Friday, February 20, 2015

Midnight Appointment

As I enter into the third trimester, I must say, sleep is a precious commodity. Not only do we often sleep in beds other than our own, but I awaken to various sounds, discomfort, or baby Hinson kicking at my ribs. Many times I'm tempted to be annoyed and frustrated. Is eight (okay, I'll take six!) hours of sleep too much to ask? But alas, I am reminded that this is going to be a norm with small children (not to mention ministry on the foreign field). It is also opportunity. Reading through my journal, as I often do to be reminded of what God has taught me, I was drawn to this entry in January of last year:

"The Lord awakened me to the sound of the wind. Admittedly, I did not appreciate waking at 3:20 a.m. to a sound much like driving between two semis with the windows down. It was loud! -Perhaps like a "mighty rushing wind." At first, I attempted vainly to fall back asleep, yet sleep averted me. After a seemingly long and stretched out forty-five minutes, I realized that I was wasting my time. Here I had an appointment with the Master of the Wind, and all I could see was the annoyance of waking early. It was then that I recognized how selfish I am, for I could not view an early morning windy "rude awakening" as a divine appointment in a haven of His power. How foolish! I began to cry out to God, to converse with Him; sharing my heart and hearing His. And then, I fell asleep..."

Apparently, I still have more to learn, as sleep fades and evades and I am called into the stillness of God's presence. My calendar is booked my friends. I have a midnight appointment.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What's the Point of Purity?

Recently I read an article on purity, from a secular point of view. It was highlighting several Hollywood artists and actors who had chosen abstinence until their wedding day. Some were still happy about their decision, many were not; and most were no longer married to the same spouse. The article seemed to point out that being pure did not seem to make a difference and is just a matter of personal opinion and choice.

But they missed the point.

Purity is not merely about saving yourself for marriage. Yes, that's important, and I'm so glad I did. Honestly, if you had asked me last year why I chose purity, I would have rattled off that I wanted to save myself for the special man I would marry. Now though, even after only six months of marriage, I can tell you that there's more to it than that. 

Purity is a heart issue. 

Keeping the heart pure is much more difficult than keeping the body pure; and more important. The purity of a heart dedicated to and focused on the Lord is far more valuable than physical abstinence. Why? Because God looks on the heart. 

He cares what's in your heart. Whether your fawning over a cute guy who winked at you, or daydreaming of a relationship with a certain someone, or flirting for the fun of it, or following your fickle emotions, or even putting yourself in compromising situations just to get the attention of a man. God sees it all, and he knows your heart. Perhaps to you it's all "innocent" and doesn't matter. Maybe you know what you're doing and don't care. Be careful girlfriend! If it seems difficult for you to stay pure in all aspects now, it will not get any easier inside the scope of marriage.

You all are probably very familiar with the verse "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23) The verse holds the idea of guarding your heart like a castle, being a door keeper, staying aware of what goes in and out. This verse is often quoted to remind girls to stay pure. Really though, it could be cross-referenced with another familiar verse not generally considered a "purity" verse: "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God; and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Girls, what we do in our minds, what we allow in our hearts, is equally important as what we do with our bodies. We are to keep our hearts like a castle, our minds like a "captive" of Christ, and our bodies like the temple of the Most High God.

THAT'S what keeps a marriage together. That's why purity is so, so very important. If our minds are stayed on the Lord, our focus on Him and His Word, our delight in pleasing Him, marriage is off to a good start. If I'm seeking to please the Lord, pleasing my husband, really is a breeze. The problem? I'm naturally selfish with thoughts not captive to Christ. I want my way, (regardless of what that happens to be at the time,) and then I wonder why I'm arguing with my husband... It's still a work in progress to "die daily" and remember the Lord of my life.

Pleasing God instead of pleasing self. That's the point of purity.

Do you have any additional thoughts? Please let me know!