Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let Go of the World by Christy of Skinned Knees

I am continuing with guest posts from bloggers who have not only a passion for photography, but a love for Jesus.  I am honored to have Chrisy from Skinned Knees posting.  After reading her post be sure to click over and visit her blog.

A little background on THE WORLD before we get started. A while ago now, our Sunday School teacher told us the neatest story about a car in our town whose license plate read THEWORLD (minus a few numbers so we don't get sued, hehe.) He told us how the man driving that car was unknowingly used by God to teach him something. Now it's become somewhat of a joke that anytime any of us see the car driving around town, we snap a picture of it and tag each other in it. Here's one from a few months ago my friend Shannon took. The guy noticed us following him into the post office parking lot and seriously spent a few minutes in his car before getting out and starring at us! I think he was scared of the crazy stalker ladies!


Yesterday as I was driving home from taking my 3 year old to preschool, I started thinking about how materialistic I can be. I'm working on this. I'm not just materialistic, I'm busy. Busy with so many things. Some things are kingdom things. But a lot of things are not. I got to wondering if I was letting "the world" influence me, instead of the Holy Spirit.

I want to concentrate on two of my (and maybe your) problem areas: Materialism and busyness.

Materialism. Coveting.

A lovely shot of me while coveting 
God's Word tells us,
"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." [1 John 2 15:17]
I'm going to be completely honest here and tell you it's not very often I walk into a friends house and don't think to myself how great it would be if I could just have her curtains, or new ottoman, or her blender, or her well behaved children. Am I proud of the fact that several times a day I have to go to the Lord and ask Him to forgive me for breaking His 10th commandment? Uh. No. Ashamed, actually. I pray constantly that He will help me be content with what I have. Sometimes I get brave and ask Him to make me content to give it all away, and then breathe a sigh of relief when He doesn't.

The world tells me to spend every dime I have on junk I don't need. We're bombarded with billboards, commercials, and magazine advertisements, not to mention door-to-door salesman with really awesome vacuum cleaners that cost as much as our cars. I have a hard time saying no to the little Christy that sits on my left shoulder telling me to, "Just go ahead and buy it. You really want it. You deserve it." Then the little one on the right side (also known as the Holy Spirit) gives me a nudge reminding me, "For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either." 1 Timothy 6:7
Lord, help me (us) not to covet. Help us to always be content with what we have. Help us to understand that if all we ever had was the love of Jesus, that should be enough. Amen.

I keep busy for God, but I keep even more busy for myself. The world tells me to look pretty, smile, have a perfectly behaved child, always have a clean house, get skinny, put myself first, work to make $ for the things I want (but don't need), be overly concerned with me-time.

One of my favorite lessons from the bible is of Mary and Martha in Luke 10: 38-42
"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Realization #1: All the busyness that's not for the Lord needs to take a backseat to the busyness that is for the Lord.  If I find myself with 10 minutes alone and my kitchen floor needs mopped but I haven't yet had my quiet time, I need to choose quiet time. If I've got a coffee date with my best friend and my sister-in-law calls and says she is sick and could really use my help with the kids today, well, I need show her the love of Christ by helping a sister out!

Realization #2: I should never be too busy to sit at the feet of Jesus and just listen. God loves when we serve Him! He loves when we teach in the church and when we take meals to a new mom. But not if those things are constantly at the expense of us coming into His presence to talk to Him and listen to Him and spend time in His word. Cell phones. I can use my phone all day long but if I forget to charge it everyday, it goes dead and then it's useless to me. Same with us and God. If we don't charge ourselves up daily (by reading His Word, and communicating with Him in prayer,) eventually we are going to be drained, dead. And by then we won't be of any use to Him.
Lord, forgive us for our busyness. Help us to remember to plug ourselves into You daily so we can be charged and ready to be used by You when You need us. Amen. 
Wow. I'm sure you're wondering where THE WORLD car comes into play here. Like I said, I was driving home from taking my son to preschool, pondering the effects the world has on me every day, when out of nowhere I notice that ugly little green car coming my way. A few seconds went by and he was gone. I looked in my rear view mirror to confirm. Yes. "The world" had just passed me by. And I was perfectly okay that I was going in the opposite direction as the world. What a fun reminder from God that He doesn't want me conforming to the world.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." [Romans 12:2]
My prayer is that we will each make God our priority. That we will learn to be perfectly content to sit at His feet.

Before I go, here are a couple of my favorite verses for John that encourage me when I'm struggling with the world (every single stinking day.)

John 14: 27 says, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

John 16:33 says, "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

And a song that always helps me remember to sit and be still and listen for Him:

You can read other guest posts in this series


Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing. I think that coveting is a huge area of sin in the lives of many people and so common that we may not even recognize it. I have also struggled with this frequently and frankly, facebook and blogs make it worse for me sometimes. I sometimes have to avoid both for periods of time because it is so easy to make comparisons of your life with others and either think too highly of yourself or get down on yourself and think, "I'm not doing enough..." Thanks for your honest discussion.

Carolina said...

Loved reading such a heartfelt post today. I can relate to everything she wrote in here, as I'm sure most women do. Thank you for your transparency and encouragement! A quick cure for discontentment for me is volunteering to help the less fortunate. It quickly brings things to perspective and all of a sudden I'm not as discontent because of things I'm coveting to get. Thank you again for such a real post!

Alison said...

Thanks for keeping it real in this post! These are perhaps the two most seductive areas in my life. I needed that heads-up to reprioritize and make the main thing the main thing. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Wow, talk about speaking right to me ;) I was just commenting on another blog about how I feel like I am being urged to reevaluate my busyness... This is a truly awesome post!

Anonymous said...

I love that song...

Great guest post, speaks very true to me, Realization #1 that is. I need to work on that! Re-prioritize keeping the important things important. And not let the smaller things step in pile up in front of that.

Tricia said...

Well that just hit me over the head! Recently, I have been struggling with both coveting and busyness. God put a person in my life that thrives on being materialistic. I have come a long way from valuing my life based on my worldly possessions and have made it a point to put my role as a wife and mother first. I started slipping back into old habits and needed that wake up call. I also question if I spend my time in a way that serves the Lord. I am going to spend more time in His Word and reevaluate ways to share the Gospel with others. Thanks!!

Christy Peffly said...

I'm so glad the post spoke to you all. He is still teaching me this week on those 2 lessons and I'm thankful for that. My family has been sick 3 weeks now and it's been nice to just be able to relax at the feet of Jesus <3