Great and Unsearchable Things

Things the Lord gives me, and then I write them.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Temptation to Return

     It' s 5:42 am, on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. I'm the only one awake. My dog is laying on the kitchen floor. My husband is asleep in our room, while my 6 year old grandson is asleep in another room. I am sitting here thinking about some things and wondering if I should write them or not. It seems like my blog is becoming my personal journal, and perhaps it is inappropriate to display myself like this. When I do, my hopes are that sharing my thoughts will atleast help one person who either may be struggling with similar thoughts, or that God will use my sharing in some good way unbenownst to me.
     So, I launch out. I am feeling left out, lonely and wondering if I am being judged by others who know that my husband and I don't celebrate Christmas. It's not a long stretch for men, I don't think, to just let it go, but for women, who have grandchildren, and who love all the decorating and baking and things like that, it is. There are emotions tied to the whole scenerio, and this is what creates such a stronghold.
     We haven't celebrated it in many years, but this year, somehow, there is something in me which hasn't died, that has wanted to buys gifts, atleast for my grandchildren. And then, there is that nagging thought that says, "For gosh sakes, it's about celebrating the reality that Jesus came to earth to die for us, isn't it? What in the world is wrong with that?" Other questions I haven't been able to lay to rest are, "Are you just denying yourself all of this, because you are trying to be different? Do you think you are better than others by doing so? Do you think you are more esteemed in the eyes of God?" These unresolved questions besiege me deep inside. I want to be confident in the "what and the why" of our decision in this area, and others which we have believed have been prompted by the Holy Spirit.
     I want to know that it is totally God's will as it seemed I had been more sure years back, but now suddenly these doubts have resurfaced, and the closer it comes to Christmas day, the stronger the doubts become. I did feel free to decorate on my front porch with a small display in my wheelbarrow of a "winter scene." I do love to decorate. Tomorrow night we are having our family over for a supper, just so that we can get together. There will be no gift exchange, only eating and fellowshipping together. Then Christmas day we have invited an older friend over to eat with us, because she doesn't have any family to be with.  Yesterday I bought some flowers and other decorating items, half-off to make a centerpiece with, and I really enjoyed that. So, I have done a very few things I felt free to do this year, but I know it is not a gate to do more each year, but to just do these things only from now on, or maybe not. Again, it's  following the Holy Spirit's voice for our lives, being willing to let anything go.
     There is a writing by G.D. Watson, which I have felt sums up the path God has me on, describing the life He's called me to. He has called us out of many things in this world, which most of other Christians participate in, so these doubts and feelings I am having this year, is probably, once again the enemy trying to lure me back into celebrating Christmas. If he would succeed, I feel that it would definately be a kind of "backsliding" for me.
     Yesterday, I thought I heard God whisper in my spirit telling me that He is using us as a standard for others to see in how the consuming parts of Christmas can be put away, and instead showing them how the good parts can be retained. We are being seen by others to sort of convict them in their indulgences, and in that role, I am feeling some of the fallout. Anytime, we walk in a way that challenges the status quo of an institutional stronghold, there will be consequences, even severe attacks within or without to attempt to stop doing it and return back to the vomit. That is what I am experiencing.
     Below is that writing, which has described my life in the Lord. Some have said that only certain people are called to this kind of consecrated life. (As the author is suggesting with the title, so I don't agree totally to it's content. It does however describe what a consecrated life might look or feel like.) I say all who are His, are called to it. Read it, and you decide, or better yet, ask the Lord.

Others May; I Cannot
by G.D. Watson

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
"If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. God’s call will put such demands of obedience on you that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians. At times, He will let other people do things which He will not let you do.
Other Christians who seem very religious will push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans. You cannot, and if you attempt it, you will meet with failure and rebuke from the Lord.
Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you to despise yourself and all your good works.
Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor. God wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may demonstrate His faithful love for you in supplying your needs day by day.
God may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity in order to produce some fragrant fruit for His coming glory which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it now. The reward for your work is held in the hands of Jesus and you will not see it until He comes.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you with a jealous love. He will rebuke you for the little words and feelings or for wasting your time. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He does not owe you an explanation of these mysteries. But if you give yourself to be His child, He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and give you the precious blessings for those who belong, heart and soul, to Him.
Settle it forever, then, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit. It is His option to tie your tongue, or chain your hand, or close your eyes in ways that He does not seem to use with others. And when you are so possessed by the living God that your heart delights over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of Heaven."

As I reread this, I see that I have not "settled it forever" and this opening is what is being used to try and get to me to come back and drink of the cup of self-indulgence and participate in spiritual adultery, as God has shown us.  But, I also see that I am closer now than when I first began. Each temptation overcome, brings us that much closer to "settling" the fact that God is God, and as the writing says, "He has a right to do as He pleases with His own." I desire to rejoice in whatever it is that He decides, and to trust Him completely with my life in this way.

If you are still with me, tomorrow I will write in more detail of the blasphemies the Lord has shown us of Christmas.


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