A Surreal Sculpture - so far from God's perfect creation
“And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee.” Deuteronomy 27:3
Have you ever been smacked in the face with a dead fish and wondered why you didn’t smell it coming? How long does it take you to smell rotten, dead fish? The bouquet is very distinctive – and very disgusting! Dead fish is dead fish. There is nothing attractive about a decomposing sea critter, and there is certainly nothing to admire in a woman who lives in her past.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
"…if any man be in Christ;" that is, all who trust Christ as their own personal Saviour---undergo such a change in their views and feelings as to make it proper to say of them, that they are a new creature. Our lives as Christian women are to manifest the characteristics of the new creation. The Hebrew translation for creature in the New Testament is creation or to fabricate Christ by example.
When we are saved, God gives us a make-over - so to speak. There is a change in us; when we absorb ourselves in Scripture, prayer, and Bible based teaching, we begin to change. We become a new woman. The old man never goes away (thanks to Adam) however, as we mature in the Christian life, the old man slowly fades. Old things pass away; former prejudices, opinions, habits, and attachments – must all pass away. Our supreme love of self diminishes. Our love of sin lessens over time, and our desire not to sin is increased over time. Our love of the world changes to our love for the things of God. Our supreme attachment to our earthly friends rather than God lessens. Our love of sin---our sensuality, pride, vanity, levity, and ambition---fades. There is a deep and radical change in all these areas---a change which commences at the new birth and which is carried on by progressive sanctification. In turn, this is consummated at death and in Heaven.
What would happen if God unzipped your heart and you were convicted of how you were living in the past? How would you feel if your old head were glued onto your new creation?
Living in the past may be a generational sin that has become YOUR besetting sin. You won’t reach dry ground if you keep swimming back from shore. Moses never reached Canaan land and we won’t while we continue to live in the past. Get real about yourself!
Road Blocks to Canaan Land
Fear and Fantasy
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
Don’t confuse the “Fear of God” (which is the beginning of all wisdom) with the “Fear Factor.”
When we moved to America four-years ago, we brought two-suitcases and a cabin bag which was filled with diapers. Suffice to say, my luggage had most of Caleb’s clothes and a few of mine. Our baggage was the sum-total of our possessions. Apart from a twenty-pound FedEx box that we shipped, that was it! There was no inheritance and our savings were gone. We exchanged our AUSD (Australian Dollars) into USD (American Dollars) when our plane landed at Chicago Airport. That totaled almost $400.
Shift your mind for a moment; four years ago, we were in our mid-forties. Add three pieces of luggage and $400 to the equation (and each other). Take a walk with me now; imagine your kitchen stripped of its entire contents; no pans, silverware, dinnerware, blender, mixing bowls, grater, dish-towels, baking trays, casserole dishes---and whatever else ads up to a woman’s standard kitchen. Not forgetting, I did not have a standard kitchen in Sydney; everything was the best, and I had the remnants of an over-indulgent life.
We are now moving into Caleb’s bedroom. Someone kindly donated a crib; there was no bedding, chest of drawers, blanket, quilt, or any other items that pertain to a child’s room. There was no dryer, no washer, and no iron.
Moving along; we left Australia with nothing and came to nothing. I rested in the knowledge that we were in God’s will, but at my weakest I did suffer from fear; fear of never seeing my Father again, fear of never having anything again, fear of where and how we would live, fear of our future, fear of feeling normal again, and a fear for my girls.
I embraced my fear and became “fear-wise.” During my darkest days I read every Scripture verse on fear. Apart from my husband, I had no friend to talk to, to cry with, or to confide in – but I had Jesus, and He has sweetly brought me through a Valley of Baca. I have never experienced such difficult trials as those we venerated in our last four-years.
Fear keeps you from getting real about your life.
My performance was functional and sometimes frozen by fear. At times, fear kept me from seeing any hope. Praise God I did not allow it to defeat me and through the course of being diligent in my Christian walk, I found grace BY God’s grace, to get through each day. Potentially, fear will keep us from where God wants to take us – our Canaan. "Now let the feeble all be strong, and make Jehovah's arm their song."
Do you remember my devotion called “Fairer than Sarah?” I wrote about my obsession as a little girl with Charlie’s Angels. This portion of the devotion (you can read it under “Archived”) is symbolic of fantasy however, fantasy can come in other forms.
When I owned my business, I would attend various social functions where I networked; formal balls, silver-spoon dinners, auctions, over-seas trips, trade-shows, and all the paraphernalia that goes with a perceived glamorous life. For the most part I acted-out a fantasy. There were times where my world was so far from reality that reality became more and more difficult. Living up to an image and a perceived expectation from others, is unnatural for anyone.
But there is another fantasy; you can live a life of daydreams by maintaining a fantasy world within your mind. If the desire to go back to where you came from (figuratively or physically), outweighs the desire for you to move on in God’s will, you are not being real about what God is doing in your life and where He is taking you. The old man is hanging on! Often this is a besetting sin that we maintain, and the refusal to accept our circumstances and changes undermines our ability to get real about our lives. Sometimes, as in my own situation, you may be unaware that you are living in the past and the message you give through too much focus on your past contradicts what you value the most - God's will.
Women who watch too much television can fall victim to fantasy; numerous marriages have been torn apart by women who live in a non-reality world through their perceived lives that are nothing more than a castle in the sky. And adultery is often the end product of a by-product called fantasy.
God has brought me through another victory in the Christian life; unaware of fantasy being the besetting sin I maintained, my life had stagnated through my living in the past. Until most recently, I have been like a tree growing parallel to a power line. Next time you drive and you are idle at the stop-lights, observe the growth of a tree next to power-lines. Radiation from the line destroys the tree's ability to grow on the side closest to the electrical cable. On the other side however, the tree flourishes. As a result, it looks unbalanced and there is obviously something wrong with its growth and formation.
This tree is a metaphor for my besetting sin; so much of who I was is in the past. My position and my possessions were where I sought strength and stability – and God knew it had to go! Resolved to become an extraordinary Christian woman, I verbally stated that I was in the center of God’s will and unknowingly lived the opposite through my verbatim.
Living in the past was at the root of my besetting sin and I was unaware of the snare Satan had set in place. I am not the same woman I was when I owned my business. That life is over now; I am a new creation. The old ways are passed and I am becoming a new vessel for God’s glory. I have no desire to go back in time, so why would I place any importance on those things that belong in my past?
I’m working through this spiritual exercise but I do know for sure; regardless of coming with nothing, this does not equate to me being a nothing woman, with nothing to give, and no identity.
I’m a child of the King; I am somebody, and I belong somewhere and have something to give. My strength and security must come from God and rest in Him. Being stripped of everything materially has stripped me of all the props I held up in life as essential and significant.
Where do I go from here? I keep being a good Christian woman daily; reading my Bible, talking to God, going to church every time the doors are open, and allowing Him to work on the broken pieces and place them perfectly and precisely His way.
Praise God I’m not the same woman I use to be and to get real about my life has allowed me to bury hurt from the past and to move forward victoriously.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5
God may use my past as a testimony, but I live the present as a very real woman who struggles with the same struggles you do, and who desires more than anything to get closer to God and become an extraordinary Christian woman who encourages and points other women to Christ.
I live by this principle: K-I-S-S! Keep it simple sweetie! Others might be impressed with what I have to say, but God isn’t. That’s a humbling tune to keep in my mind every time I am tempted to drag the past up again.
God loves you and---
I Love You,