Immediately following the "training up" (learning) season of my life I set out on my own. I was equipped with the worldly knowledge of years of education in the public school system and the teachings of God's word I received in church, Sunday school, youth group, vacation bible school, and the like. My understanding of God's word was minimal (and basically revolved around the ten commandments) but I knew beyond a doubt I was in love with my King and my Savior and wanted to be in the Lord's army. Sadly, I did not stay faithful and my sin of rebellion ruled in my heart.
God, of course, knew this was going to happen and used it to introduce me to what was going to become the "battle for Him" for which I had often prayed during my childhood. Little did I know this season was going to stretch over the course of ten (plus) years and it was going to bring me closer to Him than I ever imagined or dreamed! God was about to take something that was meant for evil and use it for a good purpose to bring about the saving of many souls (Genesis 50:20) for His glory. But in the midst of battle it is easy to lose focus and become discouraged. How many times did the Psalmist write about such feelings? Many!
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation 6and my God. (Psalm 42:5-6. ESV.)
Unfortunately, I was trying to do things in my own strength instead of Christ's (Philippians 4:13). Then, one day in 2006 my rebellious ways came to an abrupt stop and the world suddenly looked different.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26. ESV.)
Further, God knew EXACTLY how long I should be on the front lines for Him. October 24, 2010 He removed me from that position and placed me in one where I would be able to take it easy and heal. Anything that was broken now had the time and means to be repaired. My King provided everything and all I had to do was be patient, depend on Him, and recover.
Being I am someone who likes to hurry things along, I found myself asking, "How long, Lord? How much time must I wait?" I figured it was going to be for maybe a month or two (tops) but my King sent word (through one of His servants) it is going to be more like a year. A year?! Lord, you want me to be still (Psalm 46:10) FOR A YEAR!? That's twelve months!!! 365 days!!! Surely you jest!
Nope. No joke. I guess that is how long it takes the human body and heart to mend. Since He is the Great Physician…Wonderful Counselor…I believe He knows far better than I do about such things. I have died to myself…my self-centeredness.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20. ESV.)
To be continued...