"If you think that you're strong enough,
  nice dream"
    Ouch. That's my reaction to that splendid Radiohead song.  If I can do anything by trying and trying, how come  I keep repeating the same mistakes? Some are simple, like will I ever remember to fix the endings  according to gender with the essere verbs in the Passato Prossimo in Italian? My quizzes tell me no; I always get marked down for that. Some are a bit more frustrating, like will I ever stop slandering, stop worrying over petty things, stop building false hopes on foundations other than Christ? My past tells me no. Jesus asks us to  trust and obey. Sounds so simple, so why can't I do it? I am just not strong enough.
    I had great plans going in to Second Semester here. I was gonna have 2 quiet times with God, spend at least an hour a day reading for leisure, and continue to go over Voice (speaking) excersizes daily, oh and run in the CCRB. It's the last day of January, and I haven't been able to keep one of those. I am just not consistant. I am just not that dedicated. I am not. I am not. Jesus is.
    Like I said, our inability to be truly commited to doing anything becomes most evident when it comes to obeying God. We look at his laws and they seem simple, but when we try to put them into practice we see how hard they really are to keep and then we turn to God and say "I can't do this! This is impossible" and God says "Ding ding ding ding ding!  That is correct!"
      Of course we can't! If we could, what would be the point of Jesus? God wants us to look to Him to get things done. "
I can do everything through Christ Jesus who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13.
      Sometimes I look back at high school and I am amazed at some of the feats I accomplished. I'd have a Tommy Malcolm Olson rehearsal till 10:30pm, and be too exhausted to finish the paper for Ms. McNeely,  study for the math quiz, and do that pointless Health assignment. The next morning I would wake up and tell Jesus that there was no way I could get through the day on my own. I'd shake during the entire car ride to school. The day started and  the kids would talk McNeely into giving us a week extension on the paper, I'd somehow get an A on the quiz, and I'd whip up the health assignment in class. By 5th hour (4 more to go at DSA) I'd have completed everythng I "just couldn't do." I chuckle to think of it, but God works in humorously mysterious ways ways. There as no way I could have made it through those kinds of days on my own. I was busier than it was healthy for me, and I knew it, but Jesus got me through it. By the end of the day (when I'd have Tap and then another rehearsal) I'd be amazed at how I survived.  I honestly had nothing to do with it. On my own I would have dropped dead.
    God continues to do the same here. Life is constantly overwhelmingly busy. I can't tell you how many times classes were cancelled at the most convenient moments for me here. But you know? If academics are important to God, don't you think our ability to obey His commands are too? It was easy for me to tell God that I couldn't pass a test, but it was much harder to tell Him I can't control my mouth. There is something in me that just wants to try to obey Him on my own. I am convinced I can stopped sinning, only to be convinced that I am disapointed in myself. There is nothing wrong with telling God we can't do something. Moses did, and God used him anyway. Moses was right, alone he couldn't have done the things God wanted him to do. God works through our doubts in ourselves, because when we have them we can see how capable God is.
    Another comfort is that God wants us to improve. He wants us to be able to be commited to obeying and doing the right thing.  Dale Batten used this great analogy of God's patience with us and his patience with his children when they were real young.  It's like when you are teaching a kid to play the piano. You don't get upset when he hits a wrong key. You correct the mistake and keep going, without getting angry at all. It never crosses your mind to get angry at them. That's the way God is. It's no big deal for Him to correct our mistakes, if we are truly willing to have them corrected. He wants us to see us play the piece perfect. (that was not the same story Dale used, but I will spare the embarrassment of his kids...) Yes, the sin in my life is a much bigger deal than hitting a wrong note, but forgiveness is another essay.
      Finally, I have a quote from Oswald Chambers. He says (in
My Utmost for His Highest) "Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him. It is easier to serve than be drunk to the dregs. The one aim of the call is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him. We are not sent to battle for God, but used by God in His battlings. Are we being more dedicated to service than Jesus Christ?" ~Jan. 18 In short, don't get caught up in yourself that you can't see and hear Jesus. And don't beat yourself up when you do!

If you think that you are strong enough to make it with out Christ, NICE DREAM.
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