But God I Don’t Want to
“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2
The phone rang. I was busy. I glanced at the number of the person calling. I didn’t pick up. Here we go again. Years of this. In and out of my life. Sometimes like a raging tornado. Other times quietly. Often a nightmare. Always disappearing. Weaving in and out of my life. Heartache. How long had I dealt with this? How much more? Six words came to me. Prompted by God’s Spirit. I am a servant of God. For years, in my mind, the situation had been all about me. About my discomfort, my heart, my feelings, my hurt, what I wanted, what I needed, me, me, me. God was reminding me as I had finally come to understand I am Christ’s servant. My life now is about HIM and loving others through HIM. I knew what I needed to do. I went to my prayer room and dropped to my knees. I started praising God. He spoke before I even sought Him. Call him back. Listen. And love. My God! This went exactly against what my flesh would have done. I would have tried to avoid or delay calling him back, or called him back with a judging, prideful, condemning heart and made a mess with my big mouth. But God’s Spirit had been moving mightily in my heart through His Word for quite some time now.
Had I not just hours before been talking to a friend about how Christ’s followers must deny themselves and live for Him? Had I not been writing devotionals about this? Had I not been telling the world how much I love Jesus? Did Jesus not say those who truly love Him obey Him? Had I not been crying out to God to help me to glorify Him? Had I not said for years I wanted God to use me? This wasn’t about what my flesh wanted or what my flesh might suffer. This was about loving and serving God and being His vessel.
This time, unlike in the past, without debate, argument, resistance, or delay, I obeyed. I said a simple prayer and returned the call. I listened. He needed someone to talk to, and he needed godly counsel. Instead of judging, condemning, controlling, manipulating, and being rude and unloving, I listened, prayed for him, gave him scriptures, and told him we could talk soon but that I needed to leave him with those scriptures and that I would pray for him. For in the humility God had given me, I knew the answer for my loved one, for me, and for us all, is the Lord, His Spirit, and the Bible. I am nothing more than a vessel saved by God’s love, mercy, and grace who is learning to deny myself, lay down my life, and live for Christ.
The suffering of denying my flesh is nothing in light of the exceedingly indescribable joy of knowing the Lord ever more intimately as day by day He conforms me to His glorious image! Do you know this joy?