I was alone most of this weekend which, although not usually my favorite, ended up being exactly what I needed. (though I did beg my roommate to go to dinner when she got home last night...she was unbelievably sweet to oblige as I was getting nutso...) I'm learning that my extroverted self does need time alone, but that I also do better if that time is purposeful. I tend to fill alone time with projects and errands and media as opposed to resting. I was intentional to limit my television time, limit my errand running, and limit my project-working (though I did all of those things). Instead, I was intentional to have longer periods of time hanging out with the Creator.
Lately, I've been learning a lot about living in grace and experiencing freedom from the chains of the Law. It's all still in bits as I do not fully have a grasp on the truth, and likely never will, but it has left an insatiable hunger for God's word. Insatiable in that with every minute I spend with Him, my heart longs for more.
On Saturday, or maybe yesterday, I ran across a verse that, although it was underlined in my Bible, I do not remember reading:
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25
It came up via a book I'm going through about change and was unbelievably struck by the weight of it...that I am believing lies instead of Truth. And by believing those lies, I am worshipping and serving things that have been created as opposed to the Creator. Um, wow.
I also finished the second book in a fictional series that my friend, Sarah, recommended yesterday. The second is about an American girl who goes to France to pastry school and to work in a French family bakery. There were a lot of true elements to the French culture woven in the story, which of course made it fun for me. The girl also was reading the Bible in French at times throughout the story.
This morning, for whatever reason, I decided to look-up this verse from Romans in my French Bible. Although you may not know what it says, I'm writing it below. Though I can't figure out how to make the accents show up in blogger, so it'll be a little wrong...
Oui, ils ont deliberement echange la verite concernant Dieu, contre le mensonge, ils ont adore et servi la creature au lieu du Createur, lui qui est loue eternellement. Amen!
Although this is not my native tongue and I am by no means even remotely fluent, I understood this verse (granted memorizing it in English helps :)). But I actually like the French version better based on two words:
Deliberement = deliberately
Adorer = to adore, to worship
As I again allowed the weight of the verse to sweep over me, this time in French, my heart was beating quickly as the adjustment of meaning when looking at the French was so powerful. Here, I'll add in these words to the English version to help you come to the same understanding as I did:
They deliberately exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and adored/worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen! (like the exclamation point, too :)).
Our hearts are naturally sinful. They are inclined to sin because of the fall. They can ONLY be made pure and good by the grace of Christ. When we choose to sin or think negative thoughts or what-have-you, we are deliberately choosing to believe lies instead of the Truth of God. We are adoring, worshipping, serving, loving the temporal, created things as opposed to the majestic Creator. It's as if we are saying no to the priceless gift of grace, exchanging it for lesser gifts that, although can be good, are of no value in comparison.
Later last night I found myself battling thoughts that were not of the Lord. I knew these thoughts could be detrimental so I began to meditate on this verse and chose to text a friend, asking her to pray with me. She responded saying she was up and to call if I wanted. A piece of me didn't want to bother her, but I knew that was prideful and believing lies so I did. We didn't talk long, but she prayed over me and it helped immensely. I'm thankful for community. And also thankful that, even if they are not available when thoughts rush over, I'm never alone. I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit.
And I'm thankful for my bizarre love of French and French culture, and God's faithfulness to use it to deepen my affection for him. May we all be cognisant of our tendency to believe lies and be diligent to combat those lies with the Truth of God's word.
Prayerful la Verite en Francais (which means Truth in French) encourages you.