I love makeup. I mean literally LOVE IT! It is one thing that got me through my last semester of nursing school. I would take breaks from studying and watch videos on YouTube of women doing their makeup. It honestly kept me sane. From that time to now I have found a true love for makeup and the artistry associated with applying it flawlessly. It takes true skill and practice.
Makeup for some women is a saving grace when they have blemishes or scars. Makeup can truly transform a person. Outside but sometimes inside as well by boosting confidence.
Sometimes we use this same technique when it comes to our faith walk. We can pretty everything up when we are on social media. We can quote the best scriptures. Take pictures of our quiet time with Christ. Check in on Facebook at our various places of worship. We can make it seem as if our Christian walk is on point. We can appear FLAWLESS... On the outside our walk is BEAT. But what about our hearts?
I was having a conversation with a friend today about the movie "War Room" (awesome movie, might I add). We specifically focused on one particular part where one of the characters discussed being lukewarm. Now if you don't know what lukewarm is. It's straddling the fence. It's being dead in the middle. It's quoting scripture but cursing in the next breath. Watching porn while asking God to forgive you. When you look at these different scenarios it's obvious that they just don't mesh. That's where the tug comes. What are you going to do? Are you going to be hot or cold? Are you fully into Christ or fully out of Him? Because there is not an in between.
2 Timothy 3:5... They will go on pretending to be devoted to God, but they will refuse to let that "devotion" change the way they live. Stay away from these people. This word is literally saying the people that "makeup" their christian walk on the outside but never let it penetrate their heart we should stay away from. God does not want us, people who are trying to further their walk, being influenced by those that don't know what they want to do. And more importantly He does not want a halfhearted individual "serving" Him but steadily loving the world. He does not care what's cool right now. His concern is our full, devout love for Him.
Yes... I know it is a struggle. I know that it takes effort. I mean, I love Kanye, Drake, Kendrick Lamar... I would love to listen to their music daily. BUT one thing I have learned about me in this renewed spiritual walk... I can't. I know my limits. I know how it affects me. I know that my mindset changes. That might seem silly to some and for a long time I thought it was ridiculous. I had to put it in perspective though. I had to look at it through God's eyes. It's like he is fighting with those artist for attention. If I am letting those lyrics into my heart then it's pushing His words out. Nah... I'm good. Drake ain't gone be at the gates judging me. BUT that's just me!
I say this to tell you that we all struggle. We all have our vices. I don't really struggle with wanting to club and party, but some people do. Some people struggle with drinking entirely too much, others with cursing a lot. Whatever it may be, these things hold us back from fully giving our hearts to God. You may say, Brittany come on now. I still go to church. I still know God is good to me. I pray over my food and I pray sometimes when times when I realized how blessed I am. And that's great. BUT there is no way you can truly witness ( our sole purpose as a Christian) if you are cursing in every other word and quoting scripture a few minutes later. Who will truly take you seriously? No one.
It is really easy when we stand in the pews at church and talk about how God good is. But is that truly in your heart... Or are you just fronting? Are you angry in your heart? Are you hurting in your heart? Are you just covering up those feelings with foundation? Are you concealing the scars of forgiveness, lies, deceit, pornography? Are you praising God at church because your heart is truly full or are you doing it out of formality? And a better question are you praising God outside of church? Is He only getting you one day out the week? Is that all HE is worth?
Sometimes these questions are hard to answer because we don't want to be straight up with ourselves. But let me tell you a little secret. No matter how much you lie to yourself... GOD ALWAYS KNOWS.
So at some point we all have to choose. We all have to decide. The world or Christ. We can't keep making up our Christian walk to look so flawless on the outside when our hearts are so clouded on the inside. God does not want half of your heart so you can use the other half to harbor resentment or anger. He want's it all. He does not want you to have more faith in your bank account than Him. He wants all of you. He does not want to fight with the world for you. Being lukewarm makes Him more upset than you being totally against Him. (Rev. 3:16) He is not for prettied up Christian walks on social media. He wants to get all the grime and residue off your heart. He wants exfoliate your heart. (Psalm 51:10). He wants a clean heart and a renewed spirit in Him.
