Wednesday, September 3, 2014

be careful whom you follow






The flood of emotions hit me all at once.

I found a fun new blog, and I had a lot in common with this girl. I liked her. And she liked what I liked. She was impressive- and did challenging things that were some of my favorite to read about. And as I devoured her posts, my heart started burning with shame that I didn't do something equally as impressive as she had.

I could do that if I worked harder... I thought.

And then BAM... the Holy Spirit interceded and stopped my wicked heart from going further.

Wait. What am I doing? Who is this person? Do they even know Jesus? Are they pursuing Him with all their heart? Should this girl be my role model? Should I fix my eyes on her as an example of what is good and right before the Lord?


In fact, in a quick scan I could tell she doesn't even claim to know Him. Her passion for what she does is awesome and she did it so well, but it doesn't seem to be coming from a heart pursuing what I want in this life. 

Oh, Lord God what am I doing? How many blogs do I look at with this lustful heart, wishing I could be a little more like that girl? 

Why am I reading things that motivate me to pursue worldly things out of jealousy and covetousness??

I need to be more careful to guard my heart- to closely follow only the lives of those who are imitating God. Though my flesh fights me with everything, my spirit doesn't want to covet the lives of others. In my short time on this earth, I truly want to walk closely with people who are walking in the light of our Holy God. I want to imitate God, not man in the midst of his pursuit of worldly passions. Ephesians 5 tells me:
1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not become partners with them; 8for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Oh, man. I see people in "blogland" doing things so very well, and I love to see their excellence. And sometimes, my flesh wistfully wants to pursue things like they are.

I do believe their content can often be both helpful and useful, but I want to remember that as a believer, I'm not called to pursue being known as a great fashionista, a DIY master, a fitness guru, or a fantastic writer or blogger, or anything else. I'm called to pursue the Lord with everything I have. I want to be careful to see that the people I spend time studying on the internet are the people who are following after Jesus with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Those are the kind of people I want to be my role models. 

Unfortunately, my sinful heart naturally wants to to build up an image of what I want to be instead of what seeking after what my soul truly needs. Solomon was so right in Ecclesiastes 4:

4Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanitya and a striving after wind.

I don't want to strive after the wind.

I want to grow into maturity in Christ through His Word and through studying how others have done it before me. Paul tells us who to follow and who not to follow in Phillipians 3:

17Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Oh, that day we will see our Savior!! My heart is no longer to be set on the things of this earth. Seeing my Savior is something worth pursuing. Living for Him now is what I long for. And to be like Him is what I want the most:

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

The reality of reading blogs is that we are studying the lives of others- sharing in their lives, and perhaps even subconsciously becoming like them in our own lives. The question is: are these the people we really want to imitate? Are they true believers seeking after the Lord?

Sweet followers of Jesus- we have to remember the partnership we are called to:
14Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15What accord has Christ with Belial?b Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”
1Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of bodya and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.  2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

I pray that the Lord will help me cleanse my heart from the impurities I've subjected it to- that He would increase His holiness in my heart and reveal my sin and all the ways I've defiled it {though painful}, and that He would help me walk in the light and to leave behind even my most secret fellowship with darkness. That I would see clearly the path that He has set before me and not swerve to the left or to the right to join in with the crowd.

I need to spend less time reading awesome worldly blogs and more time pursuing His holiness. I want to remember:

"All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify." 1 Corinthians 10:23

Even in blogland, 
I need to be careful whom I follow.

How do you guard your heart against the lust of the eyes when it comes to blogs? 

Do you ever find yourself imitating those you are around the most?

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