“Since the fall, we all feel a…sense of loss, and our relationships are tainted by mistrust and fear. Even in the most happy, fulfilled moments of our lives, we, like Adam and Eve, quietly long for something more…Before the fall we had a perfect place on this earth, and now we do not…Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). This is our hope and our final destination. Until that day we have each other.

Here and now, the only part of eternity that we get to touch is each other. As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we tend to live as isolated beings, locked into the invisible walls of our mind. We need to reach beyond our fears because we need each other; right beside us is another soul who longs for home, another soul who can help us discern the signs along life’s road, as they give us input and as we reach out to them.”

-Sheila Walsh, Women of Faith Study Bible

I begin this entry with that message because it is refreshing and makes me have hope here on earth. As I previously mentioned, I struggle with wanting to give up because I am constantly cycling in and out of a fear driven life. I don’t feel like what I do is good enough for God so I might as well give up. Today I read Genesis 4-6 and the part that God really highlighted for me was when God was talking to Cain after his offering wasn’t good enough. Oh Cain, I struggle with feeling unworthy and jealous of others’ contributions. I am with you here.

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your doors; it desires to have you, but you must master it.'” (Genesis 4:6-7)

Crystal, why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?

God, it’s because I constantly let fear drive my decisions and life. I am concentrating on the past mistakes I have made and allowing them to rule my future. I am scared of the next time I will screw up. I don’t want to mess up. But I do. Will you forgive me? I feel defeated. I am comforted in thinking negatively and knowing that I will sin because at least I won’t be disappointed when it does happen. I knew it would happen and counted on it so it won’t hurt so bad when it does happen. How will I find hope? How can You have hope in me? How can I trust You to take care of me when I do fall again? Teach me. I want out of this pit of shameful thinking. I want to trust You fully and completely with my life, my decisions, my family and my safety. EVERYTHING.

If you do what is right , will you not be accepted?

Yes, God. I want to do right. Accept me. You alone are worthy of all that I am. I don’t know why You would want anything to do with me. You must really love me. You must love me no matter what I do. Unconditionally. I think I understand that now, because I think of Randall messing up all the time and I know I will still love him the same. I feel that you are opening my eyes to how amazing, healing and powerful Your love really is. Come into my heart and heal the brokenness that has brought me to Your feet again. I surrender my life and everything you have blessed me with. My baby boy, my husband, my money…take it all. Open up my heart so I can love You more. I want to serve You my King. You are the only one who can make me do right. So I have to surrender myself. So here I am. Open my mind to everything You need me to know. Open my eyes and ears so I can see and hear Your face and voice. I cannot do this alone. So enter my life and it make it glorifying and a sacrifice to You. Jesus, make me like you.

But if you do not do what is right Crystal, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.

How can I do right? Make me a new creation today and teach me how to walk blamelessly with You. I feel Satan crouching at my door waiting to trick me into not believing in who You say You are. Just like he tricked Eve. How can I be ready to capture sin before it captures me? Will You guide me through this life and keep me safe? Will my security be in You? I want to trust You with all that I am. You created me. You can do anything You want with me. I want to be Your creation and I don’t want to have anything to do with how I turn out. I don’t want to do things on my own. I want to rely on You for everything. I need to know You more so I can truly trust my Maker. If I knew You and your character more, I would believe You. I want to know and study Your many names.

Knowing You=Trusting You=Believing You=Obeying You=Hating Sin=Mastering Sin

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 8:27 am  Leave a Comment  

The Curse

Reading about the Fall of Man always gets me every time. It makes me realize where I came from. It’s easy to say or think you would be smart enough to ignore the “crafty” serpent, but the truth is you would not. Eventually, the Fall of Man would have taken place because God created Satan to show us our need for a Savior.

