“Dying to Self.”

“Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I am entering the wilderness, my friends. I just turned my back against the once known "civilization" my mind has created, and I'm stepping toe deep into loneliness again. I might seem odd or crazy to want to do this, believe me, my heart is scared. But, in order for me to completely grasp God. For me to fully express what my true identity is, how I feel of myself, I need to experience isolation. There are a few verses that have helped me with beginning this journey. I hope with the power of God they encourage you as well.

Focus on Heaven: “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth." Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬
The first thing I am having to teach myself in this first week of isolation is, "what is my mind focusing on?" One things comes to my mind is, social media. I tend to waste so many minutes scrolling, posting, liking, etc. How is that vital to my personal time with God? I know 10 minutes a week is not acceptable. I just had to make a very difficult decision of giving it up. I am fasting my addiction over to God. I know some may think that's silly, but it's dangerous what I have been doing. I have created an idol of myself. I have been caring more of how the world sees rather than the One who created me in the first place. It's time that I focus on heaven. A Heavenly life is a righteous life.

Focusing on Faith, not fear: "Cast all your anxiety unto Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
So, following my downfall with living in a fearful life rather than faithful life, I have started to see the world in a negative light. I have woken up every morning these past few weeks just dreading the day. Apathetic of going to work, being angry on the long car trip there with the constant traffic. Feeling annoyed while at work because of the endless to-do lists just waiting for me as soon as I sit at my desk. I have completely shifted my focus to my earthly values, therefore causing me to be full of fear. A God driven person sees every day with hope. Goes through each path that lies ahead knowing God is their protector and guide. I want to be that! A faithful servant is one who will gain everlasting life, not everlasting fear.

Being a Doer for God: "Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. Deceiving yourselves!"
It is so easy for me to post this biblical post, lay my bible on my night stand, and delve into something that completely contradicts God's teaching. Shame on me if I use the word of God for my personal gain! The Bible is to guide us! To instruct us! To heal, protect, and grow us! The Bible isn't a tool to make our reputations seem greater. It's not just another book to read to pass time. It's to show and teach us how to be like Jesus! What we learn in our alone time, will help someone who is going through a rough time. What we pray by ourselves, will lead us to pray with someone else. It's important to be alone with God, grow with God, become who you are supposed to be with God, and go out into the world to help some other lost soul going through a spiritual drought! It's time we start taking God seriously and start dying to ourselves!

“Living as A Modern Day Ruth: Day Three.” By: Melodie Rose Jordan. 

If you have been following along in this study, then you probably are anxiously waiting at the edge of your seat, bible at upright position as to what will lie next for Boaz and Ruth. I got some good news for you my dear friend, there are wonderful things in store for these two noble people! 

Ruth Chapter three begins with Naomi advising Ruth to find a permanent home, or in our terms, a new husband. Naomi has noticed how kind Boaz has been to Ruth for letting her work in his field along with other workers. Naomi tells Ruth to take a bath, wear expensive perfume, and nice clothing. Now, don’t overlook at her strange commands. Naomi is not instructing Ruth to commit an impure act, but to show Boaz that he can become her “family redeemer”. (Boaz could find someone to marry Ruth, or he could marry her himself). It may seem like apathetic business, but it leads to so much more. Later that evening, Ruth approaches Boaz’s bed, and uncovers his feet. (This showed respect to a master, Ruth being one of his workers in the field he owned, also an Israel custom). Around midnight, Boaz awoke in a fright to see a woman at his feet! “Who are you?” He demanded. “I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.” The Lord bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing more family loyalty now than ever by not running after a younger man, whether rich or poor. Ruth 3:8-10

Wow! What a reaction! I am blown away how they both honor each other and show such kindness. Later in this chapter, Boaz tells Ruth that he will spread word around the town of Judah of what an honorable woman Ruth was. He also stated that if he could not find anyone who would be willingly to marry her, he would marry her himself. (Awe!) Ruth laid at his feet until dawn, and before she returned back to Naomi, he gave her six scoops of barley, for he didn’t want Ruth to return empty handed. Ruth then awaited patiently with her mother-in-law for Boaz’s desicion. 

What a beautiful chapter, right?! So, how can we apply this to our own lives. 

Before seeking out a man, seek spiritual council: We all have someone(s) in our lives that we tell everything to. Someone we can be completely open and vulnerable. It’s so important to discuss with a trustworthy, God led individual about a dating situation. They will help you in prayer, in guidance, or just emotional support (I have to recommend my dear friend Jinny! Thanks for being my “butterfly friend” 🦋❤)

If you have found someone, are they honoring you: did you notice how Boaz reacted when he saw Ruth laying at his feet? He didn’t get angry with her. He didn’t make a scene with other men and outcast her, since she was a foreigner. He addressed her in such a Godly way. He even went far as to tell his whole towns people just how much of an honorable woman she was. Make sure you have a signifanct other in your life who only brings your reputation up and makes sure you are spoken positively. 

If you’re still single and waiting, God has forgotten you: I am sure Ruth was so anxious and anticipating the decision that Boaz had to make. I’m sure she was having dozen of thoughts. Naomi gave her such encouraging advice, as it helped me: “Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won’t rest until he has followed through on this.” Ruth: 3:18

God has someone out there for us. All we can do is be obedient to His word, surround ourselves with Godly influences, and trust in Him. ❤