Let me tell you a short little story... (note if for any reason you thought I had my life together previous to this story, you will no longer think so after it) :) I was at Texas Tech going through a time of weariness as I had been rolling and going with school, ministry, and work. My weariness soon turned into bitterness and my bitterness soon turned into pride and my pride caused me to be easily offended and caused me to try and shove everything and everyone out. I'd been like this about two or three days with obviously all those around me noticing, the guy I was dating at the time, roommates, friends, and mentors. I had a rough edge and a bad attitude. The problem is that by the time we allow ourselves to be bitter and prideful we've usually already closed off our hearts and minds to all outside help or counsel.
I went outside to mow my lawn and I took my mp3 player to listen to music while doing so. I was so dedicated to my pride and bitterness that I had made a special playlist to listen to while I was mowing, one that included absolutely no Christian music, and plenty of that "angry" music that helps you feel justified in your sinful emotions. I had told God that I was upset with Him, I did not want to talk to Him, I wanted my own space.
Many of you know I highly encourage being honest with God because the truth is God knows what you're thinking anyway. I talk to God often just how I would talk to you, a friend, a parent, etc. However, I highly encourage learning to listen before you talk when you have a bad attitude, perhaps get into the Word and adjust your emotions before telling God what YOU WANT AND WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO... it really makes for a smoother ride :)
So, here I was all big and bad in charge of my life. I was taking a break, I was taking my deserved vacation time, and I was going to have some space from people and from God. (note the sarcasm) I went out to mow the lawn feeling more and more entitled as I listened to more songs justifying my attitude towards the injustice I was facing. Then there was a dog toy out in front of me, I pulled my ear buds out of my ear, and I walked to go move the toy, when I walked back and stuck my ear buds back in this line was being sung... O to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.
I can count on one hand the amount of times I've been convicted so powerfully in my life. I began to weep out on my front lawn as I ran to my room and fell face first on my floor... prone to wander, God I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love...
Despite the miracle that God played a song on my mp3 player was not on the list I was listening to... I was awakened to not only the faithfulness of God to me, but my lack of faithfulness to Him.
I'm reading a book by Mike Bickle where he makes a statement "Peter was more confident in his commitment to Jesus than Jesus' commitment to him"
If you're struggling, if you're weary, if you're ready to give up, I don't have fancy words and I'm not going to start recalling every scripture on not giving up (however you should look them up). I just want to say He is more committed to you than you are to Him. He knows that. He died for you knowing that it would be that way. He is faithful when we're faithless. He's not waiting for you to "get on His level". Remember the joy of your salvation. Go back to when you first fell in love with Him. Recall all that He has done for you, recall the miracles He's worked in your life, the answered prayers. Let not your heart be troubled, hand Him your bitterness, hand Him your hurts, hand Him the injustice and persecution done to you, and run into His faithful arms.
The enemy wins when you shut out the One who has the answers, the One who has life, the One who can comfort, the One who has power and authority, the One who LOVES YOU. You just have to endure, you just have to not grow weary in doing good, continue to fight the fight of faith. Don't be prone to wander.
O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face; Clothed then in blood washed linen How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace; Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, Take my ransomed soul away; Send thine angels now to carry Me to realms of endless day.
God is not shocked when I allow my heart to be troubled, He is not shocked when I act foolish, He doesn't approve of it, but He's not shocked. He doesn't allow me to sit in my sin, but He will continue to pursue after my cheating heart, He'll continue to chase you down, because He loves you, He wants you.
Be Blessed, J. Tate