I am appalled at how disconnected I have been to my blog over the last 6 weeks—I have missed my outlet. Life has been far from normal, routine, and barely manageable; that is certain! In the last month and a half we have moved out of our apartment, put many books and belongings into storage, shipped boxes overseas, road-tripped from TX to VA, spent 2 weeks in Southaven, MS for Pre-Field Orientation, trekked back from MS to VA, and said goodbye (or as I said, “See ya later”) to so many friends and loved ones. Our schedule has been so hectic, we were unable to say farewell to many people: if you are in that category, please accept our apologies!
I have been listening to “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan (shout-out to Christianaudio for the FREE download!) while traveling, working out, and working from home/the road. My recent meditations and reflections thus spurring have been glorious. Not in a bright, happy-dance way, but in a humble, mourning-to-joy way. Sacrifice and redemptive change is never easy. The process of sinful shards being massaged from my clay heart is excruciating. I hate it, but I LOVE it! It hurts like crazy, but the end result is joyful sunshine breaking through the mourning storm clouds. One of the reasons I enjoy this tension is that it reminds me I am alive, that God is hardly finished with me yet because He is still pursuing my heart, challenging me to holiness.
What a crazy thought—the Holy Spirit lives intimately with
me. I am known inside and out, all the broken with the beauty. I grieve the Spirit when I do not respond to His voice. He leads, and when I do not follow, it breaks His heart! The scary part to me is, if you ignore the Spirit long enough, His voice will fade away; He may even stop whispering completely. I do not ever want that for myself, or any other believers.
When I am tempted to either do the wrong thing, or ignore the Lord telling me to do something good, this thought crosses my mind: “…to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin…” (James 4:17) This verse concludes a portion of Scripture where James addresses the concept of submission to the Lord and boasting in your future plans. I make plans all the time, every day—I am not alone in this: most people are the same. It is not wrong to make plans—Mason and I had very different plans for this phase of our lives (5 years in TX was our expectation—THAT changed!). Yet, it is wrong to grieve the Spirit by not following His leading when He directs you to act outside of your plans. Plain and simple, when the Spirit impresses you to do something, DO IT! Scripture calls us to direct obedience, not on your time frame, but His. When you ignore, refuse, etc. You are the one who is wrong and choosing to sin, regardless of what you think the results may be.
On a personal note: taking the steps we have had to tread recently has challenged my courage, faith, dependence on the Lord, trust in Him to provide for our daily needs, and has brought me to my knees over and over. I cannot even articulate the extent of the Lords molding my heart and breaking “me”.
How do you respond when you know the right thing to do, but don’t want to do it?
What do you do to resolve the differences in your plans and God’s leading?