Tuesday, March 29, 2011

you got me.

I'm listening to Pandora and Colbie Caillat's song "You Got Me" comes on. Just listening to it casually, it's a fun catchy song. It's cute. It's fun. It's easy to catch onto, so I found myself singing it then realized what I was singing. I looked up the lyrics, and this song is a blueprint of how our society views relationships and "love" contrary to what Jesus commands.

"You Got Me"
You're stuck on me and my laughing eyes
I can't pretend though I try to hide - 
I like you. I like you.

I think I felt my heart skip a beat
I'm standing here and I can hardly breathe - 
You got me. You got me.

The way you take my hand is just so sweet
And that crooked smile of yours it knocks me off my feet
Oh, I just can't get enough
How much do I need to fill me up.
It feels so good it must be love
It's everything that I've been dreaming of.
I give up. I give in. I let go. Let's begin.
Cause no matter what I do,
Oh (oh) my heart is filled with you.

I can't imagine what it'd be like
Living each day in this life - 
Without you. Without you.
One look from you I know you understand
This mess we're in you know is just so out of hand.
I hope we always feel this way (I know we will)
And in my heart I know that you will always stay

Oh, I just can't get enough
How much do I need to fill me up.
It feels so good it must be love
I give up. I give in. I let go. Let's begin.
Cause no matter what I do,
Oh (oh)
You got me. You got me.
Oh (oh)
You got me. You got me. 

"How much do I need to fill me up?"
"I give up. I give in."
"My heart is filled with you."
"I can't imagine what it would be like living each day without you."
"It feels so good."

Our culture (and every culture, past present future) looks to people to satisfy and fill, specifically in the opposite sex/romantic relationships. Not even counting those outside of Christ, this is true of believers! Men are look for a perfect submissive wife who happens to look like a model. (ps. she's not real) Once they get "her", their wondering eyes and mind battle with lust will evaporate.  Looking to women to heal, instead of Christ and His power. Woman have a false expectation that "everything will be better" once they get their boyfriend or husband. They won't be lonely anymore. Finances will settle. A wondering, fickle heart will cease. They'll finally feel beautiful every day. They won't struggle with discontentment anymore. NOT TRUE!!! A friend of mine told me once of my previous expectations: "You would have crucified a man with those." SO TRUE. Men (and women) make absolutely terrible gods. Yet, our culture encourages that. It encourages relationships so that "void is filled." It encourages you to pursue was "feels right and good." The thought of "losing" someone (physically, emotionally, sexually, mentally) makes us want to kill ourselves, if that doesn't actually happen. We have placed all our hope in man. What a terrifying place to be in.

Romans 1:25 calls this idolatry.
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!

When we place all our value, hope, identity, fulfillment, satisfaction on something, we are bound to them. We become their slave. What are you bound by? What are you a slave to? They rule you. 

That same friend who told me my expectations would crucify a man, told me later "Someone was already crucified for that." PRAISE GOD. This is our hope. My struggle with idolatry and placing my hope on a future husband has been crucified and paid for on the cross at calvary. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. My sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow!

I'm reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient (MW - "passing especially quickly into and out of existence"), but the things that are unseen are eternal (MW - "having infinite (endless) duration").

Jesus is forever. And in Him is all hope, love, faithfulness, joy. Pursue Him.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

no facebook.

I've never participated in lent before. Honestly, I always knew of it as this "catholic thing" to do. Over the past few years, more and more friends and brothers and sisters in my church have participated in it. As I've studied and thought about it, I've been drawn to the meditation and sacrificial side of it. As with fasting, it's a time to think on the person and work of Jesus. It's entirely taking the attention off of yourself and putting it on Jesus, WHERE IT BELONGS! Thinking on the passover, what Jesus went through, Calvary, His grace...last week our home group brought it up, after my roommate and I had just had a conversation about it. Needless to say, the past few weeks of conviction and seeking the Lord on it, I knew what He was pressing me to do. Give up facebook for 40 days.

It's funny, because when I thought about it, I was instantly overcome with anxiety. I was scared that I would "miss" something, I was nervous of what would "happen without me." Prideful thought after prideful thought...that people "need" me. That I'm important and worthy enough to merit someone wanting to talk to me, or see my statuses...that I would miss "stalking" people (funny we joke about that so much - it really is kinda creepy). The more I thought about it, the more ashamed I was, the more aware I was of the creeping dependency I was getting of not facebook per say, but how I was using it. For this instantaneous gratification, a false affirmation, a silly computer to computer "community" - I was grieved and saddened by my own sin in finding these things not in Jesus, but others.

I believe in every person, in every culture, in every society there is an unreal amount of idolatry and addiction. (SIN!) It goes back to the fall of man and the curse of sin that is in every man. We will search in everything and everyone to find fulfillment, satisfaction, affirmation, love, passion...everywhere but Jesus. Romans 1:25 says that "They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." That is what we have all done. Instead of worshipping and praising our Creator God, we have made Him a means to an end...We worship, praise, and serve the temporal things in this temporal world. What sorry exchange!! He is not a means to an end - HE IS THE END. If that does not bring a joy to us, there is something "off.

I remember the year facebook became the "new craze." I was in college, and because I went to a private school, ours was one of the last to get thefacebook.com. :) I believe that in everything God is to be glorified. I won't sit here and today and say that facebook is evil. The Lord's name has been glorified and praised through facebook (and twitter and other social networking); but along with that praise has come cursing and sin, idolatry and addiction. With a tool like facebook (which is it...it is a TOOL that ought to be used to glorify God!) - but with a tool like facebook, I believe it falls under the same realm of the evil of our tongues and what we "say" (or type).

James 3:8-12 says, "No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water." 

Facebook is so often used this way. It can be used for the glory of God or it can be used as an absolute blasphemy. I think even if those of us who desire so greatly to use it for God's glory, we slip. We fail. In my own life personally I've seen me using it as an excuse to sin. I've gotten jealous and envious of silly things. I've gotten frustrated by pictures or people's profiles. I've let my guard down and said things I shouldn't have. There are times I have not practiced wisdom or discernment. I've grown this unhealthy addiction and attachment to it, as if that silly social network tool determined my happiness in that short moment. It's almost as if I (and I think many others) have a false sense of community and friendship in "followers" or "likes" - based on comments people make on statuses, chat conversations. We think because we're "friends" with someone on facebook that they mean something to us in real life.

I don't want to be known, seen, and loved by my online interaction! Christ, may I be known by my love for You and others. John 13:35 says, "By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Can we genuinely practice that love hiding behind a computer screen? I'm not discounting the face that facebook is, again, a TOOL to be used, but it is not the #1 route. Am I loving those around me well? Am I pursuing FACE TO FACE community? Am I walking in openness without "typing" it out. I won't lie, this can be difficult for me at times. But I want it. I desire it so deeply. Am I using all things for His glory, and not my own? Am I making much of Him and not myself?

Having no facebook has been liberating. It's been beautiful. To be able to read and study without the subconscious thoughts of "oh, I should put this on facebook!" or the random daily thoughts of "what is he/she doing right now?" To be rid of distraction. To be able to let Jesus heal my heart without a constant "stab" or visual daily reminder of something that hurts me, to be comforted by Christ when things aren't panning out as I wanted them to. To be able to pursue friendships OUTSIDE OF THE INTERNET! It's refreshing. I am excited about this next month. I am excited to see Jesus fulfill me and satisfy me, to comfort me and be my joy. I am excited to make much of Him. I'm excited for His sanctifying work in my life, of Him sharpening me...of Him breaking my bones for His glory and renown.

O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory. Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips, when I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night; for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by Him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.
Psalm 63