“What is that stench?”

WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOG!-September 1, 2013

For 21 of my 22 years as a born-again Christian I have been “sleep walking.”  Not wishing to go deeper in my relationship with my Lord because, well, lets face it–we go deeper and things have to change.  So I became accustomed to leading a lukewarm life.  I stayed somewhere in the middle most of the time.  Until……..

Disciples In Disguise is not only a tool for encouraging believers in Christ to make “fishers of men”–and women–but also a tool to challenge each of us to pour out onto all whom we come in contact with throughout our normal day-to-day routine, the kindness, mercy, gentleness and love of our Savior.  For the Savior tells us in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this ALL will know  you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Over the past 14 months the Lord has shown me who He is.  Don’t get me wrong.  I knew Jesus as my Savior, worked in His ministry, showed kindness to those who were kind to me and tried to love the unloveable.  Did you catch that?  Showed kindness to those who were kind to me and tried to love the unloveable.  I knew Jesus but because I had not made the effort to find out His true character and what He says about living the Christian life, I was living it half-heartedly.

My day would start out alright.  I would say a quick prayer for good measure, listen to a few Christian songs, do the occasional “Bible study for busy moms” and yell at my kids to hurry up so we can get out the door.  Normal morning, then off to work.  Once at work my feet hit the ground running.  Issues would hit me before I would even make it to my office to set my stuff down.  So then I would give a hug here and a pat on the shoulder there and meet the needs of the ones I was entrusted to and put out fires with the staff.  I had a genuine love and devotion for them all.  But I was exhausted!

The problems came when I couldn’t get my work completed.  Too many distractions in the form of phone calls and interruptions.  People’s expectations of me would fuel my frustrations.  I felt as though I was doing all I could and still spinning my wheels and nobody saw the smoke signals.  I’m sure I could keep mustering up another smile or another hug but the want-to wasn’t there most days.  I was trying way too hard in my own abilities and though the job would get done, persons were ministered to and helped, all I was really doing was burning rubber and making bald tires.  Ever smelled burned, worn out rubber? It stinks.  It stunk to my Lord too.

He saw straight into my heart, my very thoughts and ways.  1 Corinthians 13 told me that if true love isn’t behind my efforts–true love--then all I have accomplished will have gained me nothing.  Nothing.  I don’t want to give my Jesus nothing.  Especially a nothing that stinks! I want to give Him my all! My first fruits.  My all in all.

Is this just me? Or have you had the same experience? Maybe for only a few months? Weeks? If you have not struggled with this maybe you shouldn’t be reading this blog.  I should be asking you for advice and to post as a guest for me.  But if you have, or you do, read on.

My Holy Father allowed circumstances to intervene on my complacent path.  Through this He showed me what He expects of His children.  He has brought me through some really tough lessons along the way and believe me, I’m still learning but the rewards of feeling His presence by my side has been worth it.  Really KNOWING Jesus is worth it.

I pray the honesty of my struggles will encourage you as you  take the journey of being a Christian one step further.  The challenge of becoming an effective disciple for the Kingdom of God.  Some days will be rougher than others but each day walking with Jesus as He leads is a good day.  And I will come alongside of you as we all learn to become fishers of men….and women of course.

Please know I want to hear from you.  Your feedback is valuable to me.  Look for a post once a week.  As I continue this process I will include new information and resources on my blog site. Have a good week and we will talk next Sunday.

-Michelle

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