Where I’m At

Lately I have been doing a lot of silent evalutating. I’m wondering what should be in my life and shouldn’t. What is benificial, what is not? I have been doing a lot more Bible reading, a lot more praying.

Sometimes its hard to know what is the conviction of God by his Holy Spirit and what is the conviction of man. All over the Church there is incredible variance of beliefs that go beyond the fundamentals of salvation. On many issues I’m pretty sure of where I stand.

I know God calls us to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling“. (Phillipians 2:12)

I’m in that place. I know this place is good. I should be here always. But what about when you are not sure you’re getting the answers? I don’t mean that in a “when in doubt don’t” way. Rather, when you are looking for conviction in an area that isn’t clear and you just don’t have it? When you are praying for that heart check because some people say something is wrong, and if it is you really want to see it… but it doesn’t come?

This may not make any sense. I’m not sure. But I’m looking hard at televisions shows I watch, time on the internet, time spent in prayer, time spent in general. I’m trying to figure out in what areas my heart may be divided and not truly sold out to God. I want to purge those things, but I need to know what they are first. I’m not saying that God has not been convicting me of anything. I have a lot of convictions in my life; areas I have needed to submit to him. I guess I’m looking for conviction on things I feel pressure to be convicted about. And I don’t know if it is really God or man. I have not been directly pressured in any way. But knowing other people are convicted about some of these things, makes me feel like maybe I should be too.

I need a spiritual retreat. Not one where you hear a lot of teachings (although I absolutely love good teaching), but one where I can just worship, pray and get away from all the things that distract me. A place where I’m forced to run to no one but God. A place where He is the only one that I can talk to.

Oh well. I have no doubt there will be answers… eventually. There always are when you seek Jesus. (Matthew 6:33.) So I will keep praying and I will keep seeking.

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17 Responses to “Where I’m At”


  1. 1 misi May 19, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    E,
    I understand completely what you are saying. I think it’s great that you are there and you are hungry for more. Remember when Kristy told me I was hungry? That statement changed my life. So now I’m here seeking His face in a world of sin. It is hard to discern what is man and what is God but I have the utmost faith that you have the ability to find that. Just never get full.

  2. 2 misi May 19, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    You know what? Now that you mention convictions , what do you think about Christians drinking? To the minor glass of wine at dinner, to going out and ordering margaritas w/ the intent to get tipsy? I see pics of Christians at resturants w/ drinks in front of them and to me it just looks bad. My husband says that it is my individual conviction and I shouldn’t group all of us in it so what’s your take?

  3. 3 Neil May 19, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    MZ – that sounds like a well thought out and productive process. It is way to easy to get into habits (good or bad) and just let the demands of life drive our priorities. We need to pause now and then and consider the eternal perspective with respect to how we’re using our time and talents.

    I need to do a post sometime about decision making and the will of God. Greg Koukl of Stand To Reason did a lesson on that which I have modeled in to PowerPoint slides that I’ve used with adults and kids. It really gives clarity in the Biblical model of good decision making.

  4. 4 Heidi Jo May 19, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    we have this great facility in our area that offers “silent retreats”…i haven’t yet made one, partially out of fear- but i am curious and know that it would be a wonderful and enlightening experience.

  5. 5 the Grit May 19, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Hi mz,

    I would just offer a personal story as warning that one can go too far down this road. My Mother was a very, very religious person. Actually, those words aren’t strong enough; she was a religious zealot. She took over a room in their house and made it her prayer room. She got up at five in the morning, so she could have several hours to devote to prayer and contemplation before her husband got up. She kept detailed journals of when and what she was praying about.

    After her untimely death, I inherited those notes. While I couldn’t bring myself to read them, my wife did. She found a series of entries that, after a visit to our new home, while we were struggling with a year old child and new jobs and such, had my Mother praying for days that God would place in my wife’s heart the desire to keep a cleaner house.

    For what it’s worth.

    the Grit

  6. 6 missy May 19, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I struggle in exactly the same way. In fact, just the other day I wrote a blog entry about the many different convictions and beliefs in the church today and how I have no idea in some cases who is right and who is wrong, and how frustrated I get about it.

    Now on the issue of whether or not you are being convicted if you don’t FEEL convicted, I can only speculate. If the Holy Spirit isn’t pressing on you in an area to the point you can really FEEL Him, then maybe it IS a bit of ‘Christian peer pressure’. We all deal with that, I think. I once dealt with it on many levels. But then I started feeling like I was wrong by focusing on what everyone else was doing instead of what God was doing in MY life.

    God deals with us all in different ways and in different seasons. Walk the path He has YOU on, not the one someone else is walking. You are already doing the best thing you can–pray.

    Sorry I went on and on. You don’t even know me (I think this may be the second time I’ve commented to you) and here I go putting my two cents in! I do hope it helped though.

  7. 7 momlovesbeingathome May 19, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    I think Missy summed it up perfectly – if you don’t feel convicted by the Holy Spirit maybe it’s not something God is working on with you right now. I think a lot of things are clearly laid out in Scripture for us but those things that aren’t we have to listen for God to speak to us and tell us what He would have us do in that area of our lives. The main thing to remember is that if anything becomes more important than God in your life it has become an idol and we definitely don’t want that. That can be the case with things that aren’t bad in and of themselves but we can make them “bad” by the way we give them more attention than we should. I hope that makes sense. 🙂

    the Grit – OUCH! I hope your wife is okay after that! Sometimes a squeaky clean house just doesn’t need to be the priority!