Satan is portrayed as a seductive tempter, but temptation is bigger than that. It’s a test that gives us the opportunity to display faithfulness and devotion to God. Eve failed her test and I have failed many of mine. She was won over by the fruit’s appeal. She chose to become more like God through disobedience than obedience. God desires for us to be “conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Romans 8:29) however, he wants it through our obedience. I still struggle to do what God tells me. My selfishness takes over time and time again. And even when I do want to do right I don’t.

15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7: 15-20)

This has become VERY frustrating to me.

It’s crazy to think that before the Fall of Man the world was in perfect order. There was nothing you needed or wanted. You would be completely satisfied in your relationship with God because you trusted him wholeheartedly since He created you. If I woke up as a new creation to my Creator and heard His commands and rules I feel that I would keep them. Surely I would because He told me to and He made me. I should be so thankful He even considered me to love. Out of fear I would obey, wouldn’t I? But no, I would not. It can be compared to the relationship a child has with his or her parents. Even though they are the reason you are here and they love you so much, you still willfully disobey them.

It just makes you realize that Satan is extremely crafty and shrewd. He knows his victims and has so much experience in causing us to fall into sin. Eve’s failure brought us to childbirth pains and our husbands to “rule over us”. We do all we can do to ease childbirth pains. Before the curse, I imagine that man and woman were meant to live as equals before God. Yes Eve was created second to help Adam, but I think our relationship with each other would be completely different in a perfect “Eden” world. God loves us both the same right?

I find myself frustrated with the “your desire will be for your husband” part of the curse. At first to me it doesn’t seem like a curse at all. I love to desire my husband. But there is something deeper to know about the meaning of desire in this context. It means much more than just a longing for him. Your entire soul and essence of who you are is involved. Eve’s sense of herself, emotionally and physically, will become dependent on her husband. Therefore, my sense of self emotionally and physically will depend on my husband. That’s scary to depend on a human being like that because I know how imperfect I am. If we were still in Eden I would be completely satisfied in God alone and my desire would be focused on Him first. My love for my husband would be an overflow of that cup. That explains a lot about why I am always confessing self esteem issues to God and continually struggling to believe that I am a beloved child of God and bride of Christ.

It makes me reflect on the way women are today in this world. I get angry when women continually want to be like men. We aren’t men. We are women for a reason and it’s something we should be proud of. I get frustrated from time to time with my role as a woman, wife and now mother but I still adore my purpose. I see women today kissing other women. Women that are longing for a relationship with a “good man.” Why? In my opinion the answer is because it’s on MTV (tv in general really). I remember watching MTV as a young child and seeing who men wanted me to be. Today, guys like to watch girls kiss other girls and now you see it everywhere. That was my theory years ago when I became a Christian and saw women being influenced by what they think men wanted. I was so drawn to what men desired of me that I watched tv to find out how I could get them to notice me. Just the other day, my theory was confirmed on an MTV show Jersey Shore. Yes, I am sad to say that I watched this for a short time until my husband forbid it and I realized I just got sucked into watching trash. But one of the girls on the show kissed another girl in front of all the guys. During her confession as to why she was acting the way she was she literally said “Guys like it when girls kiss each other so that’s why I did it.”

I am guilty of falling into the cycle of being who other people want me to be. I have messed up big time in my life. I still struggle with being who my husband wants me to be and not who God wants me to be. I constantly fish for my husbands affections. I don’t want words of affirmation but I want acts of service to show me that I am worthy. If I could just get him to show up to the house with a surprise I would be satisfied. I look to him for my worth and satisfaction. Not Christ. This is part of the curse. I feel destined to constantly struggle with feeling good enough for my husband. Should I give in to it?

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!” (Romans 6:1-2)

Absolutely not. I am convinced that God desires for us to overcome this and truly rely on Him for our satisfaction. We are worthy because of what Christ did.

