John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. “

As I have mentioned in earlier posts about prepping my heart to be back in the states. I have been pondering struggles as I have transitioned back in to life in the states that just take away from my hunger for The Lord.
I know that these 3 issues aren’t just my own struggle but a struggle of many people. Here are 3 destroyers that I find that most if not the majority of people struggle with.

1. Comparison- The struggle is real in this world. Things are thrown in front of your face to buy this, do that, you have to look like this. Even after having a fresh dose of living in 3rd world countries, I have to gaurd myself from the comparison of others lives and what the world flaunts in front of me. I have learned on the mission field of the things that make life what it says in John 10:10. It says that His purpose is to give them a rich a satisfying life. I know that comparing my life to anyone else (family, friends, hollywood, or even just the person that you walk past at the mall) is a KILLER of my identity in Him. I know that it takes time to grasp how He sees me and within seconds sometimes its easy to not be satisfied with who He has made me. It is within seconds a lie seeps in and begins to destroy my thoughts and that could potentially lead into trying to live a different life that I was never meant to live. This is a a huge plague in our lives as believers. The disease of comparison. This is not the heart of our Father. He has made you to shine for himself. He is doing everything it takes to make you sees yourself the way He sees you. We are stewards of this life we live and the last thing you need is for “comparison” to steal away all that He has for you while your here.

2. Entitlement- Yup, you read it correctly. I have been slapped in the face with the reminder that NOTHING has to do with me. This is a healthy slap and gracious one as well. I have been challenged daily in the way I think and walk with The Lord and people, to constantly realize more and more that I have done nothing outside of God. I wake up because of Him so what makes think I can do anything without him? We live in a world that seeks titles and because we compare, we strive and then we all get tangled in entitlement. “I deserve this because…”. It’s a fickle thing honestly. It will play against you when you think its really for you. You can think that you have it all covered but one day it will play against you and you will find yourself at a loss. We can have entitlement with people. You can struggle with it in your relationship with God even. It may sound like ” God but you said it was going to happen this way…and look at all I have done for you”. It can be covered in many spiritual ways and words. The truth is it is easy to jump into “I believed and where are you now God” bandwagon. I can even admit for jumping on myself. The trouble with this is that we can easily think that God is sitting on the throne and yet we have taken him off and placed him on the shelf and we find ourselves upon the throne of our own heart. It doesn’t take long to think that your way is higher than His but unfortunately yet fortunately, it takes time spent with him and the faithful reminder that nothing is done without Him to keep yourself in check. You did nothing to deserve even being here but by His grace He placed you upon this Earth for such a time as this. It is by His ways that He will establish all that is His purposes on this Earth.

3. Idleness- Oh what a killer. Idleness of time and talk. Seeing no importance or purpose to our time we are currently in regardless if its 5 mins or 5 hours or even years. This is a killer for me. To be honest coming in after being on the mission field where it seems like I’m always walking in purpose and being satisfied daily because it’s what I was created to do. Knowing I need rest and time to process a lot that has taken place in my life and heart, I can easily catch the moment of feeling idle. And its how I respond to idleness that will make or break me. I can respond by counteracting it with purpose. Or I can slowly give in to the feeling and find myself in a dark abyss of feeling worth less and then my flesh grows and before you know it I’m dancing with old patterns and insecurities. Idleness. I am reminded of a conversation I had with The Lord once. I was heading back to the states after traveling in 2013 and we talked about how many countries have idols they worship and sacrifice things to. He then asked me what the greatest idol of America was, and I knowing that He already knew it but this was to expose my own heart, responded with “self”. He said Shay you are the biggest idol of yourself. You are the greatest weakness to yourself. The best thing you can do is to gaurd yourself from idleness. It is in idleness that idols are made and worshiped to yourself. Nothing good comes from idleness, Nothing productive comes from time spent without purpose and words spoken that aren’t life giving. Idleness is a killer, thief, and destroyer of the life we are called to live.

I am still on the journey of daily dying to myself and taking up His cross and truth about me and walking it out. I am not perfect nor am I even close. I do know that I deserve nothing yet He sees me. I am humbled by that. I have no reason to be seen by Him outside of His grace. I love him with every ounce of myself and my heart. I am crazy about Him. I don’t deserve anything He has given me or will give me BUT he lavishes me in his abounding love that never fails. He is the reason I wake up in the mornings and the reason I love people the way I do. Freely I received therefore freely I give. This is the way i desire to live, as though nothing is mine but yet the Kingdom is mine and I take that wherever I go! I think this is the year of freedom and fearless living, but we must fight for that.