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where to settle

July 21, 2008

“if we were given all we want here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next” -Elisabeth Elliot

i can safely say, looking back now, that if God would have granted half the things i have requested i would be a disaster. i would be even more torn between the things of heaven and the things of earth. yes. even more torn. i am not above confessing to you that i struggle with worldly and fleshly matters. every. single. day. and that struggle will often times pollute my thoughts and otherwise good intentions. God knows that. He sees that very clearly. and He is doing a work in me…even if i can’t see it or i don’t like how He is working it out. He knows that my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak (matthew 26:41)

how does this quote speak to you?

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36 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2008 9:30 am

    I think of

    Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    If we can conform our life and mind to look to God and His Word in all things, and turn away from the world. The will of God becomes open to us. We are able to see the choices made as in God’s will or not because we have his word in our mind to test them against.

    But we are Imperfect, and can only do this and achieve this with the help of Christ.

  2. July 21, 2008 9:40 am

    Wow, I LOVE that quote! I’ve got to write that down in my journal.

    How true. We so long for the things of the world when God really wants us to set our sights on heaven and work on bringing heaven to earth with our words and actions.

  3. July 21, 2008 10:13 am

    NOW you know who Elizabeth Elliot is. she lives just a few miles away from our seminary. used to teach here, before she retired from ministry.

    her son-in-law was the man i met last week. 🙂

  4. July 21, 2008 10:25 am

    Oh so true. I remember a few prayers begging God for things that if I was given I would be a holy train wrecked mess! Thank God for giving me a big fat NO to those. Heck, I have even prayed to win the lotto!! But if I had every bit of money I ever needed, then how would I have learned that God provides just enough for each day? Its like the magot-ed manna. They couldnt take it with them for the following morning, they had to trust that God would provide for that days needs.

  5. Heidi permalink
    July 21, 2008 10:51 am

    Just me sayin…

    I don’t think we would be disasters.

    See God already knows our thoughts anyways, He’s probably thought a million times over, “No little Heidi” and chuckled at my absurd requests, but He is heard them (even the ones under my breathe and the ones I took back)

    But then I think He has fulfilled some of them..

    So I can run and make it a disaster~ SO I LEARN that living by in my flesh has no rewards

    or

    So I can go running back in my knee torn jeans and look up for Him and collaspse in His unending arms.

    I think the word is Grace.

  6. July 21, 2008 10:52 am

    That’s a good quote. I am glad that God doesn’t give me everything I ask for either, though at the time I always wish he would. I love Elisabeth Elliot… she says stuff in ways that make sense to my feeble brain.

  7. July 21, 2008 11:08 am

    ” So we fix our eyes on not what is seen, but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen, is eternal.”

    There is no spoon:)

  8. July 21, 2008 11:17 am

    i think we have to “want” with the right heart. that is a great quote! awesome! and i want heaven, and WANT to WANT heaven, more than this world….. but while i’m here, i’d like to worry less and do more. “want” just seems to be naturally built into that equation for me. oh………i struggle.

    i want more $. not so i can be rich or buy impressive things….but just so i can sleep better and literally do more, give more. i don’t want gadgets and fancy cars. i just want to know that my bills will be paid and i can write checks to people and charities that need more.

    i don’t want to settle for this world. urghhh…… ur making me crazy today, tam! it’s all good.

  9. July 21, 2008 11:39 am

    I completely relate to this quote. God’s timing is so important. I remember thinking about a few things I’ve prayed about being a part of, and they didn’t work out. Had I become a part of those things I know that my focus would have been taken away from my family and my home. That is where, at this time of my life, my focus need to be.

    I’m made from flesh. My actions are rooted in the flesh, and without an ongoing relationship with Jesus I stay in the flesh. I too at times have seemingly daily struggles with seeing things through worldly eyes as opposed to looking at things through the Saviors’ eyes.

  10. July 21, 2008 11:42 am

    romans 7:14-25

    14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

  11. July 21, 2008 11:43 am

    it speaks to me of what i was studying today…eph. 5…the struggle it is to live a life that is guided by the Spirit and not by my own desires…as always, great stuff tam!

  12. July 21, 2008 11:43 am

    correction…galatians 5…:)

  13. Jim2 permalink
    July 21, 2008 11:46 am

    one of the beautiful things about our Savior is that he was tempted like we are. “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me…” so it is not wrong to ask, as long as we, like Jesus, remember – “not my will, but Yours”
    Trust Him is so easy to say, but so hard to DO.

