My husband and I had a date day yesterday. You know the kind, where you get to go run errands and go to the grocery store alone. We did actually eat two meals out and hit a movie too. It was a very nice day. We also stopped in for a while at a home show that was being held at the Expo Center. I love looking through building projects, landscaping, and the like. I dream of pergolas over my back porch and marble counter-tops that I’ve never had the privilege to live with.
Things that I know are simple material lush-ness that I truly don’t want to pay for nor own. I just dream of them. So why do I dream about them?
[side note: if you have marble counter-tops please do not read this as though I am condemning you! I know nothing about your heart. Only God can judge that! But I do know my own heart, and what God has spoken to me in His tender mercies.]
I think it is my old flesh that has been trumped by my new creation self that God has been building up. He is renewing my mind. Those dreams are just a reminder of who I am no longer, of who I used to be, and of my great and loving God who didn’t leave me there in that mess.
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:24-27 ESV)
Repaid for what we have done? I thought we were living under grace! I thought I could have my Jesus and my marble countertops too!
But somehow, in the mystery that is God, He took my dreams of material, fools-gold and replaced them with His will and His Kingdom purposes. They don’t tell you these things when you sign on as a Christian! I mean really, now that I can afford those things, I don’t want them. I don’t want life to be all about me, my children, my house and possessions. I’ve been spending the past few weeks slowly sorting through the STUFF that I have acquired to determine what is necessary to use and what is just taking up space that might benefit and bless others if I choose to let go of it.
Maybe one day I will be able to walk through a home show and not drool and touch the marble counter-tops. But this is a slow work in progress. Laying down my old dreams and picking up the cross of Jesus Christ. This is His life in me. One chip at a time as the master potter remakes this useless vessel into something that can be used for His eternal Kingdom. He is shaping me to resemble Jesus. How blessed I am!
This passage in Matthew 16 comes just after Jesus tells Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23 ESV)
Lord God, may You ever keep my mind fixed on the things of God. It is a daily battle that I cannot win without the power of Your Holy Spirit! Thank You God for changing not only my mind but my heart as well. Amen.
I will continue to choose God. I will continue to take up my cross and deny myself. I will continue to be joyful in what God has blessed me with. His blessings in my life have been beyond measure. May God in heaven receive all the glory. God will repay you for what you have done. Be encouraged. It will be better than the marble counter-tops! Press on.