Sunday, December 26, 2010
3:43 p.m. Today's project was to attend second service at our church, Calvary Chapel of Moreno Valley. We had been tempted to sleep a little later after yet another 1:00 a.m. bedtime, but we went on ahead, even arriving early!
It's a shame that the snctuary wasn't full to overflowing, because Pastor John's message of saying "Yes" to the Lord no matter what He calls you to or asks of you was solid. The key scriptures, Matthew 9:27-31, where the blind men answer "Yes, Lord," to Jesus when He asked if they believe; John 11:25, where Martha answers "Yes, Lord," when Jesus asked her if she believed Jesus was able to raise Lazarus after his death; and John 21:15-22 when Peter answered, "Yes, Lord," when Jesus asked if he loved Him.
19th-20th century missionary to India, Amy Carmichael, wrote a devotional on this theme with the accompanying scriptures, Pastor told us. I remember reading a biography of her many years ago, and having copied a quote from her about obedience to the Lord that I kept in another devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, until the paper disintegrated. That book is on its last legs, too, I'm afraid!
I think that saying "yes" to the Lord begins back a bit further with what the boy Samuel was prompted to say by the old priest Eli when the Lord called him in the night : "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." (I Samuel 3:10b, KJV) And maybe obedience goes even another step back, back to sitting at the feet of the Lord in a quiet state of heart and mind, expecting the Lord to speak to us. After all, Sameul was told to lie back down in his bed and wait!
Waiting on the Lord in meditation, silence or prayer can have mega-powerful results! I am reading The Purple Pig and other Miracles, a Christmas gift from our son Steven that was assigned reading by one of his professors at Fresno Pacific (Christian) University, expanded from the first edition of 40 years earlier. The author, Dick Eastman, had led the movement of 24/7 prayer throughout the world, with a vision to reach every nation with the gospel. The Global Day of Prayer this last May 23rd, in which I participated online, was one outflow of Eastman's waiting quietly on the Lord in his backyard prayer closet! He writes,
Tears were flowing that day in prayer. I knew the Lord was calling me to a life of staying small in Him. I soon learned that the smaller we become in our own eyes, the bigger God becomes in what we see of Him and what he ultimately does in and through us. I thought of one of the most memorable quotes I've ever read regarding obedience and faithfulness. It was Mother Teresa who said, "God didn't call me to be successful; He called me to be faithful."
I can't wait to read the rest of Dick Eastman's book!
God will call a believer to the work He has for that person, be it in or outside of the home, the community, the county, state, nation or world. If one will wait, listen, allow God's Word to flow freely, "out of his heart will flow rivers of living water, " Jesus said in John 7:38. Let the Holy Spirit fill us and energize us to get up and obey!
We will be called, but will we listen? And if we listen, hear, and believe, will we act on God's call? In my own life, the effects of Alzheimer's on my husband Steve called me to a quieter life here in the home, and God arranged every detail to allow me to retire. Out of this retirement has come a book to be published in 2011, Galatians: A Call to Faith and Freedom.
2011 will bring more difficulties of all kinds as Steve's disease progresses, barring a miracle. But if God can in His grace bring a Bible study workbook to life and 2 decades of writing into fruition, He can give me the compassion and skills I'll need to go forward with Steve's care. That's a guarantee, because our God is faithful, and so He will ever be!
To me, the Christian life has been a 30+ year grand adventure, with heartaches and joys aplenty. I look forward to every day in great anticipation to see what God has planned for me. For every Christian who desires to go forward in his or her walk, and be used more and more for His kingdom, keep in mind Jesus' story of the faithful servant who was praised by his lord in Matthew 25:21,
Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."
Lord, I want to enter in!!