My Adovah

My Adovah

Friends,

<This article> has brought much needed breath and water into the parched desert of my calling. You may or may not have noticed my absence since May, which was unplanned and honestly, painful. Don’t worry, I’m alright. The kind of pain I mean is the kind of artistic pain that comes with being unable to produce.

Any artist  knows that when the block appears or inspiration runs dry we live in a constant world of – I need to be busy, but can’t. We are listless, unquenched, dry, like a dark night of the writer’s soul.

That I don’t write when this darkness overcomes, is my fault. This concept of Adovah has turned the table on my perspective. “Your adovah, your work, your art, and you are liberated from the bondage of praise power people-pleasing… Striving makes us slaves”

Indeed, I confess, that it was exactly striving that caused me to become exhuasted and frustrated. I began PD as an upside down blogger, as a gift to God first and encouragement second to anyone who needed it. I lost my way amongst comparisons, impractical great ideas and schedules that were too aggressive.

When I fell, I fell hard because my heart was no longer pure. Blog ratings, traffic had seeped into the mix, making it difficult to tell apart service and striving.

And yet, as always out God is merciful and faithful to continue his call on me to keep writing, even as days, weeks, months have gone by without so much as a journal entry, he knew what I needed because I’m beginning to suspect that it’s not actually writing I’ve been needing to do, but the sanctifying work of Adovah – my service, my art, my worship.

New life

New life

“and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”

Colossians 1:20

True, Jesus came to save us from the consequences of our sin, but did you realize that was only part of his mission?

Jesus did not end his mission by dying on the cross. On the 3rd day he rose again into a new kind of life. When we decide to live according to Jesus’ will we die to our old ways and come into a new kind of life too.

Some people stop their Christian journey at the point of accepting forgiveness. They simply coast through life, expecting to be saved without making any effort to turn from their sin. I confess that my actions and attitude frequently fall into this category.

“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor 5:17)

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Application:

  • In which ways are you still living out your old life ways?
  • How do you struggle in changing?
  • Take a moment and talk to God about those struggles. He is overjoyed when you speak with him truly with an open heart, and he wants to give you courage and strength, all you have to do is ask!

“For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”

Romans 6:4

When is God good?

Is God good when I get what I want? Is He still good when I don’t get what I want?

At first glance, I want to say  “All the time”. But wait, is that true for me? Do I actually live my life like God is good, or do I stomp my feet and cry like a petulant child when I don’t get my way? This is a question that takes some soul-searching.

In this season of my life I just can’t seem to get over the very logical fact that I do not have the same life path as others. I have plans for myself that very obviously are not the same God has in mind for me. I know this because if they were, they would have happened already.

I’m struggling to accept it and work on myself and keep up the faith in the mean time, but my selfish childish voice inside can’t understand it. My being is absolutely divided-I want but cannot have.

Habakkuk 2:1-3

2 I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.[a]

The Lord’s Answer

Then the Lord replied:

“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald[b] may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it[c] will certainly come
and will not delay.

Battling Discontentment

I don’t hate my job, but some days I get frustrated. Like, really frustrated. After a bad day as a tech support agent, I find myself grumbling that I shouldn’t even be here. It was supposed to be an entry-level, temporary position — a placeholder until my “real life” began. Well, turns out, God had other plans.

Maybe you understand all too well what it’s like to be in a situation that doesn’t exactly knock your socks off. Sometimes we all feel like our daily lives are a boring, desert wasteland. “My job just isn’t important enough to make a difference,” I think, “Paul told us that whether we eat or drink to do everything to the glory of God, but his calling really was for the Glory of God, while mine seems to be ‘answer the phone and bear the brunt of strangers’ anger and plain meanness’. What does tech support have to do with my ultimate great commission which is to live a godly life and lead others to christ? What gives?!”

Discontentment is a judgement call on our situation. It’s a dark fog that obscures our view of God and encourages all kinds of dangerous attitudes, including doubt, envy, and grumbling. The truth becomes smaller and smaller, while evil thoughts of the heart become larger and more looming.

So what do we do when these thoughts plague us?

I understand that when these thoughts strike, it’s almost never our first instinct to cry out to God. But God’s light scatters the dark and disorderly thoughts. It helps me to methodically run through four simple truths:

  1. God is good, faithful, and true (Ps 107:1; Jn 14:6; 1 Cor 10:13)
  2. God loves me and desires to teach and correct me (Heb 12:1-13)
  3. God hates grumbling (Num 14:26-35)
  4. My appropriate response is to God is thankfulness and praise (1 Thes 5:18; Ps 106:1)

Our feelings are fleeting and a natural result of our brokenness.  David’s prayers were nothing short of human: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Ps 43:5). So don’t beat yourself up over your shortcomings, God knows. I like to think of these are life preservers that won’t let you sink while you make it to higher ground.

More ammo:

  • Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature… and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Col 3:5,9)
  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord (James 1:23)
  • Do everything without complaining or arguing (Phil 2:14)
  • The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees (Psalm 25:10)
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4)
  • For the word of the LORD holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust (Ps 33:4)
  • O Lord, Your loving-kindness goes to the heavens. You are as faithful as the sky is high (Psalm 36:5)

Whatever your brand of discontent may be, I’m praying for you, friends. Remember to cast everyone on Him because He cares for you!

How can I rejoice in trials?

Psalm 62:5-7

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

As I continue to struggle with this question, I am starting to discover a new interpretation of the word “joy” (Noun): To maintain an inner steadiness and quiet patience from trusting God’s goodness and promises. You don’t have to dance and shout in order to be joyful. Joy can simply come from an inner knowledge and confidence in God’s faithfulness.

Being Christian is not supposed to be easy, and I take great comfort in understanding today, that his power is made perfect in my weakness. The very fact of our trust in discomfort and struggle is proof that God’s Spirit is in us; for in my own flesh I do not and cannot desire him.

1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Psalm 12:6
And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.

Psalm 66:10
For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

Isaiah 48:10
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

Jeremiah 9:7
Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?

Daniel 11:35
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

Zechariah 13:9
This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’”