While glancing through my daughter's Facebook page, I discovered an article she had written this past June 10. That's three weeks before God took her home. She called it "rambling," but I call it wisdom of a young woman sold out for God. I pray it brings someone hope today:
Set Apart by Kristin Short - 11/09/85-07/04/2011
Just some rambling on an issue God has been working on in my life this past week: Being Set Apart.
Perhaps the most complex problem in Christianity is the fact that so often we find ourselves straddling a fence in the Christian life. One of the sides represents the life that the Bible represents and the life we think we as Christians should live, and the other side presents often times the life we want to live in which the world's views and Christians views intertwine together, much like a piece of a puzzle. However, as I read my Bible and learn more of who God is, I realize that the people who lived radical lives for Christ did not live a dual life nor did they exchange pleasantries with the world. Oh, of course they sinned; they messed up, sometimes very badly. But something I find interesting is that the people God used greatly; people such as Joseph, David, Joshua, Daniel, Esther, Ruth, Peter, Paul, John and countless others - although of course they fell, they did not stay down, but allowed God to bring them back up. However, it is important to see that even in the Bible, often when people fell it was because they were not at a place spiritually that they should have been.
When David committed adultery and murder to cover it up, he was trying to live a life that was not ordained by God. "Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle." 2 Samuel 11:1a this is a simple verse, with a very heavy meaning. David's No. 1 mistake was in that he was in a place where he had no business being. I cannot help but let my mind wander to a different version of the story, a version where David said, "Lord, my job is to lead my men first as a man of God, and second as a king. I will follow you Lord, into the battle."
What might have been the outcome? David would not have lost a son, had a man killed, not to mention I am sure the unrest in his home, and more importantly the dishonor he brought to the Lord. David made a choice, a choice I have been guilty of making time and time again - a choice of choosing the comfortable life over the consecrated life. I think Solomon has a child watching the life of his dad, imagine they are in the snow and as he attempts to walk in his daddy's steps he says, "Daddy, I want to be a man and a king just like you." 2 Kings 3:3 says, "Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, EXCEPT (emphases mine) he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places."
Incense on the high places were what the pagans used for worshipping their idols. When I first read this, I gasped and was shocked that Solomon, the wisest man ever, would fall so stupidly into serving idols, not just as a person who did not know God, but in today's terminology a "Christian." Yet, conviction wrecked havoc over my heart as I realize how often I put even small minute things in front of my savior, every day. And I realize that the people I used to shake my head at while reading my Bible, stopped becoming someone I looked down upon and more someone that resembled the person I look at in the mirror every day. This being said does not mean that I am a worm or a horrible person, although both would be accurate, but more and more what a wonderful and awesome savior we serve! Something I have a hard time getting a grasp on is not the fact that God loves me, but rather the fact that he delights in me on a daily basis. We have a God that delights in us, that loves us.
I think one of the reasons for so long it has been such a struggle to live a set apart life is that I have had a faulty thinking of who God is truly is. In my mind either God is a tyrant whom I can never please, so why try? Or he is a grandfather who wants me to spend his money wisely; but when I don't, he just gives me more anyway so it is not a big deal. Both of these thoughts are so far from the truth, and the more and more I get a glimpse of God, it breaks my heart. Oh, you may not voice it the way I did, and maybe you have not even dared to think that way, but chances are just like me - at one time or another you have lived it that way. God does not want us to live set apart in order to punish us or to withhold something God from us, but rather to bring us fulfillment.
While it is true, the world can bring pleasure for a season; but God can bring pleasure for eternity. I think Christians know this concept very well, and perhaps that is why they try to hold on to both God and the world - they know that sin will satisfy for a moment and Christ for eternity, so they think if they have both they will have the best of both worlds. (Sorry Hannah Montana). Yet, unbeknownst that what makes sense perhaps on paper, has no business in the heart of the believer. Only a life lived for Christ will ever yield satisfaction. I have heard stories of 70-, 80- and 90-year-old people who get to the end of their life and realize that their entire life has been wasted on a meaningless existence. As Ian Thomas said, "I believe that a moment of destiny comes in the life of every child of God - the moment when God's purpose for your life hangs delicately in the balance. Death to all that you are ... is the only gateway through which you may enter into the fullness of all that Christ is."
Growing up I was always extremely dramatic, and still to this day by mom claims I should have gone into the acting field. While other kids were playing tag and hide and seek, I was practicing my crying skills in front of the mirror. (True story) So when I first told my mother at the age of 13 when I died, I hoped I died as a martyr, I'm sure she rolled her eyes at the drama. However, the older I got the more I realized that if I died, I wanted to die for Christ. But then I discovered it was not the dying for Christ that I wanted as much as I wanted the joy that these people had while serving God, which in turn made them so willing to die for him. I want the kind of joy that can only come from basking in the rays of the son. I want the joy that can only come from living a life set apart from Christ. Kristin Short, Copyright, 2011
Kim's Note: And when she died this past July, I am sure, and without a doubt, she saw the one she was willing to die for, as he carried her to heaven.
(Kimberly Morgan, MA, is a wife and homeschool mom in Elkins. She is a counselor and licensed chaplain with Cornerstone Christian Counseling. She can be reached at 304-637-1109.)