Monday, February 22, 2016, 5:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “Believe Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Luke 10:38-42 (ESV).
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
The Lord Jesus has been speaking to me personally about some things this month, preparing my heart, I believe, for what lies ahead.
First of all, the Lord had given me multiple songs to write between April of 2011 and June of 2014, and then there were no more songs, so I thought I was finished with songwriting. Then, after a year and a half of no new songs, he started to give me songs to write again. There seemed to be a central theme throughout these new songs. They seemed to nearly all contain words of encouragement and hope for those going through troubled times. In nearly every one of them is an encouragement to not be afraid, but to trust God, to believe in his promises, and to know that he will never leave us or forsake us.
We are to know that he will give us all we need to endure, to persevere, and to remain steadfast in our faith. He will empower us from on high and give us the strength we need to keep on sharing Christ with others, too, and to believe him for changed lives. As well, we are to believe in his sovereignty over all things, and to trust him with the details. In addition to all this, we are to be steadfast in hope, patient in affliction, and constant in prayer. We are also to walk in the Spirit, in his holiness and righteousness, and never give up hope!
The Bible lessons from each day, as well, in many cases, seemed to follow a similar theme. A lot of them had to do with launching out into the deep, and going to the other side, to places where we have not been before. There will be troubles and hardships, but spiritual blessings, as well. And, when these troubles come, we are not to be afraid, but we are to rest in our Lord. Martha was troubled about many things. She sweated the details, but God taught her she must do as Mary did. She must rest at his feet, trust in him, and learn from him. Our God is completely faithful, and in faithfulness he will lead us. We just need to sit at his feet each day and let him teach us his ways, so that we will walk in them.
Preparing My Heart
Early in the month I had read a passage of scripture from Luke 12, because the Lord had given me a song titled, “Fear Not, Little Flock.” That particular phrase came from that passage of scripture. Right after the verse, in which he tells his sheep not to be afraid, for God had given them the kingdom of heaven, we read that he told them to sell their possessions and to give to the needy, and to not store up treasures here on this earth, but to lay up treasures in heaven. I felt God was speaking to me personally, and that he had a message for me here, so I began to inquire of the Lord as to what he had for me, and what he wanted to teach me through this passage of scripture. As well, I shared my thoughts with my husband for him to also consider what this might mean for us and for our future.
In the days that followed the discussion my husband and I had together, on the subject of how God might want to apply to our lives Luke 12:32-34, the Lord began to speak to me about birth pains (Mark 13). False shepherds of the people will come and will lead many astray. We will be brought before religious and world leaders, and will be persecuted because of our testimony for Jesus Christ. They will plot our demise, and the destruction of the gospel of our salvation. Even our family members and neighbors will turn against us and will betray us. Many will fall away and will deny that they even know Jesus Christ. These things are already taking place. But, we are not to be afraid of what will happen to us, or of the kinds of things we must most certainly suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ, but we must go where he sends us, and say what he wants us to say, for he will be with us and will help us. He will give us boldness to speak out and to not fear what humans may do to us.
Then, the Lord spoke to my heart from Jesus’ words to Peter when he told him to “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” I felt as though the Lord was calling me to go beyond where I am now, with him, and in ministry, but I don’t know where yet. I just knew I was to listen for his voice and to respond in obedience to whatever he called me to do, and to go wherever he would send me. And, I knew it had to do with catching fish, not literally, but figuratively, i.e. in relation to sharing the gospel with people beyond where I have been sharing it. And, the encouragement was to not ever be ashamed of him or of his words. He reminded me of his all sufficiency for me, and that he is enough for all that I will ever need. As well, he reminded me of his Lordship over my life, and what that means, which means he is my master/owner, and I am his servant/slave. My life is no longer my own. I was bought back for God by the blood of Christ shed on the cross for my sins.
Next Jesus took me down memory lane when he reminded me of my life and where I have been and where he has taken me, and how I learned of his absolute sovereignty over every aspect of my life. He brought to recall how everything I have gone through in my life has all been in preparation for his calling on my life, to prepare me for what he had planned for my life even before the creation of the world (Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20). And, he told me again that those who have been forgiven much are able to love much, because they truly understand the riches of God’s grace in saving them from their sins and in freeing them to walk daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. And, they are able to be much more compassionate and patient with others who are battling sin’s deceitfulness, while not condoning or accepting the sin, but working to restore others to a right relationship with God, sometimes having to exercise tough love in order to rescue people from the flames.
Now my Lord was speaking to me about being ready to suffer for the sake of his name and for the sake of his gospel. I have suffered plenty already, but I believe he was letting me know it is soon going to get much worse, so I must be ready to die for the sake of his name, and for the sake of his gospel message of freedom from slavery to sin.
We can already see the rumblings of this persecution in the news and in certain world leaders’ public speeches. They are building a case for making the preaching of the gospel of our salvation a hate crime, because it is not all inclusive, embracing all walks of life and all religions, but it teaches that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and to heaven, and that believing in Jesus as our Savior means death to sin and living to righteousness.
The gospel confronts people with sin, warns of judgment, calls people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and promises hope and healing for those who turn from their sin to follow Jesus Christ with their lives; for those who trust in Christ’s blood sacrifice for our sins so that we can be delivered out of slavery to sin by the power of the Spirit, so that we might become servants of Christ’s righteousness. Jesus’ followers are now being tagged as intolerant, bigoted and hateful, and world powers believe we must be stopped.
Am I Willing?
After the Lord showed me all of this, he spoke to me, asking me if I am willing to leave the comforts of my home to go with God to the regions beyond – to the unknown – whatever that may mean for me. He asked me if I would truly give it all up to follow him, i.e. house, land, possessions, and even children and grandchildren, i.e. to leave them all behind. He asked me, “If I say to walk away from it all, will you?” He asked me if I would follow him wherever he led me. The passage of scripture I was reading was Luke 9:57-62 about the cost of following Jesus. I prayed through all these questions, and thought about the implications of them all, and I yielded my life over to the Lord once again, and chose to trust him that he knows what is best for me. Now, I am married, so whatever the Lord calls me to do must be something my husband and I agree on together or it will not happen.
At this point, my husband and I are talking about our future and about what the Lord has for us in the days to come. I am 66 and he will be 65 soon. The Lord brought to mind that song, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go.” Some of the lyrics are, “It may not be on the mountain’s height, or over the stormy sea; it may not be at the battle’s front my Lord will have need of me; but if by a still, small voice He calls to paths I do not know, I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Yours, I’ll go where You want me to go” (by Mary Brown). Then, I read in Luke 10, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” I just kept hearing the word “go,” including in the next passage where it said, “Go, and do likewise,” as the Good Samaritan had done.
So, next were questions like “What?” “Where?” and “How?” And, this is where we are right now, and so the Lord is encouraging me through today’s passage that I need to not sweat the details, as Martha was doing. I need to not get distracted or bogged down with all the preparations, or details, but I need to sit at his feet, rest in him, like Mary did, and trust him to lead in this and to show us where he wants us, and what he has for us to do, and when. Sometimes when the Lord says, “Go,” it is immediate, but sometimes he is just preparing our hearts to be ready for when he does move, so that we will go with him wherever he sends us. Instead of getting worried or troubled over the details of where he might be leading us, or where it is that ultimately we will end up, or what that will mean for us, we must believe him and rest in him to show us the way, and then for us to follow his lead.
Believe Him / An Original Work / July 15, 2013
My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.
“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.
“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.
“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”