Friday, September 26, 2008

The Intimacy of Faith

I have wanted to give up at times, and in fact, I have cried out to God that I must have been crazy to seek such a thing, it was all a mistake, and never mind what I said! What I knew before was that the Bible chronicles the trials of Paul (2 Cor. 11:23-28) and that in spite of them all he persevered and stayed the course. He suffered the loss of all things (Phil 3:8) yet finished well; and all it cost him was his life.

I have had many conflicted discussions with myself over this because frankly, I am tired of suffering and trials. I admit there are times I long for the apparent ease of the lives of those people who do not have the same desires I have for Christ. And yet, no matter what I come up against, it is always HIM I run to, HIM I desire, HIM I proclaim.

Please be clear, I am no super saint, I am not perfect (far from it!) and I have plenty of areas of my heart that need changing like any of you. I cannot explain this desire I have to know Him, to be intimately in tune with Him so that I may serve Him faithfully and glorify Him with my life. What I have learned thus far is that the things that once meant everything to me had to become nothing. Paul said: “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil 3:7-8).

I have a beautiful home that we have poured the last 18 years into refurbishing. It once meant so much to me to have this home, and now I cannot wait to sell it! It is a hindrance to me, to my service to the King. It takes up hours of my life to maintain that I would rather spend doing things that are Kingdom oriented. Overall, I have sincerely lost the desire for material things as compared to my former self. For this, I give glory to God! It is truly His hand in this change.

That is the bright side of this equation, the things that have been easy to surrender. Others have been and continue to be incredibly, miserably difficult. I could literally write a novella on them all, but I will spare you that. The point is that when God begins this process and brings these desires to you there is a cost. The old hymn I Surrender All contains this verse:

All to Jesus I surrender

All to Him I freely give

I will ever love and trust Him

In His presence daily live


I surrender all

I surrender all

All to Thee my precious Savior

I surrender all

I have learned that when you say that, God takes it seriously.

More next time

1 comment:

vinedresser said...

May you continue to press on.Never quit! You are doing a great work for a great and awesome God. I greatly look forward to your teaching biblical truth.
Even though we are allowed the blessed privilege to know Him... When he begins to shape and mold us so he can use us we become rathere fearful.
It was o.k. when Jesus ask us to do the little things. Maybe visit your neighbors, homebound ministry or whatever but when he begins in areas that causes us to change we wiggle and we freeze.
He may be asking us to forgive someone who has hurt us and to let it go and give it to him.. We become fearful and threatened. Why God? We ask questions? We don't get it. We hear him calling us to do this.a But what do we do? We know what to do, but we haven't done it his way before so we become fearful and run. We ask Jesus to forgive us for running then we try to set the agenda for him our way but he doesn't buy it. He says no, my agenda not yours. We pray again and start again and say o.k. but we really know that we are going to repeat the same cycle and ask God to forgive us. We are playing game with All-Powerful God and we are hoping he is busy somewhere else God gets tired of the game that we try to play and brings us to a place where we can't run. Then he shows us things about us that needs changing so we begin to tackle them and get going with the struggle bringing them to our Jesus one by one and our inner-most being become exposed we see that he does have the ability and power and strength to help us.. The pull on our strongholds are so strong.( If you do not know your God it hurts even worse.) That feeling of being in discomfort begins when we surrender to Almighty God. He starts working in us as God our potter and when he begins working in areas that are unexcercised and undisciplined we begin to feel it and it feels awkward and unbalance. We fight it and we become angry, and at odds with ourselves,( asking why, why, why questions) with others who are watching to how we are reacting to the changes that God is asking us to surrender. We know really what he is doing but we resist his will. We even know that he is able to do far more abundantly beyond our thoughts and ways and that he has the ability to do what he does in us and make us whole and complete and useful yet we pull back. We start looking at our problems. We lose our focus . We find ourselves in a tail spin... because that suffering part really hits home.
We become spiritually discouraged. We wake up and we feel like we have been overhauled and we are so sore that we feel at odds with ourselves. (that place where he's been working with us where he's been touching us on his potter's wheel shaping and molding those tender areas in our lives. )Surrendering all seems like an impossible, but is it? What will happen if i do surrender all? Could it be a richer relationship with God through that part of suffering he asks of us? Will i actually know the power of his resurrection and will i know his heart, his ministry? I think so. The choice is mine. My problems become my choices. Do i want to grow closer to God are not? But still God... (Moses said me who am i? )Yeah he says you... BECAUSE i am changing your heart, your life , your situations,your outlook, and countenance.
You know all the Bible character struggle with these issues. God uses all of our struggles and strongholds that we have to help us to depend only of him. He will richly bless you in the end like he did Job and Paul.
I been reading your post now for about a month and i feel i know your heart. May the good Lord knit our hearts to one another. Be encouraged. May our God be your anchor. Thank you for all you put into all your posts. I have a blog site. if you wanted to check me out. I hope you will continue to be bless in your ministries. Sue.