Pursue Him. Not this world. Stop fronting. Stop concealing. Live for Him and Him alone.
Will You Be Ready?
Our generation is a "go get it" generation. We are constantly chasing relationships, money, happiness. Constantly yearning for more. We do all we can to one up or to catch up, for that matter. We have such a fast pace mindset. Almost to the point where "waiting" for things to happen is foreign to us.
Lately, I have been hearing more of what "I" want and when I want it and a lot less of "God's timing". One huge reason I know this to be the case is because God's timing requires patience. And patience for even the most patient person is hard. Being that we are in the time of "microwave", meaning everything happening fast, patience is something we just don't have a lot of.
Now I didn't come on here to harp about how everything happens in God's timing. Although that is very important. My reason for writing this is to ask a question. A simple, yet very loaded question.
I find it very funny how God talks to me sometimes. Because a lot of times I don't even realize He is speaking to me. I mean I hear things but I never say "oh God just spoke to me". It's not until I sit down to have quiet time with Him or when I sit down with Him to write these blogs that I realize "oh that phrase from three days ago was for this moment". It's amazing how things just mesh.
I say all that because, I was listening to a very famous singer this morning... John P Kee. Very awesome man, with a very awesome ministry. The particular song I was listening to was called He'll Welcome Me. The song talks about Living for Christ and when He comes back He will welcome me home with Him. He went through the whole song and said a lot of different things on the verses, the hook and the bridge. But none of those parts stuck out to me like this one particular part did. What stuck out to me is an ad-lib he sang. I love when singers ad-lib in songs. To me, it's the flavor of the song. I feel like they say things that come straight from the heart because a lot of times it is random. This particular ad-lib was at the very end of the song and if I wouldn't have been paying attention I would have missed it. Now, I have heard this song so many times, but this time God brought my attention to him saying "Will You Be Ready?" Now in the sense that he said it He was speaking of, being ready for Christ's return. But the way God tuned my ears to it was different.
So, that's my question for you. Will You Be Ready?
I'm sure you are looking like for what, Brittany? Well you tell me. And in all honesty I'm asking myself, too. All the stuff we want and yearn for. The money. The relationship. All of it. Will we be ready?
If we chase it long enough it might fall in our lap. Will we be ready to handle the responsibilities that follow the things we want so badly? Thinking about it is kind of mind boggling. Because WE don't know what we are ready for. We can just do our best to prepare and hope it's good enough. And that's not what God wants. He wants us to depend on Him for the preparing.
When I was in nursing school I would study for a test for days and feel ready. When I would sit down to take it I would break into tears because I didn't know what I was looking at. Maybe it was because I didn't understand the questions or maybe like most times I had focused on the wrong material, either way it would end up ALL BAD! That's exactly how life is. We study everyone else's life (the wrong material) and say "oh man if I had what so and so has, or if I could be "blessed" with such and such, I would do this like that and that like this". So we run to get it and when it falls in our lap. WE FLUNK! Only to realize too late that with more patience and preparation from God we could have passed with flying colors.
Sometimes we have to flunk so we will realize, "okay God I should have probably consulted with You on that". Sometimes our failure to consult with God can result in some big consequences and some not so big. And thankfully through our consequences we learn.
BUT God would rather us learn by passing the test not failing them.
Our test, test our patience. Almost to the point where sometimes like me you break into tears, but our reliance on Christ allows us to wipe our tears and keep it moving.
As God put patience on my heart He took me to James 5 verse 10.
"Brothers and sisters, follow the example of the prophets who spoke for the Lord. They suffered many bad things, but they were patient"
In reading this I am reminded of Paul and the disciples. After Christ's resurrection they preached and their preaching led to plenty of suffering and persecution BUT they were patient in it all because their reward in the end was going to be so great.
We should follow this. Let's allow Jesus to take lead. Let's allow Him to do things in His timing. No it won't be easy. But through doing this and following the path He sets out for us we have a VERY strong chance of being ready. We have a better chance of things flowing how God intends for them to. Remember your overall reward will be SO much greater.
So the next time we begin following own course we should ask, "Will I be Ready".
Trust Jesus' plan. Be patient.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.