A few years after I was saved, I couldn’t stop talking about the Gospel and the Lord’s many amazing testimonies in Church. I wanted to tell everyone of the Good News, of the new life, of the wonderful grace that is freely given by the Lord Jesus Christ to whosoever will. I had that genuine desire to win souls: to let everyone obtain mercy, renewal, restoration. But as the years dragged on and as I waited for the opportunity to stand and testify and tell of the wonders and goodness of God, I later realized that the zeal was slowly wearing out.
If other Christians would be totally honest, they must have also experienced this in varying degrees one time or another. For me , it’s not that it’s completely gone but it has been dwarfed by other pressing concerns like health, family, home improvement plans and activities, and some interacting on the side (and by that I mean Facebook time :)).
I know that the fervor of my love for the Lord has not waned, and I owe it all to Him. It’s His grace. But I hate it when I feel affected by what I see and hear outside of my small world (my small world consists of my service to the Lord through daily praise and worship, Bible reading, and writing ministry, and family). Those things that try to dilute my pure desire to follow the Lord all the way. Not that these have succeeded to lure me away from following the Lord closely but I hate what they do to my heart: wrapping it with wistfulness, making it yearn, though only for a few moments, for the glittery life I had before.
I don’t want that to happen. I want that my heart is fully geared in following the Lord, not just the words of my mouth or of my writings. I want that there’s no part of it yearning for other things that are outside of the will of the Lord and have no impact on eternity. I wonder why the natural sway of the heart is to stray, and if not for God’s enduring mercy and endless grace…
Just a few nights ago, I was pondering on these things: how the Lord had taken me out of that glittery life and made known to me the paths He had walked: dusty feet and worn-out sandals on dirt road, bringing the Gospel of salvation to the poor, the bound, the sick and the suffering. He had nowhere to lay His tired head (Mat. 8:20). His life was far from glittery, yet, His light dazzled multitudes. His light shone as He modeled sacrificial love, compassion and humility.
It was supposed to be this simple: He wants His followers to walk as He walked, separate from the glamour of this world. But these eyes and this heart are not single (Mat. 6:22). Did I really think that a true Christ-follower could straddle the kingdom of God and the world? Yet, I see people who profess to be Christians but they show off the plush life: ostentatious display of diamonds, pearls and gold, sexy gowns, ultra-expensive shoes and bags. In this, I cannot see one single similarity with Christ.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Mat. 6:24)
So, I pondered and I prayed, begging the Lord to put into my heart a genuine desire to win souls, to sincerely value their salvation, to draw them away from the gaping mouth of hell and lay them at Jesus’ feet.
And He gave me this:
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:24-25)
But if it dies, it produces much grain.
If one wants to truly follow the Lord Jesus, do His will and bear much fruit – one must be willing to die. When a Christian dies to everything that is outside of the will of God – all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) – that’s the time he produces much fruit.
Only in the dying can we find life. Only in laying down this life can we become fruitful Christians. This is the will of God for us.
Linked to Titus 2sday, Encourage My Heart, State of the Heart, Teach Me Tuesday, Domestically Divine, Women Living Well, Women in the Word Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty