Friday, August 24, 2012

The Value of Knowing One's Self

Awhile back I shared how God chose to use my area of weakness (keeping house) to minister to others ("God in my Weakness").  In the space of two days, I visited three of my friend's homes and helped them clean and organize: one who is entering full-time missions with four young children and needs to down-size big time, one who moved into a new home with no built-in storage and brought  children and furnishings from Africa, the U.K., Germany and Kenya, and a family from the Congo who purchased their first American home.

What a privilege and humbling opportunity!  Being asked was a compliment.  Spending time with them and seeing their hearts in their homes was a blessing.

Our time was not so much about my expertise (ha!) as it was for each mom and family to understand and know themselves and their needs.  I simply entered their homes and asked, "How can I help?"  Followed by, "What do you need here?  What have you done in the past?  What is do-able for your family?" etc.  They needed to discover themselves and think through a new situation.  After talking about who they are and how their family works, we considered options and possibilities.

When Christ moves into our lives through faith, He knows it all--but we will miss much of the blessing and fullness if we don't study ourselves as we learn of Him and His ways.

That came to mind as I read between books yesterday:

"As a parent, my goal is not only that my children come to know God, but that in so doing, they also come to know themselves.  It's only when a person knows God that he can truly know himself, and as this happens, his hunger for God increases.  This critical interplay of the spiritual life is what we want to see produced in our teenagers, a deep personal knowledge of God and an every-growing knowledge of self."  Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp, p.

"The oft-quoted words, 'not I, but Christ,' tend to give the believer the impression that he as a person is crucified, and out of the picture, and now there is only Christ as his new life.  He is wont to feel that he must somehow get himself out of the way, that Christ may be all.  Granted, the old self must go down--but the new self must grow up.
"It is true that He is our risen life, but it is also true that His is the life and nature of our newly created life, 'For to me to live is Christ,' 'Christ, who is our life; (Phil. 1:21; Col. 3:4, italics mine).  We are not to become lost in Him, but He is to be found in us. 'That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh' (2 Cor. 4:11).  He lives in me, not instead of me; He is the source and motivation of my Christian life.
"I am to realize and rest in the fact that it is my being, my personality, which is enlifed by the human-divine life and nature of the Lord Jesus.  I am the same person, but with a new life in union with His life.  By the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit I will grow in grace and increasingly be conformed to His image."  The Complete Green Letters by Miles J. Stanford, p. 146.

How well do I know myself, my habits, my abilities, my weaknesses?  Each is intended for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.  As I look into His Word, I need to ask, "How would Jesus live and look in my being?"  That's worth thinking and praying about!

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