Friday, May 11, 2012

Am I Willing?

"You keep repeating a few words over and over.  Have you really heard yourself?  Do you really know what you are saying?  I... I... me... me... my hopes, my dreams, I'm unhappy, what will I do, what will become of me.  All your thoughts are focused on yourself.  All of them.  I suppose, considering the circumstances, that some of that is only natural.  But you can't continue in that spiritual condition.  You must ask the Lord to help you set yourself aside.  Because that is what is in the way of your spiritual growth.  Yourself.  It always has been.  It is for all of us.  Jesus said that you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him.  You are clinging to yourself and what you want, instead of denying yourself and clinging to what He wants.  I know it is hard.  It isn't easy for anyone.  We are too weak to do it on our own.  But remember that He has said that His strength is made perfect in wekaness.  Call on Him, ask Him to help you.  He will answer.  But you must truly want to set yourself aside.  You must truly be willing to take His will for your own."

What powerful words to think about!  This is a quote from a book we picked up at this year's Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati called Waiting for Her Issac by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry

How many of us, if we were completely honest, could say we don't need to take this to heart?  Am I willing to 'set myself aside' and possibly give up all my hopes, my dreams, my plans and my ideas in order to allow God to have His perfect will in my life?  Isaiah 55:9 says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Wouldn't it stand to reason that our human, fleshly thoughts and desires just might not match up with God's plan for our life if we haven't thoroughly prayed and KNOW that we've heard from God and know without doubt that we are walking in His will for our lives?  Maybe we have convinced ourselves that we are in God's perfect will for our lives because we are comfortable and happy.  And that very well may be true, God does care about every single aspect of our lives and from Him all blessings flow, including happiness.  But at the same time, from experience I know that we serve a God that sometimes likes to get us out of our comfort zone so He can teach us and mold us into who He created us to be!

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. " (Jeremiah 29:11)  We might have our plans and ideas about what we want out of this life, what we think will make us happy and will make everything alright, but if we are true followers of Jesus and we believe the Bible is the inspired true Word of God, then we have to take His words to heart and trust that while it may be hard, sometimes very hard, God knows what's best for us and if we will humble ourselves and seek HIS perfect will in every single area of our life... marriage, job, homeschooling, etc., then and only then will we experience true joy and peace that only comes from willingly His will for our own.

(Just for the record, this book is wonderfully encouraging as far as seeking God's perfect will for our lives, and we agree completely with waiting for the one God has created just for you instead of today's view of dating until you find one you think you want to marry, but our family plans to settle somewhere in between 'waiting on the Lord' and the story presented in this book for our children.)

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