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Archive for June, 2011

Have you ever felt that stirring in your heart that seemed to indicate that the Lord was changing the way you thought or felt or reacted to certain things?  Sometimes it can feel like your entire soul is in upheaval during the process.  I have been living in this condition (more or less) for about two years.

I have wondered what it all meant.  Why was I so restless?  I would tell the Lord in prayer, “If You would just tell me what this is all about, and what it is that You want me to do, I’ll do it”.  It was a sincere prayer that I thought I meant.  However, now that He has begun showing me what all these stirrings mean I realize that I was not ready to respond.  For the past two years He has been working in my heart to get me ready for this.

Not long ago I was reading the story of when Jesus called Matthew the tax collector to be His disciple.  It says in Luke 5:27-28:

“After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office.  And He said to him, “Follow Me.”  So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.”

My attention was drawn to what seemed to be an unusual word order in verse 28.  If I was telling the story I would have written it like this:  “So he rose up, left all, and followed Him.”  After all, don’t you have to actually get up before you can leave something?

But I think the Holy Spirit wanted to show me what He has been doing in my heart for the past two years.  Before anyone can truly rise up and follow Christ, there has to be a leaving all that happens in the heart.  Our possessions possess us.   The familiar gives us a sense of security.  Having something of our own allows us to feel independent.  And all of these things need to be stripped away.  For Christ would have us be possessed by Him, and find all our security in Him, and depend upon Him.  But we are so tethered to this world, that unless He loosed us from these earthly shackles we would spend all our life desiring to rise up and follow, but never actually able to do it.

He has been in no particular hurry with me.  Two years seems like an eternity to me, but the Lord has been willing to take this long to do such a work in my heart.  He hasn’t asked me to leave my home and family, or to sell everything I have.  But I do believe now (as I did when I was first born again), that this life of mine is no longer mine, and I cannot expect that it will be lived in a way that the world calls “normal”.

There is a battle, and for too long I have watched it from afar, fearful of the danger.  But I have discovered that the safety of my hiding places is only an illusion and could possibly be the most dangerous place of all.

I thank the Lord for His patience with me and for His loving kindness and for the great blessedness there is in being a follower of His.  And I look forward to what lies ahead………

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The word of God is a living word that speaks to my life.  When I slow down and listen, He speaks to me through it.  And many times He confronts and challenges me with it.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I was reading Luke 21:1-4:

“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.   So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all, for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

It is as though Jesus is contrasting two different kinds of people.  Both groups are at the temple.  Both groups are giving to the Lord.  But one group gives God gifts and the other gives God themselves.

The word “livelihood” caught my attention.  It is the word “BIOS”, which means life.  This widow gave her life.  She kept back nothing for herself.  She had no way to sustain herself or to meet her own needs.  She was utterly cast upon the Lord.  This kind of giving is uncomfortable….fearful even.  But sometimes it seems that there is no alternative.  The working of God upon the soul will bring us all eventually to the settled conviction that it is unreasonable and even impossible to continue with life as is.  All must be laid on the altar, tossed into the treasury, placed at His feet.

Have you ever felt that way?  What is one to do when it seems that God is requiring a surrender of everything comfortable and familiar for…..something unknown, unrevealed and almost certainly unexpected?

Surrender.   For the servant of the Lord is there really any other answer?

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