I Feel like I am winding through a ridgid and harsh forest, bumping into trees and stumbling over rocks and pulled apart by the grass and mud and everything else, but I'm being shaped and molded. Constantly tested, and aggrivated by the simple fact that I'm am learning and growing, and becoming more confident in my walk and it's obvious to me that the enemy doesn't like it, at all. He prowls and is always seeking to steal, kill, and destroy but God has a purpose and that is to give a rich and satisfying life(John 10:10). I know that the greatest piece of advice in being a "Christian" I have ever had is that "Being a Christian is the hardest thing you'll ever do in your life."
It only makes sense, right? I feel like as followers of Christ, we give non believers this picture that being a Christian or Getting Saved, or whatever you wanna call it, is some sort of 'get out of jail free card' and it's gonna make life so much easier or something. NO! I feel like we ( I am including myself in this statement) take advantage of the Lord and his promises. We give into sin without a fight. I am not saying that we need to be perfect, nor am I judging. However, Being a Christian, and knowing HIM as your personal Lord and Savior, and putting Him in your everyday walk, talking to Him on a daily basis, diving deep in His Word everyday, giving Him our absolute all is hard. I know for an absolute fact that in my life it is sometimes hard to surrender my ALL, ALL the time. I am a selfish human being, that is sinful by nature. I also know that LIFE happens when we do surrender our absolute ALL to the Lord of the Universe who created us. He says in Luke 6: 46-49 "So why do you keep calling me 'Lord, Lord!' when you don't do what I say? I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.
But anyone who hears and doesn't obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins."
When we do that, yes He absolutely promises us Life and Life more abundantly, and we are accepting and putting on His armor to take us through the thick and thin, and for a large number of us that means persecution, losing friends, having to rework big parts of our lives, etc. We accept that he will bless us, but we have to let Him take full control, and that is hard for some people (especially stubborn ones like me) but if we don't do that, I feel like we lose the whole purpose for why we are here.
I feel like taking those turns through the thick and the thin and making adjustments along the way and allowing God to refine and repurpose and show and teach and discipline me, are some of the most difficult things in my life to do. But if I am a follower and a believer and I proclaim that his word is truth when he says, "My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying"(Proverbs 3: 1-2) when I don't allow this to happen, then I feel like I have missed out on his blessings and the "life more abundantly and satisfying" thing. I just feel like I miss the entire point.
I have been struggling this week with quiet time and my prayer life because, well "quiet time" has been pretty much non existant and being able to think striaght and sit in alone time with God in the midst of a loud and crazy storm isn't always so easy. That's why I am so thankful for tonight. The Lord has been teaching me all week and when I say the word discipline, I don't mean that lightly. In the midst of a storm, He is my calm. Through it all, I can see the Lord and his work everyday. And not just in my life but in my friends and family and in our church.
Speaking of our church, I am so blessed to be a part of a church that believes that we are just a small part in his big body and to be a part of a place that is for Him and about His work in this world, is awesome. A church who's core is doing God's will and living out his plan in all our lives is a blessing and honor to be a small small part of that small small part of The Entire Body. It brings such great blessings. I am so thankful for all the people that really have a heart for the Lord and try and live that in their everyday lives as examples as to what I consider to be a true followers and servants to the Lord. I thank God so much for putting me in the place I am in right now. He is so faithful and just. HE is the Reason.
The knowledge that He is the Reason. He is Faithful. He is Hope. He is just. He is absolutely 100% blessing and loving and a mighty and powerful healer. He gives satisfying life beyond anything we can fathom. He is an AWESOME GOD! And as hard as it is to be disciplined, it is my prayer and hope to everyone that we understand this and though we're not, by any stretch of the imagination, perfect. We truly challenge ourselves to live out an abundant satisfying life with the Lord our God. And that we hold ourselves and each other accountable to serving him on a daily basis and we pray for each other and always encourage the Life of Abundance in Him that He promises us.