Friday, October 06, 2006

PASSION

Last night I had the chance to talk to seven teen moms (all under the age 19) about my experiences of having a baby at age 17. Every time I talk about that depressing time in my personal history I'm AMAZED what God has done with my life--mainly how He's transformed my teenage passion for romance with my boyfriends (to put it bluntly) into a passion for Him.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and my kids. On this earth, they are first on my radar screen. But I all my heart desires focus on pleasing God and growing closer and closer to Him.

C.S. Lewis is a good guy to quote--maybe because he can put into words what my heart feels. This is what he said:

"Indeed if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

And another wise guy, Augustine had this to say, "How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! . . . You drove them from me, you who are the true, sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure."

What about you? Have you been far too pleased, entanged, enraptured by the things of this world? Are you making mud pies when God is offering you a holiday at the sea?

I use to look for love in all the wrong places--and I ended up as a pregnant teen. Now I'm gaa-gaa over the Creator of the universe. And the more I love Him, the more I want to love Him.

It's an awesome place to be.

6 comments:

Jeanette Hanscome said...

Tricia,

This is a great post! May we all (including myself) have a deeper passion for the One who truly deserved it.

Jeanette

Anonymous said...

But how do we stop being the child in the mud? I feel the lyrics of Hyperstatic Union's Overhead

I’d rather stay than give my life away
The life that I have made, a price I just can’t pay
So I ignore Your calling from the shore
You offer so much more but the cost I can’t afford
Short-sighted eyes, my spirit’s demise
Listening to lies, dying to rise

I used to have a lot of questions, but I never got any answers and then I got busy and didn't think about it anymore. I think I accidentally gave up on God and now I'm afraid he gave up on me. But most of the time, I'm happy in my mud.

Tricia Goyer said...

Anonymous,

One thing I know for sure ... God hasn't given up on you. And He never will. I don't think things happen by chance, and I have no doubt that you came upon this post for a reason.

You're right, most of the time we can be happy in the mud. We have friends. We laugh. We hang out. We have our bad does, but doesn't everyone?

But I've learned one thing after giving my life completely to Christ--I've learned that happiness is very different that joy.

On dictionary.com joy is described as: "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation."

I think the key word here is satisfying. With Jesus I find satisfaction no matter what is happening around me. I have an inner peace, knowing I am loved and cherished.

Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

Are you sure God will never give up on me? In Hebrews 6 is says

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because[b]to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

I grew up in a Christian home (and still am growing up in one) but I've never felt like I have a personal relationship with Jesus. So I don't know if I'm really saved and I've prayed for salvation lots of times, but it never seemed to work out. Sometimes I think its because I never thought about God as being my whole life before, but sometimes I think that's just another excuse I made up. I don't want to annoy you, I'm sure you have better things to do than talk to a random person you've never even met, but, I just don't get God.

Tricia Goyer said...

I have to admit too that for many years I struggled with the idea of a God who will never leave me. I grew up not knowing my biological date. In fact, I was the result of an unplanned pregnancy. Why would God care about me?

One of my favorite passages is Psalm 139. It awes me that God loves me this much. I continue to pray that I can understand this and believe.

Like the father of the sick son told Jesus, "Lord, I believe, helpe my unbelief!"

I'll have to check out the background on Hebrews 6. You're making me dig. Which is good!


Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Tricia Goyer said...

I'm not sure if this helps, but this is what I found it one of my study Bibles (talking about Hebrews 6):

The writer, then, is asking us to believe so fully that when Christ came into our lives all these things were settled that we no longer worry about our relationship with the Lord. We know that He loves us. We know that we are saved.

The emphasis on an already laid foundation, and the Hebrews’ tendency to look away, leads us to conclude that the fourth suggestion best explains the teaching of verses 4-10. The writer is posing a hypothetical case to demonstrate just how foolish the Hebrews’ panic and uncertainty are. The writer says, “Let’s not go back again as if there were no foundation to rest on.” The fact is that the basic issues of death, faith, and resurrection have been settled by the finished work of Christ. So the writer asks:

What would you want to do? View your failure as a falling away of God, so access is now lost? How then would you ever be restored—you who have been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, shared in the Holy Spirit, and known the flow of resurrection power? Do you want to crucify Jesus all over again, and through a new sacrifice be brought back to repentance? How impossible! What a disgrace, this hint that Jesus’ work for you was not enough.

Hebrews 6:4-6, author’s paraphrase

The point here is simple. God wants us to know that Jesus’ death is enough. There is no more need for sacrifices for sin. By His one sacrifice Jesus made “perfect forever those who are being made holy” (10:14). You and I, like the Hebrews, are free to get on with the business of living for Jesus because He has resolved forever the question of our relationship with God.

Two brief paragraphs that follow reinforce this understanding. From 6:7-8 we learn that the issue is one of fruitfulness. God is (and we are to be) concerned with the products of maturity.


That's from The Teacher's Commentary by Lawrence O. Richards


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