Living a Sold-Out Life (Part 2)

Christian schools have a bubble. Believe it. Ever heard of “Ring by Spring?” How about your parking ticket payment referred to as the “wages of sin?” Or my personal favorite, “So you’re here to get a degree, but you could always minor in MRS.”

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ORU Class Ring! No Engagement Band Needed.

No thanks, I’ll just take the BS before moving on to a PhD. No MRS required.

But I digress because the point of this is- the bubble is real!

For a freshman straight out of public school, having self-professing Christian classmates was wonderful and the bubble where I spent those formative college years helped me develop character and integrity. However, I knew it wasn’t what the real world felt like. I’ve spent the past two years wondering if when I got out, I would have the grounded foundation needed to hack it in the real world. Wondering what it would feel like to live out of the bubble.

Wondering if I could truly live sold-out for Christ.

Now that I’ve escaped the bubble, I’ve become hyperaware of what my actions and words say. It was all fine and good to let that biting sarcastic comment out with friends who would never doubt the love I have for them. It was all fun and games to joke about getting smashed on weekends until that became a legit option.

Everything from my political opinions, how I respond to disappointment, my demeanor in class, to my outfit choice when I got out on the weekends needs to be filtered before I let it out.

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I filter my words and actions not because I care what people think about me, but because I care what they think of my Savior. 

You see, I’m a good person by most people’s standards. Not much sets me apart from other good people who aren’t living sold-out. Good deeds and kind words are things any average person can do because there are many “good people.” We are called to go beyond that and stand out because of our faith.

How?!?

Good question. I really don’t have an answer, but I do know the first action towards getting there is to recognize my flawed human nature and trust in the Helper that Jesus sent to me- The Holy Spirit.

Jesus says in John 14:25, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Very explicitly, Jesus says the Holy Spirit is here to remind us, to help us live-sold out. The reason the Holy Spirit is with us 24/7 is because living life in this manner is hard! It demands all of you.

Literally Every Single Part of You.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!”

Nothing can be held back because that is what you promised Christ when you accepted His gift of salvation. Give it all up now to gain a treasure in heaven that will never pass away or be destroyed.

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Baptism: October 24, 2014 (At ORU)

Living in surrender to the Holy Spirit is such a mind-blowing concept because how on earth can I filter every thought or intention by the Him before it flies off my tongue? I’m only human. I sin. I mess up.

I don’t completely know how to do this. But as I’ve immersed myself more into the nature of God, His nature is slowly becoming more ingrained as my nature. For example, I no longer bite my tongue as often to curb my sarcasm; it has simply ceased to be my instinctive go-to reaction.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

I know, much easier said than done, but let me tell you, it’s even easier done with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

This filter thing takes practice. It takes training your mind and body to behave to a heavenly standard, not an earthly one. It’s seeing the results of your actions on God’s terms, not yours.

It’s living a sold-out life for God.

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The Road Goes Ever On,

Annamarie

Living a Sold-Out Life (Part 1)

Part 1: Go to the Ultimate Source

Yesterday I got to catch up with a very dear friend of mine. We haven’t gotten to really talk since I moved to Indianapolis because well, I’m here and Oklahoma’s a very long 10 hours away driving. She asked me how I was doing with the move and starting school and all and honestly, I was able to reply, “It’s different, it’s so hard, but I’m really happy.”

Other than the fact that physical therapy is something I love learning, my transition has been transfused with peace, with contentment, and it kind of freaked me out until talking with my friend forced me to put words to my feelings.

You see, most of my close friends are in Tulsa or halfway across the world. My family is still 3 hours away. Grad school is my world now- studying, learning, practicing, and yeah, dozing off in class occasionally.

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Point being, I’ve picked up my life and started all over. Again. This whole adulting thing is overwhelming. Yet, I’m at peace. Unnatural peace.

You see, as I’ve begun carving out a home here in this new city, God has been carving new lessons upon my heart. This time in life is a fork in the road and there are two options:

Live Lukewarm OR Live Sold-Out.

I choose to live a life sold-out for Christ. Let me break it down, because that is a huge, very big end picture right there; easy to say but much harder to put into practice. Here’s a pathway of how to get there:

Part 1) Go to the Ultimate Source of Peace and Love

Part 2) Use that Holy Spirit Filter

Part 3) Be an Olympic Torch Amidst the Candles

Success might be a long time in coming, but that’s ok- It’s a process and we aren’t flying blind.

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This will NOT be you!

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)

So Number 1: Go to the Ultimate Source of Peace and Love.

Without that constant support system of close Christian friends, I’m being driven to the only true source- God. I have to start my morning with breakfast and my small Jesus Calling devotional. (http://jesuscalling.com/) It’s not much more than a few verses and a small paragraph of encouragement from the Father, but the peace I start each day with has become something I depend on more than that extra 10 minutes of sleep.

It’s not just a ritual or textbook “Christian thing.” I crave closeness with my Abba Father.

See, living sold-out isn’t always evident. It happens in the stillness of the morning before anything really important happens.

God says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me… If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you… As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love…” (John 15: 4, 7, 9-10)

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He also promises, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with loving kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

I could cry in relief that I have such a constant and unconditional love to fall back on every minute of every day. Remaining in it makes it so easy to brush off the brambles of life.

IMG_8893So step one: simply go to Him.

He loves you so much! His heart weeps with yours when you hurt and sings for joy when you succeed. Even when He is silent, His everlasting and unconditional love surrounds you. Won’t you reach out?

He will meet you right where you are. He can heal your bruised heart. He will wash you clean.

In Acts 17:28 Paul says, “For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

He will never leave nor forsake you, but you must go to Him in order to live a sold-out life.

The Road Goes Ever On,

Annamarie