If then you were raised with Christ,
seek those things which are above,
where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
~ Colossians 3:1-2 ~
My birth name is Maria de la Luz. It means, Mary belonging to the Light. I was reminded of this fact last week through a song. The past month has been one of discovery, that is, diving deeper into who the Lord is and who I am.
The Lord used the Colossians 3 verses (that are taped on the wall next to my bed so that their intent and truth will be implanted in my mind and heart), and prayer based on Psalm 139:23-24 to open the understanding of my eyes and heart,
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if [there is any] wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
God is faithful to reveal those things that are not pleasing to Him. The things He showed me this past month were not sinful, but the desire for them was increasing and were accompanied by the twins of discord—discontentment and discouragement.
I was not abiding in Him as I should be; but because He loves me, He did not forget nor forsake me. Through the prayer of the saints, a study in Philippians (and a “What is your life purpose” question), and a radio sermon about 2 Corinthians 12:9 (“Limitations are the Key to Usefulness” by Alistair Begg), the Lord restored my soul and joy.
This is true:
. . . the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12 ~
Also true, when we are like-minded with Christ Jesus, we will not think more highly of ourselves and seek earthly things, but those things which are in heaven above. I had forgotten that my life is not my own, but His,
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. ~ Colossians 3:3 ~
[made] all things work together for [my] good . . . ~ Romans 8:28 ~
. . . works in [me] both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure. ~ Philippians 2:13 ~
. . . shall supply all [my] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:19 ~
All of these Scriptures, combined with the infirmities in my body and the circumstances in my life, worked together to help me understand this:
I can easily succumb to the flesh. It will take over when I seek earthly things; and though these things are not sinful, they can and will lure me away from my Lord Jesus and lead to discord that arises from discontentment and discouragement.
God will bring me back to Him through whatever means He chooses.
The things He brings into my life and how I respond to them is important—to reject them means to contend with Him; to accept them means to be in His will.
Doubts and fears cast aspersions on who God is and His good plans for our lives, resulting in a faith that wavers.
In my physical weaknesses, His grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in weakness; therefore, when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10).
Jesus is the source of joy, not my circumstances, health, or lifestyle. Therefore, choosing to rejoice in the Lord quenches discouragement.
His “love never fails, it never gives up, and it never runs out on me” (to quote a song).
He is the only One who can satisfy my soul.
Finally, my God gave me three songs, one to remind me of who He is, one to help me praise Him more, and the other to remind me who I am (this one is at the end of this post).
Dear Father, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit, thank You for bringing me back into true fellowship with You, for forgiving me my wandering ways, and for loving me as You do. Be glorified, dear Lord, as I run my race on the course You have designed for me, helping me to leave behind all those things those are rubbish, pressing on to “lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me,” so that I may reach the “goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3: 8, 12-14) Lord, let me not falter or wander away from You again; I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.