january 24th

Ok y'all. Time for another long post. I took this picture yesterday but I felt the need to post it today because of what God's been laying on my heart the past few days. I took this at One Community Church after the service.

 Yesterday was the last Sunday in a series the church was doing on the beatitudes. The last verse has Jesus blessing those who are persecuted in His name. Now the word persecute makes me nervous (since I prefer to be a wallflower as I'm sure we all do to some degree), so you can imagine how convicted I was when the pastor emphasized how important it is for us to be in the center of God's will (he used the analogy of being in the center of a boxing ring). When we are right where God wants us to be--in the center--we will be an easy target to hit. It's so much easier for Satan and the world to attack us when we're in the limelight--the middle of the boxing ring--than if we're creeping in the corners or on the sides of the boxing ring. But if we're on the side, we aren't fulfilling God's perfect plan for us in its entirety. Peter reminds us not to be surprised when hardship comes our way; that's just a sign that we're doing something right!

As if that isn't enough to think about and get the spirit moving, our convo speaker this morning was from India. He is currently on bail in his country and is allowed only 21 days here in the States. He's helped plant 44 THOUSAND churches in India, leads a Bible institute, and teaches Muslim orphans about Christ (97% of whom become missionaries! Convicted yet?) He's been almost killed 11 times (I can't remember the exact number but it was definitely double digits). Talk about being in the center of God's will! And here I am complaining about getting only six hours of sleep, having too many books to read for school, not having enough pairs of skinny jeans, the list could go on.

If our reason for existing is to glorify God, does any of that stuff even matter? Does it matter whether I wear skinny jeans or sweatpants as long as I'm honoring God with my life? Do I really need to care if I don't fit in with the popular crowd or if someone makes fun of me because I don't drink and party? My life is not my own. I made that choice 16 years ago when I accepted Christ into my heart. So who cares what people think of me as long as I'm living in the center of God's will? Soooo much easier said than done, but I just wanted to put things into perspective.

I wrote way more than I intended... if you made it this far, congratulations, you get a gold star. I hope God speaks to your heart the way He did mine... if we all started living in the center of His will, imagine how different this place would be! Just something to think about today.

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