Bright morning sun has me squinting hard as I bend down to peer through the open window of a car now coasted to a stop beside my dog, Lucy.
“What’s going on?” my neighbor asks. I pause considering an obligatory response then plunge forward in a current of honesty. “Walking in anger and unforgiveness.” He doesn’t miss a beat, “That’s all of us.”
Trials are a test – not pass or fail but to improve strength and reveal weakness.
I’ve been walking through a year long trial and what’s revealed is a tangle of sin briers and self around a heart that loves Jesus.
A will that wants and demands it’s own way.
A belief if I am faithful to God He owes me.
A spirit of rebellion revealed through a tantrum of anger and unforgiveness.
Lashing out when wounded or deprived.
A grace girl who fully embraces love, mercy and forgiveness but not giving up and putting down.
A body that worships the cross but refuses to climb up and extend limbs across beams.
Demanding the Creator serve created.
A heart full of wants instead of what He values.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17
It’s a set up, a conspiracy, a game of kingdom keep away with an eternal price.
God warns about an enemy that prowls like a lion waiting to pounce and destroy.
He warns the battle isn’t against flesh and blood but of spirit.
He asks and reminds – what good is it to gain the whole world yet lose your soul?
I spin my wheels in the muck and mud of self.
I can’t gain traction.
A sitting duck for even the lamest lion.
Until I hold back nothing, give everything and refuse to allow anything to come between me and the Savior, I will continue to strain, strive and struggle.
He wants all of me.
The good, the bad, the ugly.
My love and devotion.
Pain and failure.
Control and people pleasing.
“Come follow Me” is the invitation.
It’s impossible to follow Him and myself.
I must choose who I serve.
Who I listen to.
Who I worship.
Who I go after.
Trade my ways for His.
If you love Me, keep My commands. John 14:15
I’m learning through trial and desperate need how desperately I need Him.
To live in His promises and trust His Word.
To wait instead of racing ahead.
Listen instead of decide what I think.
Obey instead of go my own way.
Actions speak louder than words.
What I do reveals what I believe.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18
Heavy burdens of sin and self cause me to sit stuck.
Block my view.
Following requires intention and attention.
Focus and gaze.
When I look away, I lose sight of the one I’m walking behind.
Pursue the pursuer.
Speed of light.
Put down my burden for His yoke.
Heavy for light.
Give to gain.
In freewill I choose His way and will.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
In my circumstances.
In my trial.
His strength for my weakness.
Laying down anything opposed to Him.
He is the Lord Almighty.
Creator of Heaven and earth.
Stars and storms.
Waves and whales.
He makes all things new.
When I clench my hands and heart around what I want but don’t receive, it’s an offense to the God who has given so much.
How does an ungrateful heart praise it’s maker?
Anger and unforgiveness contaminate my life’s soul.
Deadly toxin toxifies.
Poisons me and others I love.
A silent killer.
“It’s just me…it’s how I am”
I am….a distortion of the Great I AM – self attempting to be God and rule the life He gave.
It got Lucifer evicted from Heaven.
An attempt to replace Father with finance, love, worldly acceptance.
Control people and circumstaces.
Take His glory for my own.
Make Him the middle man.
God will not be mocked or ruled.
Love lets go.
Lets go of what I want for what He has.
Lets go of expectations and my own design.
Lets go of the need to be right and valued by people, places and things.
Worships the Creator not the created.
Bows before the King.
Goes low discovering a servant’s heart and childlike faith.
Placing my hand in His.
Going wherever He leads.
Looking to Him for provision, approval and love.
Following His footsteps – daughter after Dad.
Trusting the wait – that desert of now and not yet.
Complete instructions contained in His Word.
When I seek with a heart that’s sincere, He always shows up and gives me all I need – even extras I didn’t ask for – He calls it blessing.
The Lord, my God goes before me, walks beside me, never leaves me.
Makes a way where there is no way.
Binds up broken hearts and repays what locusts ate away.
Gives hope and futures.
Takes me home, debt paid, life everlasting.
Tetelestai – it is finished.
but I gave them this command: Obey Me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. Jeremiah 7:3
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you for Your great love that never fails. Thank you for Your patience and compassion. Forgive me for going my own way and seeking my will over Yours – for being demanding dust. Thank You that You are slow to anger and offer forgiveness when I turn back to You. Thank you for Your perfect plan – a plan and way so much better than my own. I trust You. You are good and mighty to save. Thank you for Your faithfulness. Thank you for your care, protection and provision. You are God Almighty and You, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, come after me when I wander away. Thank you for Your unending love. I want to live Your way and will, not mine. Lead me, Lord. I surrender who I am for what you have – my greatest desire is to serve and follow You. In Jesus’ Holy, matchless, saving Name, Amen.