Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trust -> Perfection -> Love

Two months since last time - they went by like two days - but I finally managed to get in a 2 1/2 hour drive so I could go see my horse again. 


After that long, I didn't want to just jump on and ride, so instead I brushed, led, lunged, and then just played around with her. 
Playing around ended up meaning I tied a rope to the saddle horn with a orange cone tied to the other end of it and got her running circles in the arena. 


Now, some horses would absolutely freak out when they realized an orange piece of plastic was "chasing" them around, or when the rope started slapping against their side, or when they felt the jerk against the saddle. 


It being Rio, I didn't expect much of a reaction, and it being Rio, I didn't get much of a reaction. 
(That horse... I once wrote a paper on "My Dream Horse" - and you would not believe how closely she matches. :D )


She trusts me... and so I'm beginning to trust her. 


Which suddenly reminded me, standing there in the arena, of Job chapter 1. 
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?



Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Job trusted God... and so God trusted him, to the point of taking away every single thing he possessed to show Satan that,
 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
That might seem kind of scary... but really, isn't it actually exciting? See, there are certain passages of the Bible that always give me a kind of thrill.


That one above:
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
and:

Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD... Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
and this one:
And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent.
and then this one, because of all the people in the Old Testament, these were the three singled out by God in Ezekiel 14:
Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.
The Bible says 
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
All my life I've heard, "That command is just something to aim for, not something actually attainable. No one is perfect - you can't be." That's true, as far as:

There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
 goes, and certainly
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

But... that command is repeated several times in Scripture. More than that, Job was called perfect. Noah was called perfect. Daniel was called a man greatly beloved and grouped with both of the other two. 


Could I at least be as perfect as they were?

Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
What is there holding me back from being like them? 


From spending my life like this -
Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.


From being such an intercessor that I could be placed in Jeremiah 15 alongside these two -
Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.
(As heartbreaking as Jeremiah 15 and Ezekiel 14 are, I absolutely love how they pick out those who were seriously following God, and being who He wanted them to be.)

From being someone that He can trust with His plans, like He trusted Abraham -
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment. 
Or from being, like David, a person after God's own heart, or like John, a disciple that Jesus loves?

It's not what might happen to you if you truly become like them that is scary. 
Like the Jungle Doctor books I used to read all the time say: Who fears Jackal when Elephant is his friend? 
Being thrown into a lions' den, loosing your family, health, and living, watching every person you know except for those most nearly related to you die... all of that is nothing compared to what is gained by walking with God that closely. Like Paul said,
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord

No, what is scary is this:
You are as close to God as you choose to be.
Yikes. That means... 

It's just myself keeping me where I am. I can choose to be the one He designed me to be... I can choose to know Him the way He wants me to... I can choose to walk with Him.

Which leads to this:
The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Because... I can't. I think I want that more than anything... but just looking at all this I want to go, That's way too much work. It's so much easier being mediocre. 
But would I rather be one of the unnamed crowd who followed Jesus around as He worked miracles throughout Israel, believing that He was truly the Messiah - or the disciple whom Jesus loved, up with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration, beholding His glory and seeing Him as the Messiah? Is that quote true? Were Peter, James, and John closer to Him that even the rest of the 12 because they wanted to be closer to Him, or simply because He choose to reveal Himself to them? I think perhaps both... To quote a certain Lion:
You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you.
He gives me the choice... how do I want to respond? Easy to answer, hard to follow through. 

Impossible to follow through?

I don't know - I think for me it is. But I know that with God, all things are possible. And I know that these men did what they did because they loved Him. And I know that He has done all that He has done in my life because He loves me. And I know that He who began a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. He can bring me to that place... 

I only need to love Him.

To love Him enough to spend time in His word.

To love Him enough to listen when He speaks to me.

To love Him enough that I care about His people so much that I bring their needs and requests to Him eagerly.

To love Him enough that I will do anything to tell those who do not know Him about how amazing He is and all that He has done for us. 

I only need to love Him enough to let Him work in me. 


Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God...

1 thoughts shared:

Vicki said...

I often feel exactly this same way, especially lately. Right now, I feel like Hudson Taylor before his great spiritual revolution; he said that he continually lamented that he followed His Savior so half-heartedly and at such a great distance (to paraphrase), and that is how I feel. I want to be so much closer, and to experience so much more of His power and love. But I'm not always clear on how to get there, and when I do know, it's hard to overcome my own self.

I pray that the Lord would continue to help both of us come closer to Him. :-) It is good to know that He wants us close as much as we want to be close to Him, and He will help us if we are really open to His will - He promises so in James 4:8. We truly have an amazing God!

Love in Christ,
Vicki

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