Wednesday, April 3, 2019 -
If you believe God put me in prison merely to be a blessing to others that is only partially true. For I am convinced He has me here also for another purpose, to learn and grow in Him and His Word. Of this, I have become truly convinced. For never would I have willingly taken otherwise such extensive portions of each day reading and studying God’s Word, and listening to His voice through His Spirit. For what He may be preparing me for, other than my own edification, I know not, nor can I speculate. That is entirely up to Him. But I feel unworthy even to be called His child - - that He should die for me.
Much of what I say in these ramblings may be repetitive day by day, and for that, I apologize. Yet, if I repeat myself, it must mean God has impressed upon me its importance. Each three to four days I mail these thoughts off to Kathie, and from that moment have little if no recollection of what I may have previously said.
And with that, I have faint remembrance that perhaps I’ve covered this topic before, but here it is again laid upon my heart, and so I share it with you. My friend “C,” who miraculously came to the Lord in repentance from a life of self-pleasure, wanton lifestyle, addictions, violence, and sheer misery, in prison isolation after his life had hit bottom, actually is a teacher and encourager to me.
It seems every time we study the Scriptures together, “C” reminds me of the one word that should exemplify the life of a true Christian - - obedience.
And this is so very true. I see it reinforced over and over again as I read through the history of Israel and Judah that we find in the first half of the Scriptures. Everything seems to hinge on the obedience of God’s people. Life versus death, health instead of disease, prosperity instead of drought, famine, and calamity. Peace instead of war. Victory instead of defeat. Joy and happiness rather than despair and sorrow. Confidence and courage rather than dread. Wisdom and knowledge rather than confusion. However, with obedience comes other characteristics and attributes we find clearly portrayed throughout these Scriptures. God blessed when the people and leaders turned to God for direction. When they forgot God, and did what they thought right in their own eyes, and did not seek His direction and advice, His blessings and victory were not there! This is so very evident as we witness it over and over again.
And this is a shortcoming, trusting in our own judgment rather than seeking God’s direction, becomes prevalent the better and easier life becomes for us. That’s when pride can easily set in, as it did for many of the kings of Israel and Judah. They start out well, seeking God for direction, and God blesses them in every way, until one day they skip the step of asking God first whether they should do something specific, or make war against some enemy. This often leads to their downfall and destruction. Look at the examples of Saul or Joash.
Jesus Himself reiterated this principle when Peter began to doubt his trust of the Lord to keep him afloat when walking upon the Sea of Galilee. As soon as Peter’s faith began to waver, he began to sink.
And, as “C” constantly reminds me in so many instances where we are reading the Scriptures together, it all comes back to obedience. For obedience is predicated on our love for our Savior, Who gave Himself for us. And hence we should give our lives willingly to Him in complete obedience - - out of a true-life that never wants to destroy the intimacy God intended for us to have with Him.
This is why God compares our relationship with Christ as that of a bride. For we are the bride of Christ. He is the perfect Groom, who gave His life for His bride. This “submission” or obedience out of sheer love, is the picture of the marriage God intends between man and wife. For a husband must love his wife as God loves His church. This is a sobering thought for us husbands. But now, once again, I am rambling on into another topic, so I will close for today. Thank you for reading here what God is teaching me. Thank you for your prayers on my behalf!