Saturday, November 15, 2008

Get Off The Fence!

Speaking spiritually, I could never see myself as being one of the people who sits on the fence, been on the fence, or even been near a fence. I guess cause I felt such a strong calling to be one of God's princesses that I never could imagine me falling away from His arms. I guess I always thought things between me and God would be perfect. Like our very own perfect world and relationship, as well that nothing could come inbetween us. I'm sure that is all of our attitudes when we first discover God's love and grace becoming real in our lives for the first time when we realize that we can't live without Him while living in this world, this world that is not our home.
Because of something very big happening in my life, which made me want to turn my life around and give it over to Christ, I made the choice at a young age to no longer be as this world was calling me to be, simply because I wanted something better. A 13 years old knows a lot about whats inside the world more than what that childs parents think they know. Its a sad state, as it was that way for me. And even at that age I knew the difference between right and wrong, and how the choices you make now will effect how your future will become. I'm so glad that God showed me all the things in this world that He wanted to keep me away from. And at first, I gladly took His hand and let Him have everything of me, my heart, my soul, my spirit, and most importantly my mind. I was a baby Christian, and the journey seemed exciting to me. I thought I was ready for anything.
Thankfully, God never lets things get out of hand in our lives, like situations He knows we can't handle, He won't allow to come to pass. So being as I thought I did, I later learned that I am not ready for anything to come my way. You can't gain strength over night. You can't gain confidence and faith just by saying the words over and over again in your head. It takes work, and effort on your part to accept the calling God has placed in your life and it takes a TON of learning. As you can see the word "ton" is capitolized. Why? Because I'm serious when I say it takes a TON of learning and a TON of commitment to have that deep and inimate relationship with Christ.
So what does a spiritually fence have to do with all this? If you don't mind, I would like to share a little testimony of mine. Often in all my blogging I mention something that personally happened in my life. I don't mean to brag on myself, or say that I am better than anyone cause God showed me this or that simply I know more when I talk about myself. I feel like I can get what I'm trying to say across to you when I talk about where I've been and where I come from. Things happen in our lives for a reason. And it happens to bring us closer to our God, and surrender everything we have over to Him. I find this is the best way for me to share, from my own personal experience.
I've mentioned many times before how Purity is such a huge part of my life. I've shared my testimony of how I got to that place already many times, which I find I should not have to mention again. So, that being said, just know that when I first became a Christian I felt purity to be the calling God brought into my life the moment I gave Him my heart.
In order to give in to take this calling, you have to make sacrifices, choices, decisions that will impact who you are as a person. But of course, it comes at a high price. A price that you must pay even though you may feel like its just not worth it. Because purity isn't just talking about you keeping yourself physically pure. Some people go almost all the way without crossing the line and try to consider themselves still pure. But what I'm saying, its more than physical, its also emotional, and spiritual. Its not easy keeping yourself in check. For the mind I personally believe, is the hardest part of the spiritual body to keep under self control.
I wanted to remain innocent. A pure white rose that has not yet bloomed. Because if I were to open the rose ahead of its time to bloom because I simply couldn't wait for the beauty, the rose would die. Then there would be nothing left of it for me to enjoy. Its the same in our spiritual lives when it comes to protecting our hearts.
So, all my teen years I made sure to be that pure white rose that God wanted me to remain until He would bring the right man into my life. I'm so happy that my heart has never been opened to anyone else but Him. I sortof thought the choice to remain pure would be simple, and that it would be easy. But I think we all know that when thinking this way, we only end up into trouble. And thats where it left me hanging and asking what was going on inside my life.
First off, define being on the fence. The first time I heard of Getting off The Fence was at church camp back in 2005. The speaker who was there that week, asked for those who were touched and gave their lives over to the Lord to stand up. This was at the very end of the week, and I was so happy to see that a lot of people stood standing up. They were not ashamed. Then he asked, for those who got of the fence, to please stand up. I'm so proud, that the same number of people who were saved that week, were the same number of young students who said they have gotten off the fence. It was then I understood what that term meant.
