Monday, 6 October 2014

Transformation through words

Recently, God has been stirring my heart and causing me to think about the way in which we think about stuff that happens, people and our feelings. I reckon it is common to think that sometimes it is easier to do or say things to honour God but when it comes to the thinking, that is often far more difficult. People can't see our thoughts and they are much easier to hide and pretend like they never happened in the first place. Thoughts can be beautiful but also destructive, uplifting but nagging. They can sometimes be controlled but often out of reach.

Do I think in a way that honours God?  

A lot of our battles and struggles come from the way we view things, think about them and think about them even more. Often spending more time soaking in our own thoughts than in His powerful and transforming word. Only His word has the power to shape us into becoming more Christ-like and the truths from His word can completely set us free from the lies and thoughts we feed ourselves with. I want my life to reflect that 'freeness'.

There are many different areas of life that we want to honour God more in, right? In fact, all of them. When I became a Christian, God changed my heart to want to glorify Him in all I do and since then reminds me that this is what is important to me. Not because of me but because of Him. My thoughts constantly fail God, my words and my actions too. But through looking at who God is and focusing in on Him, it is impossible not to love Him and want to be transformed.
I think there are a few different ways to try and see more of this in our lives.

Firstly by getting stuck into His word, learning more about Him and soaking in it.

In Ephesians 5v1-2 It says this... 'Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.'

I want that. I want to be able to show people who Jesus is and how incredible the love of God is by walking in His love because He has loved us first. To have an aroma of Christ.

 Secondly, by allowing God to transform us.

Romans 12v2
‘And do not conform to the pattern of 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 pleasing and perfect.’

So to allow God to transform us - starting with our minds, what we think, what we spend time dwelling on – all of which is affecting what we say and do and where our hearts are. But this is also a choice – a choice of allowing a transformation by the love of Jesus. We can allow this to happen but we can also close ourselves off to this. Choosing to have Christ in us in everything about us, not just what we do.
His love never changes but it has the power to change us.

Finally, by being assured by what is to come.

1 John 3:2-3
‘Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.’
The assurance that we are all a work in progress and one day we will be like Him, that what we are now isn’t what we will be.

I’m learning to be open and vulnerable before God to allow Him and the truth that He speaks to transform me, starting with my heart and mind, to live in freedom. To not just let His truth wash over me but to sink into my being, to let what is said really transform the way I think.

Nai x

Friday, 10 January 2014

Living for the now

The New Year has started and yes I'm being super cliche and am stating that I'm going to re-start my blog again this year. Something I have said before and failed with so we'll see how it goes this time! My intentions for it this time are slightly different though. Before it was simply to just write or post about what I had been up to, been thinking about or to pop some photos up. This time though I hope to just share what I'm learning about life (maybe with a sneaky photo added here and there) and a few nuggets from my walk with Jesus as the year goes on. I feel like in this past year and especially the past few months I have learnt so much about myself and what it is to be in relationship with God and I just wish that I had written some of it down as it went by!

So I'm sat here cuddling my chai tea and I am ready to start writing. I'm such a thinker and quite enjoy pondering life and exploring different ideas so please bare with and sorry if it makes zero sense! I hope to be as honest and real as I can. So here goes! Recently I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be living in the moment. Not living in yesterday or tomorrow but in today. More than that though, recognizing life down to the very hour, minute and second we find ourselves in. It bothered me that I often spend a fair proportion of my time thinking over things that have happened in the past, whether it happened yesterday, a few days ago or even years. Or that I'm living in the future, planning or dreaming of things that could be and not much of me ever lives in the now. Often meaning that I am feeling distant from the situation I am in even as it happens.

Living in what could have been or what was. 

I constantly find myself doing this and in various ways too. Either by mulling over situations and how they could have been different, worrying if I have done anything wrong or said the wrong thing or if I have been taken the wrong way. Living in what could have been. That, or reliving good, high moments from the past and hoping that more of that will come. Remembering when stuff was 'easy' and trying to live in the past.  

Living in/dreaming of the future.

I often spend time thinking about the future, scaring myself into what is to come, if I'm going to pass an assignment, my degree, if people are going to like me, if I will get married or have a job etc. Living in the fear of never being good enough. On the other side of that sometimes looking forward to the future and living in that. Getting beyond excited for what is to come, finding moments in the future to celebrate in and always living for tomorrow, wishing my time away.  

Don't get me wrong, I think it is important to have a balance of these things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being thankful for the incredible moments from the past and remembering those with joy. Similarly, there is no problem with looking forward to the future, what God has in store for us and grasping hold of passions and gifts to spark us and excite us. I love that! I love that God has a plan for my life and I don't know all of it yet! With all that in mind though I'm currently challenging myself to do all of that but with my main focus to live in the now, appreciating every moment when it is a moment before it's gone. To be thankful for the moment as we get it and to remember everything we are blessed with.

If we look at today and view it any less than tomorrow we are choosing to live what hasn't happened yet. We are giving up the very moment we are in and missing out on today, hoping that the next day will be better or remembering how good/bad yesterday was. Constantly forgetting the moment we are in.

I recently read on an online blog the following statement - I love it, there is such truth and challenge in it - 

'No matter what you would change about your current circumstances - there are advantages, joys and freedoms that won't be there in the next situation'

That is totally it isn't it? Being thankful in the moment we are in and recognizing the beautiful things about it. The fullness of life in that very moment for me comes from knowing myself as a child of the King. Knowing that Christ came to give us life  - and to the full (John 10 v 10)! Having Christ living within me and in everything I do helps me to find something in the moment as it happens to be thankful for.

Remember to be thankful for something, always. Live in Him, in step with Him. Live for the very moment you are in.

Nai x