Fear and Trembling

My heart, my soul, my life belong to Jesus!

How many times have you said that? Prayed that? Believed that? I can’t begin to count the number of times I have told the Lord I loved Him alone and that I was His to do with as He wanted. I’ve promised to serve and sacrifice and be whatever He wanted me to be whenever He wanted me to be it. Haven’t you? When we get lost in His embrace and the wonder of His amazing love, we promise Him anything and we mean it – at least right then.

I really believed it. I thought I was doing everything He wanted and more. I thought I had it all together and that there was nothing I wouldn’t do for Him – all He had to do was ask. You too, right?

This past week I discovered what a liar I am and how empty those vows to Jesus have been. I was willing, all right, as long as He didn’t invade my secret place and require me to give up my treasured times of relaxation and peace. I put conditions on my service and on my love. I placed myself above the Lord in a position of authority, letting Him know what I was willing to do and what was ‘for someone else’. I made the rules and I expected He would follow them because, after all, He loves me and wants me to be happy.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Lord has been gracious and has given me just enough rope to hang myself. My wake-up call came two weeks ago in jolly old England. While attending a conference of ministers and evangelists I was humbled and awed by what I heard. I was surrounded by truly GREAT men and women of God. Among them was the head of world missions for an international organization; also, an evangelist who has led hundreds of thousands of people to Christ in Europe and the UK; and, a woman who is the Chaplain in the highest maximum security prison in England – she ministers to heads of terrorist groups and these leaders are beginning to seek answers about Jesus. There was a man who heads another international missions group which was founded by his father who spent 13 years in a Communist prison being tortured because he would not renounce Christ. In the entire group there were no ‘peacocks’, only hard-working, spirit-filled men and women who love Jesus and love serving Him. I felt entirely out of place and ashamed of having spent so much time on myself this year.

Oswald Chambers wrote in “My Utmost for His Highest” – “Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you. You were looking for some big thing to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go. But behind that tiny thing lies the stronghold of obstinacy, and you say, “I will not give up my right to myself”— the very thing that God intends you to give up if you are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

That’s me, in a nutshell. I refused to give up my right to myself. I wanted to do only those things for which I felt equipped and in which I was comfortable. I literally picked and chose which things I would do for the Lord based upon my needs and desires instead of on His great call. May God have mercy on my soul!

My love, which I thought and felt was so deep for the Lord, is truly a sham. Oh, I love Him – but I’m not sold out for Jesus, like those people I met this month. I’m sold out on the idea of being sold out for Jesus. But don’t press to hard or you might see this cold, black heart for what it truly is: selfish.

This past week a ministry friend shared about children in Iraq who are being beheaded because they refuse to renounce Jesus Christ. CHILDREN. Little babies who have been taught by their parents that they must never, ever say no to Jesus. These children have been martyred and their parents have been left alive to suffer the torture of constantly reliving the beheadings, always seeing the sight in their minds.

Whatever these people have, I do not have it. I am weak and lowly and thoroughly corrupt. I have no excuse.

Please, pray for my salvation and a true love relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe that if I were to die at this moment I would spend eternity in outer darkness – a thoroughly unprofitable servant.

In fear and trembling.

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