Late for The Great Appointment

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“Faith don’t come in a bushel basket, Missy. It come one step at a time. Decide to trust Him for one little thing today, and before you know it, you find out He’s so trustworthy you be putting your whole life in His hands.”
― Lynn Austin, Candle in the Darkness ―

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“With the entirety of your heart, trust in Me…”(Prov. 3:5)

Oh, how cerebral is this, my trust! How prone to wander from its Object. My trust has myopia. Its legs are lame.

I’ve prayed and wrestled with a heart that lashes with as much powered angst as the sweeping timber-tail of a Texas gator. To this moody, carnivorous heart, I’ve begged more than once, “Trust Jesus. Trust Him.”

And with mind assenting,

lips confessing,

even heart, at last, bowed

I trust.

A soft, safe mental believing that I’ve fought to wrestle, reason, and generally talk myself into.

If a mustard seed’s portion of faith can shake mountain ranges, I’m ashamed to think how miniscule my own belief’s seed must be. I’m barely shaken myself.

Trembling, a question. “How much trust is enough?”

Cue the calipers, the electron microscopes, a scale so attuned that slightest breath of air sends a shiver through its needle.

Let’s crank up the old faith-o-meter.

“What Lord?” What’s that You’re saying?”

“Lean not on your own understanding…” (Prov. 3:5b)

“Oh–oh no. Not my understand…well, just this analysis, You see. I have to find out how much trust in You I have, and if it’s enough.”

“Oh, you of little faith. Why do you doubt?”(Matt. 14:31)

Flood of images, all He has brought me through. “Well…well, You–that’s my point. I have little faith, Lord. Why shouldn’t I doubt–doubt myself, at least?”

“By grace you have been saved through faith…not of your own doing. It is a gift from Me…”(Eph. 2:8)

“Grace is a gift from You, yes, I know. But faith…”

“It is the gift of God…so no one may boast.”(Eph. 2:8,9)

My deflated ego is fast surpassed by elated realization. “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”

“In all your ways, acknowledge Me and I will direct your paths.”(Prov. 3:6)

Some things are too simple for over-analysis.

Acknowledge Him. In all my ways. Just that simple. Just that terribly, terribly difficult.

Ridiculous, this penchant of mine to give God my whole life, but not offer up the next moment, as if my whole future is not made up of myriad present instants. When will I ever serve Him if I always hold one second–the next one–back?

Honestly? It’s easier to “surrender” my general being, pledge my all, than to give up the next breath. Yielding to Him, this “acknowledging Him,” in the present takes more courage, more trust, because it requires immediate response to the belief I claim.

Far easier, to check off the boxes and keep up the monochrome coloring in the lines and let life come to me on my terms.

But He’s challenging me.

Challenging me to enter into my surrender with my whole heart.

My whole, new heart.

I’m not just to lay down my life, but to rise again in new power.

To ask, this instant, for God to meet me in a thousand places,

to show me Himself in a million ways.

To pray for The Great Appointment,

that in every person He takes me to,

something will be sparked.

That the God of this Song will orchestrate my moments

so that the verse I sing will spill music

into other ears.

“You say, ‘But how can I serve the Lord? I’m not important. What I do is common and of little consequence. Anyone can do what I do”….And I say to you: ‘There are no useless, minor meetings. There are no dead-end jobs. There are no pointless lives. Swallow your sorrows, forget your grievances and all the hurt your poor life has sustained. Turn your face truly to the human before you and let her, for one pure moment, shine. Think her important, and then she will suspect that she is fashioned of God.'”

– Walter Wangerin, Jr., from the essay “Edification/Demolition” –

Who are we, we who claim Jesus? Who are we kidding, if our words don’t breathe Him, our faces don’t shine Him, and our hearts do not reach out as His?

Who do we fool, we who claim to be daughters of God? The world is not fooled–we prove ourselves to be just what they suspect.

Empty of power.

Unless our surrender is more than a token and our repentance is more than a show of tears.

If God’s grace settles down deep and we bow to its transformation.

If we embrace the faith He has measured out for us as a glorious gift.

And if we live for Him NOW.

Now, our all our ways must demonstrate in Whom we have put our trust.

Not someday. Not tomorrow. Not later in spare time.

Now.

“But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light.Therefore He says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light.’

Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),

Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.”

– Ephesians 5:13-17 AMP, emphasis mine –

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In what way is God calling you  to leave behind your own understanding and trust His leading?

What step of absolute belief must you now take?

 

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Thank you, Petr Kratochvil and Public Domain Pictures, for the lovely photo.

 

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