DETOX: Week 3

This week was a good week.  If I could say anything about this week, it is that God is slowly loosening my hands from that which may hold me back from being, living, and going.

Week 3: Giving it All

  • 24th – Today was a good day.  I had the opportunity to speak your word at ANC.  I had the opportunity to hang out with friends and family.  Father, the week approaching is yours, not mine, and I know I still have junk in my soul that gets in the way of being more like your Son…so, please, don’t stop now, and help me not to feel like I’ve arrived
  • 25th – Today, God’s grace was so evident (it always is).  But the way he just allows me to be in the life of those who are so broken is as humbling as it get, especially, when you realize how broken you are.  One of the things God has been, but is currently dealing deeply with me on, is letting go.  Letting go of stuff, ideas of success, felt-needs for life, etc, etc, to be more of who he wants me to be, more easily go and do where he asks me to go and do, and live in such a way that my life is not confined by the ‘needs’ of western-life…I’m not sure what this looks like yet: do I need to sell my house and move to a poorer area so that making sure I make ‘enough’ to pay the bills isn’t a hindrance; do I need to continually be a 1-car family to free up those finances; but I know it is something that will not make much sense to our western-sensibilities…
  • 26th – Today started out as one of those mornings where my soul was simply flooded with peace.  A morning, in which I was extremely grateful, humbled, and excited about that fact that I have Sarah as a wife and best friend, and I have the kids I do…it seems as God strips me the reality that continues to surface, is that my needs are remedied in Him, my family completes the ‘gain’ I search for in this world; and no matter where He calls us, no matter what he asks us to give up, he is the ‘enough’ in it all, and he has given me all I need in His Son, and in my family to love Him and do his work on this earth…God…
  • 27th – I’m not sure what the Father is preparing me to do…maybe it is just bringing me to the point of being his definition of a ‘regular’ Christian.  Some of the these thoughts began last week, some last year, some years ago, but I can’t get them out of my head.  Questions like: “What does running toward Christ & pursuing love look like in daily life?” “If having faith often means, doing what seems crazy to others, where does that leave me?”  “Isn’t something wrong in my life, when my life, as a ‘living-by-faith’ disciple, makes sense to unbelievers?”  When I read Hebrews 11 (often called the Faith Chapter) I see an underlying definition of faith.  Meaning, if faith is living in such obedience that if God doesn’t come through, your are stuck, then I’m missing it.  I look at Abraham – who, by faith offered Isaac…that’s faith, because had God not come through, Abraham is a murder.  I look at Noah, who by faith spent 120 years of his life building an ark…that’s faith, because had God not come through, Noah is a laughing stock, has a ruined reputation, and a truly wasted life.  I look at Moses, who by faith refused to be called a Son of Pharaoh…that’s faith, because had God not come through, Moses basically willingly entered into death row.  Then I look at my life…by faith Matthew….Matthew what?  See if God doesn’t come through in my life, I may be out a couple hundred bucks…do I really long to live by faith?  Here are some texts that I am beginning to struggle with: Do I really trust God enough to give it all to follow him?  And finally, what does this look like in my life: Isaiah 58 and truly pay attention to the wording in verse 10 ‘…pour yourself out…’  Through much of this, some of you may be thinking, “now, Matthew, you are being harsh on yourself, look at all you do…especially look at all you do for those in need…”  Here is the deal, here is what no one can argue, I do NOT pour myself out for the broken, poor, marginalized, and oppressed – I just don’t!  So, I’m left this  morning asking, “Father, where are you calling me to go? Where are you leading me? What does this look like daily?  My desire is to obey, but my other desire is to stay comfortable and simply pretend, but I can’t fool you, I don’t want to be able to fool you, I truly want my life to be one that is poured out…so Father, help me to decrease, loosen my grip on the things of this world: money, fame, security, ideal-achievement, etc.  Turn my hands to aggressively grip the things and people that truly matter to you…help me to take up my cross...”  Here we go!
  • 28th – Today, was really a pretty good day.  This morning, I woke up a bit late, and therefore didn’t really have the time to ‘do’ all the things I do in my ‘quiet time’…so today, I simply just took the scriptures that I am focusing on this week, and slowly went through them, read them, and prayed them.  Sometimes I feel like my hands grip so tightly the things of this world, the order of this work, the ideas, my ideas…sometimes I am simply unsure…  But a good day over all, did a little hanging out with Tray Pruet and Trace Shelton…started a great book, watched a good movie with Serena and Ashton, had an amazing work-out, enjoyed some quiet, and ended the day with Sarah putting Elie to sleep…I’m not sure how a man could ever want more…maybe the only ‘more‘ I want is for the madness to stop, but maybe that doesn’t stop until these verses, this longing for deeper community, for deeper mission begins or deepens…anyway, all-in-all, it was a good day…
  • 29th – I guess I begin today asking, “I realize the early church was obsessed with Jesus, it is obvious.  You see it in how they lived, interacted, handled their possessions, and shared/lived the gospel…BUT, if that is what it looks like to be obsessed with Jesus, then I’m left thinking ‘maybe we only like him or the idea of him a whole lot…'”  Here is the deal, I know I like to say, “I want to be obsessed with Jesus, but I’m not sure that bold statement is really thought out…so, let me say  it this way, ‘I want to want to be obsessed with Jesus….'”  So, Father in the words of Solomon and John, “Don’t give me so much that I begin to forget about you and don’t need faith, but don’t give me so little that I doubt you and our call…Father, help me to decrease so that you may increase…”
  • 30th – I had a great night, last  night with some friends, a much needed night out…I can’t help but but think that the one thing I want to know at the end of my life that I really lived for something, to say at the end of it all, “Father I have completed what it is you created me for…I want that for me, my wife, my kids…that rest is distraction…” I’m not going to spend time on the computer, rather just be with family…

I want to end this week by quote from John Calvin:

For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by His fatherly care, that He is the author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond Him; they will never yield Him willing service.  Nay, unless they establish their complete happiness in Him, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to Him.

RECAP: I know God is calling me to loosen my grip on ‘my’ life.  He is calling me to re-orient my life around what truly matters to Him.  He is calling me to see what I ‘DO’ for him, is not as important as my family, my relationship with him, and deep community…I have some paradigm shifting that must happen!

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One thought on “DETOX: Week 3

  1. Pingback: Coming Daily Blog: Detox « EmmausLife

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