"Oh to Grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be.
Let thy goodness, like a fetter
bind my wandering heart to Thee!"

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Realizing Truth- Alone on a Friday Night

Here is something that I wrote last night while out late by myself...I'm sharing it with you in hopes that you will find the Truth of God and be encouraged...even if it's just one person whose life is pointed away from sin and unto Christ, it is well worth it to me.

It's about 11:30 at night and I'm sitting outside of the Starbucks in Gainesville, FL and I have this incredible burning to write. It's like the Lord is revealing so much to me my pencil has no chance of keeping up. It's a Friday night and I'm right next door to a liquor store that is in plain view. I can see streams of college students trickling in buying what they hope will finally bring them that happiness they long for. They are hopeless; it's really hard to just sit here. Thank you, Lord, for keeping me and protecting me from all of that junk. Many people look at me and say, "man, that girl is out on a Friday night by herself reading a book- what a loser." But the Lord is doing something incredible for me right now because I can honestly say I don't care. No really, I don't care. For years I professed those very words, but deep down I struggled between living a life that serves Christ in truth and in Spirit and a life that just "appears" to. Thank goodnes the truth ALWAYS comes to the light, and thank goodness it came now while I was still on this earth to repent than when I met my Maker and it was too late.

Earlier tonight, on my way home from Bible study I was overcome with the presence of the Lord in my car. I'm serious, it was like all of a sudden I felt him take me into his hands and holding me so tight that all the lies from the world were shut out. It was an impenetratable fortress. It was like I finally realized, by the Grace of God, that I can serve Christ and not have to worry about what anybody says or thinks of me as a result. The Lord says it is impossible to serve 2 masters- and WOW is that true. So let me explain. It's Friday night and I'm overcome by this drawing from the Lord into His presence- to the point where I wanted nothing other than to just spend the rest of the night with Him, alone, just basking in His holy presence. Normally I would think to myself, "But its a Friday night, aren't I supposed to hang out with my roommates or teammates? You know, I don't really have THAT many friends here in FLA and it's probably because I'm not out interacting enough, I should go out and try to meet some new people." OR "What if my family calls and I tell them that I spent my Friday night with my pencil and paper and a Book and, oh yeah, the LORD." It will just confirm to everyone for the millionth time that I've changed and I'm not the same "Susan" that they knew not too long ago. Because that Susan didn't ever seem to be lacking anything, especially friends or things to occupy her time with. So usually I find myself right back into contemplating those statements and trying to deny all the truth the Lord has revealed in my life. I think back to all the times, now, that I denied truth in order to keep "peace" and I seriously get physically sick. I realized tonight that I've been serving the wrong master.

But also, tonight my thought process was different. While those thoughts entered my mind, they did so with a flash of light that exposed them for what they really were: lies. So instead, I found myself looking around out of my car window and finding no comfort whatsoever in the things of the world. I was right by a movie theater at the time and the sight of it made me sad- sad that I would ever go there hoping it would fulfill any longing I had in me. Because isn't that what we do? Movies, hanging out with friends, going out to dinner and bars- don't people do that stuff in hopes of fulfilling something in their lives? Even if its just so it takes up enough of their evening to keep them from being alone and having to deal with Truth and with reality. I'm not condemning hanging out with friends, I'm condemning the act of idolizing and worshipping the act of distracting yourself from the Truth. I mean think about it....how incredibly DANGEROUS!

So there I was- probably one of the most single-minded passion-filled moments I had ever had thus far in my 20 years of life. My passion was single- no not perfectly because I still manage to muddy up even my most pure thoughts with my depraved thoughts and nature. But in that moment I felt like my mind was so heavenly minded that the world was going to swallow me up. But at the same time the Lord was right there, protecting me and reminding me that I shouldn't act so surprised. He has already told me this would happen. It's right there for me to read in His Word.

