And it’s true;
I ain’t got no alibi.

So…I had to wait a few weeks before I could legitimately write this post because it was just too…..um… revealing.  I had to wait because to tell you the truth,  I just wasn’t finished being ugly.

Yep…I was being what we in these parts of the South refer to as “UGLY”. There’s simply no prettier way to say it.

It wasn’t my appearance, although I must confess I certainly didn’t look too attractive either. In fact, even when I caught my reflection in the mirror I felt the need to give myself a good scolding and look away. It was *that* bad.

No..it has been my stinkin’ attitude. Ugly. That’s the bad news combined with the good news because not only was my attitude just plain wrong…God was able to keep me in that place just a hair past long enough to help me sort it out and BEG him to crucify me at this point. Beg him people, so I could begin to die to my ugly, sinfully covetous and jealously judgmental attitude.

{So that I could get out of there and be legitimately free}

The truth is I really do want to honor and serve the name and fame of Jesus Christ. Day by day I am striving toward a place in my relationship with God so that hopefully, there’s a little less of me hanging around in my skin being replaced with a little more of Him. It takes choice work. It takes daily, moment-by-moment inner coaching and coaxing-by-the-Spirit work. But it’s happening.

Only here’s the problem;
while it’s true that daily I’m slowly “dying to myself”,
I ain’t dead yet.

And it’s equally true that while I am walking and working out my salvation for the decided glory of God….I am also a glory thief. Ugh…I hate saying that but it’s the truth.

Seriously….I really DO want to glorify God in all I do but dang it…I have consistently tried to skim some of that glory off for myself from time to time. And lest you think that’s the tiniest bit OK…check out the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Yeah.

So God lovingly called my bluff. He walked into my mess, flipped on the switch, flung open the shutters letting the light in and there I was again; caught with my hand in the cookie jar, crumbs on my lower lip, trying my best to look innocent.  But there was no denying it: glory thief.

Oh but that’s what God did alright! He put me in a place so close to some of the spoken and revealed desires of my heart…so close to parts of my calling… and so close to the testimony I’ve been holding up… and try as I might,

I. could. not. have. what. I . wanted;
the credit I thought I “deserved”.
The glory I thought was mine.
I tried to dress it up by playing it down but it is what it is:

Because I was fine with not getting the attention and glory I thought I deserved…um…until someone else got it instead. Whoa Nelly! Yeah. That’s when things got a little “cloudy” in my testimony.

I was jealous of the position and place of another person in my life. I wanted my share of the “limelight”. Rather than lovingly encouraging , applauding and exulting in the success and glory of another, I got angry. I pouted. I cried. I sulked, behaved badly and was…well…ugly!

This was not a pretty moment in my life.
Ah…but it got GLORIOUSLY Beautiful!

From the midst of my horrible little ash heap I looked up to the heavens and said, with all my heart these two words:

{I surrender.}

And I really did.  In my heart I knew I not only needed to, I *wanted* to release this place to God. It was robbing my joy, it was distracting me from my true purpose and calling and worse; it was destroying a close relationship and keeping me from enjoying the fullness of God.

In that moment,  God took it from me and filed it in his ever-expanding file drawer labeled “FINISHED”.  This would be the same “It is finished” file created at Calvary where His Son, Jesus took my sin upon Himself and paid my disgusting debt. My sin, my debt…my forgiveness…this is the GLORIOUS Gospel!  Oh praise Him!

As with the many other “little crucifixion” moments I’ve had in my life, the purpose God has in taking me to this place is three-fold:

  • First, to reveal my heart to me. (not always fun)
  • Second, to reveal God’s heart to me and for me.
  • Thirdly, and most importantly, to grow and mature me in my walk and make me more like Jesus.

So what is your “IT” place? What self-constructed ash heap are you struggling from? What do you need to release to God so that FINISHED can be stamped across that file once and for all?

Surrender it to Him. He’s waiting.

And surrender  my friends is a truly beautiful thing

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:13-18

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