Bringing it All to the Table

The lyrics to the Zack Williams song, “To the Table” speak kindly to what I’m about to share. As I prepare to give up my “seven deadly sins” I feel called to bring them to light and word in this post. In the process of bringing them to the table, it takes away their power. Some sins like to shame me, but when I share my struggles with friends and ask for their accountability, the fellowship and grace that they share with me take away the hold of the sin. My sin would love for me to shrink down to feel shameful and disappointed. It would love to whisper lies in my mind about how I’m the only one, or how terrible, fat, dirty, lazy or unlovable I am… but they are merely lies, pesky little mice crawling on my stuff and shitting on my treasures. The grace of God is so much grander! It frees me from all my shortcomings! Whitens my slate and cleans off all the mouse shit, or so to say. This grace, this unconditional love is the reason I want to give up my present darkness, even if it means sharing a part of me that I am shameful of, from time-to-time.

Check out these lyrics, and/or listen to the song here:

Hear the voice of love that’s calling

There’s a chair that waits for you

And a Friend who understands

Everything you’re going through

. . .

But you keep standing at a distance

In the shadow of your shame

There’s a light of hope that’s shining

Won’t you come and take your place

. . .

And bring it all to the table

There’s nothing He ain’t seen before

For all your fear, all your sorrow and your sadness

There’s a Savior and He calls

Bring it all to the table

. . .

He can see the weight you carry

The fears that hold your heart

But through the cross you’ve been forgiven

You’re accepted as you are

. . .

So bring it all to the table

There’s nothing He ain’t seen before

For all your trials, all your worries and your burdens

There’s a Savior and He calls

Bring it all to the table

. . .

Bring it all

You can bring it all

. . .

And come on in, take your place

There’s no one who’s turned away

All you sinners, all you saints

Come right in and find your grace

. . .

Come on in, take your place

There’s no one who’s turned away

All you sinners, all you saints

Come right in and find your grace

. . .

And bring it all to the table

There’s nothing He ain’t seen before

For all your sin, all your sorrow and your sadness

There’s a Savior and He calls

Bring it all to the table

I recently learned, via a Google search, what the seven deadly sins are. I also was reminded that there are seven virtues that provide a cure to each of the seven deadly sins. Fun fact: Because of the popularity of the poem Psychomachia, by Christian governor, Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, the seven virtues became well-known throughout Europe. Use that one for trivia night.

In my previous post, Risking it All, I mentioned that God revealed to me the practical side of the seven deadly sins, and which ones I need to surrender for this one year. I think that life is better with lists, so I’m going to list the sins with how they are defined for me in my year of risk. I realize that reading through a list of my sins might be boring for you, so perhaps before you start, you could ask God to reveal what these seven deadly sins mean for you. It might not be the most fun task, but I guarantee it’ll be worthwhile.

Envy – To halt the comparison game, and turn my desires away from what I think I need to what God created me to need, I will be surrendering movies and television for the year. Binge watching Netflix is out, which at times will be a struggle for me, as I find escaping into the life of another quite relaxing! I will create an exception for settings which include other people. If the fellowship factor is involved, I will allow viewings in moderation, as I don’t want to alienate my friends through this crazy year of risk.

Gluttony – I will give up my desires to eat my feelings by fasting, for one year, from all junk food. This includes candy, soda, sweet baked goods, chips and dips. I will allow myself crackers and cheese, healthy popcorn options, and chocolate-free nut mixes. Pancakes, waffles and bagels (with cream cheese), though not necessarily healthy or sugar-free will be allowed as they are a part of the most important meal of the day. One serving of one emergency sweet will be allotted per month for health or celebratory reasons, but they are not mandatory and will not accrue over time. I will also fast from alcoholic beverages except when celebrating a major life event such as moving across country, accepting a job, celebrating a friend’s engagement/wedding/baby, respectfully celebrating the life of someone who passes on, and possibly holidays such as Jesus’s and my birthdays.

Greed – This was a tough one for me to accept, but in full out trusting God, I know that he will be faithful. This year I give up my desire to date/find my special someone. Though I still hope to have deep friendships with the guys in my life, I will not seek, accept or hopefully, at some point, think of pursuing any relationships. I will flee from crushes and wholeheartedly use my singleness to pursue Christ, as he has unyieldingly pursued me all these years. I will use my singleness and my time with God to make a difference and a change not only in my own life, but hopefully the lives of my readers as well. I know it sounds crazy for a 28-year old to fast from dating and call me crazy, but I want to be free from the feelings of relationship entitlement as thoughts that every attractive or confident man I meet should indeed be mine, are not the healthiest of thoughts! ha!

Lust – I will fast from masturbation for a year, and hopefully forever, as to me it is a sin that slowly eats away at my soul. I long to be free of this thing that has tried to repeatedly knock me down for far too long (nearly ten years)! In world so obsessed with itself, I long to be free of me and find that love which is so much deeper and far more selfless than I could ever provide for myself. I also think fasting from hoping for a relationship will help in this pursuit. (Amazing how some sins feed off each other!)

Pride – I will allow myself only one hour of social media per week, that must be used in a single day. This includes, but is not limited to: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I recognize my necessity for these apps to communicate with ministries I am a part of, as well as advertise my blog and share my love of photography. However, at times, I may get consumed in boasting, and obsessively checking the likes and comments of my recent blog posts or profile pictures. Not wasting away hours on status updates, will also help me avoid the comparison game of envy.

Sloth – Through avoiding all the distractions previously mentioned, I will have time and energy to not only seek the Lord through prayer, Scripture, meditation, and praise, but I will also have time to pursue my gift and dream of writing. I will not be slothful, as I hope to dedicate an hour daily to writing my book.

Wrath – I will consciously avoid using curse words as they tend to make me a more hateful person. I also will avoid gossip and talking negatively about others, as they spur on hateful emotions. I hope to love and encourage everyone I encounter, and focus more on building others up, and giving generously. Random acts of kindness will become more than a once in a while tradition.

Now looking back on it, it seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Suddenly, I’m aware of the weight of the year ahead of me. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who thinks I’m crazy! I’m right there with you! But isn’t this what Paul recommends in his letter to the Ephesians, and similarly in 2 Corinthians?

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

This is me letting go of the old self. Emptying all the guck out of my vessel will allow God to fill it with Himself, His love, His beauty, His joy and life! Allowing His presence to flow from my vessel to everyone I encounter. Instead of sharing my guck with the world, I’ll be free to share Christ’s wholeness, His oneness, His everything.

I think I’ve tried to live a lukewarm life, have my Jesus and keep my sins too… But I’m sick of comfortable Christianity, and I’m craving more. This will not be an easy year. There will be screw-ups, and tons of grace, but that’s all part of the journey. I’m ready to give up my laziness, let go and actually trust God to provide my needs, instead of filling in the gaps myself. I’m sick of living out of fear, and I’m ready to be filled with fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Are you ready to go on this adventure with me? Risking it all, for 365 days in the presence of the Lord. Here we go!

 “Washed Clean” – Zach Williams

Father open up my eyes
So I might truly see
Everything you have done for me
Lord I’m tired and I’m torn
My face is on the floor
Break these chains and set me free

Lord I wanna be washed clean
Don’t you know I wanna be washed clean

Father take away my pride
Just set it all aside
So I might hear what you have to say
Lord I’m tired if all my guilt
I’m tired of all my shame
Break these chains and set me free

Lord I wanna be washed clean
Don’t you know I wanna be washed clean

Cause I been living a lie that I just couldn’t see
And holding on to things that I just didn’t need
But you took these hands and washed them clean
Oh like a blind man lost in the middle of the night
You came down and you opened my eyes
And I won’t ever be the same

Oh that’s what Jesus
Jesus did for me
Solo over verse
So now I’ve opened up my eyes
And swallowed all my pride
I finally let you lead the way
And I fall down on my knees
I’m just a Brother of your Grace
And I won’t ever be the same

2 thoughts on “Bringing it All to the Table

  1. Diana Kallestad says:

    I ADMIRE you for your willingness to be honest w yourself and even more to your readers! Few people are willing to lay it on the table and say it as it is- and then be willing to do something!! Praise the Lord! Good for you Sarah Inga! I am again and always be proud of you. From the day I knew I was pregnant and when u were born I knew God had special plans for you! We knew that God had a plan!!! HE is working in and through you! I will be praying ( as I always do) for you in this year and supportive! I am alwAys here for you! Be patient w yourself as you move forward ‘this year taking on this great challenge; remembering we are human ! I love the verses you posted! May we all try this year to live according to Gods way and be examples of the fruits of the Spirit!!! Hugs and love God’s blessings Mom

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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