Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Pharisitical Spirit and the Clanging Cymbol

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Before you start reading, I beg you...leave a comment below and commit to call me on it if you ever hear me starting to act like this monkey again! All you'd have to say is, "Monkey Girl!" and I'd get it!

As you may know by now, our Precept study group is working through "The Sermon On The Mount". This has been a special time of preparation for me this go 'round. So sweet. I feel more ready than I ever have before, and so excited!

God keeps waking me up EAAAAAAAAAAAARLY telling me that we've got a date for love, and I don't want to miss it!

It's precious to me, really.
Have you ever had that in your life...a time when you just knew that the Father was BECKONING you to come and sit at His feet, and soak in HIM. It's like the best date in the world, and I really don't want to miss even one! I invision getting to crawl up in His lap and hug on Him once I get to heaven. Wouldn't that be the COOLEST?!

Through this time, He is graciously molding me. (I'm hoping He'll take off about 30 pounds of external clay, but I think what He's really doing is carving on my heart.)

You see, I love the Lord dearly. I love studying His Word...I cherish it. Yet what I have found in my life, hiding deep down where not many could smell it out, has been pride.

YUCK! I hate having to tell you this, but it's true. I think pride is all too often the sin that is crouching at our doors, ready to devour us, especially if we allow the evil one to puff us up with how much we know, due to our time spent in God's Word.

In our culture today it has been sugar coated in some cases, and called "self esteem". However, I don't think we're supposed to esteem ourselves. Scripture makes it pretty clear that we're to esteem when we put the focus on ourselves, and on how "learned" we are, we run the risk of finding ourselves full of ugly pride.

One would think that the natural progression for a believer who is growing in grace and in the knowlegde of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, would be to find themselves DAILY humbled before His holiness and graciousness....broken, not trying to figure out how to elevate themself.

Why then, is it such a temptation to judge others in their walk with God?

OOh..THAT sounds like a friend I'd want to hang out with! (not!)

Repeat after me....there's ONE GOD and ONE JUDGE of MAN...and it's not you or me!

It's so subtle how satan can take that which was meant for good and try to twist it to honor himself, by tempting us to allow it to honor ourselves! And how we let it happen due to our own selfish pride.

I was reminded recently about what my first love first love is my Jesus and God's second love is to my family, and my third love is teaching women who want to know how to, to "Discover Truth For Themselves" using the tools of Precept Bible Studies.

But you know what? It doesn't end there...I want to be known as the Christian in town who loves at all times. I don't want to use Scripture to allow me to be a clanging cymbal. A monkey with bad teeth, an irritating voice, and those annoying cymbals!

I want to be the person who willingly lays my life down for my friends, AND ENEMIES...and that starts with my pride. For to do so, I must walk a life of total humility.

I want to be the person that others know will act in love, no matter the infraction, and will be quick to forgive.

Simply put, I want to love people...genuinely love them.

That's it. That's how I want to live the rest of my life. I want to be known as she who loved much, forgave quickly and often, and pointed people to Jesus.

I'm donating my clanging cymbals to a drum line. ;)

God has been using my study of Matthew 4-7 to show me the areas that I have failed in this endeavor, and it breaks my heart.

Doesn't it stink when you finally find the rancid rat that's been stuck under your stove for 3 months?! So with this. It's not fun. And action is required.

But, I praise God that He loves us enough to point out our failures to us. If our lives are to be lived to His Glory, and not to our own, it's quite important that we follow His lead on things.

For those of you not familiar with the clanging cymbals reference, here are the verses:

Corinthians 13:1-10
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have {the gift of} prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I give all my possessions to feed {the poor,} and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind {and} is not jealous; love does not brag {and} is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong {suffered,}
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if {there are gifts of} prophecy, they will be done away; if {there are} tongues, they will cease; if {there is} knowledge, it will be done away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

I'm starting this week with my children on that passage...we're all going to learn it. A life lived loving people second only to God. What a simple, but perfect guide for life.

Love you all!


janan said...

I have a billboard sign outside our office that I change once a week with a new saying. Today I stood in the cold drizzle putting up the words, "Give Satan an inch and he will be a ruler." That's what I thought of while reading your words. Also, I have been listening to Beth's CDs of my favorite Bible study in the whole world, "Jesus the One and Only" (for about the 10th time). Guess what her talk was about today? Yes, the Sermon on the Mount. And she talked about the same things you do. Thank you for the "visual" of the monkey - I was waiting for him to clang himself right out of that plexiglass! We will tell you if you begin to sound like that monkey, but in the meantime, keep up that studying and blogging and teaching. God has given you a gift and you have to keep putting out the message. Beth was talking about how good Satan is in inspecting our "armor" (or is that armour?)and noticing all of the places where we have been "hit" - all of the clinks and indentions, some that are very deep because we keep getting hit there every time - and that's where he aims - those very same places where we are the weakest! Which reminds me of another saying I'm going to post outside my office, "Seven days without prayer makes one weak."


Jes said...

I love you Nan! How awesome that you are using your office billboard to share with people about the Lord!

I can't tell you how much I love Brennan likes to tell me, "all the way to God's hweart!".


Woman in the Tent said...

Great post! We all have pride we must deal with at times. And I agree with you about the self-esteem thing. In fact, if you think about it, low self-esteem is a twisted kind of esteem. Either way "self" is on the throne. Isn't it Phil. that says "let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves"? We all must crucify self daily. The problems come when we don't acknowledge or won't admit that is what must be done. Keep on climbing that "mount", dear friend.
Love, Laura

Jes said...


I so hope we get to meet this side of heaven! I love your heart!

Thanks for the post!

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