Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dragged In Kicking and Screaming

Oh yeah. I hate this.

This...thing. This trust thing.

I tried to trust. I tried to make myself trust. Through a year, I endeavored to force myself to learn trust. I kept giving my love back to God. And it hurt. And I cried. And etc.

There are times God teaches you something. And there are times when God prepares to teach you something.

Last year, He was preparing me to learn to trust, but I wasn't ready.

This year, I started pursuing surrender. I wanted to know what it really meant to surrender your love to God, because I was at my wits end.

Sorta.

I kept finding ways out. Spending days thinking through it, thinking I'd found another resting spot, another course forward.

Then there came a time where I was at my wits end. Totally. Nearly a month ago, now, surprisingly. I was...numb. Dead. In tears a lot. Completely. Dried. Up.

I was advised a course of action over a three month period, and I prayed - and took it. I'm not going into too much detail at this point in time, though I will go into more when I write it for my autobiography. Now...isn't the time to talk about it in depth.

But I did promise to write...and I know my struggles and walk have been a blessing to a couple of you.

I'm reading Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot currently, and I honestly wish I could share every single word with you. They are rich with fulness and help and hope and painful refocus.

Anyway, I'll endow this post with a few quotes - the first being the reason I'm not sharing any more of my story right now. :P

"I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts...

(God is) A roof over our heads. A hedge. A windbreak. A warm coat. Shelter from the fear of loss of this precious thing called love, from the fear of a life of loneliness without the one person I believed I could ever love. Shelter from attack - from onslaughts of doubt that God would take care of everything if I would simply trust Him - what if He didn't?
Waiting silently is the hardest thing of all. I was dying to talk to Jim and about Jim. But the things that we feel most deeply, we ought to learn to be silent about, at least until we have talked them over thoroughly with God." (Passion and Purity, Chapter 12: Holding Pattern)

It's not been easy, so far, but God is...teaching me a remarkable path of obedience. A path of trust that I'd never thought possible.

A path of surrender.

See, I'd been trying to follow God. And it was right, but I was kinda going the wrong way. I'd started to focus on love, and not just God as He is, with all of His aspects.

Now is a time that this is being laid on the altar, where I am still called to wait and love but to sacrifice. Every time I think about him, to refocus that into prayer. It's very hard to explain and I'll leave it at that for now.

Because this post is about trust.

As I was picking the blackberries the other week, I realised how impossibly hard and easy trust is - as love is. Every time I start to think about the situation and I think what if, or, this is likely to happen, or, of course this won't happen, or, what if God has told me to do something for no reason...and I start to panic. And worry. I'm a BIG worrier. :D

And God says, give it back to me. Deflect that worry into a prayer. Let. Go. And it's so hard to let go. And...then...it's so easy. Who IS God, next to that worry? Does He hold me and what He's called me to, or not? DO I TRUST HIM, or do I think that this problem is BIGGER than God?? And what kind of blasphemy is that?

What if...some beautiful Godly woman walks into his life? *panic mode as I think of about thirty that he knows* ...oh. Hang on. God, I'm panicking about this. He's Yours, not mine. I'm Yours. And I'm just doing what I believe You've called me to. So. That's all there is to it. What happens to him is in Your plan. What happens to me is in Your plan. End of.

It sounds so darn simple. It IS so darn simple. We just like to make a big thing of it.

Come to think of it...it's the trust of a child. :)


Just to close with a few final sections from Passion and Purity.

