by Kasia Kedzia
There are many things in my life I try to maintain daily: a diet and exercise routine, my work, my relationships, my looks. Yes, I said it, my looks. The older I get the more I pay attention to my physical appearance. It’s a little embarrassing, but I have used this to my advantage to feel secure more than I care to admit. It’s exposed how much security I can get from how I am perceived. Sometimes I feel like I need to be and look a certain way to be heard. Other times I crave the attention to fill a feeling of lacking and insecurity. This isn’t a permanent state of mind but I have my moments. Those moments are when my heart’s deepest satisfaction comes from that feeling of accomplishment. It can come after a great work out, a triumphant moment at work, or when I’ve been able to use my charm to get something I want. Some of these are not bad in and of themselves, but it’s a question of my motivation. Sometimes, God is not my heart’s deepest satisfaction in those moments. Instead, I’m tempted to get false security from those things/accomplishments instead of being satisfied with God alone.
Timothy Keller wrote, “Something is safe to maintain if it has really stopped being an idol.” That can happen only when I truly am willing to live without it, when from my heart I say, ‘Because I have God, I can live without you.’”
When my satisfaction and security come from other things it exposes a form of idolatry in me. It exposes how I place these things before God. It’s not like I don’t want to do good things but I can see how sometimes I want to look good or feel accomplished first for how it makes me feel and second to God’s glory.
Ex20:3 “I am the Lord your God […] You shall have no other gods before me.”
At the end of the day, living to bring God glory and doing all things for him rather than myself is what sets me apart as a Christian. Apart from God, being a good person and doing good things, having influence or making an impact all equate to selfish gain. If I’m not doing it to glorify God, at the root I am doing it to make myself feel good and glorify me. When it’s about me I will only end up a slave to my desires, as all idolatries enslave. I have seen this happen when I allow work, my appearance or what other’s think of me to drive or pre-occupy my time, mood and self-image.
Matthew 6:8 “[…] for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
I have learned that when these moments happen I can address them accordingly. When I have a ‘self-high’ sort of moment I need to come back to God and pray, “God I need you. I cannot face this day without you and bring you glory. Help me to see the motives of my heart and recognize that you know and have already met my hearts deepest needs” At the end of the day, when I do something for God instead of self it has a much more lasting impact and satisfaction. I can influence and impact others by His spirit instead of by my own strength or charm.
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
The fear of God is a wholehearted commitment to him. The more I know him the easier it is to trust and rely on him, even when I am most tempted to rely on myself. In order to move in the full assurance of knowing what God wants of me I constantly need to recognize that it requires a reliance on him for it to become truth in my life.
Job 23:10 “He knows what he is doing with me, and when he has tested me, I will come forth as pure gold.”
 Keller, Timothy, Counterfeit God’s, Dutton. 2009
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Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved to DC to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.
Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Through out it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.
Like what your read? Check out my blog: http://stronggirlforlife.wordpress.com/
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