So while the world says, "Sue, just go watch a movie and find something fun to do" the Lord says, "Sue, follow me." I was set free. I was set free from the lie that I have to cater to the world while I still try to please Christ. Impossible. It can't be done and it is a path of sin that leads straight to death. If the Lord called me EVERY NIGHT to dedicate my time to enjoying His presence then that is what I am to do. Not do it some of the time and still try to maintain the ties to this world. I'm not saying we withdraw out from this world because it is the Lord's will for us to be "in" it but not "of" it and we have a duty to love others by telling them the truth of Jesus Christ. What I'm talking about is serving man over God. I'm talking about not being obedient to God because you are too busy being a slave to the world. I'm talking about how all this time I didn't let God do with me what he wanted because part of me wanted to make sure I tended to my "earthly" duties first. Well the result is sin everytime. The result was a girl who denies truth in order to keep peace with the world and that is enough to lead you straight into Hell. So tonight I let go of the lie that I should fear what people think when I choose time with the Lord over the distractions of the world. And those "distractions", while most are perfectly ok in the right timing, are sin 100% of the time if you are denying what the Lord has for you during that time instead.

If you were to compare me to the person I was a year ago, wow, words can't even describe it. I'm afraid of what actually would have come out of my mouth if asked about some of the foundational DOCTRINES and TRUTHS that the Bible stands on. Sure I could have given you most of the right words to say- which was a horrible thing because no one ever dug deeper than the surface of those words to find out what really lied beneath. It is because of that right there that I am so grateful that the Lord chose to reveal truth to me and to deliver me from that bondage. He brought me to my knees and showed just exactly how deceitful and wicked I really was. Once I saw I was wretched, and naked, and poor, well, it forced me to look outside of myself for a remedy- and there stood Christ beckoning me to come. It is for this very reason that I cringe when people ignorantly say stuff about Doctrine not being important, or the oh so famous "doctrine divides" comment. Your exactly right. Doctrine divides the True followers of Christ from the professing ones, and if it wasn't for the truths that come from studying such Biblical doctrines, well, I would have been stuck right where I was in serving mammon (more info on this topic here). I thank GOD that someone took the time to dig past my facade and expose truth to me. It is that kind of love that I am a debtor to because that is the love of Christ- and that is what allows lives to be changed through the renewal of minds. I don't have to hide it...I'M NOT THE SAME PERSON I WAS A YEAR AGO and that is just simple truth. So why I try to deny it and act like I am, I have no idea. Well, yes I do, it is because of the sin inside of me. But I know that Susan Yenser of old might have looked like she had it all together (tons of friends, basketball scholarship, popularity, cultural Christianity) but let me tell you- I was enslaved to the ways of the world and it took Christ's light to reveal to me just how miserable I truly was. I looked like I had it all but indeed I had nothing, because without Christ there is nothing to be had. Now I have Christ, the true Christ of the Bible, and He is everything I will ever need. And it is now those very things that 'made' me then, such as a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Florida that I lay at the foot of the cross and ask the Lord to use for His glory, not so that I can be on top of my own selfish throne. And He is faithful to strip all the stuff that I had only to consume for my own lusts out of my life. Remember that next time you pray for the Lord to reign in your life, because it just might actually happen, and it is a beautiful thing but foolishness to the world. The Lord has separated me unto Himself- so therein lies my loyalty and duty. I'm not naive enough to say that I will never struggle with this again because I know my heart and I know it wanders full speed away from a holy God, but I pray the Lord will remind me of tonight anytime I start answering to man instead of God. Because the sweetness of a single-passion for the righteousness of God was so real to me tonight it repulses me to think I would ever depart from it.

So I sit here tonight, alone and content on a Friday night. Enjoying the quietness and fellowship with the God that created me. And Lord, I pray for those that may be going through the same thing right now. Maybe they too are alone and seeking you instead of comfort from the world. Protect them from lies Lord, and comfort them in such a way that they are content with spending time with You, and You alone. Keep their passion single, and help them shut out the patronizing of the worldlings. Thank you Lord. There is nothing in me that is worthy of this calling, but through the righteousness of Christ I can pursue a life that is pleasing to you. Amen.

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