Have you ever felt that stirring in your heart that seemed to indicate that the Lord was changing the way you thought or felt or reacted to certain things? Sometimes it can feel like your entire soul is in upheaval during the process. I have been living in this condition (more or less) for about two years.
I have wondered what it all meant. Why was I so restless? I would tell the Lord in prayer, “If You would just tell me what this is all about, and what it is that You want me to do, I’ll do it”. It was a sincere prayer that I thought I meant. However, now that He has begun showing me what all these stirrings mean I realize that I was not ready to respond. For the past two years He has been working in my heart to get me ready for this.
Not long ago I was reading the story of when Jesus called Matthew the tax collector to be His disciple. It says in Luke 5:27-28:
“After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.”
My attention was drawn to what seemed to be an unusual word order in verse 28. If I was telling the story I would have written it like this: “So he rose up, left all, and followed Him.” After all, don’t you have to actually get up before you can leave something?
But I think the Holy Spirit wanted to show me what He has been doing in my heart for the past two years. Before anyone can truly rise up and follow Christ, there has to be a leaving all that happens in the heart. Our possessions possess us. The familiar gives us a sense of security. Having something of our own allows us to feel independent. And all of these things need to be stripped away. For Christ would have us be possessed by Him, and find all our security in Him, and depend upon Him. But we are so tethered to this world, that unless He loosed us from these earthly shackles we would spend all our life desiring to rise up and follow, but never actually able to do it.
He has been in no particular hurry with me. Two years seems like an eternity to me, but the Lord has been willing to take this long to do such a work in my heart. He hasn’t asked me to leave my home and family, or to sell everything I have. But I do believe now (as I did when I was first born again), that this life of mine is no longer mine, and I cannot expect that it will be lived in a way that the world calls “normal”.
There is a battle, and for too long I have watched it from afar, fearful of the danger. But I have discovered that the safety of my hiding places is only an illusion and could possibly be the most dangerous place of all.
I thank the Lord for His patience with me and for His loving kindness and for the great blessedness there is in being a follower of His. And I look forward to what lies ahead………