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I am not holier than you.

I may write about holiness, seeking after God, running the race with endurance, and living for the glory of Jesus Christ, but that does not mean that I am perfect. 

I do not intend to list my flaws, though what I personally struggle with is more than likely going to leak onto (or already has leaked onto) a publicly viewable page. And just knowing how my brain works, I can guess where this post is going to lead. So, though I tell you my flaws, I want to focus on who I strive to be; who I have not yet become, but who God is making me to be. 

I, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, am being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. And this comes from the Lord… (2 Corinthians 3:18a

I look in the mirror and see that I worry too much. To those outside my head, I may appear to be happy, but internally, I am in turmoil over my distant future or the next few days. But God has revealed to me that my worries are fruitless:

Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? 
Which of you by taking thought can add one hour to his lifespan? And why take you thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 
Therefore, take no thought, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek.) For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
(Matthew 6:25-34)

Reminding myself of that scripture passage helps me to refocus on the truth that I have a faithful and loving Father. He does not worry about my future, because my future is in Him. And since my future is in Him, as well as my present and my past, then why should I worry? Explaining it that way makes it seem so simple, because it is simple. The way my mind works, as well as many human beings’ minds, is that we like to make things complicated, which is one reason why we worry. But throughout God’s Word, the point is reiterated that He’s got this; you seriously don’t need to worry:

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me… Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud, and He will hear my voice. Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:16-17, 22)

Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever will save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for My sake will find it. For what is a man profited, if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He will reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:24-27)

For some reason, when I think of worry, God brings the last two scripture passages to my heart as well; though, to most eyes, those sections may be a bit disconcerting. It’s almost like Jesus is saying that following Him will mean that I have to carry a burden; like He’s saying that following Him will not be a piece of cake. Well, that’s the truth that cotton candy preachers will not tell you, but Jesus openly told His disciples the risks of following Him, because He did not want them to be caught unaware, nor did He want them to worry; the reward was worth the price:

If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own, but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, “The servant is not greater than his lord.” If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 
But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hates Me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, “They hated Me without a cause.”
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
(John 15:18-27)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

It is really hard to live in this world. There is such a great focus on money, fame, success, and relationships, but the only thing I should really be focusing on is Jesus. I have to do more than just look in the mirror, but step away with the perfect mirror in my heart; the mirror of God Himself. 

For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror. For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in his deed. (James 1:23-25)

Dear Jesus, I do not want to forget the promises you have made to me, and the truth that carrying my cross in your name is like soaring upon the wings of the Son. You give me strength and courage to bear this burden, and You teach me how to rejoice through trial and you transform my sorrow into joy. Though weeping may last for a night, thank You so much that it is replaced with joy in the morning. Let those who read this post not be overcome with mournful nights; bless them with knowledge of the truth and the courage to rest in You, Jesus. Amen and Amen.

Upon further reflection, I will return to the mirror another time and continue the Holier Than Thou series. If you want to be notified of the next installment, then you can follow me or just bookmark my homepage.

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Published by Sarah JoAnna