4 Jul 2016

In The World...



...but so far from of the world.

This is what our heavenly Father desires from us. He doesn't want a little bit of you. He doesn't want half of you. He wants ALL of you, every part of you, every dark corner of your soul, every inch of your body, as a living sacrifice to Him. He wants to lighten those dark corners and sanctify your body, to set you apart.
He, Creator of the universe, desires you. All of you. Isn't that amazing?
I am excited to tell you this, even if you've heard it before. Because it is something I only just properly woke up to recently. I'd like to tell you how beautifully and gently God revealed it to me.

"I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one." [John 17: 14-15]

We live in a world that is full of sin. Some sins are plain and blatant. Other sins are carefully concealed and hidden, in small doses within seemingly harmless concoctions we inject into ourselves. The sin slips in, attaches itself, silent and unnoticeable. And there it grows, it puts down roots. We don't realize it at first. But our Father, who searches the heart, does.

"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." [Jeremiah 17:10]

"All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits." [Proverbs 16:2]

I have a testimony to share with you. Because He loves me, He showed me where I was being disloyal to Him. Where I was holding back from Him. And He saved me from myself.

It started with music. I love music, as I'm sure you might. You know, the kind of music that sends tingles down your back and gets you dancing and singing along. Yeah, and all that mainstream music that's everywhere, in the stores, on the radio, on YouTube. Long story short, music is enjoyable. Music is fun.
Awhile back, I was listening to all kinds of music. I didn't care if there was some swearing here and there, I didn't like the blasphemy but I accepted it. Those songs would go round and round my head all of the time. I absorbed them, like a sponge soaking up dirty water. Then one day came the knocking on one of the doors in my heart. I heard Him ask, why won't you let Me in?
It was a door to a room I had been locking every time I felt that knock. He was telling me: I want to fill all of the room in your heart. Let Me in so that I can fill you.
I'm pretty stubborn. I didn't want to give up my music. I thought, well, I read the bible. I know I love Jesus. Why can't I have this one thing? So I locked the door once more. I ignored the still, small voice. I ignored His will for me.

"But your yourselves are to put off all of these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth." [Colossians 3:8]

Then what did He do? Well, I can tell you what He didn't do. He didn't stop knocking, or calling my name. This is the part that awes me. He never gives up. He will never turn away from you. Not from me, the mulish, obstinate girl, not from you, wherever you've been or whatever you've done, not from anyone.
He is persistent and His persistence won that area of my life. I gave up all music with any swearing or blasphemy in. I turned instead to other, clean songs including lots of worship songs, and sang praise to Him. And in place of the rap and 'sick' beats that used to fill that room in my heart, was my God, so much more fulfilling and rewarding. I don't regret it. 

"Jesus said to Him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind.'" [Matthew 22:37]

We're called to surrender ALL to Him. We can only do that with His help, and His prompting.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." [Philippians 4:13]

"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will most gladly boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." [2 Corinthians 12:9]

Because He loves me, He didn't just stop at music. Although I didn't know it just yet, movies were next.
How nice is it to just sit back, relax after a long day, and watch a movie? I barely watch movies now days, as it turns out, but once in a while it's a treat. I went through an obsession of watching movies earlier this year, though, and none of them were godly. I mean, none of them. I gave in to the trap that is laid for all of us. Movies that do not glorify God, that in fact so often do the opposite, are snares.
The knocking came again, and this time I answered more readily. I gave up those movies.

But He wasn't done yet.

One of the last things He spoke to me about in the months of May and June, last but definitely not least was: BOOKS. Man, ladies and gents, oh man do I love a good book. I love all kind of genres. Novels, historic books, poetry books.
Last Saturday, on the 25th of June, He asked me to make another sacrifice.
I threw a tantrum at first. I'm confessing now. It's not so easy to tell you all how rebellious I really was. It's shameful. But I feel no more shame, because He forgives.
I said, fine, if I can't read the books I want to read, I won't read anything. For a few days, I read only my bible, and not much at that. I refused to read a book (Do What Jesus Did: A Real-Life Field Guide to Healing the Sick, Routing Demons and Changing Lives Forever by Robby Dawkins) that I knew He wanted me to read. I put it off. Once again, though, He was persistent, urging me until I picked it up. And read and read and read. I loved it. I was inspired.
You see, He knows me by name. He knew my heart. He knew how much I loved to settle down in the evening and read. His question was, do you love Me more? 
And as He filled me, my heart sang, yes. I do. I do. Yes, Lord, You know what is good for me.
I am now only reading the bible, Christian books and devotionals until He tells me otherwise. Now, instead of dragging my feet, I'm excited to see which books He recommends for me, so that I can learn more about Him. Think of it! Book recommendations from the Author of salvation. 
The best part is the bible. I'm eager for all the things He still wants to show me.

