Only be strong and courageous

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

God never leaves. In today’s Jesus Calling author Sarah Young writes that “most of mankind’s misery stems from feeling unloved. In the midst of adverse circumstances, people tend to feel that love has been withdrawn and they have been forsaken. This feeling of abandonment is often worse than the adversity itself.”

I will add to that that it is my experience that society not only recognizes our vulnerability to feelings of abandonment in the midst of adverse circumstances, society preys on it and uses that vulnerability to motivate specific actions. I have certainly experienced this- the giant and his cohorts have tried to manifest that during the struggle- and I have had fleeting moments of subscribing to their efforts. I try to spot it as soon as it happens. I have to really check myself and as soon as I start for the muck I have to recognize it, stop, and open my Bible- I have marked specific passages to read when I am vulnerable and the one above is the first one I go to. As a Christian we have the strength to put up a the shield and deflect that manipulation because we know that God never abandons His children- not for a moment. God never leaves; He has engraved me on the palms of His hands.

” No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Only be strong and courageous!” Joshua 1:5, 9, 18

In Streams of the Desert J.H. McC writes about consecration and the fears he had about aspects of his life that he might lose or have to give up if he were to consecrate himself to Jesus. “Yet when I saw the darling plans which might be baffled, of the cherished hopes to be surrendered, and the chose profession which I might have to abandon- I was afraid.

I did not see the better things God had for me, so my soul was shrinking back; and then for the last time, with a swift rush of convicting power, came to my innermost heart that searching message:

“My child, you can trust the Man that died for you. If you cannot trust Him, whom can you trust?”

That settled it for me, for in a flash I saw the Man who so loved me as to die for me could be absolutely trusted with all the concerns of the life He had saved. Friend, you can trust the Man that died for you. You can trust Him to baffle no plan which is not best to be foiled, and to carry out every one which is for God’s glory and your highest good. You can trust Him to lead you in the path which is the very best in this world for you.”

Living a life that is consecrated means, to me, relinquishing complete control and letting God do His work in and through me without my complaining or needing an explanation. The struggle has been going for nearly 5 years in some aspect or another. There were so many times that I turned it all over to God and then I would go back to the cross and pick up the burden and mull it over again- I remember asking “Why!?!?! I remember asking God to take it, to resolve it, to fix it” (not part of the consecrated life). This process repeated for I don’t know how long until one night I woke up with an image of the red sea parted and felt the urge to lay that burden down on the sand and watch as the water washed over it and let it be…gone. That was the last time that I ever picked the burden back up and let it hurt me- but it took me several times to actually complete that action. Even though the struggle is still here, the component of the struggle that bruised me is not- that part is buried deep beneath the sea. God is in complete control of the struggle, and even of the giant, and I no longer ask for an explanation.

Intimacy says, “God, here is my heart. I am willing to unwrap myself before You- my soul, my spirit and everything I am. I want You to know there is nothing I am holding back.” This is a personal relationship. This is true intimacy. -Walking With God, Life Principle #1

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