  14. July 21, 2008 12:29 pm

    She is my favorite author. I LOVE that quote!!! What a simple way of explaining why “life isn’t fair” and “God is in control…”

  15. July 21, 2008 1:14 pm

    One of the first Christian books I read was “Through Gates of Splendor” by Elizabeth Elliott. She is truly a Saint of God.

    Your quote Tam I think has to do with two things.
    The first is a question; what am I really focusing on? Spiritual or things of this world? Be careful, the things that are not of God can swallow up our lives and time.
    The second thing – is remember Satan is after for your soul. We ignore that sometimes, but it is a battle we are engaged in.

  16. July 21, 2008 1:19 pm

    Love it.

    I see a man who is having issues coughing and breathing just after God kept him through a quintuple bypass surgery. My flesh instincts say, “Pray that he learns how to cough so that he can breathe.” But my spirit prays, “Show us your glory, my Lord.”

    I have a wonderful woman in my life. She is beautiful, wise and so devout to God. She seeks nothing but Him. She chooses to be with me and love me. My flesh yearns for a wife who will love me and grow old with me. My spirit cries out, instead, “Give me Your heart, my Father. There is none besides you.”

    God is not some sort of divine butler who fetches every time we ring a bell. God is the Father who truly knows the desires of your heart and knows how to perfectly provide for you. Through it all, it has to glorify Him. No matter what.

    I hope I am not scorn for saying this but I stopped asking for stuff a long time ago. Even in the midst of job loss, I didn’t ask for another job, I simply ask, “Tell me what you want me to do. Please be my provision, Lord.” When He did provide, I ask “What do you want me to do with this money? Want me to go and deliver it to someone. Tell me Lord.”

    With every step, I ask, “What now, Father? I can’t go on with You. I am nothing with You.”

  17. July 21, 2008 1:26 pm

    Interesting you bring up this temptation today. I was going to comment on an earlier statement you made about most of our intentions being from a pure motive/heart (I don’t remember where you said it right now). I was going to suggest that most of our motives are, in fact, not pure at all but come from very deeply rooted, self serving sources – be they self-protective, selfish, self-seeking or whatever.

    This topic of motive probably deserves a separate thread, but for now I’ll quote Derek Webb:

    “what’s the use in trading a law you can never keep
    for one you can that cannot get you anything?”

  18. July 21, 2008 1:33 pm

    i am not above confessing to you that i struggle with worldly and fleshly matters. every. single. day. and that struggle will often times pollute my thoughts and otherwise good intentions. God knows that. He sees that very clearly. and He is doing a work in me…even if i can’t see it or i don’t like how He is working it out.

    I love you, Tam.

    Me too.

  19. July 21, 2008 1:58 pm

    In hurry as of late, but still wanting you to know I still xoxoxox !!!! you !!! You are speaking to me/us sista’!

  20. July 21, 2008 2:30 pm

    Great quote. I makes me think of the Randy Alcorn books that I have read both fiction and non-fiction. If we are focused on the here and now instead of eternity we are going to lay up treasures here where they can be destroyed instead of heaven…

    Pray that I store my treasures in heaven.

  21. July 21, 2008 5:03 pm

    I am reminded that as believers, we have a new nature in Christ that lives in a sin-trained bag of bones. . .

  22. July 21, 2008 5:13 pm

    elisabeth elliot has always been one of my “heroes”. i’d love to have a conversation with her over tea. i know i could learn so much from her about what it means to be a woman of god, a wife, and a missionary.

  23. July 21, 2008 6:32 pm

    To be honest, I really like this quote and I LOVE Elizabeth, but I sometimes wonder if statements like this can be taken much in the same way we take the Gospel – me-centered. Not to say that I am above fleshly struggles, but sometimes it strikes me that the way out of them is in actually seeing the beauty of the Gospel, and therefore a new Heaven and Earth, as being God’s dream of every human, along with all creation, dying to itself and living for the common good of all He has created. That is to say, that ultimate joy is in ultimate selflessness in God’s intended created order. I wonder that if maybe the post-reformation/post-evangelical individual-focused context we frame the Gospel in too often actually works against the Gospel itself. Maybe when we frame the Gospel only in what individuals stand to gain from God’s gift to us, we miss that half the gift is being freed from a world-view where we are concerned with what we get out of things.

    For me, easier said than done, but I just really want to try to understand where I am going and what God intends when He talks about this Good News of His. Then at least I know what direction my long journey is in.

    Tam, you are so cool. Thanks for always posting such challenging and thought-provoking thoughts and quotes!

  24. andrealudwig permalink
    July 21, 2008 6:33 pm

    I agree. God always wants our focus to be heavenward, and our hearts full of love here on earth.

