, that God allows and it’s always for a purpose." This is what I'm wrestling with right now. Honestly, I've been wrestling with it for years. I believe that God is sovereign and all-knowing, and that His plans are perfect. My challenge is believing that all of my life occurrences are part of his plan. I'm having trouble with that. There are things that I've done as well as things that were done to me that I have a hard time reconciling as part of God's plan–His will. As I'm typing this, I'm realizing that the questions my heart is posing to God are about "why" and "how" (i.e., "Why did you allow this to happen?" and "How could you allow this to happen?"). These questions may seem as though they have a blaming tone, but that's not my intention. They reflect the innocent inquiry of a child's heart that's longing to be answered and quieted by her heavenly Father. Until then, I'll continue wrestling…

    Thanks for this post.

    Blessings to you…

  7. 7 gina said at 5:41 pm on December 31st, 2010:

    Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your heart and desire to do pursue Christ likeness whatever the cross….even pain!

  8. 8 Angela said at 8:06 pm on January 2nd, 2011:

    Oh my gosh, that post is beautifully written. So eleoquent. You spoke my heart.

    Thank you

  9. 9 Heather Billups said at 8:50 am on January 4th, 2011:

    I know I am stubborn, young, and broken. And sometimes I wonder if I will make it out of the "training" camp. It can be very painful with no relief. But I believe what you write is the truth. So I have no where to go, but stay.

  10. 10 Genevieve Thul said at 9:46 am on January 4th, 2011:

    Serena,

    I just finished your book last night. It has nailed me hard right where I needed to be – carrying my own cross and forgetting what others think about my particular cross. I literally was ear-marking every page until I realized that was silly…I'd have to re-read the entire thing to figure out what I thought was noteworthy on each and every page! I finally got around to quoting you on my own blog as God has me walking through fire during cancer treatment again in the next few days. And of course (grr) He's relentlessly shaping me through it as usual. I was shocked to come back to leave you the link to my post and see you had "chrysalis" in your latest post, too! Funny how He works. I *sort of* met you at Relevant through my endless (and probably annoying questions) but I have really fallen in love with what God has shown me through you since and I thank you wholeheartedly. You are brave and I thank you for crusading for the wounded soldiers in the battle who understand just Whose armor they're carrying around.

    Here is the link to my post if you have time to see what I quoted:
    http://turquoisegates.blogspot.com/2011/01/reflec

    I am recommending your book right and left. Will be posting a pic of the earmarked pages on Twitter if I get a chance today.

  11. 11 April said at 2:08 pm on January 4th, 2011:

    Genevieve– I thought when I finished the book that I wanted to re-read it. Then, after I turned the very last page… I read the words on the last page that said, "Read it Again"… It made me smile.


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