Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Study to show thyself improved/approved"

I have been praying for a while now that God will show me my next step in life... what He has in store for me next... I expected and anticipated there to be lessons along the way... and I think Lesson ___ was shown to me through a rapid heartbeat and some words that repeated them self to me over and over in a dream (or at least, I think it was a dream) tonight...

Study to show thyself improved... or approved??

I just kept hearing this... maybe seeing it(??) ... over and over. I woke up thinking about it. These were words I have heard before... I recognized them as scriptural based, just not sure what the context was. So of course I Googled the phrase, and the context of 2 Timothy 2:15 is my search result.

{"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth."}

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
17 And their message will spread like cancer. (and we all know how I feel about cancer!)Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ[a] depart from iniquity.”
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,
26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

I have been praying for the last few months for clarity from God specifically about His will for me in my next job. I have always had a heart for missions and have felt pulls and tugs in that general direction... but no doors have opened. The conclusion I have come to is this: I must be ready to go, but willing to stay. I love you all... but if God wants me to go live elsewhere to do His work... I love Him more. I will leave if He sets it up for me... and my major prayer is that if that is in fact His Will, we will all (especially my mom) have peace about it.

There {family}, it's officially been blogged about... it's out in the open.
Feel free to discuss with me if you like.
So as I read this verse that has woken me from my sleep I must now wonder... is God telling me I need to academically study him???? Personally study him??? I have to admit the thought of going back to school in ANY way does not appeal to me at all! But as I look at verse 20 I am compelled by the analogies used. Gold and Silver vs Wood and Clay. I think anyone who knows me can tell you I am more of a Wood and Clay kind of gal. All are natural elements, but wood and clay are more simple, more pliable. More accessible. I don't see myself as the Gold and Silver Academic type... but more as the Wood and Clay layman, that God might call to do something out of the ordinary... or that He just calls to love, to be patient, to be gentle to others... God says here that there are these types of vessels in every house... all are needed in some way, and all can honor or dishonor him. I understand His point here to me is that me and my vessel, no matter what material it is... need to work on it. I need to work on improving myself to be approved by Him.
For why should He show me to the path, when He can guide me to the path??
Please don't oversee the significance of that difference... because I think I have until now. What do I learn from Him just handing a plan to me?? Whereas if I become more knowledgeable about Him, and He guides me to the right path along the way... I have learned much more. I have improved much more.
Verse 22 is my prayer, and I need the help of all of those "who call on the Lord with a pure heart." As I begin my unknown plan to study to show myself approved/improved, please ask the Lord to grant me wisdom in what I pursue. Please ask Him to guide me to His will... because here's where my earthly desires begin to interfere... and it's petty, but it's the truth. At the end of this semester I am going to have to move out of my current home for a summer temporary one if other employment does not work out... and frankly the thought of moving out/in within 3 months is one thing I just cant stand (is it horrible that I am willing to move elsewhere but don't want to move across campus??). But here's the thing... I've been anticipating/praying about a new step in life for the last year or so... so I will continue that prayer with that hope that His plan will be revealed to me soon, oh I hope so soon...
I am also not quite sure where to begin... I mean, God's a big subject. So, if anyone has any advice of commentaries to read, books of the bible to read, authors to read, any insight at all... your ideas and accountability would be appreciated.
I love y'all, so so much...

1 comment:

  1. Nice stuff, Kacey. Glad to see what is going on with you.

    A couple of books/commentaries I suggest:
    Seeking the Seeking Place - Lyle Dorsett (Book about the spiritual development of C.S. Lewis. Gives great insight into how we can go deeper in searching and tasting Truth. Also check out Mere Christianity if you have not. Great read that will stimulate some good growth.)
    I like some of the more classic writers, but I do hear Platt's book is good for gaining a hunger to go to "the next level"...have not personally read it.
    Finally, make sure and get "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Philip Yancey. Great journey through the Gospels in looking at who/what the Bible says Jesus truly is. This has been my favorite spiritual book over the years. Really goes deep on the subject of Christ.

    As for commentaries, find you a book of the Bible (I suggest start with Ephesians, as it is half theology and half practical living and good length) and get the John McArthur commentary for it, as well as the "Preaching the Word" commentary on Ephesians (or any other book of the Bible for that matter) by R.Kent Hughes. These two guys do a great job of really bringing the context and message of each verse/pericope out. Hughes' commentary is great read and does application well. MacArthur's commentary is his sermon notes, and does great for languages and context.

    One final thing I do is get Dr. R. Kent Hughes' podcasts called "Preaching the Word." A couple of different guys do the preaching, but most of the Bible is preached through and they do great book by book exposition/application. You can download all the sermons for free onto your computer. Kent Hughes is a FANTASTIC preacher (he does most of the New Testament sermons), and a great partner for quiet times/study. The website is

    Stay thirsty, my friend :)

    Whit Goodwin