  8. 8 momlovesbeingathome May 19, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Back again!
    http://momlovesbeingathome.wordpress.com/2007/05/19/tag-youre-it/

    You have been tagged! List 8 random things about yourself. 🙂

  9. 9 michaelhill May 20, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Hi MZ,

    I have little idea of where I am at. I am “disabled” – that’s a tome –
    going on 50 and my “disabilities” make life the Twilight Zone for the most
    part. When I think I have anything sorted out it all folds in on me again.
    I am so very blessed to be functional – I work hard at that.

    I think society as a whole needs a retreat; spiritual or not. We all
    need to disconnect from what has become “the Matrix” so that we may
    listen to the world, meditate or pray. The human psyche can only take
    so much before it actually conditions one’s mind to accept what data =
    information is presented and processed/stored. Television is a mirror
    of our society and from what I see it is usually quite distorted.
    Can you imagine living on a mountain without television or a computer?

    To truly work at being Christians who want to seek the face of God
    everyday – or on a more regular basis than which we do – we need to
    rid ourselves of our televisions, first and foremost, and terminate
    our internet subscriptions. Basically – Unplug.

    Near where I live are large colonies of the Amish. They are in
    southern MD and extend on up into PA. That is all I have seen of
    them as they are in other locales. They are as seen on television/movies
    and they do ride around in black coaches drawn by a single horse.
    I mention them because their lifestyle would permit any of us, you
    for the most part in this post, to straighten the links out of our
    lives. They don’t have televisions, internet or video games to rot
    their minds which allows them to THINK and commune with each other
    in a renown spiritual sense.

    You might like a go at being Amish.

    We all could benefit from a 2 week Amish getaway.

  10. 10 mommyzabs May 20, 2007 at 10:21 am

    What wondeful feedback.
    Thank you everyone.

    Misi- Wow that is a HUGE questions. there is actually a good running discussion on Neil’s blog. HERE

    Neil- I would love to see that post you are thinking of writing.

    HJ- If I recall correctly you are catholic? I love how the Catholic church provides these things. I know there is a monestary not too far from here that offers ment opportunities to check in for meditation. Very cool.

    Grit- Wow, sound like maybe her priorities were a little skewed with human perspective 🙂 I know everyone probably tends to do that at times. I guess that is where our fallen human nature comes in. I know at times i pray for the ABILITY to keep a clean house in all the craziness. 🙂 But I have learned the priority is in letting my kids be kids and to clean when the time is appropriate:) I am very sorry to hear that your mother had an untimely death. Everyone’s pain in those things is different, but for what it’s worth, I know personally that losing a mother is such intense pain. It is so sweet that your wife read her journals for you.

  11. 11 the Grit May 20, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Hi mz, m,

    My wife and I both thought it was funny, and it also provides an object lesson about not obsessing on things. The strange thing is that now I do the house cleaning 🙂

    the Grit

  12. 12 mommyzabs May 20, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    micheal.
    I just realized you were in the spam folder and marked you as not spam. Sorry about that, i need to check it more often! Anyway, I’m so sorry that it is so hard for you to function. I can imagine that would be hard. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yes, sometimes it is so very hard to leave the material world behind even if for just a bit. I don’t think that I can do the amish thing though 🙂

  13. 13 mommyzabs May 20, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    sorry michael not micheal.

  14. 14 michaelhill May 20, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    MZ,
    No worries. For some reason, I have yet to figure out, the majority of people that
    write/type the name spell it as M-I-C-H-E-A-L. My mother named me after
    the archangel, MICHAEL; she told me so more than once. I think she liked the name!. It is in the bible more than once. I could have been a Gabriel but she is not Jewish.
    To touch on my disability – 4 brain tumor resections, staph infection and then poisoned by an antibiotic so that I have no equilibrium. It is short of a nervous breakdown from what I can discern from research. Nervous breakdown does not mean total psychosis; usually just a distachment of sorts.
    I cannot thank any mortal for the past 12 years though I have had excellent medical care **at times** for the most part.
    I learned a long time ago who I owe this to and is why you see my name in and around these locales.
    I think I commented to one of Neil’s posts about my faith in God. Through cramming the bible college style I came away with the impression Jesus deferred to God, his father, quite often never pointing to anything he did or said as being more that God’s will. He taught the people what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or my favorite misnomer, “The Our Father” deferring to God. He died talking to God. I cannot think of much more deferment than that.
    Paul wrote several letters that defer to Jesus and I cannot fathom anyone for the sake of mankind that will ever be able to write in that context again. He spoke on the behalf of Jesus as Jesus did for God. I have always been totally captivated by what is in the four gospels that I follow the example set there and will talk or pray to God before Jesus. It doesn’t mean I have any less faith, neither did Jesus. It is a matter of what hit me first; namely Jesus speaking of God.
    How is that for a point of view?
    Amen.

  15. 15 mommyzabs May 20, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Very Cool Michael. It would be my prayer that should I ever find myself in the same position I would be ablt to give it to God as much. I hope you will be a regular here along with your perspective.

  16. 16 mommyzabs May 20, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    I re-read your comment michael and am now wondering if I took it right? Now I’m so confused, but it is late so that make sense. what post was it on that you wrote about you faith on neil’s blog?

    I’m not taking back my previous comment- i’m just saying that now after re-reading I am not sure what you were saying.

  17. 17 michaelhill May 29, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    MZ,
    I wrote a tome and it’s gone. In short i will recap…

    Matthew 6
    5″And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
    6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
    7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
    8Be not ye therefore like unto them, for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him.
    9In this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
    10Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.
    11Give us this day our daily bread.
    12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
    13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.

    Jesus tells us who to pray to in these short verses. I have a mind about masses of people reciting this out loud for the very reason he mentions.
    I find closing my eyes and shutting off the world is as good as a closed door. Its my closet and no one knows what goes on inside.

    In answer to your question, Idunno; sorry,


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