Bathing in Discipline

UPDATED:  This is a post that I wrote over a week ago, but did not publish because I couldn’t get the videos embedded.  Reading it fresh today makes it even more interesting in light of discoveries I’ve made since writing it.  More on that later!

 

Before I had even showered yesterday morning the Lord had already spoken deep conviction into my soul.  By the time I got to the shower I knew I needed more than a physical washing.

The past week has been incredibly unproductive for me.  Discouragement began to settle on me early in the week & I allowed myself to sink into a nothingness mode on a daily basis.  My perspective was way out of whack & in turn, my attitude was rotten.  Of course, instead of feeling apologetic to those around me I felt sorry for my own self.  I was having a full-fledged, week-long pity party.

To make matters worse, some of my people were experiencing extra happiness & had a spirit of celebration.  This sent me into a downward spiral of self-pity by the week’s end.   This is that place of “woe is me” & “why them” & “why not me” & “it’s not fair”.  Surely you’ve visited this unlovely place from time to time?  It is the lonely land of the perpetual whine.  Maybe whyne instead of whine?

True to form, my Lord & Savior, my Teacher & Friend, my longsuffering Father answered my questions.  Among all of His amazingness is faithfulness.  Even when it’s not what I want to hear He is faithful & true.

He answered me with Matthew 25:14-30 & with these quotes from Erwin McManus’ Uprising:

“God entrusts us with His resources & then holds us accountable for what we do with them.”

“…he distributed the resources according to each individual’s ability.  He didn’t give them more than they were capable of managing well.” (in reference to the master in Matt. 25:14-30)

In a painful few moments, God revealed my laziness.  Let me insert here that I despise laziness.  Needless to say, I was very offended that my Master called me lazy.  Me.  Ouch.  He didn’t stop there, but continued to show me that I’ve not managed some gifts in my life very well.  I’ve proven myself to be incapable & not ready.

Have you heard Christine Caine’s message on passing the baton of faith?  I’ve heard it twice, but delivered to two different audiences.  I’d recommend the Liberty University address for younger folks getting started & the Catalyst one for folks already in leadership roles.  Frankly, I’d recommend either one for anybody!

When I saw these messages a while back I nodded in full agreement.  I’m still in full agreement, but sadly having to admit that I’m the one who would drop the baton.  At 40 years of age & 35 years of those as a believer I’m still struggling with my position in the exchange zone (listen to Christine’s message!).  I’m like the servant in Matthew 25 who has not been a good steward of everything the Lord has given to him.  In addition to my disgust for laziness, I’m also disturbed by fear among believers.  However, here I am holding back where I should be moving forward & I dare say it’s because of fear.

Conviction is not pretty & it’s tough to swallow, but I’m so thankful for it!  He disciplines those He loves!  He disciplines His own!  Though I regularly shower, there are unseen impurities that need to be washed away!  Though I regularly stay in God’s Word & prayer,  there are unseen impurities that need to be washed away!  Without the Holy Spirit’s light on the dirty places of my life I would remain the same & eventually develop a stench.  My desire is to be faithful & to invest wisely, to be ready & to be positioned well, to be clean & to smell good!

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”   2 Corinthians 2:14

How about you?  Any hard convictions lately?

begin

wow. was that directed at me? is today the day? the time to begin?

i keep putting off beginning this blog. i’m ready to do it. i can see it in action.

but beginning. beginning seems to be the hardest part.

so today (although a day late to the party) i suppose i will begin.

go ahead, tonya. just do it.

this must be the thing stopping you. this blasted beginning.

begin. don’t look back. just begin.

this is true for everything, isn’t it? the beginning is what gets us. if we never begin, we never….

begin writing. begin serving. begin running (again). begin a new church. begin. begin. begin.

the discovery is that I’ve not begun. what’s been holding me back & had me frazzled for days? what’s keeping me crazy when i know exactly where i want to go?

here it is.

it’s the beginning.