I have learned so much about myself in this journey with Christ. It’s unavoidable. You can’t become something else, until you know what you are. You can only start by embracing the truth of where you actually stand. transformation is a catch phrase that is thrown around much too loosely at times. True transformation is very painful, because it requires much revelation about our sins and then the surgery and removal of those cancerous tumors on our souls, by the Great Physician. One of the hardest things for me to realize as a young Christian, was just how much I had to give up my own rights to follow Jesus. I can’t claim my own rights, and still follow Him. He didn’t. If He had, He wouldn’t have gone to the cross.
One of the deepest cores of belief in God and the embracing of our Savior, Jesus, is the idea of surrender. To relinquish our rights, our own ideas, our own opinions. We learn to lay these down at the feet of God and we pick up His ideas, His Truth and we trust Him to protect our rights.
“Answer me when I Call, O God who maintains my right. You have made room for me in my distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.” Psalm 4:1
My selfish ambition, self-promotion and self-protection. caused me so much trouble in my younger years. God made me for a purpose, and like Jonah, I can’t run the other way and try to do my own thing. I truly get Paul’s struggle in the Book of Romans 7:18-25
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
21 I find then the [n]principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God [o]in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in [p]the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner [q]of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [r]the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
I can trust God to be my defense. It has taken me over 30 years of being a Christian to truly say this. it has been a long, hard struggle; and it ain’t over yet, kid. But my God is faithful and has promised to complete His good work in me. He has brought me so far. Surrender, relinquish, yield, trust, humble myself; all of these and more have become my new mantras. I have come to find that God is so incredibly trustworthy, that I can allow Him to expose the ugliest things in me. He exposes them to His light, His healing light. he offers me the opportunity to agree with Him and to be set free from these things through admission, repentance and the receiving of His Grace and forgiveness. It has been the most beautiful and painful journey of my life. But I wouldn’t trade a moment of it for all the gold and silver in the world. Nothing can replace the feel of God’s smiling face. I can feel His joy and gladness as I yield to this process. There is nothing so wonderful in all this world. I love you, God, and thank You