Friday, December 21, 2012

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)

I felt like reading.
I didn't know what to read. Anything could have done.
I guess God had something in mind when I chose Though None Go With Me.
According to IMDB the movie was shot 2006 and if I'm not mistaken it wasn't much later when I watched it on Hallmark Channel. I can still remember the sentence Brad Rowe (playing Ben Phillips) said. It's no big deal, if you write it down in your Bible considering it as your own truth:

Though none go with me
Still I will follow
No turning back
No turning back

But what is my truth now?
This is a new situation in my life, living on my own, working full time - you could say - for the first time. Trying to be an accepted woman and still be humbled and obedient to God. 
I was so busy with myself: earning degree, running household, getting to know new people at work, and so tired at the end of the day... that my only wish was just to get into bed. I rarely made phone calls and I rarely got some.
I talked myself into lies... that I wasn't loved, I didn't have friends, that God forsook me... 
I was on my own, but the truth is, because I was the one, who forsook everyone - including God. 
Several months passed until I realized this. 

While I was reading this book, Satan attacked me mercilessly. 
The movie gives the impression of a fairy tale compared to Jerry B. Jenkins' novel. 
It's a spiritual challenge to turn your life over to God. But this requieres sacrifice: to renounce your dreams and desires - a self-denial. It means to accept whatever God's chosen for me. And I'm often afraid of this unknown. 
God's ways are higher than ours. We don't have to understand everything but we can accept those by faith. 
If I want to walk closer to God, I only have to ask Him. But from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke 12:48).

While reading about Elizabeth LeRoy's spiritual journey I felt so negative. Satan was playing his favorite game: deceiving. Devoting one's life can't be compared with Christ's death on the cross.
God doesn't promise an easy life, but Paul says: But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead (Phil 3:7-11).

I want to "dust my list and hang it on the wall" so everyone may see, Who the love of my life and my #1 is.
Romans 12:1 reads Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. The only problem with a living sacrifice is that it's coming off the altar and walks away. You have to offer yourself every day anew!

The proposal.

The farewell.

God had a purpose when He reminded me of my own decision. There's no turning back. I promised to follow. It's good to be back where I belong: in the loving arms of the Father.  
May this be my Christmas present to Him!

***

I was pondering on the secrets and reliability of the heart.

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
(Psalm 37:4-7)

David's words, these promises are precious. But what do they mean?
Jeremiah wrote that the heart is deceitful (above all things). 
What are the desires of my heart? It's clear God doesn't give us whatever we desire, so either we are not truly delighting ourselves in Him, or He doesn't give those which were harmful. Or does He give those too to prove He is God and He has the power to give those? To lead me closer to Him?
What if there's something I desire... but this isn't a part of His plan for my life... Does He give this to me despite? And do I want it at any cost? 
Or do I misinterpret the whole phrase? Does He tell me what the desires of my heart should be? In other words: Delighting myself in Him means He will give me what to desire? I mean, the same passage says: commit your way to Him, trust in Him, be still and wait patiently for Him...That's the hardest. Waiting for years... (which is like a day or even shorter... for Him.)
No news is good news. No news is not a straight "no". It means I have to wait... Patience is something I'm still learning. 

And so it comes full circle. 
"The most important and most difficult spiritual test is the challenge of turning our lives over to God. Though no decision can be more fulfilling. Inevitably something will happen that will make us realize that our own power isn't enough to get us through the especially difficult times. Our personal power is limited. But God's power is infinite. All it is required is one simple prayer: not my will Lord, but Yours. Why are we so afraid of turning our lives over to a greater will? Why do we seek guidance yet fear what that guidance will say to us? Because it means that we have to say to God that I accept whatever it is that You have chosen for me. And I trust that You will give me the strength to deal with it. There is an old hymn that says it far better than I can: Though none go with me / Still I will follow / No turning back / No turning back."


Watch the full movie. Right here right now!

Elizabeth and Ben dancing. Then and now. 

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