Tuesday, June 10, 2003

so, i've decided to integrate BLOGGER into my website for my journal, because i found that i wasn't updating it all too often, since i had to always be at MY computer to edit it - this way, i can add to it whenever. WAY MORE FUN. and yes, then i won't only update it like every few weeks.

anyway, lately i really have felt that God has been calling me to be way more disciplined than i have been being - whether that be with my money, with my thoughts and reactions to terribly annoying people and situations, with my sleeping habits, and especially my devotions. it must be be at least a couple of months since i have actually done my devotions regularly, every day. as of late, it's been so sporadic, and it's really affecting the rest of my life (SURPRISE!)

so, in having truly made up my mind to combat my complacency, deciding last night, today i had such a difficult and heavy day. working was so hard, and it was really hard to feel motivated. i kept searching my mind as to why. it certainly wasn't because i didn't have enough sleep. after all, i went to bed early. then it occurred to me about my decision that i had made last night. and since this doesn't make the enemy happy, of course he'd have to oppose me. once i realized that, i felt encouraged, although the heaviness didn't lift. i felt encouraged because i was doing the right thing and suddenly there was challenge back in my life rather than the dumb, mindless coasting i have been doing over the last couple of months.

okay - and then get this: in my devotions today, it was like God was rebuking me huge. this again, made me feel encouraged because who does he discipline if isn't those he loves? (cf. Prov. 3:12). I'm reading Jeremiah, a good Old Testament (which I hardly touch). the heading is "Israel forsakes God".

vs. 5 "they followed worthless idols/ and became worthless themselves..."
i am only making myself as worthless as the things i'm chasing. whether that's some ideal perfection as i push myself at the gym, or see what kind of name i can make for myself in anything i do, it's nothing. absolutely nothing. especially when i compare it to the relationship i'm dropping with God to chase these sorts of things.

vs. 8 "the priests did not ask, 'where is the Lord?'"
the PRIESTS of Israel forgot Him! they who dealt with the law, the law that reflects who God is, His holiness, completely neglected Him! and they still didn't recognize His absence from Israel. and this hit me especially hard since i work at church, where the things of God, people who have dedicated their lives to serving Him in this capacity are in such close proximity, that I have "forgotten God". I haven't been looking for Him asking, "Where is the Lord?" in my own life, and even in my work.

v. 19b "consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me"
yeah, i'm losing the awe of God. how'd this happen? that's when you don't keep God in your focus at all times. think about it. when you're confronted with God, it's IMPOSSIBLE to not be in awe of Him. but if you remove yourself from being confronted with Him, it's easy to be familiar with your own experience of Him within your own memories. everyone needs to be confronted with him afresh everyday so that we would never lose sight of how AWESOME He really is.

v. 28 "where then are the gods you made for yourselves? let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble!"
what is that we replace God with daily? are they ANYTHING when we are in trouble? can we turn to work when we're in trouble? can we turn to friends? to mentors? to money? to possessions? to ourselves, and our intelligence? what is my life if it isn't completely centered around him?

so yeah, for a long while, i wasn't "getting anything out of" my devotional time... but it was probably because i was doing it SO half-heartedly. i regret it so much now, but i'm not spending too much time regretting. it's such a waste of energy: regret. it's far more constructive to put your energy towards the future, pressing forward to that which you know is right.

i'm out. it's late.
2.18 is definitely past my bedtime, but it was completely worth it.

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