Monday, March 22, 2010

Though He Slay Me

"Though he slay me, yet I will still hope in Him." 

 Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds. Faith being worked out into reality must experience times of unbroken isolation. Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, because a great deal of what we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him— a faith that says, "I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do." The highest and the greatest expression of faith in the whole Bible is— "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15). - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

What if this is as good as life gets?

If I never get married, have children, go to the nations, teach, preach, disciple, see people healed, set people free from bondage, will the promise of a future spent in the presence of God worshiping be enough?  Or, do I have an expectation of something from God beyond ALL that He has given me?  Is eternal life (truly living) enough of an exchange for me in exchange for this temporary life, which is not really living at all?

If I lay down my life over and over and over again and yet gain nothing in this life from it, will I still follow, will I still say "yes Lord, all I have is Yours?"

If I am overlooked by everyone and everything, will I believe that I am not overlooked by the one who matters?  Will that be enough for me?

If I never see one promise, word or dream fulfilled, will I still trust that God is good, that He knows what He's doing?  Will I still believe that He has my best at all times and that THIS is His best for me?

What if I lose everything?   What if my health gets worse, I really do lose my house, have no friends, no ministry, and no job? 

What then?  Will I quit? Give up?  Curse God and die?

When I initially got saved I thought giving my life over to the Lord was just a one-time and you're done kind of thing. I am realizing more and more just how backwards that way of thinking is.  In reality, giving my life over to the Lord that first time was really just that: the first time.

In our lives the Lord takes us to a point over and over again where He asks us: "Is your life really mine?"  We are forced through circumstances and trials and decisions to decide once again.  The thing is, it really is a choice. We have the choice to answer Him again and again, "Yes Lord, it's yours."  We also have the choice to say, "No Lord, it's not."

Initially, that first response was pretty easy.  I got to exchange a life of death and destruction for eternal life.  That's a no-brainer.  I gladly laid down my life as best I knew how back then.  That's the joy of salvation.  That's our first love.

I have found that the further in the race I run from that initial starting gun my legs start to get fatigued, and I am asked to carry more weight, and I'm shown more clearly just what this race I'm in looks like. I can get to a point where I just want to slow down just a little, or stop altogether.  Sometimes, I'll be honest, I'd even like to go backwards just a little.

I hear the Lord whisper to me: "Beloved, are you going to quit?  Are you going to stop?  Or, are you going to continue to lose what you cannot keep?"

If He asks for everything, I will still trust in Him.

If everything points to His character being anything but perfect, I will still believe that He is.

Though He slay me, yet I will still hope in Him.

That is my prayer.


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