Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Take Time Tuesdays....

Chapter 3 ~ "The World Is Too Much with Us"

"Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you." 1 John 2:15

"We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasure on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. It wears us out by multiplying distractions and beats us down by destroying our solitude, where otherwise we might drink and renew our strength before going out to face the world again. " A.W. Tozer; early 1800s

As I began working on this week's study, I told myself that I was pretty good at "not loving the world"; living a fairly simple life (albeit hectic)... As I first read through the scripture and quote above, I just breezed through it. Yep. That is definitely a problem for people, isn't it? Then I read it again. And again. And again and again... Tozer's words stunned me ~ if that was his observation in the 1800s, what would he say about our life now? What would God say? Is that me? And then I began to wonder ~ how much do I love this world and what it offers? Do I love God more? Am I willing to lay aside this world, so the Father's love can flow into me and overflow through me? Are my human feelings a snare for me as I live for "now" instead of "for Him"? Wow! I have much more to work through than I originally thought. I did tell God I wanted to simplify my life, but my concept of what it would look like is completely different than what it is going to look like. In actuality, being a "woman of simplicity" is going to mean a MAJOR lifestyle adjustment!

I loved the new revelations I found this week:
  • Cynthia shares that on page 34, "God's Word clearly addresses our dilemma by reminding us not to love the world's ways or the world's goods, for when we do, we sacrifice our love for our Father. John cautions us because, "the world around us is under the control of the evil one" (1 John 5:19). The evil one delights in distracting us - whether it is preoccupation with an abundance of possessions or filling the world with technology that leaves little time to rest quietly in green meadows. How much we need to remember that this world is not our permanent home; we are only passing through (see Hebrews 13:14).
I never really thought about my life or life here on earth in this way before. Quite a different perspective, isn't it?! Humanly, it is very difficult to keep on focus on the temporary state of our time on earth and keep our eyes fixed on our ultimate and eternal prize - heaven! Certainly an area I struggle with...
  • "Our Lord did not teach detachment from other things: He taught attachment to Himself. Jesus Christ was not a recluse. He did not cut Himself off from society, He was amazingly in and out among the ordinary things of life; but He was disconnected fundamentally from it all. He was not aloof, but He lived in another world." Oswald Chambers
This is an area I have struggled with for many years. I love spending time with the Lord and living according to His Truths, but I stumble in trying to be in, but not of the world. I'm still not sure what that looks like or how it is lived out day-to-day. How thankful I am that God is still working on my life!

Anxiety and worry are discussed in this chapter. These are two big areas in my life in which God has been working on transformation for many, many years and I still haven't arrived yet! I'm getting better ~ worry less, trust more. I need to meditate more on His scriptures that reassure me the when I abide in Him, devote my life to Him, trust in Him ~ and resist the world ~ my life will be more fruitful! Anyone else challenged in this area? Anyone been completely set free from this?

Thoughts from an Older Woman: (page 39)
  • "My concern is that because the world is too much with us, we easily forfeit the blessing of living a God-paced life that has time for solitude and respite from our noisy world. It is our time spent quietly in His presence that transforms our minds and renews our strength to go back into the world to be the women He wants us to be."

This week ~ this is the cry of my heart. This is who I desire to be. It is NOT who I am today. I have forfeited much over my many years, but I don't want to continue along the same path. I may not be this tomorrow, but as I truly simplify my life and devote myself to Christ, it is who I can become!

I will admit that I really liked the visual picture of Psalm 4:6-8 (from The Message):
  • "Why is everyone hunger for more? "More, more" they say. "More, more." I have God's more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees. At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, for You, God, have put my life back together."
  • "Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" Let the light of Your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." NIV (same passage as above)
I'm beginning to really understand how our love for this world definitely gets in the way of "trying" to love our Heavenly Father. When in reality, choosing to love my Father first will cause the rest of my life to fall in pleasant places and I will not need to worry about the little details of daily life nor shall I need to scurry from "here to there" trying to gather what I think I need in this world... sigh.

I'm hoping to spend more time over the next week or so with this week's reflection and I hope to post additional thoughts later...

"We are not here to possess the world. We are here to show, by how we use the world, that Christ is more precious than the world. " John Piper

Abundant blessings dear ones! I will be traveling to and from Colorado; leaving later this week and returning next Tuesday ~ so I will not have a post next week. Have a glorious and bountiful Thanksgiving holiday celebration and I look forward to reading your comments. :)

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie