Sola Deo Gloria

7:30 AM

In general, girls wake up and stare blearily at the wall, blocking out the sunshine, blocking out the world. I admit that it's sometimes lovely to just scrunch up in my bunk bed, bedraggingly sleepy.

But it's more fun to think. And I thought today. I woke up, with the sunshine tiptoeing in beneath the shades, and I imagined I was talking to a friend. Don't know what friend. Just a friend. And she asked me why I wear skirts. (No, I won't belabor the point.) I told her, "Because I like being pretty and feminine." Not for religious reasons? I was going to say no -- but then I wasn't so sure.

Where did I get that notion of prettiness and femininity? It's different from the models at JCPenney.

Then (still dreamy) I wondered if there was any preference or conviction or opinion I had that hadn't, in some way or other, been influenced by the gospel of Christ. Now, surely, I am not flawlessly conformed; but I couldn't think of anything that couldn't be traced back to something I got from my Lord Jesus.

As I put up the dishes that morning, I kept thinking Take every thought captive. Take every thought captive.

I tend to not understand the verses that are quoted frequently. But I thought of that and I thought of not I, but Christ who lives in me.

And I got it.

If we are Christ's, we quickly learn that Jesus isn't a pet Santa Claus to guide us on our path and pour sunshine on our souls. He is the way; that is, we follow a new path -- a totally new path -- a path that could not be taken by anyone but a person saved by grace.

If we are Christ's, we will also quickly learn that Jesus isn't a self-help guide to fix up a sinful person. He crucifies and brings back to life: that's His specialty. He isn't interested in getting us back on our feet; He's all about getting us to depend on Him.

If that's true, then there should not be an area of our life that isn't conformed to Jesus Christ. I am not advocating we put together little rulebooks with a bunch of do's and don't's backed by out-of-context Scriptures. I mean that we learn to love best what Christ loves best -- that we value what He values -- that we change the lens of our outlook and see the world differently.

Sometimes it means stop sinning. But I think it also means start conforming. Start looking for ways that actively build up our relationship with Christ -- things that unapologetically affirm Christ in our lives -- thoughts that bring us closer to holiness.

It's not about whether it's sin or not. It's not even about if it's good. It's about what is best...for the love of God. If I think this or do that, it may not be sin: it may, in fact, be a good thing. But is it best? Is it what God wants me thinking right now? Is it something that glorifies Him, something that brings Christ to the center and pushes out the folly and flesh of my old self?

Ambiguous, yes, but again, it's not about do's and don't's. With one fell swoop that takes care of legalism and lawlessness both. It's not about rules. It's not about my freedom. It's about turning our hearts to His leading. Conforming. Embracing. Taking every thought captive -- for the glory of God alone.

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3 impressions

  1. Very interesting.... How can you write such amazing posts Bailey! I think I must be hopeless!

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  2. Ah, Bailey, I love how you have such a heart after God's heart. I love that I have a friend who desires truth and righteousness the way you do.

    There is one thing I've noticed that seems to pop up in our conversations frequently and it's quite evident in this post. I think it is extremely important to bring it up because it has set me free in many areas of my life. (get ready for another really long post)

    Jesus said to his disciples (and to us) that when he left this earth, he was going to send a helper in his stead- the Holy Sprit. No doubt that you already know this, but what we all often times don't realize is that, since we are born again, the Holy Spirit is working as our helper and is not always looking to convict us, but to breath through us. We are God’s children- we are so very precious to Him and it pleases Him to work through us. I know that this is one of your major desires, but what are you looking for as a sign from Him? Yes, it could come in many forms, including a thought in our mind or a desire in our heart. If we have died to our selves and our flesh, then we should trust that the Holy Spirit is doing His job to put creative, heavenly desires and thoughts in us.

    It’s not always the flesh speaking to you, although we do at times lose focus and tangle with flesh -that’s when we fight for our minds and take our thoughts captive in the name of Jesus. But keep this in mind: Your ideas are not always flesh ideas, since you are God’s daughter, He instills his own ideas into your heart, mind and spirit. He will lead you, but you’ve gotta keep walking and trusting that not all your ways are bad.

    Absolutely most importantly, remember that you were God’s idea in the first place, He made you to carry out his heart and it does come naturally, it’s in your genes ;) Your passion to lay in bed with sunshine creeping in and have conversations in your head are all a part of His unique design for you, it’s not a default. Have you noticed that you’re kinda very different from everyone else? Does this make sense?

    ~Lindsey

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  3. Lindsey, you brought up a very excellent, beautiful point, which I totally agree with. I would only add this:

    My sign that the Holy Spirit is working within me is when my desires and my life conform to His Word. Now of course I'm not flawless (ha!), but I have seen the Spirit work in that way: I am totally different than who I was. I do realize that my actions are not only different from others but also my heart is too.

    I don't really think (and I hope I don't give the appearance of it!) that everything speaking to me is flesh or sin...but we are called to test the spirits and see which are truly from God. That really was the spirit (excuse the pun) of this post. I don't think we should *automatically* accept good feelings and the like as from God or as being His will (see above post). We should constantly go back to Him in prayer and search the Scriptures rather than an intuition (which may or may not be His Spirit).

    But otherwise I totally agree with you. And I love what you said about His heart is "in our genes," so to speak. Sums our adoption up beautifully. :o)

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