'Refreshment in Refuge' with Gina Burgess
Originally posted on 06/28/2020
Do you know how many stressed--out mothers it takes to change a light bulb?
One. ONE!! And do you know WHY it only takes ONE? Because no one else in this house knows how to change a light bulb. They don't even know the bulb is burned out. They would sit in this house in the dark for three days before they figured it out. And once they figured it out they wouldn't be able to find the light bulbs despite the fact that they've been in the same cabinet for the past 17 years. But if they did, by some miracle, find the light bulbs, two days later, the chair that they dragged from two rooms over to stand on to change the stupid light bulb would still be in the same spot! AND underneath it would be the crumpled light bulb package. WHY??? Because no one in this house carries out the garbage. It's a wonder we haven't all suffocated from the piles of garbage 12 feet deep in this house... this house! It would take an army to clean this house...
How often do we recognize what others need to change in their lives before we recognize what changes we need to make? So many of us make New Year’s resolutions that seem to vanish after the first month, or sometimes we keep those resolutions alive for several months before they bite the dust: Lose weight, quit smoking, less temper and more patience, better with money management, start saving for retirement. Most of our resolutions can be reduced down to having more self-control, which is part of the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, self-control. Against such things there is not a law.
Wait… what was that last part again? Against such things there is not a law. Being led by the Spirit we are not under Law, Paul says it in verse 18. It isn’t too much of a leap to conclude that we cannot exhibit these things such as love, joy peace, self-control, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, long-suffering, by our lonesomes. Only through the strength of the Holy Spirit and by His gift of the Fruit can we exhibit these things which are a testimony to God’s work of changing our hearts and minds: in short sanctification.
Change is a scary thing.
We resist change almost to death because we love the familiar and hold that close. We wear the same clothes because they are comfortable. We go to the same Bible verses because we know them, we study the same passages because we love them. Yet, there is so much more to behold in God’s love letter.
My church has started a Read The Bible in a Year, this year, with LifeWorks devotional. We're starting in Genesis and yesterday (Jan 2) some verses were given to go along with Genesis 3&4. James 4:7 was one of them. I almost did not look them up because I didn't want to take the time, then I decided right then that God was more important than time and He would bless me. I would receive, if nothing else, He would at least give me peace for checking the verses. Then I decided that one verse wasn't enough, but I should read the background chapter as well as the verse. For quite a long time now, God has been working on me about reading bits and pieces and filling in with my own understanding rather than studying the whole using His guidance and understanding.
Even though I have studied my Bible deeply for more than 35 years, He has reminded me that I lose so much because of familiarity. I think I know, so I skip it and move on hunting a "new truth" or "new insight". I'm ashamed to say, I've missed so much in the past few years because of familiarity.
Thank you, my Father, for reminding me to check out the familiar, which led to the desire to get outside the box of familiarity and to ask You for familiar truths with new light to share. I think that my resolution this year is to lean more upon You and less upon me. My expectations this year will be to read the Bible through using Your understanding which is a free gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for helping me realize there is no place like peace.