Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesday

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote the book titled “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and not hide ‘behind those eyes.’

Here she comes...Ms. Spirituality!Make-up looks good, not to heavy. Check! My blouse isn’t too low; skirt just the right length. Check! I need to get to church on time, it’s important, but I can’t remember where I placed my bible, oh, there it is. Check!

I’m so glad we made it to church on time. Let’s see, bible in hand, highlighters in purse and a smile on my face as we walk towards the front of the sanctuary to our usually spot. The pastor tells us to turn to the book of John, chapter 3.

Oh look, I already have it highlighted with some thoughts written beside it, I wonder if the person next to me will glance over and then they will see just how spiritual I am. While all the way through the message I softly say…amen, praise the Lord and hallelujah. Yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about the night before when my make-up was heavier, my blouse was lower, my skirt was higher as I sat at the bar with a glass of gin and tonic in my hand. I was a fake but no one knew, like Ms. Spirituality, my performance was just that, a performance.

Every Sunday I would raise my hands to praise the Lord and be the first one up front at the end of the service with all my regrets. I would then leave the church determined that this week would be different.

Lisa writes this statement: Perhaps in her quest for spiritual perfection, like many of us, Ms. Spirituality is asking the wrong question. She is looking at the ritualistic side of her faith, rather then the tangible expression of a deeply rooted love for God.
I had known God for most of my life but I didn’t really know Him until I laid down my alabaster box at His feet. Everything I had loved was in that box. Everything that was special to me. Everything which gave me a sense of being loved, was hidden inside that box. God didn’t want my tears of regret, which only lead to a better performance on Sunday morning…God wanted my alabaster box.

It was the usual Sunday morning; I had gone through my checklist and was ready to close the bedroom door when I noticed my alabaster box sitting on the dresser. I took a deep breath,as I placed it in my hand, although I wasn’t sure why I was taking it with me. I arrived at church on time with my family, bible in hand and highlighters in my purse ready for the message. Again,I would put on a great performance and receive the title of 'Ms. Spirituality'. At the end of the service, I felt a pressing on my heart that I could no longer deny; God didn’t want my words of praise or my good deeds...He wanted my alabaster box.

It was then I reached into my purse and slowly pulled out the box that had been decorated with years of accomplishments and pride. I walked to the front of the church and knelt down, but this time it wasn’t with all my regrets that I was lying at His feet, it was something much more precious…it was my alabaster box.

Oh, I still highlight my bible, I still raise my hands to praise the Lord and I still have a smile on my face as we go to the front of the sanctuary to our usually spot. But now, I have a deeply rooted love for God. My life has come to know God and a great desire to do His will.

Lisa, you were so right when you wrote:
God’s original plan was not for us to prove to Him that we love Him by performing to the best of our spiritual abilities. Rather, 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.
I’m not a shamed or guilty for the life I led,but I marvel how God has taken the filthy rags I once wore and has given me the robe of righteousness.

15 comments:

Lelia Chealey said...

Oh look, I already have it highlighted with some thoughts written beside it, I wonder if the person next to me will glance over and then will see just how spiritual I am.


AHHHHHHHH!!! Tammy the truth teller! Wow, this was so good!

Cindy said...

"I’m not a shamed or guilty for the life I led but I marvel how God has taken the filthy rags I once wore and has given me the robe of righteousness."

I love this. It is wonderful how God changes us and clothes us with Himself.

Great post.

Laura said...

Oh, girl, I've been there. It was usually a specific person that I wanted to impress. It's never black and white, is it? God wants our alabaster boxes...
I love this.

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

WOW...this was such a powerful post.

I think we ALL have alabaster boxes....the question is, are we willing to give them to him???

Naomi said...

You write beautifully! And from the heart. Thank you for sharing with us, your journey to His feet...

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I enjoyed reading this. You are too funny. I can hear your sarcasm of Ms. Spirituality coming through. I love the same comment that Lelia highlighted. "Oh look, I already...."

This was really good.
Paula

nothingcanseparateme said...

For me...the alabaster box needs to be left most every week.

Great post Tammy!

"I’m not a shamed or guilty for the life I led,but I marvel how God has taken the filthy rags I once wore and has given me the robe of righteousness."

What a transformation he does on us!!
have a blessed week,
Kim

Liz said...

LOL! I read your post and it was as if the thoughts came right out of my own head, on my Ms. Spiritual days, and even some plain ole' SELF days!
I pray we will all lay down our alabaster boxes...right along side of yours!
Thought provoking. Thank you.
Liz

HIS Daughter said...

I loved this! You said it beautifully for all of us who have alabaster boxes.

I love this...perfectly written from one who knows that way...and for another...who walked that way right behind her..me!

Blessings,
Teri

june said...

I am so like you always dressing the part, making sure the make up
in flawless. Setting on first or
second row, so others will not distract me! Oh yes, I am so glad I no longer have to try to be spiritual, in the eyes of the world and mine I never will be, but
in Jesus' I alreay am

Alene said...

You are talking my language. I can be a little bit too Ms. Perfect. I'm trying to shatter that box. Ms. Perfect doesn't relate to hurting and searching people.I want wear God's garments instead of Ms. Perfections. This is good, good, good!

Bonnie said...

Great post Tammy! It's when we determine to surrender, be honest, and be real about who and what we are or have become, that God can turn our beauty into ashes! Filthy rags into the robe of righteousness! Thank you dear Lord!

Carol said...

Tammy, Oh wow your right we seem to write each others stories. I can so relate to that. You are so open and I love how you said
"I’m not a shamed or guilty for the life I led,but I marvel how God has taken the filthy rags I once wore and has given me the robe of righteousness."

There was a time not so long ago I could not have said that but through this study God has showed me that I can. Thank you for all your comments and love you've left me.

Who know's if your ever in San Francisco, we could meet for coffe :0) You never know where God will take you or me.

Love ya friend,
Carol

Lisa said...

Tammy...
This was an awesome and authentic post, and I loved it so much! Thank you for your thoughts. What beautiful wording...the alabaster box...love it.

Journey on, friend!
Lisa :)

Barb said...

What a wonderful posting. I'm so glad you allowed yourself to be vulnerable - to God, so that He could re-write the tables of your heart that day, and now, to us, for our inspiration and understanding of what a mask looks like.