Friday, September 16, 2011

Choosing a Constant Change of Focus

I haven't felt like writing much lately. I've been busy and well, kinda distracted -AKA: worrying about the future. The Future for me is a list of many unknowns and the things that I do know just happen to be trials that I know I will face. I'm heading to Africa with my family for a long time. That means goodbyes, lack of comfort items like A/C and hot showers, etc. Anyway, thinking too much about these things makes me really stressed and sad sometimes. I've been focusing on my future without recognizing that God is going to be in it to help me through those daily trials.

I found a great Oswald Chambers devotional entry that helps put things into perspective:
(Please read this part because I comment on it afterwards.)


If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments. John 14:15 (R.V.)
Our Lord never insists upon obedience; He tells us very emphatically what we ought to do, but He never takes means to make us do it. We have to obey Him out of a oneness of spirit. That is why whenever Our Lord talked about discipleship, He prefaced it with an IF - you do not need to unless you like. "If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself," let him give up his right to himself to Me. Our Lord is not talking of eternal positions, but of being of value to Himself in this order of things, that is why He sounds so stern (cf. Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not [by comparison of his love for Me] hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple".). Never interpret these words apart from the One Who uttered them.

The Lord does not give me rules, He makes His standard very clear, and if my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without any hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love some one else in competition with Him, viz., myself. Jesus Christ will not help me to obey Him, I must obey Him; and when I do obey Him, I fulfill my spiritual destiny. My personal life may be crowded with small petty incidents, altogether unnoticeable and mean; but if I obey Jesus Christ in the haphazard circumstances, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God, and when I stand face to face with God I will discover that through my obedience thousands were blessed. When once God's Redemption comes to the point of obedience in a human soul, it always creates. If I obey Jesus Christ, the Redemption of God will rush through me to other lives, because behind the deed of obedience is the Reality of Almighty God.
by Oswald Chambers

Laura: Ok, so did you see there that verse about "hate" your family and your own life?? Extreme, huh?

This has been the torment of my soul since I've seriously been preparing for serving in Africa. I miss my family.  I go through ups and downs when I struggle to be happy with the idea of serving in Africa - so far from my family and things that make my life so much easier. I've been asking myself on and off for a few weeks, "Is it really going to be worth it? Can I make these sacrifices?" No matter how many tears drop from these lids, each time I ask this question of myself I find the same answer even if it takes a few days here and there to find it - it's the same answer. It will all be worth it. (see underlined above in Chambers excerpt.)

I just wish the struggle to see this could be a one-time-thing where I finally get it and can obey without the war against my flesh, but if that were the case, I'd be perfect AKA: dead and standing perfect-ed in heaven. So, OK I'll answer the same question regularly with tears (or without - sometimes it's an easy answer!) as long as it helps me turn my focus once again to being right with Him and going where He wants me to go because I love Him.

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