Thursday, June 27, 2013

Confessions of a Sinner turned Saint – part 6

(For parts 1-5 see previous posts)

“The whole principle of the Christian life is that we go beyond what is “right” to do that which is well pleasing to Him.” – Watchman Nee

“Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” -Charles Spurgeon

When I first read the last quote above, sometime in the last 2 years, I began praying for this. The Lord is so patient, so gentle to lead us in the way we should go. It’s strange the ways the Lord leads us, the ways that He directs us or allows us to go in order to teach us what we need to learn. But He is utterly faithful to complete His work in us, to bring good out of all things… from the blessings and the trials.

The Lord gives many good gifts, but sometimes you can only keep them for a season, and then you have to give them up. There was a season of ministry I entered into 2 ½ years ago. At that time I had to make a decision whether or not to submit to the advice of a few respected leaders in my life or reject it and walk in the path that I thought God had for me. The Lord used this time to bring me to a place of full surrender, of laying down my dreams and desires and trusting that He knew what was best. This, I believe, is a crucial process. Our surrender to the Lord needs to be tested through fire. Often He will take from us, but although He may, it is for our good and His glory.

“If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!” - Elisabeth Elliot

In this particular case though, instead of keeping my sacrifice, the Lord graciously gave it back to me and confirmed my calling to serve with this ministry through my parents and a few others. In the next few years, the Lord has tested my surrender over and over. I am still learning to discern between spiritual warfare and the Spirit’s conviction. I have had to wrestle over concern I had of man’s opinion and approval of me, feelings of uncertainty and doubt and learn to seek HIM and trust that He would be faithful to lead and direct me.

“You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He’s doing.” – Oswald Chambers

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know the One who does, and He is faithful, O so faithful to carry it on to completion! My life verse is John 3:30: “He must increase, I must decrease.” Let it be dear Lord, let it be!

This has been my favorite quote ever since I first found it. For years now it has been my prayer and deepest desire:

Perhaps some future day Lord,
Thy strong hand will lead me to a place where I must stand
Utterly alone.
Alone, O gracious Love
But for Thee;
I shall be satisfied if I can see – Jesus only.
I do not know Thy plans for years to come
My spirit finds its perfect home sufficiency.
Lord, all my desire is before Thee now
Lead on, no matter where, no matter what – I trust in Thee.
-Elisabeth Elliot

P.S. This is the end of this series. I hope you were blessed by hearing my spiritual journey and I pray that the Lord will in His own time and in His own way grow and sanctify you in the truth! God does His work in everyone differently and yet He has the same end in mind. Your experiences may be different than mine, but His goal is still the same. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”  - 1 Thes 5:23-24 (NKJV)

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