I was thinking on the effort Pastor Dan or any called pastor puts in a lesson. The Prayer, prep & discovery, discerning what part of the passage to bring to the flock, ordering of lesson, finalizing, practice, and delivery, did I say prayer. All this in care for the children of God who care to show up and listen.
We who listen, OK! Well, “especially me”…. Do I ever think on the lesson God gave me through Dan after the meeting? Do I let the lesson steal some of “my” time through the week? Do I ever attempt to predict what will be some of the next lessons high points if reading through a book of the Bible. Do I ever attempt to connect the current lesson to past lessons?
Do I ever stop and look hard into my life, in as pure reality/honesty as I can muster, and lay my life story up against the Word that was presented? After a good hard look do I see the desire to change me in my free will, a choice, to align my actions and even more my thoughts to the Standard of the Word? None of this to make me look good, But to give a chance to the perfect Spirit in me to flow out of me to all who pass my way because of the love that God has freely given me and changed me.
Do I want to share the best event of my entire life with my fellow man? What is my price that I am not willing to pay to share God? I know it is there in me, and deeply hope the really tough calls happen to me, not me having to make the tough call for someone other than myself.
At this point The Grace of the Finished Work of God is more deeply ingrained in my soul and a deeper appreciation of a God who is too good to be true, Who loved me and gave Himself for me, comes into sharper focus. I am totally codependent on His grace. His grace comforts and challenges me at the same moment.
Then in the turmoil of these feelings a calling into a rest, not harder work is experienced and a calm of flowing into life with assurance and a confidence in knowing in Whom “i” have believed and knowing, He is able. Faith in the midst of doubt causes my personal ability begin to dry up and a dependence on God’s ability begins to shine to life. I press on in faith that whatever God has given me is sufficient for the moment.
Aligning myself with God has been most always hard (even harder to see) and painful (because I had to change a deeply held belief) but sometimes joyful and ecstatic (because the reality of God is awesome, mostly too good to be true, but it is true). But always the thought of not wanting to go through or even having a choice of the trouble or pain needed in my life to break and burn barriers I have built to protect myself from trouble and God, and fear.
You name the wall/barrier then they come down like the walls of Jericho and light floods in. But, whether by choice or event, all things have worked together to change me sometimes colder, sometimes closer and hotter to my God.
The gift to be able to see God in a higher way than I ever dreamed to be possible would not happen if I had not been lovingly identified with the sufferings of Christ. Here on earth the pain cannot be compared with God and true richness i now have with my God because of suffering.
No matter what you are going through it is never because God is punishing you. Jesus paid that cost on the cross once and for ALL!(A short Gospel snip) So God is not against you but for you in your trouble, turn to Him in your time of need, faithful is He when all others fail.
The Spirit will give you courage in your Spirit and through others who have been through trouble of the deep sort.(not popular people sometimes, they can be hard to find) If in your weakness you stand with God in Spirit and Truth you will be made into a vessel God can use to carry other hurting believers though those troubled waters and times of turmoil walking with your sibling in Christ. Fear not my fellow laborer in Christ Jesus, God is not willing to destroy you, but will not stop calling you closer through the same kind of troubles that plagued Jesus in His walk here on earth.
Maybe just maybe, something like this will play out: You will earn a painful scar on your soul as you walk in obeisance to God here on earth, so that when you get to heaven Jesus will be strolling nearby you. In His very best pretend He didn’t know everything voice, he will say something like, Hello, your name. Couldn’t help noticing the scar you have. How did you get it? He will listen to your story without rush or correction.
Then He will show you a mark identical to it on Him. And then he would say something like: The only way you could have this scar is if you did something for me in a love action on earth. You are truly my child because I gave you this to carry and you obeyed and still did not understand the whole story. You have the mark to prove it.
Be proud of your mark, and I love you. I am so glad that you are here with me in my house that I prepared for you. Then you will have another affirmation of being in the beloved of God.(If needed or desired) Okay maybe it’s a stretch but I think right now for me it is a beautiful stretch.
Grow deeply into the rest that we have been called to in Christ Jesus; we need it so much in the turmoil of this world that we live in and our own fallenness. Be strong and courageous as you walk (the world will discourage you) in His rest as it is real especially in the toughest of times.
You are a precious beloved child; do not fear the chastening and growing in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Fear not your God is always near! None of this will happen without a faithful teacher to walk and talk with us as we learn of our precious Lord, Savior and Master, Jesus Christ.
Your humble servant