Sunday, 15 July 2012
Do you ever find that right when you are on the brink of a major turning point in an area of your life, you, someone else, or something in your life causes you to resist getting there? Here's a simple example. Say you want to train for a marathon (I have THOUGHT of training for a marathon many times...key word being: thought.) :) I have actually even begun the training. But something always seems to hold me back from full on, serious training and preparing for this kind of race. Why is this?! I have always enjoyed running. But I make ridiculous excuses. "I don't want to get injured.", "I don't have enough time to really prepare.", "I haven't been seeing serious results in my fitness level yet.", "I don't like running for that long."
This is the kind of resistance I've been struggling with in my spiritual walk the past few months. I feel the Holy Spirit pressing me to face some things and make some changes in my heart. I recently went through the book "Believing God" by Beth Moore. This book opened my eyes to the reality of my struggle with FEAR. There were five statements Beth encouraged us to repeat over and over until we truly believed them. The statement I most wrestled to believe was: "I am who God says I am." Here's the thing: I believe I am who God says I am in my head. But I struggle with the truth of this statement in my heart. You probably wouldn't know it from my outward words and actions. I mostly act as if I believe I am who God says I am. Where this struggle is hidden is in the recesses of my heart where I am tempted to care more about what others think than what God says is true.
There are real struggles in my life that I know Jehovah-Rapha, God my HEALER, wants to heal and help me overcome. His desire is not that I live in fear. He wants me to know security in Him. Because in Christ that is what I have! So why do I resist healing? How come I make excuses? The bible tells me to seek Him with ALL OF MY HEART. I am learning that anything short of that simply won't do. Jesus wants all of me. But my flesh continues to resist some of the places God wants me to go with Him. Satan also knows this. The last thing he wants is for us to be in right relationship with God. So when we are in right relationship with God, the last thing he wants is for us to experience freedom from sin. He wants to keep us enslaved, tied to the world and the things that hold us back from intimacy with Christ. But God, in his unfailing and sovereign LOVE, continues to pull me towards Himself. He whispers my name, "Amanda...come to me...let me heal you... don't give up... keep pressing towards the goal... I alone can satisfy and give you real freedom." I need only to surrender to His call to come to Him. Resist means to "attempt to counter the actions or effects of" (God's work in my life). Resign, however, means to give up or give over and come to accept (God's work in my life). Instead of resisting God's work in my heart, I want to resign every area of myself over to Him.
This afternoon I walked past my parents dining room table and the bible was opened to Psalm 103. This passage, verses 1-5, jumped out at me and encouraged my weary heart:
"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits-- who FORGIVES all your sins and HEALS all your diseases, who REDEEMS your life from the pit and CROWNS you with love and compassion, who SATISFIES your desires with good things so that your youth is RENEWED like the eagle's."
Thank you Jesus...for forgiving, healing, redeeming, crowning, and renewing me. You never give up on us. Your love endures FOREVER.
Posted by Amanda Michelle Birnie