Jesus, I give up my rights... / by Keri Campbell

So this past week was definitely challenging. In a good, stretching kind of way. We were taught, through the example of Loren and Darlene Cunningham, some practical ways to follow Jesus. Some of them stung.

Like, really stung.

One quote that Mrs. Cunningham said really hit home. This is what she said,

"There is no place, in the woman of God, for self pity. Allowing self pity is a sure way to allow your zeal for God to be demolished."

Then, as if that wasn't enough, she gave some examples of self pity. I am thinking of sparing you those examples...

Naw, I'll share them with you and add some of my own.

*Ever make a special dinner for your family only to have your husband come home too late to enjoy it while it is hot?

*Ever throw a party for your child, only to have them say they wish it were maybe a different theme?

*Ever order something online and have it arrive the wrong size or color...or late?

*Wish you had different flooring?

*The money for the new flooring?

*Ever wish you were born into a different family?

*Have you dreamed and prayed for a man who loves Jesus, only to not have that prayer seemingly answered?

*Have you ever wished that Jesus didn't call you to the place He has you?

*Did you pray for children, receive them, and now it's the hardest thing you have ever encountered and overwhelms you daily?

I'll stop here. There are so many more ways to feel self pity, but I think you get the idea.

Satan loves to whisper thoughts in your ear that make you think you deserve more, that you don't deserve what you have (if it is hard or challenging), and that you are justified in plopping your self down in a big ol' comfy chair and having a little pity party about it.

Yes, and when you do that, in your mind or by physically throwing a little fit...you are allowing your zeal for God to slip away.

Your mind, your heart, is set on yourself. Not the Kingdom of God.

It's a hard truth, but I am here to confess that I do this.

And I also want to confess, I want to stop.

I have sat around thinking about all of the things that I deserve. I have wished that my life was different, that my family situations were different. I have known that I know what is best for my life and I have been disappointed that it didn't turn out that way. I have wanted to stay home and build a "Keri Campbell" kingdom instead of following Jesus around the world to build His. I have wanted my comfort over the comfort of others. My example of loving comfort has spilled over into my children, and although I see that, I have still continued in that comfort quest. Where we currently are, I have complained that things are not the way that I want them. I don't get to eat the way I like, which is healthy, organic, and whole...and I sit in self pity. I don't get to feed my kids the way I want, and I sit in self pity. I am hot, and the enemy whispers I should feel the comfort of an AC when I want it. I am awakened in the mornings because I am cold and that snake tells me that I deserve a blanket and a heater if my body is uncomfortable due to cold. Although we have a ceiling fan, it squeaks like a those little Squeaker shoes that toddlers wear times 100. I have complained in my self pity that I should be able to stop that noise. I have wondered why my children can't obey 100% of the time and been beyond frustrated when disciplining them interrupts my own desires. Let's stop this madness because we all can see that my self pity list is too long to type.

And honestly, it's a bit embarrassing.

When I dwell on these things, guess what I am NOT dwelling on?

The goodness of God. The faithfulness of my Lord. The steadfast love of my Savior. The joy of my salvation. Delighting in His law. His perfect plans for me to prosper. His promises. Things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, things worthy of praise. This list ALSO could go on and on.

The second challenging topic of teaching this week is that of laying down our rights to follow Jesus completely.

Yep.

Lay them down.

Because when we are carrying around our rights, we surely have a hard time carrying our own cross and being a true disciple. Remember when you were baptized and what that symbolized in your life?

A death to self and a raising up to walk in newness of life.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

I am so thankful for the sweet grace my Jesus offers!

Thankful that His mercy is new every single morning. 'Cause if I remember correctly, I have heard these things before. But something awakened in me this week that has been asleep for a while.

Or maybe I was focusing too much on self-pity and my zeal was demolished.

This week's teaching was a reminder to my heart that I am a new creation. A reminder to daily die to myself and fix my eyes on Jesus. A beautiful reminder that He is for me and not against me. That His plans for my life are good and perfect and full of true life and love.

I lay down my right to a home that looks the way I think it should look. I lay down the right to a comfortable income. I lay down the right to comfort. I lay down the right to think I know what is best for me and my family. I lay down the right to seek after my own good. I lay down the right to live this life the way that I want to live it. I lay down my right to be thought of as the perfect wife. I lay down my right for the praise of man. I lay down my right to get angry. I lay down my right to a flawless family heritage. I lay down my right to having to pick up after others in my home.

I lay down whatever rights I am holding onto that I am currently blind to.

So, I press on. Dying just a little more to self, Keri Campbell, to look a little more like Jesus every day. Focusing my attention on His kingdom and not my own. Loving my neighbor as myself and not myself alone. Singing of His praises not only with my mouth, but in my heart as well. Cleansing my mind of all unrighteous things and filling it back up with His goodness and truth. No longer kicking and screaming at the call placed on my life, but grabbing hold of the Hand that leads me and walking right by His side in peace and joy.

My invitation to you is to call me out when I get off track. When I start to complain, remind me of His goodness and provision. When I start to veer offtrack, will you gently be the body and bring me back in?

I long to follow Him with my whole heart and I long to put my own desires and dreams aside.

I know that He has more for me than I could ever offer myself.

I want to trust Him more than I trust myself. I want to love Him more than I love myself .I want to serve Him more than I serve myself. I want to honor Him more than I want to be honored. I want to seek His kingdom first before ever considering the thought of my own. I want to praise His name instead of longing for the praise of man.

By His strength alone I can do this.

By the power of His Spirit,

I will.

(These are just two of the topics the LORD placed upon my heart this week. What is He showing YOU about Himself? I would love to know!)

This is my desire, to honour You Lord with all my heart I worship You all I have within me I give You praise all that I adore is in You

Chorus:

Lord I give You my heart I give You my soul I live for You alone Every breath that I take Every moment I'm awake Lord have Your way in me

This is my desire, to honour You Lord with all my heart I worship You all I have within me I give You praise all that I adore is in You