Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5
My prayers have recently turned towards submission. I have an intense desire to submit to the Lord and for Him to use me for His service. I have asked Him to use me, I have offered myself to Him, I have cried for Mercy. Yet, I am not being used in the way I had hoped. He is definitely doing something in my life but I cannot see exactly what or where He is leading me.
Just today, I had an opportunity to give money to someone who was begging near our neighborhood grocery store. I really didn't have any cash to spare and generally I do not give money to strangers. I don't have a Biblical reason for not doing this and I do know what the Bible says about caring for our neighbors, etc. I guess part of me is scared to embrace, even from a distance, a person in need. Maybe it is my unwillingness to let go of my own money (which this month is in short supply). I am not sure but I believe this was a test of my faith today and I failed it.
One of the verses that has come back to my memory has been the command that we love the Lord with our whole heart and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. I also remember the story of the rich young ruler who wanted to get into heaven but couldn't part with his riches. I think the Lord is asking me just how much I am willing to give up to love Him and follow Him. My heart and my head has said "yes, Lord, I will follow you" for many years, but I think this is different. I think this is the real moment when the "rubber meets the road" and the question is posed by Him directly:
"Peter, How much do you love me?"
I love you Lord with my whole heart and I am willing to do as you ask -- for your good will, for your good pleasure, for your delight.