December 25, 2012

Letting Go and Leaning Upon the Lord

Today, I made the decision to let go and lean fully upon the Lord. I have been stuck for a long while in this quasi-dependent state, not fully surrendered to the Lord, and not fully dependent on human hands (or job or plans). I have struggled with the tug and pull of the Lord, wrestling with Him, and finding I was only losing ground. There is no winning against the Lord Most High -- He always wins! PTL! He never gives up and He never gives in. He accomplishes His will and He does it regardless of how long it takes. I am lost without Him, and struggling against His Mighty Power is a no-win situation.

God has chosen a path for me to follow, and I am determined to follow it. I realize how stubborn I have been, like that willful child that says "Yes, Mom" and then goes her own way and does her own thing. My Heavenly Father has been patient with me, but now He has called me to account, and He has asked me to follow after Him. No more, "Yes, Daddy" and then turning away to my own devices. Now, I must say "Yes" and I must do what I have promised. I am called to pay my vows to the Lord, and so I must do it.

"When you make a vow to the LORD your God, be prompt in fulfilling whatever you promised him. For the LORD your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows, or you will be guilty of sin." Deuteronomy 23:21 NLT

and again

"Make vows to the LORD your God, and keep them. Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One." Psalm 76:11 NLT

and

"I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people--: Psalm 116:18 NLT

The Lord takes us at our word to Him, and that means if we vow (make a promise), He expects us to keep it (the Word says "promptly fulfill" which means NOW, and not later or whenever!) I made a promise to the Lord a very long time ago. I promised Him that I would follow after Him if He came and rescued me from the sickness in my life. That sickness was born out of sin, and it was something that had plagued me since childhood. I was ill to the point of losing my sanity. Yes, as a young teenager, I was close to having a nervous breakdown due to stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and chronic conditions that caused me great distress.

The Lord rescued me, and He healed me. He set my path before me and He asked me to follow after Him. I started out following, but quickly got sidelined by well-meaning and well-intentioned friends and family who didn't think it was right for a young girl (aged 16) to devote her life to God and not to the pursuit of a career or a husband.

I didn't really understand what I was saying back then, I just knew that I was sick, and that no one was helping me get better. The doctors wanted to hospitalize me, the healers and psychologists wanted me to be analyzed and set free from the tension they assumed was family-related (yes, and no). They told me what to do, but I was not able to confront the demons and other issues head on. I was young, and I was afraid -- and I was unable to do what they were asking me to do.

I hid mostly, and I buried the pain deep inside of me. I tried to talk to friends, and to family -- to no avail. I couldn't get anyone to listen to me, to really listen to the cry that was building up on the inside of me. Finally, I reached out to the only One I thought could listen, even though I didn't really know if He would listen to me. I found Him right when I needed Him most, and He saved me. He rescued me, and He gave me new life.

I struggled growing up, and I struggled with choices and making decisions. I was being pulled one way -- towards God. I was being convicted by Satan as well as by friends and family -- telling me to give up God, and choose instead the traditional route (go to school, get a career, find a husband). The Lord was asking me to devote my life to Him, to live single, and to follow after Him. I wanted so much to follow Him, and I tried so very hard to do so. 

Many years later, I was in a similar situation. I was ill from stress over years of frustration, of sadness, and of sorrow (sin filled life, unfulfilling marriage, and debilitating financial worry). I so desperately needed rescue, and I reached out a second time for the One who had saved me as a young girl. This time, I found Him, and He not only rescued me, but He restored my life and my soul. He took all that was shattered and broken in my life, and gave me something brand new. He tore away the tatters and the shreds of an old, dying life and gave me a new chance to follow after Him.

Once again, I made a vow to Him. I promised Him that I would follow Him, and that I would make Him the center of my life. I would live wholly devoted to Him. I have tried my best to keep my vow. I have made Him everything, and in return, He has graciously opened doors, provided income, and moved me into a life I could only imagine and dream. I have not always been faithful to follow after Him -- I have tried -- but I have struggled against some of what He has asked me to do. I have wanted to do it, but my flesh is weak, and often my flesh simply sat down in the dust and refused to move His way.

Today, I made the decision to stop behaving this way. I decided to stand up, and walk on after Him. I realized that I am nothing without Him, and that with Him, I am able to accomplish anything He desires for me to accomplish. Furthermore, I have come to the understanding that this is the life He has given to me. I cannot go backwards, I cannot make things be any different than they actually were -- no matter -- how much I long for them to be so. I am where I am today, and God is determined to take me to where He wants me to be in the future. It is a matter of tug and pull -- and either I am going willingly, or He is going to wrestle with me until I give up and get going. He wins, regardless, so it is better for me to go now and let this be, then to waste time, and end up battered and bruised from hitting my head against the IMMOVABLE FORCE of God.

My life is changing today. I am choosing to go this way rather than that way. I am choosing to be fully utilized as His instrument, and to know for certain that there is only one way now, and it is His way.

I am ready, Lord. Let's go, let's get going.

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