Thursday, October 21, 2010

The hope of surrender...

I woke up this morning with this song running through me:

Where You go, I'll go
Where You stay, I'll stay
When You move, I'll move
I will follow You
Who You love, I'll love
How You serve, I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You
I will follow You...
Those are powerful words. I wonder how many of us who listen to it really mean it, though? I know, in my own case, my life does not reflect a heart that does mean these words. So often I don't move with Him. In fact, sometimes I'm afraid I'm actually moving against Him!

And yet, this is the cry of my heart. To follow His leading with this decree of dedication. To love whom He loves (namely, everyone). To serve as He served (namely, the complete emptying of myself in every aspect of my life, even to death if He so desires).

I don't want this from any sense of obligation or conviction that I should want this. I want it because I am firmly convinced that this is where ultimate peace and joy and fulfillment lie. I know that in giving every moment of my life completely to Him, I will find something...a life...that so far eclipses anything I have ever known that it will defy description...that only those who are also finding it will be able to comprehend what I mean when I speak of it. A life that will call and draw the lost and hurting with a power that they won't be able to explain, even as they discover that they cannot refuse it...that they don't want to refuse it.

The thing is...I look at myself and know that it is only through Him that I can give Him everything completely. Then I look at others, see that they aren't living for Him completely...and I feel all alone.

How devious are the lies the devil whispers to us! And how steady the onslaught of pride is!


Here is a fact. This song is currently #9 on the Christian Billboard charts. ie: A song that speaks of total surrender...a total laying down of my wants and desires...total sacrifice...words that fly in the face of materialism and the pervading "looking out for number one" attitude of today...are being sung by tens of thousands of Christians.

Seriously!!!

Sooo...are we all singing this without really meaning it? I doubt it. And you know why I doubt it? Because I clearly remember myself, at the age of 8 or 9, fighting inside myself because I could not lie and sing words I didn't mean. For I could not honestly say that "I would give my final breath to know You in Your death and resurrection." Oh, how glad I am that God is allowing me to know Him in that way anyway! For what is breath in comparison with Him?

And if there aren't tens of thousands of Christians singing this song...then how is it rising so quickly up the charts?

No...I am clearly not alone. There are obviously tens of thousands of you also echoing this, the cry of your heart.

To all of you, I say, "Hi! Me, too!" ::joyful smiles of comradeship::

And when I picture all of us, you know what I see? I see into the future, where there is an army that moves across the land, restoring instead of devastating. An army that moves in perfect, beautiful, and rippling unison as one, because each member follows the Commander perfectly.

That is what He is preparing us to be. And the hearts that sing this song are those being prepared for this glorious destiny.

We need God to open the eyes of our hearts to see His moves more and more. Yes, the world is growing darker and sin is increasing. But so is hope. God is most definitely moving and preparing us for something awesome. Something which is so powerful that only perfect obedience to Him can contain it.

And as I typed this up, I heard Him whisper, "Yes. This is what I am doing."

Is anyone else excited?

God, I proclaim that You are my Lord. Not only are You my friend, You are my Master, and I ask for the grace to walk according to Your leading. Work in me until I truly am going when You go, staying when You stay, and moving when You move. Teach me to love whom You love how You love them. Give me Your grace to serve how You served. For I will follow You, and You alone.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Messy me, redeemed...

Why is it sometimes hard to cling to the truth? When days have gone by and I keep getting lost, over and over again...when I read my Bible but I'm so mentally distracted that I can't hear Him among the chaos...when even finding the quiet seems impossible...

In times like this (like this month so far), I find myself repeatedly falling on my face before God, confessing that I'm a mess...that I feel like I keep ignoring Him, though I don't know when I am because it's not being done consciously.

And then He whispers that I am precious. That I am not a mess, for He has already redeemed me and sanctified me and justified and glorified me.

How is it possible that this very messy me is glorified? I certainly don't feel glorified. And yet, I think it is the height of foolishness to think that the feelings of one messy human are more reliable than the eternal decrees of the One who sees all and knows all and created all.

And so, He showed me this morning that all these mornings I've been begging Him to fix me, I've been asking and looking for the wrong thing.

For "fixing" is not what I need. Not anymore.

What I need is what He gave me this morning...the reminder-revelation that I am not what I feel like I am. I am not defined by my mistakes. This messiness that I see in myself...it is nothing more than the reminder of what I have been saved from, what He has redeemed, and what He no longer sees, even when I keep trying to shove it in His face.

I am already "fixed" in Him.

I am beautiful in His sight because my heart is not content with the sinful me, and because I long for His dwelling places.

And when I asked Him to bring me back to the joy of my salvation, His way of doing that was not to bring me back to the point of hearing Him clearly and being filled with joy and peace and being productive. His way was to whisper truth to my spirit...that what I feel like and what I'm doing have absolutely nothing to do with the woman He sees in Christ. Resting in this reality, even when it does not feel like a reality, is what walking by faith instead of sight is all about.

And now that He has granted me the grace to rest in this truth again...how miraculous is the peace and joy that are washing over me!

I wonder how many more times I will have to go through this before I learn to rebuke these attacks for what they really are, rather than to cave and fight myself over things I've already been redeemed from...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Halfway to 1000...

holy experience

I'm half-way to counting 1000 gifts! The 11 that today's Multitude Monday brings me are:

490. That the rest of my 10 Compassion kids got sponsors

491. The gorgeous colors on the tree across the street

492. Finally getting to know our neighbors, and

493. Discovering that they have girls the same ages as ours

494. The week off work my husband had

495. The door we needed that God provided at bargain prices,

496. The grace to get it installed, and

497. The help God sent at the perfect time for that final adjustment we didn’t know the door
needed.

498. The last of the peppers coming off in the garden

499. And the last of the tomatoes

500. And the 36 pints of salsa I’ll have gotten out of them by the time I’m done

God is so good...even when I am not. Which, I suppose, should be 501 for today...
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