Good morning, ladies! :)
I wanted to answer those questions I posted from Leslie Vernick's book, myself~ maybe it will be an encouragement to you (as well as for myself ) to see that all of us struggle with sin. At least we hope we are struggling, right? We don't want to find ourselves complacent in it... so often I can relate to doing as I do not want to do, but I am so grateful that God is so gracious to help me up, dust me off, and point me back to the right path again! The choice to listen to Him and obey Him, or to listen to myself and obey myself, determines what will happen next. I am so aware of my limitations and yet so struggle with the sin of self-sufficiency. Can you relate? Daily, I must preach the gospel to myself . I must remind my wandering heart that I am a sinner saved by grace alone and through faith alone I am not only spared but declared righteous under Jesus' blood by God! That is just a crazily wonderful thing to try and wrap our puny little minds around, isn't it?! God's mercy and kindness are awe-inspiring; His judgements are fear inspiring.
To the questions...
1. So, so often I find-at the foot of the cross- that I 'just want *my feelings* to be validated'... if that is you, too, take heart that one our feelings are fickle and cannot be trusted ( the heart is decietful, who can know it's depths?) and two that God is sovereign over my feelings and yours. The #1 goal of my life and your life cannot be *validating our feelings*. It HAS to be bringing glory to God by dying the death that we owe him... the death of self ...caring about myself, thinking about myself, loving myself, serving MYSELF.... see my pattern here? At the foot of the cross is where I find that my 'needs' not being meet is a matter pitifully uninportant ~ I am reminded of (I believe) a Smashing Pumpkins song from back in 2000 sometime ( the college days) that had a line, " Don't it make you sad to know that life, is more than who we are?" or some version of that same setiment. It is hard on the old pride to see and know that we are not top dog, that maybe our feelings do not even really matter, that bringing glory to God is ALL it's ALL ABOUT. Isn't it? That's why I like thinking about this, because it is hard on the pride. It is a big pride killing time for me , and probably (?!) will be the rest of my days here on this planet. I am daily worshipping my pride...'my feelings' that 'I just "need" to have validated.' Don't get me wrong, God actually DOES care about our feelings...but that is his mercy and grace to do so, he is not obligated. He cares for us, it's true. But do we care for him?? Enough to 'die to self' as it is referred to and tell our *feelings* and our *emotional "needs" * to take a hike, and ask God to help us stay upon that narrow path no matter how beat up we feel or how hard the fight is, or how many cuts and bruises we get along the path? I could never recieve a wound more appalling that what we did to Jesus, our Savior!, on the cross. And neither could you, friend. Let's help each other die today and everyday, because we love God and want to usefully serve him and also because we hate our sin and want it to die as much as it can in this life.
Going to do the rest later... stuff to do, paces to see, places to be!! LOL... Ok, truthfully, I have a lot of laundry I need to fold. You got me! ;)