Friday, May 18, 2012

Wild Ride

For me, over the past 4 years, faith in Christ has never been a ho-hum, let me make practical decisions and do what I think makes sense, and God's sovereign will has got me. Not in the least. This journey with Him...this experience...has been a wild, crazy ride. It's been like white water rafting through the rapids, with the wind in my face and my stomach in my throat. Like slicing my way through the jungle with a machete, terrified of being eaten by some wild animal.  So that God could free me of myself.

He pushes us out of our comfort zones, in the most awesome possible way. When you really surrender your life and every ounce of your will for His, making decisions based on what you believe is His will for you, it is scary...because His will directly contradicts your flesh. Often times, it directly contradicts what you think you know. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. Romans 5:17. But that's how He proves Himself and His power through you, when you die to self. When you die to your own decision making, so that He will be alive in you. And when you get that, and when you do it, He uses you MIGHTILY.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. Luke 9:24.

It is not about our comfort, though. In Acts, when the first disciples were traveling across the waters regardless of comfort or safety or weather or people trying to kill them, God called them to that. When Paul was thrown in jail and flogged and mocked and persecuted for speaking the truth of Jesus, God called him to do that. When Jesus died a horrific death on a cross, taking on the sin of the world and allowing himself to be made nothing for us, God called him to do that. All according to His divine purpose.

Can you imagine what the earliest disciples would have done if they did what they wanted or thought was practical or reasonable? They would not have risked their lives by preaching to the Pharisees or almost killed themselves by traveling constantly across torrential sea waters!! Paul wouldn't have allowed such awful things to happen to him, either, and neither would Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith. It wasn't practical. It was dangerous, scary, and difficult, to say the very least.

So why did they do it? You will never know, unless you do it.  So do it. Live for Him, regardless of the cost, and He will show you His purpose for you, the most magnificent thing we can ever behold in this life. Live for Him and His will, and let your heart and your decisions be guided by Him. He will blow your mind with how much He will speak to you.

Too many instances in my life have been confirmed by this. If not for God, if I was making my own practical decisions based on what I knew, what I thought was a good idea, I never would have left being a lesbian. I never would have started dating Billy. I thought I was screwed up and incapable of dating anyone!! Thank God I didn't go by my own reasoning. If not for God, I never would have married Billy, either, and I have now never been more sure of anything in my life.  I am free of brokenness I thought I would have my whole life.

But I had to trust Him. I was called to take up my cross and suffer for a time, losing my life for His, not making decisions based on what I thought or felt at all. My heart was deceitful above all things. We are supposed to trust in Him and lean not on our own understanding. Our emotions, our circumstances, our decisions are tainted by flesh, nothing in this world can be trusted, only HIM.

It was hard, God had to transform me and transformation and change like that are difficult. But that is why we focus on the unseen. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Hanging on to something more was what gave me hope and brought me through.

It's amazing and UNBELIEVABLE what He's done for me, and He can do it for you. It's scary and incredible and takes such courage and faith but He will guide you. It starts with acting like what you know about Him is real. Act like He speaks to you through His word, because He does. Pray with your whole heart like He hears those prayers, because He does. And then follow Him. He will save not just your soul, but your life.