He Gives

Hello dear friends! I hope you are all well and full of the joy of the Lord! He is good and full of mercy! The below post is actually something I had shared awhile back but it applied so well to my life today that I wanted to share it again.
With love to you!
 
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“The kind of religion that God requires, and will accept, does
not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless “wouldings”–those weak inclinations
that lack convictions–that raise us but a little above indifference. God, in
his word, greatly insists that we be in good earnest, fervent in spirit, and our
hearts be engaged vigorously in our religion: “‘Be fervent in spirit, serving
the Lord'” (Romans 12:11).

Jonathan Edwards, A Treatise Concerning Religious
Affections
(1746)

It all began with an outflowing of tears; I sat,
Bible open, sun shining, pen in hand . . . feeling empty. You see, I am human
and beyond this blessed fact comes an even greater certainty: I am a girl. With
with these two concrete factors I face a world, a foe, which wants my
destruction. He’s a vicious enemy; he fights against me using my emotions, my
feelings (or lack thereof), and my faults. And I fall for it. The moment I don’t
feel loved, I don’t feel God, I don’t feel . . . I falter. And just
like the foolish man who built his foundation upon the sand–great is the ruin
thereof.

So I live. Frustrated. Irate. In a numb and angry
stupor. Oh, I know that the Christian life isn’t about me but the more I fight
for my feelings the more wounded I become. Life happens; people fail;
expectations are not met. And the more I insist upon feeling like acting
Christianly
the more I don’t. Patience ceases, quiet times end, love
becomes mechanical, and fear doubles.

Then the phone rings and after exchanging
various bits of news a question is asked: “So, how is your quiet time going?”
Gulp . . . how do I explain (without sounding apathetic) that
my quiet time is faltering at best; that I feel God is disappointed; that I
don’t feel?

Honestly, there is no way for I am,
for-better-or-worse, transparent. My attempt at sounding spiritual falls flat
and even I–my biggest supporter–knows it.

So I sit, Bible open, tears flowing. “God, I
know I’m failing. I know my reactions toward people are wrong. I know I’ve been
relying on an experience. But why would you not give me training, why would
you not give me accountability, why would you make me stand alone?” I
pathetically sniff, looking about my room when my eye catches a title.
Sermons of Jonathan Edwards, a sweet Christmas present from my momma,
catches my eye and then my Lord spoke.
“You say you have no teacher, no leader and yet I
have given you exactly that. Do you see that book?–it has the spiritual wisdom
you seek. Do you see your open Bible? It’s My Word. It’s far more leading than
any person. Do you see the godly heritage I’ve given you? It has lead you thus
far and will continue.”


“Do you see, Frannie?”

“But God hath
chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen
the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; . . . That
no flesh should glory in his presence.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus,
who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and
redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him
glory in the Lord.”

“Your lacking wisdom, righteousness, sanctification,
and redemption are made even–no, made overflowing–in Me. And if you will
follow Me regardless of feelings, nay, in spite of feelings I will lead you.
For I am the Author and Finisher of your faith. I have placed you
here and I want you to know me.”

So here I sit; my tears are dried and my Bible
closed but my path clear. And I am so glad I follow the One who is the
way, the truth, and the life.

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