I don't know where any of those students are at right now, but I do hope that they still make the commitment everyday to never get back on the fence. I would like to describe a fence to you. Imagine in your mind a white fence. It is very long, it goes across roads and pastures. When it is new, it is beautiful. But after a while being out in cold weather, through storms, hail, and who knows what else, it no longer looks that pretty. In fact the person who owns that fence usually has to repaint it. Not very fun I'm sure. Its a pain. Only to repaint it over again because it can never be perfect. Who usually hangs around a fence? I can see birds sitting on one, probobly chatting about the day and who might have had more baby birds that day and comparing. Gossiping, checking out the female birds or filling out a grocery list of worms. Sure, birds live life too ya know. Maybe even read a newspaper called The Birds Eye View. Anyway, its a place to hang out. You sit on the fence. And you do nothing but sit there all day and watch the other birds fly on by. I bet that gets boring. So how can we relate this to the living world? We are the same way as the birds. Many people give their lives over to Christ. They are happy they have their highway ticket to Heaven. They feel lifted up as the sins are no longer hidden inside their bodies. So after all this happens, many people do what a bird does, they go and sit on the fence. They have what they need, which is going to Heaven when they die and thats it. No personal change or decision to take on a higher calling for Gods glory. Just something to assure them they aren't gonna burn. And what do they do? They sit on the fence, along with a lot of people who as well may claim to be Christians but really aren't living the lifestyle they should be living. They sit on the fence along with those who don't believe in God and what nothing to do with Him. Every lifestyle is sitting on the fence. For you need to remember, the fence does not stay pretty for long. Because a storm comes, and chips away the paint. Which invites more unpleasent crowds to join in. Many people go this route. And are happy being on the fence.
Then we have the other believer who really wants the change in his or her life. They want to work at their new relationship with Christ. They seem to have a good start, but after a while it becomes pretty rough. And they start to see that the choices that they personally have made to not conform to this world really aren't that big of a deal anymore. So what if that movie has that one dirty scene of bad language. They tell themselves that they won't let it effect them in any way. And soon making that choice leads to other choices that no longer seem that big of a deal as well. Like going to a small party where there maybe drinking, or a night club. As long as you don't do anything bad its okay to party and be there. They later find themselves on the fence, along with every other lifestyle in this world, where those lifestyles are accepted as okay. Since its the persons choice to live they way they live, its okay to accept it, instead of telling them the truth, and what God can do to restore them. No, they sit on the fence. And they find themselves satisfied. God isn't that big of a priority anymore, and that seems okay for them.
I said at the beginning I could never see myself at all being near the fence. Because I thought I could become better. Which is very true, but you have to keep making the choice to do whats right and not just do it once and it solves all your problems. I said before about making the huge step to purity. For a very long time I followed that road to where God was leading me. And to be honest, it was very easy for me. Until I got older, and then purity was the absolutely hardest battle going on in my mind and my heart. I guess you can say, I became curious. Since everybody on the fence was looking at something, I wanted to see what it was too. So I took a peak. I started to see that watching some movies weren't so bad, without thinking that Jesus was there watching that same movie with me. I told myself that I wouldn't let that effect me and that of course, I am still pure in my mind. I was letting in a lot of images. And I don't think I have to describe them, you already get the picture. Its like when you listen to a certian song that has a lot of cuss words in it. You say you ignore the words and just listen to the music. Well eventually the more you hear the words along with the music, it becomes only natural to actually repeat the words in your head and it starts to not sound so bad. After all you wouldn't really say those words outloud right? And don't say you don't listen to the words to songs. It is impossible to block out lyrics to a song and not hear them. Soon it becomes all you think about, but you still deny that it has effected you in some way. The same with movies, once you see it, it never leaves. You will remember it later down the road. I've always been told to be careful with what you put in your mind because once its there, it can never leave. I only wish I took that seriously, because there have been a lot of things that I have allowed to enter into my mind that I shouldn't have, but I made the choice. I made the choice to allow an unclean image enter my thoughts. And that my friend, is something you are to take seriously. And before you know it, it becomes okay. And you will also find yourself sitting on the fence.
