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Living for the Kingdom means dying to my flesh…dying to this world

I hate war movies.

My husband, on the other hand, loves them.

Watching Band of Brothers with him…may be his love language.

Not too long ago, I walked into the living room to find my husband folding clothes (my love language) and one of the Brothers movies was on. I did my best to watch it with him…smiling when he looked over to see if I was really watching…asking questions…doing my best to take very little in of the violence. I mean, I know WWII happened–but Ooooo hard to watch those movies about it knowing it was real.

I’ll confess, honey (yes–I know you are a blog reader;), that I took in very little–but there is one scene that really spoke to me. And oddly about where I am…right now.

Someone tells me they are hurting–I listen. I encourage. I tell them I’ll pray for them.

I usually forget…and I don’t go there–weeping with those who weep…mourning with those who mourn…stepping with them in their pain to walk with them.

Someone tells me there is a little girl that needs a home. She’s almost 3 years old…she is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. I ask my husband can we pray. He says yes. My heart leaps for joy. She’d fit perfectly in our family (besides the whole ‘maintain birth order thing’)…we say we want to be considered…another family is chosen–and my mommy heart for a moment breaks. I haven’t told anyone about her–but in my heart she was already becoming mine. I know God called me to pray for her. I think I’m really beginning to die the world–but I’m really not. It’s very easy to say yes to a beautiful almost 3-year-old girl.

A friend calls me who knew about this sweet girl and tells me she is advocating for twenty-five orphans who desperately need a home–ages 2-6 years. REALLY? They are beautiful. They all need homes. They need love. They are just like this beautiful almost 3 year old little girl. Oh forgot to add–one little, minor detail–that really shouldn’t matter…they all have HIV. Oh. Well, we are totally open to that…I think. I mean, well–now isn’t a good time. I mean–I have little ones and one in therapy now…not sure how that would or if it could work…I mean–we’re just not ready to add to our family again. Not sure if we are called to grow again.

I was thinking all of this on the way home and realizing sin and FEAR in my heart. How I think I have died to the world–but I have not. I think I am kingdom living–but am I really?

I want to live with no regrets, no reserve, no retreats. If I was living in the Kingdom of Heaven and looked down to see those 25 little ones…would my heart then want to do something about it? Shouldn’t I be living for the Kingdom now? What am I scared of? SURE not everyone is called to adopt. SURE everyone is not called to bring home HIV children or special needs or foster. And SURE I know, truthfully–we aren’t ready to grow our family again–it was God’s grace in choosing the other family BUT I also believe He wanted us to be obedient and step out…because I knew in my hearts we should–and we even wanted to. I am also not saying we need to or will be called to in the future…I do not know…but what I do know–is that I have fear in my heart that I do not want to be there. I want to be ready for whatever He calls me to do–and to be willing…and to not worry or wonder what the world might think.

I was processing…still processing…and

Then…that movie scene came to my mind…from Band of Brothers.

I still have fears.

But I can’t really live for the Kingdom come until I know that I’m already dead to flesh–that things are different in this world than they are in the Kingdom…that taking risks here for the sake of Love will require more than just being comfortable…or safe. As a believer…I do not want to fall asleep…get comfortable…forget to fight for those who deeply need to be fought for.

Now this movie clip might be a stretch…but it really speaks something to me—I can’t put my finger on it—but something in it is the way I feel…and I know that to be able to fight the way I’m supposed to in this world I have to live for the Kingdom…to die to my fears…and to be comfortable with being uncomfortable…

Some times I think about what it would be like if I didn’t know…if my life was just playdates, soccer games, girls night out and wonder what we can cook for dinner tonight. But I confess some times I wonder what that would be like if I didn’t know…but once you start to fight for others sake–once your eyes have seen they can’t forget—-going back in the hole or wanting the easy life just is no longer an option. But the crazier part of it is–there is so much MORE JOY when you start Kingdom living, taking risks for the sake of others and stepping a little closer to the front lines to fight for things you really believe are worth fighting for.

Lord, help me live for Your sake–and not my own. Help me not worry about what others think of me–and to just live for You.

Allison - January 28, 2011 - 2:31 pm

Thank you for this, it is exactly what I needed today! Thank you thank you thank you!

Christy - January 28, 2011 - 2:40 pm

Wow, Andrea. God is shining straight through you. Thanks for sharing your honest fears and longing to obey. Thank you.

Kristin - January 28, 2011 - 2:48 pm

I get this, more than I wish to openly admit. I say I want to be open to God and His plan for caring for the least of these, but only if it will fit into what I think would work.

Christina - January 28, 2011 - 3:07 pm

Oh we were just talking about this yesterday afternoon! Thank you for sharing Andrea!