  25. July 21, 2008 7:15 pm

    If all were given what we want here……
    This first part of the quote brings into memory when my daughter whines about one more thing of the many she might already have.
    It also convicts me when I have my convos with God. Usually they go like this “If you would just bring my way the right person to buy our stores, I will be so much better”.
    After actually writing it seems quite silly. What will be so much better? How would I really know if by HE granting my request, I will be so much happier, financially stable, relaxed??? Will I really be?
    HE is not granting it, because I am perhaps whinning…..
    Just a thought.
    xoxoxo

  26. July 21, 2008 8:27 pm

    WOW – I’m pondering this and I’ll have to comment more tomorrow.

  27. July 21, 2008 8:55 pm

    This completely resonates with my life RIGHT now.

  28. lazrus2 permalink
    July 21, 2008 10:18 pm

    1. ALL I ONCE HELD DEAR, BUILT MY LIFE UPON
    ALL THIS WORLD REVERES AND WARS TO OWN
    ALL I ONCE THOUGHT GAIN
    I HAVE COUNTED LOSS
    SPENT AND WORTHLESS NOW
    COMPARED TO THIS

    KNOWING YOU, JESUS, KNOWING YOU
    THERE IS NO GREATER THING
    YOU’RE MY ALL, YOU’RE THE BEST
    YOU’RE MY JOY, MY RIGHTEOUSNESS
    AND I LOVE YOU, LORD

    2. NOW MY HEART’S DESIRE IS TO KNOW YOU MORE
    TO BE FOUND IN YOU AND KNOWN AS YOURS
    TO POSSESS BY FAITH WHAT I COULD NOT EARN
    ALL SURPASSING GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

    3. OH TO KNOW THE POWER OF YOUR RISEN LIFE
    AND TO KNOW YOU IN YOUR SUFFERINGS
    TO BECOME LIKE YOU IN YOUR DEATH, MY LORD
    SO WITH YOU TO LIVE, AND NEVER DIE

    c 1993 Make Way Music

    These words (based on Phil. 3:7-11) are becoming more of a reality in my life day by day.

    I think the older you get (and more stuff you find doesn’t fulfill any deep needs), the more ‘Knowing Him’ becomes the priority until at 91 (like my Dad), with few faculties left to enjoy anything in this earthly existence, the treasures in heaven finally become the ‘main focus’ as God designed them to be.

    Yet, most often it takes a lifetime of ‘trying everything else first’ before He can get our attention back to finding our highest desires satisfied in Him alone.

    Thanks for realizing that so young, and reminding us ‘old folks’ of it again too =).

    D-

  29. July 21, 2008 11:39 pm

    if i would have settled w/ my slice, I would have been left w/ been left w/ shrink wrapped blue cheese instead of my huge hunk of captain amazing! Thank you Jesus!

  30. July 22, 2008 2:38 am

    @Heidi- Amen girl! Grace! God knows HE made us from dirt, HE knows we struggle with our flesh, and HE has made a way for us to overcome…but HE doesnt force it on us, its our choice. If we stay tooo long and beat our selves up over the fleshy decisions, we have missed a bunch more awesome things with HIM while looking down or looking behind…

    The flesh is weak, and we need to train our minds to tell the flesh NO…hard yes, have i got it down..NO..but I am in training 🙂

  31. Heidi permalink
    July 22, 2008 5:30 am

    @ Darla

    It’s hard!!! It’s a daily dying to our flesh!!! AM I perfect in it??
    This aint heaven.. But I am in progress of making right choices.
    Love you girl!!

  32. July 22, 2008 5:52 am

    “i can safely say, looking back now, that if God would have granted half the things i have requested i would be a disaster.”

    I might never have met my wife and had my daughter- who is the joy of every second of my life.

    Hey Tam, isn’t it time you joined me over at Funny Acronym Tuesday? Or are you too busy moderating these rowdy folks here on your blog? 😉

  33. July 22, 2008 11:06 am

    Whoa, Tam……looks like God has been speaking into our hearts in a very similar way. Check out my blog post for yesterday to see what I mean! 🙂

  34. July 22, 2008 5:23 pm

    Cathi – “…instead of my huge hunk of captain amazing!” I don’t know you but that is hilarious/awesome!

    Darla – “God knows HE made us from dirt, HE knows we struggle with our flesh, and HE has made a way for us to overcome…but HE doesnt force it on us, its our choice. If we stay tooo long and beat our selves up over the fleshy decisions, we have missed a bunch more awesome things with HIM while looking down or looking behind…” Amen sister. Awesome words! I am very encouraged by them. Timely!

  35. July 27, 2008 5:25 pm

    That Elizabeth Elliot faced (faces) the same things I do. It’s good to know that we’re all just human.

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