"'What has been like water from the well of Bethlehem to you recently? Love, friendship, spiritual blessing? Then at the peril of your soul you take it to satisfy yourself. If you do, you cannot pour it out before the Lord. How am I to pour out spiritual gifts, or natural friendship, or love? How can I give them to the Lord? In one way only - in the determination of the mind, and that takes about two seconds. If I hold spiritual blessings or friendship for myself, they will corrupt me, no matter how beautiful they are. I have to pour them out before the Lord, give them to Him in my mind, though it looks as if I am wasting them, even as David poured the water out on the sand, to be instantly sucked up.' Oswald Chambers

...God gives us material for sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice makes little sense to others, but when offered to Him it is always accepted. What was the 'point' in God's asking Abraham for the sacrifice of his beloved son, Isaac? The story has often been attacked as 'pagan' and has been grossly misunderstood. Our offerings to Him may very likely be seen as senseless or even fanatical, but He receives them. Jesus received the precious ointment from the worshipping woman, although those present thought it a foolish waste.
...I have tried to explain it sometimes to people who are lonely and longing for love. 'Give it to Jesus,' I say. The loneliness itself is material for sacrifice. The very longings themselves can be offered to Him Who understands perfectly. The transformation into something He can use for the good of others takes place only when the offering is put into His Hands.
What will He do with these offerings? Never mind. He knows what to do." - Passion and Purity, Chapter 13: Material for Sacrifice.


"When the will of God crosses the will of man," said Addison Leitch, "somebody has to die."

...It is not that everything that has anything to do with ourselves is in itself wicked and deserving of death. It did not mean that when Jesus said, "Not My will..." There could not have been even the smallest part of His will that was wicked. It was a choice to lay down everything - the good He had done and the good He might do if He was permitted to live - for the love of God. The same choice is offered to us...

There is a big however. It is this: We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures to whom He has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.

A seed falls into the dark earth and dies. Out of its death comes multiplied life. As St. Francis prayed, "It is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
It takes faith to believe this, as it takes faith for a farmer to plant a seed. It takes faith to live by it, faith to act on it, faith to keep looking at the joyful end of it all. A failure of faith here leads certainly to resentment and then to depression. The destruction will go on and on." - Passion and Purity, Chapter 15: Little Deaths.

Faith, trust and surrender.
How intrinsically tied up together.


I'm also just going to share the message from the Sunday before last. It brought me to tears - a part of Scripture I'd never noticed. Here.


John 21:1-14
Pastor Kevin C.


The resurrection is all that is pivotal to our religion.
That is why we can say He is coming again to take us home.
Everything that Jesus did from birth to death was deliberate – a divine and holy plan. The times that Jesus showed Himself to the disciples had a purpose.

First – the men on the sea.
Matthew 28:10-16 – Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid, go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee and there they will see me.
Jesus told them to go to Galilee and to a specific mountain to wait for Him.
In John 21, the disciples are in Galilee but are not on a mountain; they're on a boat. They'd gone back to their old profession – fishing.
The disciples were on their own without Jesus for the first time in 3.5 years.

They were worrying about provision and questioning where He was. They weren't waiting for God to work.
One dissenting voice leads others away.
Peter said he was going fishing – and they went with him.
They had no patience to wait.
Jesus had made an appointment with them, but they went back to their old ways because He wasn't there, and went back to what they knew.
They weren't patient.
Patience is a Godly virtue – look at how patient God is with us.
Jesus was patient with these men – even after three years, they didn't get what He was, and was trying to say.
They were impatient and wanted to get back to trying to provide for themselves. They had given up on the Lord's provision – given up on the Lord's plan.

V3 -
That night they caught nothing. They had the skills and knew where the fish were. They didn't catch anything because God was in control of the situation. God is in control of every situation.
When things are out of control, we start making plans, but the Lord is in control of every situation in our lives.
God was moving the fish. He was showing the disciples something. They were struggling and toiling but caught nothing.
You cannot improve your situation no matter how bad things are. You can struggle and fight and put all the self effort in that you like, but ultimately, you have to go to God.
If God tells us to go to a mountain – we wait in the mountain.
We say God's not moving or God hasn't turned up yet – but if God tells you do something, do it, and wait on God.

God tells them to go to the mountain, and they go to the sea.
When Jesus showed up, and they weren't there, He had to go down to their level. How often does that happen in our lives – that God has to come down to us and show us something, instead of us going to Him?

V4 -
Jesus stood on the shore, and the disciples didn't know it was Him. Why? Perhaps because they were caught up in their self effort. When you focus on what you're trying to do to get out of your situation, it turns your eyes from Christ and He becomes blurry.
How does Jesus appear to us this morning?
Is He blurry? Are our eyes off Him or on Him? Is He at a distance?
Are we struggling in our own self effort, getting further and further away from Christ?
Are we out of fellowship with Him?
You have to look to the Lamb – our anchor – Christ.
When we struggle in our self effort, we drift.
When you try to do things yourself, you drift from Christ.
You get caught up in whatever it is – life struggles, career, marriage, you turn your focus from Christ and onto the thing, and when you look up, He's further away than you think He would be.

If you're taking your focus off Him, you start to drift.

You have to get back to the shore – to Christ.

Jesus stands at the shore and asks them in rhetorical fashion if they have any meat, knowing the answer.

There's coming a day when we'll have to stand before Christ and He'll ask us the same question – do we have any meat – any spiritual fruit – for Him?

Telling them to throw to the right side of the boat was against the tradition of net throwing.

He was telling professional fishermen who had done it all their lives that they were doing it wrong.
The fishermen were tired, not happy, etc.

Perhaps Peter was trying to show the stranger something when he actually did it. But it came back full of fish.

John said to Peter, It is the Lord.

John remembers something about this before – the disciples had come full circle, from Galilee and now they're back again.

Luke 5:1-11

There was a quality about Peter which was admirable – he wanted to be wherever the Lord was, and he took the most direct route to get there.

No matter what the situation of the circumstance, God is sovereign.

V9 -
Eating a meal was a time of sharing, a time of reconciliation, like when the father received the prodigal son and he threw him a large banquet.
Why was it a supper that the Lord used for His last meal? Because it signifies forgiveness, fellowship and reconciliation and restoration.
We always focus on the wine and the bread for the body and blood, but there's the table. The Lord's Table. When you come to that, you're coming into fellowship with God.
You're remembering the things that were done so you could be reconciled with God.

Jesus – the King of Glory – served the men.

Christ came down, met them, brought them meat, called them in and refreshed them.

Are you in a spiritual sea this morning, struggling with your own self effort?

Here's the message – verse 12. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”

Christ is saying to you if you're struggling, "Come and dine. I'll provide. Stop struggling. Come into My presence and be reconciled. Be still."

The disciples learned the simple truth that they could not be without Jesus.

When our lives take a different turn from what we had expected, we tend to fall back into the things we used to know. But when the waves of our lives are coming in, we need to simply look to Jesus.

There's no rebuke for not being where they should be, just an invite to come and rest.

Lessons – we need to be careful of grabbing hold on the things that we used to rely on.
We cannot find nourishment, guidance, provision, anywhere other than Christ.

Secondly, self effort brings us out of fellowship with God. The more we try of ourselves, the further we get from Him.

Thirdly – there's an offer from Christ this morning, no matter your situation, what you've done or where you've been. “Come and dine with Me.”
If you're weary, come with Me. Come back into My presence.

The disciples toiled all night and caught nothing. Why? Because their will was not in line with the Lord's will.
You can do many things for God's kingdom, in His name, but if it's not God's will or His leading of you, it will not bear fruit.
If you want to bear fruit or make a difference for Christ, then get your will in line with His will.

It's striking that the Lord's Prayer is not our will, but God's. That's a hard prayer to pray.

You can't give your will away. You have to get your will in line with God's will. You have to exercise it – a living sacrifice.
When God says go, go. When He says wait, wait.

God can't use you unless you go to where He wants you to be. If they had gone to the mountain and waited, God wouldn't have had to show them this. No matter if God is late by our standards, we should wait there. God's said it; that settles it. “God's taking a long time” - it's His time. He breathed it into existence. Wait.

Wait on God. He'll do it. All we have to do is surrender to His will in our lives and He does the rest.

“Come and dine.”

That's the message of the Saviour. Cease struggling in your own efforts, come in from the sea and trust in Me.



Let's go dine with Jesus.
Love in Christ,
~Mademoiselle Siân