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Being Made New

It is so interesting to me the molding process that is taking place in my heart.  I’m at a point right now where it is not necessarily pleasant.  I don’t enjoy some of the emotions that I feel deep inside as I know that God is molding my heart.  Following God is NOT easy.  Salvation is free, but following God costs everything.  It is a very very good thing, but it utter death to my humanity.

I have known since I was a child that God called me to be a missionary.  I have sought to follow Him as best I knew how at the time ever since.  Even knowing God’s will for my life (at least the bigger picture), my strong personality shows through in my relationship with Him.  I am a fighter, and it is an inner battle to allow God to work in my life.  Sometimes I wonder why it is so difficult for me to want what He wants all the time because I know that He is good and I know that what He does is good.  I guess it is just not comfortable.

I am living in Peru right now as a missionary in training.  We will be in training until the end of March.  We are going through Spanish school and also training with a missionary team here in Arequipa.  We have been here for almost three weeks, and emotionally it is starting to become a reality that we are not going to be heading back to the States for a long time.  I cannot begin to describe how in every way but emotionally I am completely fine with it.  In fact, emotionally I am fine with it for the most part, but there is a nagging restlessness in my spirit.

I have come to find that in my relationship with God, restlessness is not a bad thing, but rather it is a good thing.  The greatest times of growth that I have experienced with God have been in the times of restlessness.  I guess it’s the pressure the dentist tells you that you’re going to feel as he pulls the bad tooth.  My teammate David gave a devotional today based out of Philippians 4:4 about rejoicing in the Lord always, and I am reminded of that in this situation.  This restlessness is not comfortable, but it is good.  It is good because God is at work and He always brings about things that are good.  I must learn to rest in Him, even through these times.  Just like the potter molds and shapes clay, so we are in the hands of God.  His masterpiece is always stunning.

We sang some songs today during our Bible study.  Some of the words really spoke to me.  Here are a few snapshots of lyrics:

Come Thou Fount
“O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.”

This verse is so rich with meaning.  I have learned more lately about my humanity and my tendency to want to run away or pull away from God, and it is my prayer that His goodness will bind my heart to Him.  I pray that He might seal my heart with His personal seal for His purposes and His Kingdom.

Jesus Paid It All
“I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in me thine all in all.’

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone
Can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.
And when before the throne I stand in Him complete,
‘Jesus died my soul to save’ my lips shall still repeat.”

I have found that the only thing that has kept me going over the past couple months has been the time that I have spent in prayer.  There is nothing like following the will of God that makes you realize more your need for God Almighty.  I used to get upset when I heard the phrase that God is all that we need, but I know now that this is absolutely truth.  He has to be.  When He is all you have, you find that He is all you need.  He is the source of my strength.  I am looking forward to the day when I stand before Him complete; nothing lacking.  I want to be completely HIS.

Throughout this amazingly uncomfortable molding process, I choose to trust in God’s goodness.  I choose to give Him access to my heart, even though I may find that I do not want to.  Mark chapter 14 talks about Jesus’ time in the garden of Gethsemane praying to the Father just hours before His crucifixion.  He prayed that God might take the cup from Him, that if it were possible in any way for Him not to have to suffer what He knew was coming, He wanted that.  However, He said, “Not my will, but Your will.”  Even though He wanted more than anything to escape the suffering, He chose the will of the Father instead.  He took up His cross and surrendered Himself.  I want to follow Jesus, even when the road may be difficult.  I want to follow Him even when it requires that I take up a cross.  It is losing my life to Christ where I find the only true life.  One of my absolute favorite songs of all time is Hosanna by Hillsong.  I love the bridge of the song, and it is truly the prayer of my heart:

“Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity.”
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