SGC Women: Joyful Killing Fields

It’s been a busy season for us. Life is always busy but this season of moving, selling a home, and planning a wedding, though all good, has been a bit disorienting. How thankful I am that God is never disoriented, stressed, or overwhelmed. He is steadfast, never changes, and is always in control no matter what fills our days. I can have peace at any time no matter what the circumstance is simply by looking to Him and remembering that He is on His throne and that He loves me and is committed to me! Praise God for that!

Knowing that I won’t have as much time in the next few weeks to write blog posts I want to take the opportunity to post a few from my past. From late 2006-2013 I had a blog that I sporadically wrote in called Cross Reflections. I had a dramatic awakening to the gospel and how it applied to all of my life and I tried to capture some of my thoughts throughout that process. I wrote about struggles and joys and how the truth of what Jesus did for me affected those things. It’s not profound stuff but it’s a glimpse into a real ordinary life and how God was at work. My kids were younger then; I was in the throes of homeschooling; and our lives were in transition then too. Here is a peek into those days.

From August 22, 2009

Joyful Killing Fields

Last Sunday, my husband Steve preached from Colossians 3:1-11. His sermon was powerful to me and was very motivating in regards to killing sin (or as Paul puts it in Colossians 3:5a – put to death therefore what is earthly in you.) A day later as I was reflecting more on that whole passage and the one following I was filled with excitement about putting sin to death and clothing myself in Christ likeness instead. I was taking a look at all the sins that I could see in my heart and embracing the killing of sin with joy and confidence in God’s ability to work. As I was talking to Steve about this he encouraged me to write a blog post about joyful killing fields – a play on words from an old movie title. I filed that away in the back of my mind to get on with the task at hand – our first week of school.

There are two strange phenomenons related to the beginning of each school year. First, the excitement I always feel is nothing short of miraculous considering the discouragement I usually feel at the end of the year, in this case just six weeks prior. Second, the ability homeschooling has to bring out the sin in our hearts that had been hiding during our school break. Things like anger, conflict, complaining, harsh words, and selfishness pop out throughout the day like a field full of prairie dogs.

Then it happened. A big conflict arose between one of my children and I. I basically felt like I was in Jr. High again because of the way I responded. I did not act like a mature and wise mother. Then, just last night I was too quick to react to my husband twice in a row before hearing him out (which would have cleared up everything by the way) – a sure sign of foolishness says Proverbs. I went to bed last night less than joyful in the face of my sin, yet really endeavoring to remember that my faith is in Christ to make me righteous not my perfect behavior.

This morning I got out my journal and was ready to repent in my time with the Lord when a conversation that I had with one of my daughters this week came to mind. She had been struggling with a particular sin and was confessing to me that she was convicted not just about her sin but also about her motives for desiring not to sin. She wondered if she wanted to kill the sin because it was not glorifying to God or because she wanted control over it personally. This made me also think about my motives. As I repented of my sins of the tongue I expressed to the Lord that I wanted my motive to be based on a desire to glorify him with my speech and extend grace to others. God reminded me once again of the joy involved in killing sin. Oh it is hard to do! It feels so unnatural to respond in a way that doesn’t feed the flesh. But there is joy in the struggle because I am cooperating with the Holy Spirit in my sanctification. Think about that – I am partnering with a Holy God on the basis that my standing before Him is already perfect through Christ. To borrow the phrase – I am becoming in practice what I already am by divine act. That is truly incredible! I can fight with the knowledge that I am assured victory. I often don’t want to fight at all, I want to be a passive observer and let God do it all without any effort from me. He hasn’t chosen to work that way. I struggle with all his energy that he powerfully works in me (Colossians 1:29).

My heart truly is a joyful killing field. May God continue to give me desire to be in the battle. Even when I have a defeat I am assured the final victory! And those defeats themselves become victories right now when they move me on to be more like Christ.