Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ms. Spirtuality

Another bible study week people! Today we are dissecting, umm, I mean discussing Ms. Spirituality from Behind Those Eyes, Lisa Whittle's book. Orange items are direct quotes from Lisa's book.

Ms. Spirituality. She could make you think yourself a slacker. Really, she could. Here are her "merit badges of honor" when she's really "dressed to impress" (combined lists from pg 78)

  • Attends church, Sunday school and mid week services and leads at least one ministry

  • Volunteers for nonprofits, Christian organizations and starts up a Christian organization

  • Knows proper "Christianese" and uses it frequently in her journals, blogs and her own devotionals (authored by her of course)

  • Collects money from others and gives away her own money to the less fortunate

  • Listens to Christian music and Christian radio and watches only Chrsitian TV . **On a normal week that is. On a dressed to impress week the list reads like this**: Has no cable or XM radio..and if she's really spiritual, she has no TV!

  • Often wears a Christian pin or T-shirt and has a Christian bumper sticker oe=r emblem on her car and has a personalized Christian license plate

  • Attends more than two women's conferenes a year, or coordinates at least one

  • Prays for missionaries faithfully and goes on overseas mission trips each year.

Anyone have a pillow and blanket. I need a nap. I'm worn out just reading this list. Whew!

Lisa point sout that "Ms. Spirituality doesn't pick and choose, but rather does all of them. And most of the time, she does all these things well." One word in a critical phrase struck me. Most of the time. I pondered that word most. That meant sometimes she did not do them well. She was probably overworked, stretched too thin, worn out. You know what? That's not what God requires of us. He's not looking for performance. Does He want us to do good deeds? Yes. Does He want us to serve the Body? Yes. Does He want us to use our giftedness? YES.

It reminds me of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-41). Mari, I mean Martha would be Ms. Spirituality. She was there running around cleaning, cooking, decorating, passing judgement. Yep, I said it. She passed judgement on her sister Mary. "I'm doing all this very important stuff and what is she doing, nothing. "

Jesus' response to Martha is the same response He has for us today. "...only one thing is needed." What??!! One thing? ONE thing? But don't you see my list LORD, how much I do for you and your kingdom. I mean surely You can't mean ONE thing. (Oh yeah, that's me talking to God this time last year.)

What's the one thing? Relationship/fellowship with Him. Lisa states: "He is seeking today what He has always been interested in getting from us: a relationship with Him that is pure of heart and motive, the only goal in mind being to honor Him by doing His will."

In Ms. Spirituality's list above, where is the "sit down and pour out your heart to God"? Where is the "read the Word just because and let it settle in your heart and mind afresh"? Where is the "be still and know that He is God"? Where is the" I will listen for Your still small voice LORD speaking directly to me"? Where are those things?

I submit to you that they are not there. There is no time for that. You're too busy at the next performance to make the practice session for what He really wants you to do. I know. I was Ms. Spirituality. But God....

Knocked me on my behind and said "Listen! I want you to want me, not the approval and admiration of others. When I call you to do something, it won't go off well. It will be spectacular because I'll be in charge. In the mean time, know ME, love ME, seek approval from ME. I promise you will never regret it." It was the hardest lecture I ever listened to. Why? Because I had been misguided and left my first love, Jesus, for the love of performance, adulation and admiration. I was ashamed and repentant.

I gave up a lot of good things to be obedient to my God. And you know what, He has, as always, kept His promise. I don't regret it. Do I long for it sometimes? Sure, Ms. Spirituality tries to rear her head from time to time. She does make a cameo here and there. But I'm learning to tell her that all God wants is me.

Before you head over to Lelia our wonderful bible study leader's blog and join in with the other ladies participating in this study, let me leave you with one last thought. Lisa introduced us to a real spiritual woman, the woman with the blood problem (Luke 8:42-28). Allow me to introduce her to you in a different way. Enjoy and as always be blessed!


Vicki said...

Aw, girl, I was on my way to bed (from Twitter) but had to sneak over here to check out your post. Mighty good, my friend. I chuckled a couple times just because you described my former life so well. I was Miss Do we both learned a wonderful truth. God didn't call us to performance, He called us to Himself. We don't have to jump hoops or run pillar to post to prove our faith, either. Now I just do whatever He enables me to do. Sure beats living in a frenzy all the time.

Thanks for this post! See you tomorrow!


upwords said...

I tweeted in too. Great post and oh so true. The Christian pin cracked me up. Being a slug has its privileges I guess, Miss Spirituality way over my head!

Anonymous said...

This was an awesome post, and an incredible song...

that story of that woman has been a powerful one in my life... for sure... It's touched me in so many ways.

thank you so much for sharing!
God bless,

Leebird said...

Thanks so much for sharing that video. I needed to see that tonight. I saw her perform that song at the Women of Faith conference last year, and it was such a powerful moment.

Missing you, Lee

Amy said...

That song is beautiful, Mari, as is this entire post! I had not heard that song before, and now I am sitting here all covered in goose pimples.:)

What a perspective!
God Bless,

Beachy Mimi said...

Beautiful post.

Tammy R said...

Oh,I'm so glad I came by. Your writng blessed me and had so much truth.

The video was a beauitful reminder of what comes after we touch the hem of His garment.

In His Grace,

Lisa said...

Great thoughts, Mari. I really enjoyed your posts...most of all, I love what God is doing in your heart. You're so right...trying to "perform" is exhausting. And it is not at all what He had in mind for our relationship with Him.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Much care,
Lisa :)

Laura said...

This is a good one, Mari! And I love, love, love Ms. Mullen! This video is so moving. Thank you for sharing it!

Ellie said...