Sunday, February 26, 2012
"Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God." ~ Peter's response in John 6:68-69
Jesus had asked a question of His disciples, a question that has haunted me over these past few weeks. All together, many followers had deserted Christ. They had turned their backs and walked away. He turns to the twelve - the men He had poured His life in to, and asks,
"Will ye also go away?"
That was it. Just 5 simple words. Nothing profound...no pleading...no convincing. Just a simple question.
Can you hear the loneliness and desire wrapped up in these words? Oh, I know that my Lord understands my heart...because He's been there a thousand times over. He knows! He knows and He cares.
Does He ask the same question today? I believe that He does. I believe that He looks down on the vast majority of Christians today - toying with the Savior Who bled love and died for them - Who became sin that we might know Love Himself - and He whispers the question to all Who might hear,
"Will ye also go away?"
Oh, may I never lose the sound of this question in my ears. May I know the desire in His voice, that He wants me. He wants me. And He asks me to stay.
May my response be always and forever the answer of Peter.
"Lord, we have nowhere else to go. There is no one else to turn to."
Almost, it was as if he just didn't have another option.
Two mornings ago, I wrote in my journal after reading this passage,
This morning, I have cried as the devil hurls fiery darts of lies into my soul - thick and fast, and I convince myself - "All this desire to passionately love and serve the Lord - all this effort - it's all been a sorry joke. I'm not cut out for this. I just can't do it. How disgusted my Lord must be with me.
I. Give. Up."
Yet, in my spirit, I run up against this verse - "To whom shall I go?" If I do indeed give up, "Where else can I turn?" And the answer, I know deep in my soul is,
There is no one else.
I have set my passion in Him. And though I fall, though Satan drags me down to the very bottom, though for a time I hurl myself away from the Father in despair, I am incapable of choosing a new god. Once we have truly chosen our God in Christ, as the disciples did, there is no turning back. We have tasted the Christ. We have found the words of eternal life.
There is no where else -
No One else -
No thing else.
All is Christ. Christ is all.
He stands with open arms, asking me a simple, longing question - "Will you also go away?"
And I stand again - thankful to remember that my incredible weakness is actually my strength. For when I am weak, then - and only then - am I strong.
To whom shall I go? Only to Christ."
I love my Lord, because He is the only Way.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Of all the verses that I have prayed over my life, Ezekiel 36:26 wins the grand prize for the number of times I pray it every day.
"Lord, change my heart."
"Give me a new heart, Lord Jesus."
"Oh Lord, give me Your heart."
There have been times in my life when I literally prayed this verse dozens of times a day. This past week, it has been on my mind almost continually.
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."Hear God's promise to us! To me. To you.
I can think of fewer things more exciting than the fact that the Lord will give us a new heart, and a new spirit! And not just any heart and spirit, but His!
I have longed to know that Christ could say of me, "Here is a woman after my own heart." He said it of David. If only David could have been my best buddy! Too bad I couldn't have been Jonathan. :) I wish so much that I could meet David, to walk with him, to know his heart. Because to know his heart would have been to know God's heart.
No I can't meet him face to face. But I can see glimpses of his life and of his character. As I have studied David's life in the Scriptures these past couple days, I have seen a normal man. I have not seen an angel. I have seen emotions like anger, fear, mistrust. I have seen doubt and discouragement. I have seen sin too, far worse (in the world's eyes, anyway) than anything I've ever done.
Yet I've also seen unleashed passion. Deep brokenness and humility. Unshakeable faith.
I've seen a man who loved the Lord.
And I've come to the startling, thrilling, relieving, passionate conclusion - and my heart wells up with thankfulness as I write this -
To be a man or woman after God's own heart is not to be a man or woman of perfection.
It is to be a man or woman of love and passion for the Lord God, above and beyond anything else in life.
Not by my own might or power. Heaven knows - and I've learned the hard way - I don't have any of that!! But it comes through something as simple as a gift. The gift of the heart of God.
He longs to give it. And I long to receive it.
I love my Lord, because He gives me a new heart. His heart.