Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Confessions of a Conflicted Blogger

Ok.  It's time for one of those moments of vulnerability.  The kind you typically have with those you hold in closest confidence.  Those whom you trust most not to stomp all over your tender heart when you bear your soul about inadequacies and struggles that are raging on the inside. 

So why would I do that with the potential that it may be read by people whom don't know me well, could judge me, and who potentially, couldn't care less about my vulnerabilities?  

Because I blog about the most precious commodity that money CAN'T buy.  It is more precious than any jewel or loved one that can be found in this lifetime.  I blog about the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the power of God unto salvation.  When your blog is centered around the Gospel it brings the potential for posts about every possible area of life that the bible impacts.  This is because the bible holds the entire narrative surrounding the need for the Gospel as well as every implication of the impact that the Gospel should have on our existence. 

I don't want anything about me or my message to hinder the impact that I can have for this wonderful truth.  If that means addressing controversial issues, so be it.  If it means bearing my soul about my own struggles and shortcomings, then may it be so in Jesus name.  I have done plenty of posting about my convictions regarding the truths of the bible, how they apply, and why they are necessary.  Before I do any more of that however, I want to be perfectly honest about some challenges I have been experiencing.  I have confessions to make.

I have struggled with pride regarding this blog though not from the beginning.  I have found though, that in the last two or three months I have struggled significantly.  I made the announcement that I was going to strive to write shorter posts more often.  That was challenging to begin with.  Any of you who know me know that I am not built to be short winded.  I am detailed in my expression, not wanting to miss anything that may have an impact on the point I am trying to make.  So my pride has taken a hit because I have not been able to figure out how to do this consistently.  I am not sure that I made that commitment for the right reasons to begin with.  

This has also been driven by pride.  When I first began blogging, I received more feedback than I do these days.  I also paid less attention to the visit count.  Yes, there is a counter that tells me how many times the blog page is visited.   I never used to care about it but for some reason, lately, I have been watching it and becoming discouraged.  This is silly for many reasons, one of which is that people whom receive this by email don't even have to go to the page to read the post.  So it does not make sense and up until recently I had never cared.  I have begun finding my validation in my readers rather than my Jesus. 

One of my biggest problems, that I believe fuels all the rest, is that of a lack of gratitude for the opportunity to have an outlet to express my convictions to begin with.  Whether anyone reads it or not, I am able to practice fleshing out my thoughts and exercising my expression through this tool.  But that is not the only reason I do it, which leads to another struggle that I long to overcome, fear.

Fear of man
Blogging is not a cop-out for witnessing face to face.  I have experienced some challenges courtesy of putting my thoughts out into the "virtual" world. My passion for God's word and my desire to express it has brought some friction in areas of my day to day walk as well as a heightened since of accountability.  All of this I am grateful for.  However while I am not known as one to hide my faith, as people of bold speech go regarding sharing the gospel with your neighbor etc, I struggle significantly.  I battle with the fear of rejection or being judged.  I don't share the gospel with people face to face the way I do on this blog and that has got to change.  I don't always obey my Heavenly Father in faith the way I should and that also has to change.  It represents a lack of confidence in God's promise to finish what He starts.  I am the sower, He is the reaper.  I must strive to sow seeds of truth in love and leave the watering and growth to God.  Pray that I would trust Him more.

Fear of God
If I had a proper fear of God.  A holy reverence.  If I really believe what I preach.  If I believe that the bible says that those who do not believe on Jesus and live a life of repentance that evidences a pursuit of holiness and a submission to His Lordship are going to an eternity apart from Him that will involve an eternal burning torment like nothing they have ever known, then I will tell them about it.  If I really love them; if I really believe that God loves them and that Jesus died, paying the price for their sins, then I will shout it from the rooftops.

So what is the answer?
Obviously, God does not expect us to have a perfect handle on holy servitude, as it were, before we start striving to obey him and share him with others.  We are justified through grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone and I have no doubt that I am justified.  I am in pursuit of holiness and desire to be made as close to perfect as is possible before I get to heaven.  The challenge we face is in remembering that sanctification is a lifelong process and that we must desire to work hard at it while never forgetting that only God's sanctifying grace enables any changes that occur(1 Corinthians 15:10).  Thus, we must not make excuses for our continual struggle with sin and yet, we must never lose site of the victory that we already have in Christ.  A proper understanding of this victory helps us to battle the guilt and condemnation that sin and Satan try to put on us to slow us down in the fight.  We must always remember that "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"(Romans 8:1)  Conviction by the Holy Spirit is healthy and helps us to stay the course.  Condemnation is of the devil and has no place in the life of a believer.

In Ephesians 6:19-20, even the Apostle Paul asked for prayer that he would proclaim the Gospel boldly as he ought. So please pray for me.  Pray that I would step into bolder action by grace, through faith in obeying my Lord and Savior more faithfully in every area of my life.  Pray that I would forget what is behind and press on toward the high calling in Christ Jesus(Philippians 3:13-14).

As it regards this blog.  I am going to strive to be whom God created me to be.  I will post as often as I can and feel so directed. Some posts will be shorter, some longer.  Some will be more controversial than others.  I will strive not to think any longer about how anyone responds to it or if they even read it at all.  I want to impact peoples lives, but only the Holy Spirit can use what I write to do that.  So I will be faithful to write and strive to leave the rest to God. 

I hope you haven't minded my honesty or detail.  More than anything I want people to understand that I don't proclaim the truth as one who has overcome all things and is now telling everyone else to do the same.  NO!  I struggle with sin, every second of every minute of every day!  I am just like you in that regard.  As Paul said, those things I don't want to do, I do.  Those things I want to do, I don't do.  But thanks be to God that He has delivered me from this wretched body of death(Romans 7:21-25).  I have a glorious eternity free from sin, sickness, sadness, guilt, or shame to look forward to.  In the mean time, my goal is to satisfy the instruction of the Lord in sharing the Gospel, to pursue a life of holiness and to impact the lives of others for the glory of God. 

He is Mighty! He is Glorious! He is Worthy!  I pray that both you and I would live lives worthy of the Gospel!  Thank you for your ears, eyes, and hearts.  Let's go into battle, lifting each other up in prayer.

In Jesus name,


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