Thursday, August 4, 2011
"We are going for the ILLUSION of clean..."
Summer is literally my favorite season. I don't know if it is the blue skies, or the flowers, or the water...I just love summer. My garden has been some what neglected as of late. Due to a couple of people...let's just call them "teenagers"...who keep crazy schedules and are far too distracting. But it still feels good to have fresh flowers in vases, color all around and weeds to pull for a couple more months.
As I have been playing with my kiddos, I have been worrying for them too. There is so much that is changing, and so fast. I get caught up in the details of it all, and God was good enough to remind me this Sunday that it's not the "details" that cause us to fall. It's the HEART. Our intern, Tyler Walsh, gave a great message about how we all want to look good on the outside, but our insides are crap. (He said it much more eloquently, you can listen to the message here.)
But basically, in Acts chapter 5 we read the story of a dude, Ananias and his lady, Sapphira. They are part of the first church of Christians and they want to show off their "godliness" and generosity by giving a buttload of money to the church after they sell off some land. Here's the catch- they decide to lie to everyone and say they gave 100% of the profits, but really they keep some back and only give a portion. SOOOOO dumb, yes? Guess what happens?
"Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. " Acts 5:3-6
WOW. The first thought I have is "Sucks to be you." But truly, aren't we all like that? How many times do I get bent out of shape because of something my kids do- not because of the damage it causes to their character, but because it embarrasses me? Because it doesn't "look good from the street"? Oh, Lord! Never again let me have a heart like Ananias and Sapphira. Who cared more about appearances then they did about You. Who lived half-hearted lives and ran after pathetic treasures when they already had the best gift of all.
It just keeps coming back to me this week that my panic lately is rooted in self-centered pride. My prayer should not be that my kids do everything "right"- get into the right school, find the right job, marry the right person. My prayer should be that their hearts would be CRAZY for God and His work- that their goal should be to share the gospel and live a life so PLEASING to God, everyone around them can't help but notice the difference. THAT leads to health in all the other areas. And you know what, when my focus is not on "the details" of life but rather the qualities of life, the panic disappears. <3
Lord- help us all to "run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart." Psalm 119:32 That's what ultimately makes the difference between a good life and a great one. Our heart...
And by the way, the wife, Sapphira, drops dead too. Seriously. Crazy stuff.