“What wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25)

“We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:2)

“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:5-7)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

So, I am Christ’s ambassador! That is where I am to go from here. From the dark place that God has brought me out of. I might not be completely delivered from my shame but I have faith that this journey is going somewhere better. I am learning to live like Christ and walk with my Heavenly Father. He isn’t counting my sins against me. He wants reconciliation. I obeyed Him in confession to Him and to the ones I sinned against. Now it’s time to be reconciled and walk the path of life with God. No more hiding behind the trees in the wilderness fearful of what He will think of me.

Fear. I let that rule me. That will forever be the thorn in my side: fear. But I know I can conquer my fears and trust my God. I don’t want to just know that, I want to believe it wholeheartedly and then I want to live my life with that freedom. That is how I will be a light to this world. Only with the complete surrender to my God and Creator. I want to know You more. I want to love you with all my heart, strength and soul. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (**or FEAR?**) As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor ANY powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in ALL creation, (that’s you too Satan) will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Beginning

This is the beginning. I am just a girl on a journey to truly understand and believe God’s word. How different would my life be and look if I were to truly believe and trust God? I have been a Christian for 8 years and I still don’t feel like I have walking with God down pat. I just recently became a mother and now more than ever I want to be an example of Christ in my home. So this is where I will start…at the beginning. I will start in Genesis and work my way through the Bible and use this blog to work my thoughts out with you Jesus. I am a horrible writer. I don’t stick to anything I start. But I am going to trust You. That You will bring me through my relationship with You. If this is not the avenue you want me to take then you will reveal that to me. This is my story.

I am in a pit of shame. I need out. My sin burdens me with guilt and regret. Why? It’s the ultimate question everyone asks when they sin. Why do I do what I do? What makes me so horrible?

But You are in pursuit of me. You wander through the garden of my shameful life and ask “Beloved, where are you?” just as you asked Adam & Eve the day they took on the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 3) This is where shame started. Where it rooted itself in a woman’s being when she realized she was naked. I hate that feeling of being naked and bare in front of You. As if You don’t already know who I am. You created me and yet I am frightened to stand naked in front of you. But You ARE in pursuit of ME. Regardless, of my pathetic attempts to hide from You, You are pursuing me. And I ask again…why?

I try to hide my shame with “fig leaves” too. I try to cover it up in justifications. Why do I have to confess and admit my weakness? Let me cover it up God. It was easier before I was a Christian and accepted You as the Ruler of my life to do whatever I wanted at the time and not feel ashamed. Guilt is not from You. It is from the enemy. How do I battle him when I am so weak?

What is the root of my shame? I feel like a failure when I fall into sin. I want to give up because I feel like I will never conquer sin. But why do I think I can be perfect? Why can’t I just be satisfied in Your perfection. I know I can’t gain salvation, so why do I seek perfection? I want to be like You. Is that wrong? I’m scared God. I know You are real. I know You love me. I believe You are real. But I don’t trust You. Help me with my unbelief.

“‘If you can?’ said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.‘ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.'” (Mark 9:23-24)

“As it written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless there is no one who does good, not even one.'” Romans 3:10-12

My attempts to cover up my sin are useless.

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

SAVE ME GOD. SAVE ME FROM MYSELF!!! I beg of You. “If the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine”

“Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder  your statutes. To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless” Psalm 119:94-96

Embracing Accusations is all I can listen to over and over. Thank you God for this song, this message of hope. “The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed that I am cursed and gone astray” What have you done Jesus to remove my shame? I have not forgotten the refrain: Jesus SAVES!

“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5

“Oh the devil’s singing over me an aged old song, that I am cursed and gone astray! Singing the first verse so conveniently over me. He’s forgotten the refrain: JESUS SAVES! He redeemed us from the curse of the law.” – Shane & Shane, “Embracing Accusations”

I’m forgiven. I’m loved more than I could ever imagine. Someone died for me. Someone that was perfect in every way. WHY!? Why me?

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23

“To hang between two thieves in the darkness, Love must believe you are worth it” -Nichole Nordeman “Hold On”

I am worth death on a cross.

Published in: on February 15, 2010 at 8:12 pm  Leave a Comment