Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Entering His Rest

Deep inside, where no man can see, my spirit has been wrestling intensely.  I wake with the burden of lost souls on the other side of the planet who don't know Him...souls that are dropping into an eternity of suffering...and it grieves my actual pain.  

I live in comfort in a beautiful wooded area that feeds my very being with its quiet nature.  And yet I cannot forget...I choose NOT to forget the thousands of souls who will die today without the hope of the One true God.  I choose not to forget the millions of souls who have never heard His name.  

I surround myself constantly with input, such as this video so that I will not ever forget:

And I choose to keep it in the forefront of my mind.  I've let it invade my every thought, every moment of my life.  I simply HAVE to DO something.

Making ourselves available, we stepped out to GO to the mission field full-time.  We knocked on doors.  At every turn, we found a closed door that wouldn't budge.  

I don't want to go unless He opens the door, so I wait.

The wrestling in me grew so intense...  The thought of the lost...the knowledge of Jesus calling His disciples to go into all the nations...the weight of the burden waking me up at night.  Having closed doors was like having an itch somewhere you can't reach reach and reach and try to scratch it, but no after day.

And the itch intensifies...

I am compelled to give my life to Him to spend as He chooses.  I just don't know what He's choosing.

If GOING wasn't an option right now, I began to think of a million good ideas for how to SEND others.  We have friends who are missionaries, and I began to come up with amazing ways of how I can spend my life to send them...having a business and pouring the profit into supporting God's work on the mission field.  I got excited about the possibilities and began to feel a powerful surge inside, as if the itch was finally going to be scratched...that focus would be achieved, and all my life could be poured into this one goal.

I was elated to finally be on the verge of "marking out a straight path for my feet" and "running with endurance the race."  There's amazing power in a focused life, and I was thrilled to be finally stepping out of the boat...putting action to these restless feet.

But, instead, the answer clear as day was: NOT YET.  STAND STILL.  

My husband's advice was to stand still.  Oh how hard it is to submit when I'm just super sure that I'm on the right track!

Last night, just after this apparent "blow" was delivered to me (oh how it smashed my plans and ideas to bits...I felt like I was holding shattered remnants), I went to bed and just before turning off the light, I opened up a devotion book my mom had recently given me.  I opened to the April 19th page and found the message to be "STAND STILL."

Oh how I struggle with standing still!!  I want action.  I want movement forward.  But everywhere I turn is the same message: STAND STILL.

"Stand still---keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, 'Go forward'." ---from Streams in the Dessert devotional

If I were having to stand still, awaiting my own selfish ladder-climbing, I think I'd be okay.  But the ever-present tugging on my spirit of all the souls who are going into eternity without hope...THAT just spurs me onward as a pressing need that I simply cannot forget.  How can I stand still while I COULD be doing something??

Ahhhh, it hits me...  It is not ME who does the work.  I enter into His rest.  I enter into HIM.  It is HE who does the work.  It is me who is a utensil for His use.  HIS use.  HIS timing.  I picture myself as a willing servant sitting on a stool, awaiting orders.  When I hear His voice, I jump up to do whatever He calls me to do.  HIS missions.  HIS work.  And when He bids me to rest, I must rest.  A rest that only comes by entering into Him and abiding...simply abiding...and trusting Him fully to know what is best.  And yet ready...always that when He gives direction, I'm able to jump up and GO, no matter where or what the assignment is.

It is not that I need to help God out.  Really, who do I think I am to ever think He needs my help??  NO, it is because He has chosen to love me that I CHOOSE to let Him spend me however He sees fit.  And if that means that today He is calling me to rest, who am I to make other "more active" plans?  

And when the day comes when an open door stands before me, who am I to question that door?  No matter how inconvenient or how different from my plans, let me always be willing to say, "YES, LORD."  To wait when He says wait, to rest when He says rest, to go when He says go.  And to always always devote more time to prayer than to plans.

I leave you with this video and the wise words: "The grace of God evokes the surrender of men."   

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