Tuesday, November 24, 2009

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Three years (and some odd months) ago I received grace. I know this for an absolute certainty because my heart is different (Ezekiel 36:26) and the Holy Spirit present (Acts 2:38). Though I grew up in the church and had the “head knowledge” of my King, my heart was not entirely in it until 2006. I feel I had a “puppy love”, did not remain faithful, and my life from 1996-2006 was lukewarm (Revelation 3:16) at best.

I was raised in a good home, grounded in the foundation of God’s word, which I heard each Sunday at church. As a teen in high school I abstained from sex as I had made a covenant with God in my Sunday night youth group to do so. I had good morals and values and the world referred to me as a “goodie two shoes”, “good little church girl”, or “prude” but I was still a slave to my sin rather than righteousness (Romans 6:16) and wrapped up in foolishness. Although I did not partake in drugs, I did drink alcohol after high school (college and beyond) and was ruled by the flesh.

My King has taught me much over the course of the last three years and continues to do a good work in me. I look back at all I have endured (especially over the last 10 years) not with resentment but with thankfulness. Had it not been for the tribulation I would still be neither hot nor cold (Revelations 3:16).

In 2006, I was called upon as a witness in a domestic violence case. My heart was deeply grieved for a number of reasons and I looked to man for answers instead of setting my focus on God. My every thought and reliance revolved around man instead of trusting in my King. During the trial I sat reading scripture over and again until God did a great work and the hearing abruptly ended without a single word escaping my lips. I rejoiced in His faithfulness and mercy!

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. (Psalm 118:8. ESV.)

…be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11. ESV.)

"There is nothing -- No circumstance, No trouble, No testing that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ. Right through to me if it has come that far. It has come with great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment - but as I refuse to panic, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as come from His throne for some great blessing of purpose of blessing to my heart. No sorrow will disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the Joy of what my Lord is - that is the rest of Victory." ~Alan Redpath (I Corinthians 15:57)

This first refining was utterly painful at the time but now so beautiful! Many prunings followed..each just as agonizing as the first…and all regarding having complete trust in God…and when He moved my heart, to not ask questions, but rather just follow. In 2008 I went through a church split. I was brokenhearted yet did not question God’s will. I believed the good fight had been fought for years though I did not witness it. I trusted the word of the man I knew to be God’s guy despite the fact both sides sounded very convincing. The path before me was very clear and continues to be just as unobstructed. My words could never adequately express the thankfulness I have for the people God placed in my life to guide me according to His will. My heart sings praises to my King for them!

I am EXACTLY where God wants me to be today…though I may not understand everything surrounding it. And here I wait…

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever! (1 Chronicles 16:34. ESV.)

* (When looking up the quote by Alan Redpath I came across the following messages worth mentioning: #1 “The Infallibility of God’s Purpose” by Charles Spurgeon and #2 “The Decrees of God” by puritan Samuel Willard.)
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