I didn't realize exactly where I was on the fence, until I felt another calling just recently. There are girls at our church that I deeply care about. They don't know me that well, and I don't know them that well. But I know that they have a lot that they are going to be facing in this life, and their journey has just begun. I want to make the point of being there for these girls through the trials they will be facing cause I have already been there. I want to take that step and be a mentor, somebody that they can vent to. But before I can take that step, I must examine where my heart is, and what I hold in it. I must set a good influence among these girls. But before I could do that, I had a lot of changing that I needed to do, as well as a lot of cleaning. So, I made a list of things that I personally have regreted in my life that I do not want these girls to also do. I made my list, and I made a promise to not do these things again. Because either you know it or not, somebody is always watching you. And if somebody is watching me, they need to see the truth of who I am. Not somebody who sits on the fence. I must become everything God wants me to be in Him, before I can help any girl who comes to me for advice. Would you go up to a prostitute, or some guy at school who you know is a total jerk and ask for help? No, you want to go to somebody who actually knows where you are coming from and how you feel. You don't go to the most popular girl or guy in school, you go to the person who is different, and has peace in their lives that you want as well.
Seeing what I was doing, I jumped off the fence. I realized the huge step those students back in 2005 took that week at church camp. Its about giving up the old way of life, and surrendering to a God who is full of surprises. Those who careless will stay on the fence and will produce no fruit for the kingdom of God.
I'm 19 now, and still young. But to be honest, my generation is practically over. Once you hit 20, you no longer matter in this world. But the ones who are still stuck as a teenager, you are the next generation. And YOU matter. We can all see that the world and media is set on teenagers. Everything is about them. They do everything and the media can't get enough of it. Its the truth, and the generation now, is pathetic. I see too many young boys and girls sitting on the fence with the rest of the generation. Even some of the people from two generations ago are still on the fence. Sad isn't it? Don't you know how crowded it gets on that thing? I'm sure the painter gets tired of repainting it a lot. But seriously, who is the painter anyway? The fence, represents the world. This world is Satans kingdom. And he is proud to repaint it when a new generation steps in to sit on it. Because thats more and more people who don't know Christ. We as Christians are to be seperated from the world, not a part of it! If we as Christians sit on the fence along with the rest of the world, what do we accomplish? A selfish lifestyle, where we don't care to reach out to others unless we get something in return. We are not on this planet for this reason. I am so sick of seeing lives thrown to the ground because people refuse to get off the fence! It doesn't have to be this way. But people make the choice, and we are supose to just accept it? I don't think so! We are to reach out to this world to tell the truth. When somebody does something really awful that we know will hurt them in the future, should we just allow them to commit the crime and learn the lesson themselves? No! If you care about anybody you will do whatever it is you can to tell them the truth of their actions, and say it with love. Get off the fence and be a voice to them because nobody else will! God wants us to speak! He doesn't just use missionaries you know. Its not just their responsibility to witness to this planet surrounded by the devil and demons. We are still here, and we have a calling. We are to accept that calling.
I have seen many people who I have gone to church with step up on the fence. And nothing, and I mean NOTHING will get them off. Because they simply do not give a care. I feel for these people who don't at all want to seek the wisdom of God and grow through His Word. People think its boring, and as well they see too many people who claim to be Christians sitting on the fence. People, the world wants to see the real deal! No wonder we have such a hard time, there are too many hyprocrites! My friend Britt and I call them Hippos, or Hypos. Because they are too dumb to suck in their gut and admit that they without God are completely worthless. Our focus is not to please ourselves. Its too easy to become a selfish person. It takes character to get off the fence. Is that something you have?
The generation now is the future of this world, well whats left of it anyways. It maybe half damaged but God still has a plan for as long as He allows us to live. God didn't create the fence. A fence is man made. Only most people use it out of context, and its just a piece of wood where we can do nothing but wait for things to come to us. Well I've made the decision to not be that kind of person. I have a higher calling in life. And I will lay down my pride and take it up at all cost. It doesn't matter with what we have on this earth. Cause once we die we can't take anything with us to the afterlife, but our friends and family. I know people right now that are stuck on the fence. I want to take them to Heaven with me. So I will do whatever I can to reach out to them, if God lets me. I pray for them everyday, because being on the fence is not pretty when the storms come in and take over, chip the paint, and maybe even kill a few birds. It hurts, and I don't want to sit around and watch. I really hope that you don't want that either. But instead of just talking about changing the world, just go out and do it. It is time to move, it is time to Get Off The Fence. Its time to accept a higher calling in life other than watching life pass you by. If you're serious about Christ, then live it, do it, and be it. Don't think you have all the time in the world, cause you really don't have any time at all. Put it into good use, not waste it living on a hard, chipped, broken fence.