Sunday, December 12, 2010

Coming to the End of Herself

Alone on her bed, she cried out to God. Years of fruitless living filled her with despair. Where was God? Had He given up on her? Why did He not seem to answer her prayers? She felt so far from God, and so unclean. She remembered the early years when she surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. Words had leaped off the pages of the Bible and God felt so close, continually speaking to her through His word. Life became an adventure of joy and awe as she got know her God.

Strangely, years of addiction and broken relationships prepared her for God. She came to Him bankrupt and when He transformed her the change was dramatic. Yet now, she felt alone. What had she done to displease God, to lose His favour on her life? She’d been attending church, doing ministry things, trying to pray, trying to read her Bible, trying to help people and she was tired. She was tired of trying to live the Christian life. Tired of lacking joy. Tired of struggling to find peace. Just tired. In a desperate cry, she wept before the Lord, “Just kill me God, if this is all there is to Christianity. It’s no different than the world, in fact I feel worse than I did before I knew you. Just take my life. Kill me. I don’t want to live like this anymore. Help me see what I’m not seeing. I would rather die.”

It was about 3 am. She’d stayed in her bed for three days, crying out to God. For years, He seemed to ignore her prayers. Why would He answer her now? For years she had asked Him to make her holy, to show her the way to be clean again and accepted by Him. For years, He never seemed to answer. Tonight, in the very early morning she sensed God speak. As she lay in her bed, He seemed to say, “My child, you have already died. You have been crucified with Christ. You no longer live, but Christ now lives in you. You prayed for years for Me to make you holy. I didn’t answer those prayers because my work in you was done. I made you holy the moment I saved you. I killed you that day, removing the old spirit within you, and I gave you life. I gave you a new spirit and heart that was totally clean and righteous, set apart for Me. You kept praying for peace, and I didn’t answer that prayer because I had already given you My Peace. All of it. There is no more to give. I gave you My peace through My Spirit the moment I saved you. You have all of Me in you now. All my love. All my peace. All my joy. All my self-control. All the fruit of My Spirit is in you now. Then I sealed you in My love. I have given you Me. All of Me. I am in you and You are in Me. You live within me. You’ve been trying to gain something you already have. That’s why it’s been hard. That why you have struggled. Your salvation was a gift, not something you can try to get. I have transformed you, making you whole, to send you into the world to proclaim this good news. Just believe Me. It’s done. You are complete.”

She listened in awe, tears streaming down her cheeks, “So you mean I’m completely Holy?” Yes. “So you mean I’m pure and clean?” Yes. The words kept flowing back with clear assurance. “So you mean You never left Me? You are pleased with me and accept me? “Yes. “So you mean I’m not broken? I’m complete, totally complete?” Yes. Scripture began to flow through her mind, words she had read many times, but never really heard. His words pulsing with the reality of the life within her, flowing like a river cleansing away all doubt, all pain, all the despair of the past 20 years.

God seemed to whisper into her heart, “You are a new creation. You are complete in Christ. You are accepted and holy. Dearly loved. You are seated in heavenlies in Christ Jesus and you reign with Christ. You are clean. You are royal. You are a priest. You are my workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that I prepared in advance for you to do. You have abundant life now and this life is in my Son. I gave you the righteousness of my Son as a gift of my grace. I made you completely righteous from the day I saved you. I filled by Son with the fullness of who I am and you exist in Him and He is in you. You are engulfed in Me. I have set you free. Now go and proclaim this good news to others who live without hope in the world.”

Then with the impact of His Spirit, the words came to her, “But I will not share My glory with you. You cannot accomplish the work of God by your strength or design. I never intended for you to try to ministry, try to set captives free or bind up the brokenhearted. It’s impossible for you to transform a person, but it’s not impossible for Me. It is what I do. I set captives free; I heal the lame; I proclaim freedom to prisoners; I bind up the broken; I give life to the dead when I call them from the grave. It’s impossible for you. You cannot accomplish My work, through your efforts, but I will accomplish my work through you as you fully believe Me. Walk with Me as I set up My Kingdom. Be about My task, living for My will alone. Walk by faith, obeying My word, and you will do even greater things than My Son did on earth, but you will know it’s not you. You will know it’s Me in you and I will receive honour and glory through you. Word with me and I will work with you. We will work together to see my Kingdom established. We are now one.”

“Oh, God,” she cried, “You are so beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for what you have done. For saving me and making me complete. Use my life for Your glory, draw people to yourself through me Lord. I yield myself fully to You.” Sobs welled up inside her, spilling over onto her pillow, cleansing her, releasing the beauty of His Spirit within her, the beauty of who she really is, who she has always been in Christ. Unbelief fell away and joy rose up, surrounded by overwhelming peace. God has accomplished everything, and her life now had meaning and purpose beyond compare. No longer would she live for herself focusing on her own transformation, but for her King, walking with Him, learning from Him, moving in the world according to His will and plan. He will speak His gospel through her, transforming people around her, and vicariously she will grow and become more and more like her King. She will live for His pleasure alone, seeing His will done on earth as it is in heaven. What lies she had believed. What lies she had been taught. The struggle was over, the Truth was setting her free. Now she just needed to believe.

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