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Friday, April 30, 2010

Contemplations and reflections...

Once again, I have been a bit quiet in that I have either skipped posting entirely for a few days or have chosen to post about insignificant things. Well, maybe insignificant isn't the right word, because family time is certainly significant. I think perhaps a better word would be personal. Yes, that's it. I have chosen to post about things that are not personal. I've been thinking, though... and looking back at some of my really old posts from earlier in my blog. Actually, I was looking to see if I had posted about a particular song, but the bonus for my efforts was that I got to think back through the ways I felt at different points in this journey. Boy, were my feelings different than they are now! Not in a good or bad way. Just different. It is amazing. Even today as I read through my thoughts, I can clearly feel each of the emotions I wrote about back then. It's just that I don't exactly feel the same way anymore. I guess that's why I don't make decisions based on feelings, because feelings change.

I digress.

The song I was looking for... Take My Life by Scott Underwood. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but for the life of me, I can't find it. Kudos to anyone who can. :o) Anywho. If you have a few minutes, you might want to listen to a clip of the song over on Scott's website (click "songs" on the bottom right hand side of the site, and then it will be the last song on the list.) If not, then here are the lyrics:

Holiness, holiness is what I long for
Holiness is what I need
Holiness, holiness is what You want from me

Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I long for
Faithfulness is what I need
Faithfulness, faithfulness is what You want from me

(So) Take my heart and form it
Take my mind, transform it
Take my will, conform it
To Yours, to Yours, Oh Lord

Righteousness, righteousness is what I long for
Righteousness is what I need
Righteousness, righteousness is what you want from me

(So) Take my heart and form it
Take my mind, transform it
Take my will, conform it
To Yours, to Yours, Oh Lord

Our music group back up at our church in PA used to sing this song a lot. I remember one Sunday in particular (this is the part I am SURE I shared before, but anyway...). You know what? I could try to communicate this all over again (I know I've told this before), or I could just copy and paste part of one of my psychology papers from years ago when I wrote about this. Yep! That's what I'll do! :-)

On September 2, 2001, God used a song and a sermon to speak to me about the will of God and the will of Satan for my life. In his song “Take My Life”, Scott Underwood writes about his longing to be holy, faithful, and broken before God. In the chorus, he invites God to begin the process necessary to achieve this. It says “Take my heart and form it, take my mind transform it, take my will conform it, to yours, to yours, oh Lord” (Underwood, 1995). After our vocal group sang this song, the pastor began to preach. He explained that the name Devil comes from the Greek word Diabolos, which means slanderer or false accuser. He warned us that the devil attacks our mentality, morality, and motivation with false accusations because he desires to control our mind, heart, and will. This idea was supported by 2 Timothy 2:26 which says “Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil's trap, having been captured by him to do his will” (Holman Christian Standard Bible, 2001). He encouraged us to claim God’s power and protection and to resist the schemes of Satan by putting on the whole armor of God. I had never considered that Satan had a will for my life, but I recognized how he had rendered me useless to do the will of God by attacking my mind with false accusations. I determined to guard myself from that day on.

So, here's the thing... what I've been contemplating. When I first encountered this song, it spoke to me in ways that addressed my personal need to take all my thoughts captive. Then, I could overcome Satan's attacks on my mind. Then, I could be obedient to God's will for my life. Of course, it also helped me to form part of my philosophy of psychology and counseling. In other ways, though, it was also a prayer. A prayer that expressed my desire to surrender myself completely to whatever plans God had for me. A prayer asking God to take my heart, my mind, and my will and to shape them into His image, whatever that might mean. A prayer asking God to change me. I think I have not been so compliant on that front lately. At least, not in my willingness to allow Him to completely control all my circumstances. So, I have to ask myself... do I really want to be righteous as He is righteous? Do I really want to be faithful as He is faithful? Do I really want to be holy as He is holy? If I do, then I must daily die to my own selfish desires. I must fully surrender. I must trust Him. Not an easy thing to do, but oh so worth it!

How about you? What part does God have in your life today? Are you fully surrendered, or do you just have a passing interest? Do you trust Him with everything or with nothing at all?

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

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