I am doing Beth Moore's study on James and the last paragraph in today's study was phenomenal. It said, in reference to living a purposeful existence...
You don't live this kind of life accidentally. You make up your mind who you want to be and daily die to the rest. You surrender yourself to living in the tension where you'll always be stretched and often be broken. Religion pure and undefiled is grit without the grime. You accept that far easier ways to live exist, but you were born for nothing less!!
Oh how I love this! Oh how it resonates deep within my heart, so much so that it is like a gong going off in my depths!!
Tim has been out of town for a week. He has been in spring training with the Kansas City Royals, shamelessly and relentlessly sharing the truth of the Word. He is given free reign to do so by the powers that be with the Royals and lives are being changed. 2 of the top prospects for the Royals and one of their girlfriends have surrendered their lives to the Lord in the last 2 days. Countless others are being challenged to up the ante and live with abandon. What is happening there will echo throughout eternity. It is amazing, it is life-changing, but it is not without its challenges.
Ministry like this is always met with fierce battles in the heavenly realm. If we think that the enemy is going to relinquish his hold on those who have been his followers without a fight then we are crazy. Believe me, the battle has been raging here at home and it has been quite chaotic at times. Broken bones, bones that were thought to be broken, death of a friend's parent, moments where argumentative spirits rise to the top, bug infestation...crazy stuff! In the midst of it all, though, there is peace because it is so ridiculously over the top that it has satan's fingerprints all over it and sometimes just recognizing it for what it is makes all the difference.
I have reminded myself on numerous occasions this week that "greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world". What a comfort it is to be able to allow the truth of His word to clothe you in peace while the battle rages around you. Do I wish that my week had been a little less fraught with doctor co-pays and such? Absolutely!! Words like those quoted above remind me, though, that I wouldn't want to live any other way. The stretching, the breaking...it's part of the molding and being conformed to His image. It is not without its difficulties, but the eternal rewards make it impossible to walk away from.
Lord, thank You for the strength and the eternal perspective You have given this week. Thank You for the lives who have been changed for all eternity, including my own. Thank You for the timely reminder that I was born for nothing less and obedience in what You have laid out is better than any perceived sacrifice I could conjure up on my own. May we continue to live our lives with conviction and purpose, knowing that what we see here is nothing compared to what will echo for all eternity.