"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." [John 17:17]

I'm not saying that what I had to give up was very much. Others have made so many more sacrifices, and much bigger ones too. But the little sacrifices can be hard too, and they are apart of the journey all the same. I am just so glad that He is sanctifying me. That He is drawing near to me as I draw near to Him. It's one big adventure, and I get to live it.
The good news? He wants all of us to live that. Give yourself to Jesus, surrender to His awesome love and you will never look back.

Sincerely,
from someone changed by and for His glory.

Postscript: I've wanted to write something like this for some time now, but a lovely friend of mine posted something that helped convince me that I should share this testimony. You can read it here, it's a really good read.

20 comments:

  1. I am so happy for you. This is amazing and the fact that you acknowledge Gods presents as you do, is wonderful.

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    1. Thank you, Vanessa. I really appreciate your comment. x

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  2. Tane. I felt the tears coming with this one.

    Because I went through that music thing too. I didn't listen to music with swearing or anything but music my parents didn't want me to listen to and I knew that but I did it anyways without them knowing. It lasted for a whole summer and I finally was convicted about it and slowly gave it up. I prayed and prayed and prayed and asked God to forgive me of that. Then I told my parents about it and asked for their forgiveness as well. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Besides Jesus, music is my everything! Do I miss the music I used to listen to? Sometimes, yeah. I'm not gonna lie, I loved it. But it was wrong. I got so far from the Lord in that time because I continuously told him "no" and refused to obey. Once I gave it all up and completely surrendered my life again I felt so much better and I have my joy back now.

    Ugh, sorry for such a long comment but I KNOW HOW THIS IS! It's hard. Really, really, hard.

    Love you, Tane <3

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    1. Aaliyah, sweet, lovely girl, I am so glad you know how it feels. That you know how it is. We can live this together!
      I miss the music and the movies and the books too. But we're buckled in now and if the ride is a little bumpy, that's okay, because the destination is going to be worth it.
      Love you too, darling.

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  3. Beautiful, challenging post, Tane. Thanks for sharing. I know it has been a long while, but I felt God nudging me start blogging and writing again (If you can, please check out my new blog at http://takeheart20.blogspot.co.za/). I hope you and your family are doing well.
    Love Jessie xxx

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    1. Thank you, Jess.
      I've followed your new blog and I've gotta say, I'm looking forward to reading your posts.

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  4. I love this post. It is absolutely amazing.

    Allie D.
    www.alliesblogdesigns.blogspot.com
    www.friendlovesatalltimes.blogspot.com
    www.sevenbloggersandtheirdolls.blogspot.com
    www.sincerelyallied.blogspot.com
    www.spreadingmyjoy.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Allie, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. I read that other post you recommended, and love it. Thanks for passing it on! Both it and your post were convicting, and something I needed to read. It is SO hard to leave behind our fleshly desires, but why? God truly is all we need! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's a pleasure! I'm so thrilled that you loved my friend's post and my own.

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  6. AH. AH. AH. Oh my goodness. God is sooooo good and I can hardly believe my soul. He does not just take away to make us empty, but to fill us up with something even better! I am in awe of how gracious and merciful He is. oh man. oh mannnn. We are loved. He is good.

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    1. He is forever good, overwhelmingly good. You are right. He fills us with what we long for. He satisfies our souls.

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  7. Oh wow. I can totally relate to your story.
    Jesus, He is our victory. I am so thankful you shared this with us. it's so hard to let go of the things in our lives and to replace them with Him because like you said, we can be so stubborn.
    I am so encouraged by your story and I appreciate you sharing your honest story with us.
    thank you thank you <3

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    1. I love what you said- that Jesus is our victory, that is a perfect way to put it. I'm so glad that you were encouraged, thank you for commenting and sharing your mind with me, Lauren. xxx

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  8. Oh my goodness, this is such a convicting post, Tane. Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony. <3

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    1. :) Thank you for your lovely comment, Grace.

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  9. This was one of the best pieces of inspirational writing I've ever read.
    I.am.so.proud.of.you.
    And I look up to you. Thank you so so much for sharing this.

    Love you x

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    Replies
    1. I.love.you.girl.
      And I don't think you have any idea of how much I look up to YOU. Thanks for your comment babe.

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