Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Life-Long Growth

But we humanly represent the Lord Jesus. Are you representing Him in a way that causes girls to want to be ladies- like you?  
Jesus chose to use people. That is special. You can always be what the Lord wants. and as you are challenged and excited about becoming that lady, you will never feel old. Be someone special.  
Whether you are in a rest home or whether you are a young mother with several kids, let God add to your life. You can love women and girls as you have never before loved them. 
These are several quotes by Marlene Evans from one of her speeches to ladies. For several years I've been pursuing the idea of being "God's lady."  And I've found examples in books and real life of what this looks like. I don't write a ton about it because I have so far to go but it's a dream that motivates me to study, to learn, to grow. I don't want to be your average, run-of-the-mill lady. Not even your average Christian lady.

The more I realize the truth- that others look at me and judge Jesus- the more I realize life is a serious business. (And I mean "judge" as exactly that. They are going to look at God's people and, based on what we show, decide if they want anything to do with Him.) It does matter what I do. I can't just say, "It's not hurting anybody but me," and do whatever I want. It matters who I am. 

It's time to be somebody special, different. And then tell people that the difference is Jesus. I'm not anything by myself. But all the people in the Bible were just that- people. Jesus chose to use people and He can change us into what He needs us to be. 

photo courtesy of digidreamgrafix/

My favorite part of the quotes at the top is "let God add to your life." I do a pretty sad job adding to myself. I can't keep it up very long. But if God adds it, it can stick. It can become part of who I am. 

He can transform my attitudes. He can change my tone and my words. He can prioritize my schedule and my work. He can soften all my rough edges. He can transplant His love into my heart so it spills over. He can give me willing hands for the work He's put before me. He can give me the strength I need to stand in tough times. He can give me compassion for the hurting, a burden for the lost. He can instill joy and peace into my heart. 

How does this adding happen? Being in the Bible. Praying. Listening to sermons. Serving. Loving. Working. We're back to the 'learn something new, then work it out' routine. Internal, then external. 

I could try to fix the outside. I have tried to fix the outside before. You know what happens? I put up a pretty front for a while, maybe in front of someone I want to impress. But it's not real. It's not real because it's not what my family gets. And who we are at home is who we really are.  But Jesus can change who I am. I just have to yield myself to Him. 

The best news is that this process will take my whole life. I don't have to attain perfection and then keep it. I can look back over the past few years and see some ways that I have really changed. Nothing major from the outside maybe unless you know what to look for but I know it's there on the inside. 

And I'm changing in some ways now. It's hard. It's a lot of dying to self and begging God for help because I can't do it without Him. It's a lot of apologies when I mess up. It's a lot of getting back up and trying again. At one point I expected a smoother path to growth. When God added I thought it would just "zap" and be there. But that's not how it's worked in my life. As He reveals, I must obey. Every day getting up and reading. Praying. Looking at who He wants me to be. And then living. Obeying. Dying to self and saying yes to Him. 

That's change. That's a lifelong road to being like Jesus. It's today. It's tomorrow. It's every day I wake up. 

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