I wonder if other people who are so burdened face what I face in myself. That even though their will has long ago been folded up in the blessed will of God, a strangely persistent I can rise up suddenly. I am startled to discover, so unexpectedly, “chaff” scattered upon the floor of what I had hoped was a clean-swept soul…Yet the evil whisperer never forgets to come, whispering his appeal to that persistent I…I say instantly, “Make pure the inmost desire of my heart” …those circumstances in whose midst I am set – these are the best that He…(chose) for me…we do know that all things that happen are full of shining seed. Light is sown for us – not darkness. ~Amy Carmichael
…the prince of the world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. John 14:30-31
You are not ready to live a life of complete trust and obedience if you’ve only committed to living for God if it costs you everything. You also have to be committed to living for God even if it changes nothing. It’s fairly easy to give my money, time, and effort and make real sacrifices for God’s work if you feel it’s accomplishing something great. But, what if it seems to have no effect? Are you still willing to give it all for no visible impact?
These words are seeping into my heart, mind, and soul these days. I am learning, being humbled, and – hopefully – fully surrendering. This is not easy – the laying down of self – but over and over again in His Word, Jesus speaks of the requirement of it.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:24-25
And just like Paul and Silas, in the midst of my chains (of self, selfishness, …), I have raised my voice to Jesus in song:
God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me. He answers prayers, He answers prayers, He answers prayers, He’s so good to me. I love Him so, I love Him so, I love Him so, He’s so good to me. (Thank you Ms. Dawn and Ms. Gail, who used to sing these songs with me in GA’s so very long ago! Even then, God used every seed you scattered to bring Life to me!)