Chastening

11:08:00 AM





Ouch.
God is so good.
And so merciful to me for not letting me sit in all of my ugliness, and failing, and immaturity. And I'm very thankful.
Sunday night prayer nights have been really good- in a very real way. Not in some feeling. Not in some weird emotion driven thing. In my real life I am seeing God work. In my heart. He's literally going straight to my heart and opening my eyes to all that I am not and all that He is and how incredible His grace is to me.

You see, I said this prayer three Sunday Nights ago...and it went like this "Lord search me and know my heart and see if there is any wicked way in me..."
Well guess what He did. He answered that prayer (do you ever pray and than instantly kind of me be like- um never mind Lord I didn't really mean to pray that if you were going to answer that!!!)
Well, I'm really genuinely glad He did answer that. But it has seriously been a constant wrestling with the Lord. I want my life to be my own, you see. I think that I have some right to it. That I actually own it or something crazy like that.

You see. When I prayed for revival- really I wanted God to take me and my friends and the pastors that I liked and to put us on some pedestal and to really just work in us and really it was just about my glory- um yikes. So wrong. And so not what God is doing. And so He's literally ripping that out of me. Humbling me. Changing my desires. Changing me.
I've been really struggling with my right to myself- I mean, my time was my time, right? And I mean, I had time for God in my life- but I'd sectioned it off for my convenience. He didn't seriously want all of my life right? Wasn't I giving Him enough of it- He had Monday nights, Wednesday nights, Thursday afternoons, Most Friday nights and sometimes Saturdays when I did ministry and a lot of Sunday and also part of everyday when I would spend some alone time with Him- but seriously, I literally would say to God, "during the day is my time, Lord" and I really was holding onto it. Did He really want my whole heart? My whole life?
But I struggled. Because I was scared. I was scared that He would really want me to run to Him for all of my satisfaction. I was scared He'd call me to actually give things up- tv? movies? books? what if He told me to stop completely- don't I have some right to myself????!!!!
Anyway, I'd wrestle and wrestle and wrestle with God.

Come Monday Night. I was very busy cleaning up after College and Career Coffee and Tea Ministry (basically my friend Sara and I serve coffee and baked goods to our college and career group) and my dear friend Chantale comes up to me while I'm carrying the pots back to the kitchen.
My friend Chantale was saved just a little over a year ago. November 2nd will be the anniversary of the day we met when she came to college and career and I met her and the Lord has used her to just remind so many of us of God's abilty to save the lost (she came from a completely secular background- and knew nothing about God or the Bible) and what it looks like to go from complete darkness to light.
Anyway, she is pretty nervous and fumbling a bit with her words so once we're in the kitchen I stop moving around so I can listen to her. She holding her Bible and finally is like "You know I struggle with knowing God's voice or not but for awhile now I've felt like I needed to talk to you" and she goes on to say that she's been reading through Thessalonians and whenever the word "Idleness" came up for some reason she thought of me and felt like God kept telling her to bring it up to me and she read me the verses in Thessalonions (which are actually very harsh)
Well go ahead Lord and cut me to the core and humble me all in one night, why don't you???
But honestly God is incredible.
At first I was like, what? And than the Lord just confirmed it to my heart.
Idleness. Laziness.
My sin- that is what it is. I wanted to call it some huge thing. I knew something between me and the Lord was wrong but I kept trying to find some big thing seeking God for what it was- when really- it was something very simple. Pure laziness.
Wow.
And the Lord knew I never could have recieved it from a different friend. Chantale seriously was so loving and humble and fearful in coming to be about it- and she loved me enough to do and loved the Lord enough to obey HIm and I'm so thankful.
And I feel like my eyes are open to how seriously WASTEFUL I have been with my days, with the way I've lived my life. How many hours have I spent watching tv in my grandmom's room and sleeping my mornings away and ugh it's just awful.
But my pride keeps trying to make it's ugly head pop up-
It's trying to make excuses for myself- oh it's awful- "Doesn't she know that I am Tiffany Doran- I take care of my grandmom"
And what- am I going to stand before God on the last day and say "I took care of my grandmom" when I have to account for my actions. What does that mean when taking care of grandmom accounts for literally only a fraction of my time- sure I have to be at home, but I spend so much time just sitting around doing NOTHING!!!!

The Lord has just encouraged me so much with Hebrews 12
He chastens me because He loves me. He's not going to let me stay this way. I'm so thankful.

" Are you willing to obey your Lord and Master, whatever the humiliation to your right to yourself may be?
Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you. You were looking for some big thing to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go. But behind that tiny thing lies the stronghold of obstinacy, and you say, “I will not give up my right to myself”— the very thing that God intends you to give up if you are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ."
My Utmost for His Highest- Oswald Chambers Sept 24th

"It is very easy to grieve the Spirit of God; we do it by despising the discipline of the Lord, or by becoming discouraged when He rebukes us. If our experience of being set apart from sin and being made holy through the process of sanctification is still very shallow, we tend to mistake the reality of God for something else. And when the Spirit of God gives us a sense of warning or restraint, we are apt to say mistakenly, “Oh, that must be from the devil.”
“Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19), and do not despise Him when He says to you, in effect, “Don’t be blind on this point anymore— you are not as far along spiritually as you thought you were. Until now I have not been able to reveal this to you, but I’m revealing it to you right now.” When the Lord disciplines you like that, let Him have His way with you. Allow Him to put you into a right-standing relationship before God.
“. . . nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.” We begin to pout, become irritated with God, and then say, “Oh well, I can’t help it. I prayed and things didn’t turn out right anyway. So I’m simply going to give up on everything.” Just think what would happen if we acted like this in any other area of our lives!
Am I fully prepared to allow God to grip me by His power and do a work in me that is truly worthy of Himself? Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me— sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me. But He has to get me into the state of mind and spirit where I will allow Him to sanctify me completely, whatever the cost (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)."
Oswald Chambers August 14th

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