A friend who lived close by in my early Jesus years would say such insightful things, it seemed sort of uncanny at the time. Her childhood had been tough. A dad who was legalistic and abusive. Finding Jesus’ love had been quite a journey through rebellion and its consequences. But it was these experiences which I think prepared her heart to lavish Jesus’ love and truth on others. I remember her setting out a meal like a banquet, using the best china and silver and crystal. Her guests? Women from the low-income housing unit. She treated them like royalty and taught them the Bible in the most everyday way, lining up toys or household objects for her props.
I also remember my friend calling to say that she must give a certain
possession away, because she realized she had taken ownership. Whenever
she felt that, it was her signal to let something go. I didn’t
understand then that she was being jealous for her love for Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but when I feel convicted to give over someone
or something that’s become a part of me--something I think I have a
right to have--it’s like tearing out a piece of my heart. If it has to
be done, I just want God to deliver--painlessly. You know,
But Jesus cast aside His royal rights to blood
purchase me something far better than a fix-it life: a Faith-it life.
Faith won’t allow me to justify any Jesus substitutes. Faith will
disagree that I can handle it myself. Faith makes me humbly ask God to
change my heart.
Then somehow by God’s grace, at just the right moment when it can only be of His doing, God moves that thing out, and graciously, tenderly moves Himself in to that vacated space. There, He sets up a royal banquet table where we have the sweetest, most satisfying fellowship. And I find myself wondering why I thought something else felt worth keeping between us.
“...Lay aside every hindrance and the sin which so easily entangles us....” (Hebrews 12:1)
~ martha langley