I have been struggling to remain close to God and to trust Him for a while now. Things have been difficult lately, and I have not been handling it well. It’s been hard for me to continue to trust God and believe that He is still working for my good when it doesn’t feel that way.
I have been stuck in a rut for a while now, and I’m tired of it. Though many times before I’ve tried to get out, it only seems to be temporary. Ultimately it has just felt too hard to trust God. But I also realize that I’m making things much harder on myself by pushing away the one Person who could help me and comfort me. I’ve been holding back with him, trying to protect my heart from the closeness and then loss of closeness that follows with the ups and downs. But I realize I need to just go all out and seek to give all of myself to Him, trusting that He will work it all out.
And He gave me a verse for when I worry about not remaining close to him. It was the same as the very first verse He gave me when I was 18 and first saved. I poured out all of my 18 year old problems to Him, and he spoke to me for the very first time with Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.” To me that said don’t worry about how all of the problems would be solved but just seek Him. That’s all that matters. So I did! And he gave me that verse again now 28 years later! (Am I that old?…Nah.) So its like, oh yeah, I guess that still applies! Lol.
So if I start complaining and worrying and distancing myself from God again, you can remind me of Matthew 6:33! I’m sure I’ll be needing it!
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Posted in Adventure, God Provides, God's plans, God's power, Holy Spirit, Joy, Love, Rest, Serving, tagged Christianity, God, Jesus, power, Rest, servant on December 2, 2008|
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Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Isa. 50:10
I really enjoyed being used by God leading up to and during my reunion trip. It was so neat to be following Him step by step and to be in His will. Now I’m home, and now what? I feel like God is not using me now, like I’m not sure what His will is for me. I feel without purpose and direction, or maybe that He’s decided not to use me anymore.
I talked to Him about it last night, and He reminded me of Corrie ten Boom’s story in Tramp for the Lord. She had hidden Jews in her home from the Germans during World War II, and was eventually sent to prison. God miraculously provided for her release, and then she traveled the world to tell her story about what He had done. She did not know where she would travel next or how she would finance it. God would tell her where to go and provide the funds. She just followed Him. I thought that was so neat, and I want to be like her. But she reached a point where she was unsure of God’s will:
“As I stood in the railroad station in Basel, Switzerland, waiting for my luggage, I suddenly realized that I did not know where I was supposed to go. For ten years, after my release from prison, I had been traveling all over the world at the direction of God. Many times I did not know why I was to go to a certain place until I arrived…But this time was different…I was in Basel and had no idea why…I was…a little bit frightened.” (57)
While trying to figure out what she was supposed to be doing, she ended up falling and badly bruising her hip. She had to remain in bed for several weeks and was a “very impatient patient”. She finally asked for someone to come and pray to heal her. But instead of healing her physically, God chose to heal her spiritually. He baptized her in His Holy Spirit. She said, “I felt the Presence of the Lord Jesus all around me and felt His love flowing through me and over me as if I were being immersed in an ocean of grace. My joy became so intense that I finally prayed, ‘No more, Lord, no more.’…I knew it was…the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” (60,61)
She realized that God had more work for her to do, and it was of such a nature that she needed more of the Holy Spirit’s power to do it. God had given her rest and then new power to prepare her to do a greater work for Him. So I realized God was telling me that it is time for me to rest. He has not abandoned me or decided not to used me anymore, but He is just preparing me for the next thing. Praise You, precious God.
Ten Boom, Corrie. Tramp For The Lord. New York: Jove Books, 1974.
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Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deut. 6:5
God has led me to speak to several people about Him recently, and I always feel so insufficient for the job. Of course I am insufficient, and I can only do it through God. But sometimes I still don’t get it right. It seems my spiritual hearing is defective half the time. And I feel bad about this, about possibly giving someone the wrong information.
But God has been telling me that it is His Spirit and His power working through me that affect people, not my words. He can even work through me when my words aren’t perfect. He can still use me despite my weaknesses to accomplish His good purposes.
The lesson I led in our bible study (Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow) today was about bowing to God in our work. The verse we were supposed to memorize was “Whatever you do, work at it will all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men.” (Col. 3:23) One of the bible study questions asked, “How does this verse define success for you?” I didn’t get how the question could be answered with this verse, and it occurred to me that if I’m leading, I’d better figure it out! So I asked God to show me. Yesterday, God answered me and tied it together with my real-life struggles, as only He can do.
God does not expect perfect performance from me. What He desires from me is a heart for Him. He wants me to work for Him with all my heart. He knows I won’t get it right all the time. But its the willingness, the open heart that seeks to please Him that He desires. And to answer the bible study question, success with God is defined by having a heart to please Him, not by our performance. What a relief that God sees my heart and not just my actions!
God, we want to please You. Please empower us to desire to please You and to do Your will. Make us people after Your own heart. We love You beyond what words can describe.
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