I have spent the last school year as a student in the Evangelical Institute of Greenville, South Carolina. I thought God was working in this stubborn heart of mine before! Now, more than ever, God has patiently been working to break my heart in order to use it for His glory. I've had many Bible classes, challenging people to deal with, and hard life circumstances to walk through. But God has been so faithful to me. The year really opened my eyes to the truth - truth of who I am, who God is and the depth of the yawning gulf between us. It also brought to reality the saving work of Jesus Christ, who made a way for me to enter into the Holy of Holies in fellowship with God Almighty. It has solidified the truth of my utter weakness and failure, my tendency to fall into sin, and my lack of strength against the powers of darkness. Then, the year has taught me how to claim the power of the living Spirit in me to face evil.
Let me say, I'm not the same person I was a year ago. I have been changed by the power of Jesus Christ.
It has become more of a reality to me than ever that anything in my life that is not poured out for God, is going to harm me. As His servant and daughter, I am called to lay every love of mine at the feet of Jesus Christ, with no reserve for myself. Anything, no matter how good, becomes an enemy when I keep it for my own desires.
What has been like water from the well of Bethlehem to you recently? Love, friendship, spiritual blessing? Then at the peril of your soul you take it to satisfy yourself. If you do, you cannot pour it out before the Lord. How am I to pour out spiritual gifts of natural friendship or love? How can I give them to the LORD? In one way only - in the determination of the mind, and that takes about two seconds. If I hold spiritual blessings or friendship for myself, they will corrupt me, no matter how beautiful they are. I have to pour them out before the Lord, give them to Him in my mind, though it looks as if I am wasting them." ~ Oswald ChambersI have been learning to give everything of mine to God. Beautiful, wonderful, lasting happiness it brings! I'll say, I've done surrender the hard way. God has been bringing me through a slow, painful process of giving everything up to Him. I am always reluctant to let go, but every time I have, God has placed much more in my hands to replace what I felt I "lost" - really, they were small sacrifices. What God has for me always exceeds what I have. I learn so slow - I pray that my pride will at last be killed, or at least suppressed.
Much of this happened through my slow realization (rather God's revelation) of my sinful, incapable nature. Until I believe that I can't, I will not have faith that God can, will not surrender my beloveds to Him, and will not except Him as Lord in every area. Pray to meet your true self.
This year has brought many lessons of faith, prayer, worship, repentance, the Word and love for the brethren - all of which I must go into at a later time.