Kelly - January 28, 2011 - 3:29 pm

I feel ya girl! I’m sooo there with you, the fear thing, no regrets, steeping out into unknown territory, kingdom living…Its a daily battle for me. Thanks for the reminder that even though there can be a lot more pain there is SO MUCH JOY!!! We get to be used by God Himself as His hands and feet and along the way witness some of the most amazing miracles.

Tracy Sheehy - January 28, 2011 - 3:45 pm

Thank you for sharing! You are singing my song…right there with you strugggling and wrestling! Thank you for putting it into words!

Melissa - January 28, 2011 - 4:00 pm

Thank you for such a raw and honest post! (they always are) this really spoke to me.

Sandi - January 28, 2011 - 4:52 pm

Once again God speaks through you to exactly the thing I have been praying about, stepping out in faith yet fearing what others may think all the while. My heart bleeds when others hurt. I just wrote in my prayer journal today that it doesn’t pay to fear others judgement. Each person has people they envy or think of as better than them just like each person has those they may judge for different reasons. Maybe that’s why God tells us not to judge or envy. As long as we LISTEN to what he tells US & ACT on it even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. For me what God lays on my heart so often doesn’t make sense to me & oh how I over-analyze it, but it sure makes sense to the other person when I just do whatever he calls me to do. You never know how even the smallest things you feel led to do or say may have a huge impact on another who is struggling. Gal6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. John 16:33 I have told you these things so that you may have peace. Seriously girl-reading this blog is better than watching a sermon! Keep it up!

Heidi - January 28, 2011 - 6:45 pm

Thank you for jump starting my heart! your words shake my heart .. I’m praying for you and your next right steps .. God already knows them and who cares what other people think .. all that matters is what God thinks .. I’ll be praying for you! Thanks again for keeping me reminded of kingdom living not earthly living!

Gini - January 28, 2011 - 8:04 pm

Thank you for sharing that… I don’t know what our future holds–we’re taking it one step at a time, but I also want to live without regrets. I also know that this adoption journey is changing us and opening our eyes in ways that are hard, but GOOD. And I am super excited to see what happens in our lives because of it. 🙂

Elle J - January 29, 2011 - 1:56 am

T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U. The last prayer line was key for me. I think many of us can say we have thought/done the same (perhaps different topic) but same way of living/thinking/doing. Thank you for your raw honesty. Beautiful.

Deborah - January 29, 2011 - 8:16 am

Thanks for sharing. You’ve spoken directly to what I’m struggling with at this very moment.

Jennifer - January 29, 2011 - 3:23 pm

Hanging out with you next w/end could just be dangerous…in such a good way! Not sure my hubby gets what he is sending me too! 🙂 That adoption bug could ignite again!

Bobi Bobbitt - January 29, 2011 - 3:49 pm

AMAZING yet again! Your words always come at the most perfect times! I SO needed this today!!! Cannot wait to share this with my husband tonight! I can so relate to the thoughts of living life not knowing what I know now, worried about all the worldly things, I pray to live a life for the Kingdom! Cannot wait to see you on Friday, it is going to be a blast!

Alison - January 29, 2011 - 4:26 pm

Love this, Andrea. I am the same way…want to live my life willing to take risks for Christ…there is so much JOY in being ALL IN with Him!

S - January 29, 2011 - 11:22 pm

Thank you for sharing your heart and how God is working in you! This time last year, God led us to take a crazy leap of faith and jump from the path of adopting a healthy infant from Ethiopia to that of brining home siblings, ages 2 and 5, both HIV positive. We struggled through the decision, just as anyone would – there is such fear there! As we researched and educated ourselves, we found that so much of that fear is unfounded. God had a perfect plan for these brilliant, incredible little people, and He gave them a name and a hope, just as He did for all of us through Jesus! Just last night, my husband and I were talking and weeping together, with our beautiful, now healthy children sleeping in their room, as we were talking of what could have been – surely would have been – for them. What a transformation in their lives and in our own hearts! For anyone reading who could use encouragement in this, check into the website, prayerfully asking the God of peace to cast out all fear. A year later, we find ourselves in the midst of a totally different sort of life-changing decision, and again we have to lean on Him as we die a little more to ourselves and to the world. Thank you for your post – it brought me encouragement!

Debb - February 1, 2011 - 12:28 am

I.SO.GET.THIS. Sad, to admit. I try so hard to lay it all out for God, but I often find areas in which I am still trying to coax Him as to “how” to do it, or “when” to do something, or “which way best fits my agenda or life.” Good thing He sees my heart’s desire and forgives me when I fall short! :o)