maddihopes:

The leader of this DTS, George, separated from the group after prayer time & stood in front of me with tears in his eyes. He pointed at me, among the rest, & said, “God has put this on my heart to tell you. You need to choose which path you want to be on. The world or God. You choose, & whichever path you choose you WILL be a leader on. But you need to choose, there is no in between, the world or God.”
That is the summary. It was longer than that, & as he cried & told me how worth it I am, I cried too. I couldn’t tear my teary eyes away from him or move my hand from my gaping mouth not because I was offended or surprised, but because that’s what I had been struggling with SO MUCH.

The week before, we talked about how we, as Christians/followers of Christ, are meant to focus on the cross for laws & issues & the way to live our daily lives. If you swing too far to either side you reach either legalism or lawlessness. If you know me at all, or know Bellingham at all really, you know that legalism is so not my style. Instead, I was digging the whole lawlessness thing.

After I got home from China last summer, I was so emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally burnt out & as I was entering my senior year, I knew that something had to change. I was toying with some depression, but I knew that in this case it was circumstantial & I had to made a change or my spirit would wither away. So I told my roommates that this year was about “health”, that was the theme. I was to become emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally & emotionally well again.

I was on the right track. I became part of a Bible study that was really impactful for me & I gained a mentor/friend that will be part of my life for the rest of it’s duration. I was exercising regularly. I was eating pretty well & doing things that made me happy. I was journaling & talking to people that knew me & knew my struggle.

Somewhere along the way that  balance that I was chasing so fervently after went awry.
It’s hard to be a Christian when the world preaches so desperately against that. It’s easy to say that underage drinking is okay, or hooking up with rando’s is okay because it’s not completely surrendering your beliefs…completely. It’s easy to hang out with your non Christian friends on Friday night & drink till you’re goofy, then go to church on Saturday evening & worship & learn, thinking that “God forgives all sins, so it’s okay”.

That’s EASY, & I will be the first to say it. That being said, it’s WRONG.
I could say so many things on this, & I don’t really know where to start. Maybe with the first lesson here that convicted me. When I knew that I crossed that God/lawlessness line so long ago & didn’t just step over the line, but sprinted desperately over it towards YOLO, yummy beer, kissing cute boys & all that worldly jazz.
We were in home group at my leaders house here in beautiful Sligo, & it was some of the fellow YWAM-ers & a few students from town. We were talking about God’s grace & what that means. Everyone was giving such idyllic pictures of it & I sat there a little confused. Because the idyllic pictures were accurate, but also something I hadn’t thought about, or cared about for a long time. My response to George’s inquiry about grace was not so pretty, but a little dark. See, grace is a gift, a beautiful gift that is for followers of God that He wants back, wants in relationship, wants in so many ways. But the way I have been living is living in such MISUSE of a gift.

Just because He will give you grace as you constantly screw up doesn’t mean that you should bank on that & continue to live in sin. 

We had a guest speaker this week, & the topic was relationships. After talking about the prodigal son, Lyle (our speaker), was talking about God’s better plan for our lives. Hebrews 6:9 says “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you…”
Lyle said, “God has the best plan for your life….not to CHEAPEN your life”.

I think that’s what hit me the hardest. The way I have been living & acting is so incredibly cheap. What I mean by that is THERE IS SO MUCH MORE. Such a cheap shot to God, trying to balance the world & a relationship with Him. As I get further into the Bible here, I get convicted of this over & over again.
James 4:8 “Draw near to God & He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; & purify your hearts you double-minded”.
{OUCH OUCH OUCH.}
Ephesians 4:17-24 “This I say, therefore & testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk  as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, having given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned in Christ, if indeed you have heard Him & have been taught by Him, as the truth  is in Jesus; that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the [previous] person which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts & be renewed in the spirit of your mind, & that you put on the new [wo]man which was created according to God, in true righteousness & holiness.”

Be renewed. What truth. That’s why I’m here, in YWAM, at DTS, in Ireland. To put on the new woman, who was created by God. To put the lawlessness, the trashy use of God’s gifts, the deceit & unholy but perceived “balance”, to put all that behind. Give it to God, let it be His & to let true balance be found. Balance in God. Real balance.

I don’t know what that means yet. I was writing about it last night & realizing that I’ve been so desensitized for so long due to my own lack of understanding or effort. It is going to take a lot to get balanced as I’ve swung so far away from God’s truth, into a new realm of worldly “truth” & desires.  Another one of our leaders, Jeanne, looked at me yesterday & asked—“Have you chosen?” I nodded & she said “Because you’ve chosen the path of God the door to the world is shut. You will NEVER walk that path again”. That’s my prayer, & as I walk forward seeking balance, I hope George was right-that I can be a leader on this path.
I suppose that’s why I am writing this. Many of you may know how painfully honest I am, but this is different. This is not easy, to air my dirty laundry, to put it out where it cannot be taken back. But the point is not that I have sinned & fallen so short, the point is that I have been forgiven. I have been redeemed. My freedom has been bought, & it was at a price. I never again want to misuse the grace & forgiveness so painfully attained for me on a cross at Golgotha. I air my dirty laundry because it’s CLEAN. & I don’t mean to be a preachy mcpreacherson (or maybe I do) but I wanted to share this because I KNOW for a fact I’m not the only one who lives or has lived like this—cheaply. It doesn’t feel good. It’s not worth it. I think anyone in the world chasing after these fleeting things could honestly tell you that.
Turn away from that. Don’t try to walk the line of in the world & still in God. It doesn’t work. It’s not possible. Choose your path & run down it & I hope the path makes you happy.

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This is great.

God doing wonderful things in DTS everywhere!