Looking back on how the Lord has worked in my heart has led to a new discovery that I pray might be helpful to any sister struggling on the way with the Lord!
When You Can’t See
When we are born from above, we are babies. We have to literally learn everything over again. That takes time. We have to “unlearn” what we already learned for however many years we were on earth, and learn a whole new way of life in Christ. This takes time.
But as babies in Christ, if our heart is truly set on the Lord, and doing His will, He will begin to show us things pertaining to His ultimate desire for us in Christ. And we will see what the object is that He is aiming at, but we will be very blind as to how or what the Lord is doing to bring this about.
When the Lord reveals His purpose to us that His desire is to conform us to Christ through the application of the Cross to our soul, it sounds easy and it is understandable when we see that the Lord will have us LET GO of our life for His sake, and find it in Him alone.
But then the Lord starts APPLYING the Cross, by causing all kinds of war in our very hearts — the Spirit against the flesh! And we begin to feel “not right” about things in life, and we start to feel totally lost and like we don’t understand what the Lord is seeking to do in us when it is like this.
He’s Ridding Our HEARTS
So often in the beginning of our life in Christ, the Lord makes plain to us certain things we need to stop doing, and certain people we need to say good bye to. And He grants the strength and grace we need in those seasons of new change to literally walk away from destructive things and people. He gets a hold of our hearts and puts it in us to walk away from what we know to be against His will for us.
But so often, the outward things had very deep roots embedded in our hearts, and the real work the Lord begins to do after the outward removal is to remove these things that are deep within our hearts!
In this deep work the Lord seeks to do, He will often remove the outward things that is hindering Him having His place in our life, but the thing will still have a place in our hearts!
And it is this heart attachment that the Lord seeks to remove in us.
Let’s get to the practical outworking of this.
Take money (and you can replace money with ANYTHING or ANYONE in life) for example.
Often when we are learning in the Lord, we come to a place where we sense the Lord is wanting us to give up our “rights” to our money, and recognize that it is all from the Lord’s grace, and that it belongs to Him. And He would have us take the attitude that, “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away”.
At this point, we have recognized with our mind that the Lord would have us hold money “loosely” and not serve money as our god. So we then offer Him our lip service, and let Him know that “all is His” and that we are not serving money, but Him now.
He may even lead us to stop spending money on unnecessary things (outward change) or give money to those in need (outward change). At this point, it may seem as though money has no place in our heart or life as our god or the thing we desire so much.
But the Lord knows how blind we are, and how deceived our own hearts are.
He knows what we need and what experiences we have to go through in order to TRULY rid our hearts of this thing that we have offered up with our lips to God only!
His Spirit in us may even lead us to pray that the Lord rids our hearts of this thing, the love of this thing.
And perhaps months, or maybe even YEARS have gone by, and then when the time is appointed by the Lord, He allowed something drastic perhaps to happen, which ultimately ended in you losing any hope in money you had, or any ability to earn money.
He may allow us to lose the thing we THOUGHT we had no attachment to, in order to prove what was truly in our hearts!
Sometimes, it doesn’t take out right disaster to show us how we have only given the Lord lip service. Sometimes, the Lord only has to take us through some little threats or losses here and there, but it is enough to rid our hearts of any attachment we might have had for the thing.
Lip service turns into a truly surrendered HEART when we no longer have any place in our heart for the thing!
When disaster strikes, great or small, we can say, “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away”, and have no other reaction! That is when our heart is truly ridden of the thing, and the Lord has His place in our hearts that He deserves.
That’s What He Is Aiming At!
All in all, that is what He is aiming at with us through these weird things we go through in life! He is aiming at us having a heart WHOLLY FOR HIM and His will! He wants our hearts to be free from the love of all other things that replace love for HIM!
It is very easy, in fact, it costs NOTHING to offer God lip service!
We don’t have to pay any price or cost for telling the Lord that “all is His”!
But a true, undivided heart for the Lord costs us EVERYTHING!
Even doing “outward” changes can’t be compared to the cost of having a heart that is truly undivided for the Lord. Do we see the cost and the implications of having a heart that truly belongs to Him? It literally will cost us everything!
In a lot of instances, the Lord does not have to cause such drastic things to take place that will reveal our true heart. If the Cross has truly had a place in our lives and hearts, we will have realized by the Spirit that our life as we know it is no longer for ourselves, but it is now all for the LORD.
And if that truth has really sunken in deep in our heart, we will not have such a strong attachment to the things of life here.
So all in all, if we are just beginning or only on the way for a short time with the Lord, and we have recognized that He requires our entire being given up to Him and His will, and we have acknowledged that, but it is merely lip service —- let us not be surprised or bewildered when things start happening that are testing our hearts and exposing the deep rooted attachments we have to these things, and the fact that the Lord is wanting us to truly surrender it all in our hearts to Him, and have one desire which is for Him and His will to be done!
It really wouldn’t matter if we literally gave up everything we loved — our families, money, homes, jobs, etc — if at the same time that we literally or outwardly gave the things up, our hearts were still filled with the love of these objects!
What good would it be if we gave all our money away, yet in our heart we still have a deep seated love and attachment to money?!
It is the heart that the Lord looks upon, and the thing which He seeks to purify for Himself!