Anxiety filled my heart as I watched this documentary about an Irish family who gave themselves and all that they had to Christ and to the work he was doing in the Congo. How could they leave everything behind and go with God on a journey that would lead them into the unknown? I want to turn away as I watch. I don’t want to see played out before me the very same call that God has placed in my own heart to let go; to give my all to my Saviour and go with Him into the unknown.
It will probably never happen that I will be lined up with my family and friends and be made to stand with a gun pointed to my head, fearing for my life the way the McAllesters did, but I do fear for what will happen should I let go. I feel the assault against my idolatry of a life of comfort and control, and everything in me wants to protect it. It may not even be good. I may not even be happy, but this life that I am living is mine and I don’t want to let it go.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. ~ Matthew 16:24
The enemy of my soul is quite happy, I’m sure, to dump a heap of shame on my already saddened and burdened heart. He howls in my ears accusations of never being able to be what God wants me to be. Of being a failure. Of being a disappointment to the One who died to set me free. You will never let go, he says…
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
~ Romans 8:1-2
Why do I not want to let go, anyway? Why do I hold on to my life, to my things, to my desires and dreams with such a death grip that it keeps me locked in this cage of rebellion, unable to walk away even as Christ holds the door wide open inviting me to leave. Why would I rather stay chained to my sin than to walk in the freedom that is mine in Christ? I don’t know why. The answer is as simple as that, I just don’t know.
God is Faithful
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
Before me in this moment lies two paths and a choice to be made. Do I go where I have been going, even though I cannot come up with any rational reasons why I would want to, and give into the temptations that are bombarding me? Do I turn away, or do I dare to resist and look for my Father’s way of escape instead of mine? It is there, I feel it. Faith is stirring in this sinful heart of mine. It is burning within me because my God is faithful and He does what His Word promises. As much as I don’t want to admit it. The choice here is mine. Will I turn away and try to hide from God as the first couple did so long ago, or will I stand in faith and say yes to the Spirit stirring within me?
Yes God, I am weak and I need You.
Yes, I want to answer to Your call.
Yes I see, Lord, that even as I stand here desiring my sin more than I desire You, You are still faithful. You offer forgiveness. You do more than that, You remind me that I am already forgiven. I look at me and I see failure. Failure because of this struggle, but You look at me and see Christ. Even in the midst of my sin, I am loved. I am offered grace. I am welcomed into the arms of your Son. Because of who You are. Because of what He has done.
Yes, Lord, I may never be called to the Congo, but I am called to You. So here I am. Choosing faith. Choosing You. Choosing life.
See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-20