I will be quite honest, last week was a tough one for me. Trials, well, there were a lot of them. The strange thing is, most of them were because of self! You see, I don't think it needs any explaining, that in life, especially the life of a young person, there are seemingly thousands of decisions that need to be made. Or do they? Well, that is what I have been struggling with. I have all kinds of ideas and plans for my life! In fact, you would probably be quite amazed at the list of things I want to do. And they are all coming to nothing. But, they are the things I want to do. Which, as I am learning, may not be what God wants me to do. This is where I will bring faith into the picture. We talk about faith, and I am afraid we never really do get the picture, as to what this word really means. You see, faith is simply a complete, 100% trust in the words of God, to accomplish what they say, or essentially in their creative power. In ALL of the words of God. To make faith practical in this situation, I must decide that all MY plans don't matter. This is dying to self. In fact, I have to treat my ideas and plans as though they didn't exist. Otherwise, self is only sick, not dead. At this point, self is now dead, and I choose to live to Christ, through His strength, and put on the new man. And if self is gone, and it is Christ that is living in me, HE will not fail to show me the way to go, where to serve, how to serve, what career to pursue, what possessions He wants me to have, etc., because it is His life that I am living, not mine. This is both extremely hard, and pathetically easy! Hard, because we don't really trust Him completely. You might say we are scared to die! But dying is the only way to live, my friends. I can tell you from experience! And it is easy, because when Christ is living in me, He makes all of these difficult decisions for me. I only have to let Him. Now, it doesn't end there. Christ living in me will spend much time in prayer, and study, and complete faith, because that is how Christ lived here. We must have not only faith in Jesus, but friends, we must have the faith OF Jesus! Jesus lived in complete dependance on His Father. The question is, Will we? Oh, I hope, I pray that we will. I know that as I am learning slowly, sometimes agonizingly slowly, to die to self, and live to Christ, that there is an intense peace, an incredible joy, and a burning, deep desire to share it with others. By the way, if you haven't read the following books, please find and read at least one of them. You will be blessed tremendously, I guarantee! 'Lessons on Faith' by Jones and Waggoner; 'The Matchless Charms of Christ' by Bill Lehman ( I think??). Well, I suppose there are many more, but these are good ones I know of. You will not regret reading them, slowly and prayerfully. I promise.
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, by faith and His Grace,