Thursday, January 18, 2007
i was reading a few nights ago, and these words really hit me hard. i'll quote them here for your knowledge/pleasure/enjoyment.
"I understand that I am temporary, in this shell of a thing on this dirt of an earth. I am being tempted by Satan, we are all being tempted by Satan, but I am preserved to tell those who do not know about our Savior and our Redeemer. This is why Paul had no questions. This is why he could be beaten one day, imprisoned the next, and released only to be beaten again and never ask God why. He understood the earth was fallen. He understood the rules of Rome could not save mankind, that mankind could not save itself; rather, it must be resuced, and he knew that he was not in the promised land, but still in the desert, and like Joshua and Caleb he was shouting, 'Follow me and trust God!'"
why did this hit me? maybe it's the whole concept of purpose. i think i fool myself into believing that i'm on this earth for all kinds of crazy, glorious reasons. but really, God only sustains my life for one reason - to accomplish HIS purpose of rescuing fallen mankind (and of course bringing glory to Himself through the rescuing). that's it! when i cease to be useful in God's plan of redemption, my sole purpose in this world will be gone! so what does this mean for my life? at passion '07 heather mercer talked about "wasting your life" for the glory of God. ultimately, i think she has it figured out! because when God grabs hold of a life and seizes it for His goal of redeeming a fallen world and bringing glory to His own name, what God does with that life will probably look like a waste to most people. even other Christians will probably say things like, "isn't that wasting your talent?" or "aren't there other ways God can use you" or "why risk endangering your life when you can do much more for God if you're alive." REALLY? does God only use people when they're alive? ok- don't think i'm saying that God would rather see you dead than alive, but i AM saying that we can't presume to know God's will, and i believe there are many cases when God uses a death to accomplish His goal of the redemption of souls.
what does this mean for me? i wish i knew. but i do know that i need to focus more on what my life can contribute to God's goal of the redemption of mankind. and notice i said what MY LIFE can contribute, and not what I can contribute. what's the difference? it's not about what I can do for God, but it's about what HE can do with MY LIFE. if God's purpose for me is to live, and through my life to help bring about his glory in redemption, then great! i hope that's God's purpose for my life. but i think i also have to be willing to agree with paul that if God could use my death to bring about his glory in redemption, then it's His life to take. now THAT'S hard to say! my own self-preservation instincts are at war within myself, and it makes it even hard to type about being willing to die. but if i'm really devoted to God's glory and the redemption of men, i must be willing to lay it all down. i only hope that if God ever calls me to die, i will be willing. and in the meantime, as He's calling me to live, i must be willing to live in daily surrender, realizing that my life is His!
This blog is a testimony to the work that God is perpetually acting in my life. I am learning that when I think I've given enough of myself, I've barely begun. My prayer is that as God continues to grab hold of my life, not only will He become greater and I become less, but He will become ultimately supreme and I will vanish. This Holy Disappearance will be a lifelong journey in which, by the grace of God, I will become so wrapped up in Him that all of me will disappear and all of Him will SHINE