Sunday, April 1, 2012

Being Perfected...

Whew, my brain is full.... I'm in my fourth week of training for my new career with Sage. (Sage makes life simpler for small to medium size businesses. I'm a lead generation specialist with their merchant services products for credit card processing and also their gift and loyalty cards. Sage also can integrate your credit card processing with accounting software which is so cool! 

Spring has sprung and summer quickly approaches. I think of sundresses and shorts and find myself longing, needing to get in better shape. I'm cutting back on my food portions, walking, biking and stretching. I'm in physical training!

 Our spiritual training and growth is much more important than training for a new career or physical training
We're being trained in righteousness. How can we successfully train ourselves spiritually? 

I like how the New Living Translation puts it in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches 
us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work."  

The NIV version puts it this way: 
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 
so that the man of God may be thoroughly 
equipped for every good work."

So immersing ourselves in God's Word and allowing it to convict us, affect us and change us is a vital part of our spiritual training: It cannot be ignored or forgotten. 
1 Timothy 4:8 reminds us that "physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Every day this week, I've had the opportunity to walk away from cookies or... not... Our trainer at work has been very generous. She ordered lunch for us every day. Included with lunch was cookies, every day. I'm exercising self control and working on losing weight and shaping up. 
Eating cookies will not help my efforts! 

1 Corinthians 9:25 encouraged me. "All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize."  I must be disciplined and though the cookies smell divine, the better choice is to walk away. Spiritually, various temptations we experience may attempt to seduce us. Our prize is eternal, when we are disciplined and walk away from temptations.

Very recently, I had the opportunity to win an eternal prize, or to lose it. An old boyfriend, who I'd grown to love, but who wasn't healthy for me or a believer, re-entered my life, partly through his communication and partly mine. I came to find out he was no longer single. He's a married man... 

Red flags are waving, yet subtly I found myself drawn in to an occasional conversation about our career changes and life in general. A friend said, "It's okay to just be his friend." Permission granted to have more conversations. The enemy of my soul was at work. I know better, and if you ever asked me if I could be tempted in this area, I'd say a loud NO! Yet in my humanness, I was truly tempted. 

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit worked on my heart and quickly woke me up from the enemy's tactics that were luring me into a dark place. I sensed the Lord saying, "RUN!" So, I sent an email to this previous boyfriend, shutting the door to any further contact. Period. 

Titus 2:12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,  
New International Version (©1984)

Titus 2:12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

New Living Translation (©2007)

 I'm in training. I'm learning. I'm growing! 

It's our job to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and to obey Him. It's a work of the Spirit, not of self effort. 
HE perfects us. 

New International Version (©1984)
Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
New Living Translation (©2007)
How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?

Oh Father, I find such peace just knowing that You draw me... You woo me closer to You, You convict me of sin, You change me. It's a Spirit work. Not a fleshly work. I'm so thankful You are making me into Your image. I can rest in that...


2 Corinthians 3:18

Amplified Bible (AMP)
18And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.