My beloved child…you participate in My work by making the members of your body and all your faculties available to Me as instruments of righteousness, leading to holiness. Offer yourself to God as a living sacrifice, a vessel dedicated for My honor and well-pleasing to Me. This is your spiritual act of true worship. [Father God…Rom 6:13; 6:19; 12:1-2]
Brothers and sisters in Christ…
I encourage you to spend some before the Lord, just sitting at His feet. Are you able to say to Him, and know that you mean it in your heart, “Because of Your steadfast love for me, Lord, I know there is nothing You would ask of me…to be for You or to do for You, to learn of You or just, perhaps, to suffer because it is part of Your plans, Your purposes, Your will for me…that would be unreasonable, or too much to ask, in light of what You had Personally done for me, suffering and dying on my behalf.” You are the Lamb of God Who came into this world, to become the one only, all-sufficient, atoning sacrifice through Your death on a cross and subsequent resurrection, thereby securing forgiveness for my sins and restoring my relationship with God.
What is currently the most agonizing trial you are going through in your life…either personally in your own life or because of what someone near and dear to you is going through? Suppose the Lord does not answer your prayers in the way you would like Him to…because He has plans and purposes other than what you desire. Are you able to get to the place before Him where you can say, and know that you mean it in your heart, “It no longer matters to me, Lord, whether You heal, restore, deliver in this trial or not. What You are allowing me or my loved one to go through is not unreasonable or too much to ask. Not my will, but Your will be done.”
Joni Tada Ericksson, when she was just a 17 year old christian teenager, became quadriplegic in a tragic swimming accident. Was that too much for God to ask of her? He had great plans for her through what He allowed to take place in her life; she has been, and still is, a powerful witness for the Lord as His servant, touching uncountable lives in the name of Christ!
It was June 5th, 2008, and I had just come out of cataract surgery on my left eye. I was looking forward to seeing clearly again, as with the cataracts in both eyes I was no longer able to read the road signs or feel comfortable with highway driving. Instead, the surgery seemed to go very badly, taking 4 times longer than would normally be the case! The vision in my eye after surgery was quite bad…as well as hazy and cloudy. Five days after the surgery, I began to see pronounced double vision out of my eye. I decided to have an independent evaluation of the surgery by another eye surgeon. It was then I learned that there had been significant damage done to my eye in that surgery, which he proceeded to enumerate in painful detail, and that, unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done to repair the damage! “You will NEVER see any better out of that eye than you do right now (a hazy, cloudy, 20/40), and it cannot be improved with eyeglasses.”
I cried out to the Lord for the next 3 ½ months, “Why, Lord!? You could have warned me beforehand, and You could have prevented this from happening. I know that You consciously and deliberately allowed this to happen, and I know for Your own good purpose. But Lord, I don’t understand; yet, even so, I trust You.” I had finally gotten to the place where the Lord wanted me to be, where I could say to Him, and know that I meant it in my heart, “It no longer matters to me, Lord. There is nothing You could ask of me…to be for You or to do for You…that would be unreasonable, or too much to ask, in light of what You have Personally done for me in redeeming my soul. Lord…just show me Your plans, Your purposes, Your will for me in allowing this to happen, and work in me by Your Spirit both the desire to accept and obey Your will, and the power to do Your will.”
Upon awakening the following morning, September 16th (Tuesday), I quite suddenly noticed I was seeing much better. I remarked to the Lord, “Whoa, Lord! I see better out of my damaged eye than I do out of my right eye!” The following Tuesday I had an eye doctor’s appointment; the reading on the damaged eye was now a clear, sharp 20/30 with no double vision, and was corrected by refraction to 20/20! I wondered whether the Lord had miraculously restored my vision out of a damaged eye, or whether He had healed the damage, resulting in restored vision. On Monday (9/29) I went for another independent evaluation by a third eye surgeon (I did not advise him beforehand of anything that had taken place, other than that there had been cataract surgery done on the left eye). The prognosis? “Your eye is in good condition, and you are seeing well!”
What was the Lord’s purpose in allowing this to happen in my life? He wanted me to get to the place of absolute surrender, where it really didn’t matter any more to me
whether or not He healed that eye, because of the plans and purposes He had in mind. In this case, He accomplished His purposes…my absolute surrender to accept His will… and then healed my eye. In Joni’s case, He did not heal her…He had other plans and purposes in mind. And so it is with you also…my brother, my sister…in whatever you are going through, and will yet go through during the course of your remaining lifetime. The Lord has plans and purposes in allowing trials to take place in your life. Our place is to cooperate with God’s plans and purposes for our life…to keep our heart lovingly and joyfully joined with His will in whatever He asks of us.
I don’t know whether or not in the depths of your heart you really know through personal experience God my Father in Heaven, but this I do know…He continually leads me by His Spirit, and my obedience to His Will, and acceptance of His will, has continually brought the boundless blessings of God in our Sacred Covenant relationship! I proclaim to you Christ Jesus…the One Who existed from the beginning, from Eternity Past, Whom I have heard with the ears of my own inner being, and have seen with my own spiritual eyes. I have gazed upon Him and have spiritually touched Him with my own hands. He is the Word of Life. His Life is continually being revealed to me; I have seen it and testify to it, and I proclaim to you that He is the One Who is Eternal Life. He always existed with the Father, and is now continually being manifested afresh and anew to me. I proclaim to you what I have personally seen and heard in the depths of my soul, so that you also may enjoy this same fellowship together with us. The fellowship I continually enjoy is with the Father and with His Son, Christ Jesus. I am writing these things so that you also may fully share together with me in this fullness of joy. [1 John 1:1-4] It is our birth-right as a child of the Most High God!
What A Friend I’ve Found: