This is a three-point realization. :) Get ready.
Point 1: The Stance of an Armor- Bearer
Today I was reading Bertha Spafford Vester's book published in 1950 about her remembrances as a daughter of the American Colony founders. Our Jerusalem: an American Family in the Holy City, 1881-1949. I read a short section about a visit she and her husband had with a local sheik.
She wrote "Our city horses trembled on the slippery rocks, while those of our Bedouin guides skipped over them like goats. I asked one of our three friends his name, judging from his fine sword and other arms that he belonged to the sheik s family. He answered, "I am your slave Mutlag." It was an unusual answer and I wondered at his humility. After a while I ventured another question: "Do you belong to Sheik Diab s family?" "No," he replied, "I am his slave; this is his sword; I carry it for him." Here, in the twentieth century, was the Bible made alive. An armor-bearer, like Saul s or David s, was guiding us to Heshbon" (221).
"I am his slave; this is his sword; I carry it for him," the armor-bearer said.
Mutlag was one who stood nearby--waiting, reserved, ready--prepared for his master's need of him. That was his identity and his purpose: נֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו no-se kelav (v. 6-- I hope I transliterated correctly)
Nasa (from which no-se comes) means (among other things) "to lift up, exalt, support, aid, assist, to carry, bear continuously."
Don't we want the same attitude and readiness to be present in our hearts and lives and possessions at all times for Messiah-- to be available, quiet, attentive, and ready for His use?
6Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.”7His armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your desire.”
According to BJ from The River Walk, this is Bozez and Seneh-- the cliffs Jonathan and his armor-bearer climbed. He says Seneh is the cliff on the left that they would have climbed.
Point 2: Renewing how I think in order to experience lasting change
Later, I read a devotional I really love-- Time With G-d by John North.
Romans 11:36–12:2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
John writes, “To Him are all things.” We know that is true, and we want to live our lives for God. And so we sometimes get so very frustrated with ourselves when we seem unable to change and live the way we want to live!
But notice that Paul tells us how to be changed—how we will be able to live the way we want to. He says that we can be “transformed”. That means “changed from the inside out”—like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. The change taking place inside results in an outward change. And how do we experience that inward change? “By the renewing of your mind!”
The fact is, the spiritual battle for your life will be won or lost on the battlefield of your mind. If you are fighting a losing spiritual battle, the way to victory is not your willpower, it is your mind. Renew how you think."
I have been battling in the areas of self-discipline and order and rhythm-- home organization and optimal health-- specifically
- eating too much
- too much clutter
- ineffective home organization (not having systems in place that work consistently)
- needing comfort and direction from the L-rd -- listening better so that I get filled up instead of overwhelmed or worn out.
I've been reading, taking notes, and implementing Kathi Lipp's ideas about home and personal management after I heard her speak on a Focus on the Family broadcast a few nights ago.
She offers down-to-earth and practical solutions for problems I face every day (and stress about). I'm already less stressed as I follow her easy steps. From her I read that my "house needs to go on a diet." :) She is right.
I've been thinking about each room and possession's purpose. Does it fit? Does it help achieve the purpose for that space? Does it pay enough "rent" to stay there? Is what I need available for my purpose-- or is it out of my hand or inaccessible in some way?
Part of the way I like to interact with the Bible is to do a word study of a verse that particularly catches my attention. Today's verse--
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
particularly tugged at my heart. I looked at the previous chapter to see the context--- why the "therefore" was there. That chapter was about fulfilling G-d's plan and walking humbly as a Gentile believer so that others might want intimacy with Messiah as well.
I looked up the word, "present" and found