"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!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Psalm 4- Encouragement, Endurance, Patience- James White

I've been very blessed to get to know Dr. James White of Alpha Omega Ministries a little bit over in his chat channel (#prosapologian) for the past 3 months or so. I cannot even put into words my appreciation for his defense of the entire gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The stand that he takes despite the consequences in a post-modern world is beyond encouraging to me. When he made these two videos yesterday, well, my jaw nearly hit the ground. The timing of these videos was impeccable. To say that I can personally relate to what he says here is the understatement of the year, and I could go on and on about it, but I won't because they pretty much speak for themselves. So to my brothers and sisters out there that feel the Lord tugging (and more than likely RIPPING) you away from a world that is telling you to keep busy and to stay carnal in all that you do and say...to the ones out there that want to fight it, but are facing deep difficulties...be encouraged and take heed to this message and remember this verse:

"But I know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him."

*Psalm 4 was the Psalm that the Lord showed me early on last year...and continued to bring me back to throughout all my struggles this past year. It was incredible. Then to hear Doc use it in the video blew me away. When I found myself, night after night, desiring so badly to just sit upon my bed and examine my heart in the presence of Almighty God, I began to be discouraged because, turns out, most people (including professing Christians) think that is crazy...or at least crazy to do it more than once a month or once a year or so. But no, God was calling me to do this night after night until my soul was resting in Him and Him alone. Oh what a process! Oh what a work the Lord was doing in my life and continues to build on today....a work that would have been impossible if I would have gotten distracted or found something else to do with that time! Then one night when I had withdrawn to the coffee shop that I go to in order to get away and get into God's word...there it was....there was the verse that God showed me for the first time (I probably had read it before, but didn't ever take it in):

"Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still." Psalm 4:4

Wow, considering that was word for word describing the state that I was finding myself in- literally upon my bed- BLEW ME AWAY. And from that night on it became the verse, and the entire chapter really, that the Lord would bring me back to whenever I got discouraged, or whenever I found myself wanting to do God's will but was finding huge amounts of struggle against it, either from within my own heart, or from the people and influences around me.

I know that James is known for his tough, apologetic, no-nonsense stance....but this is a great example that just because you are out there taking what the world calls a "judgmental" stand on objective truth doesn't mean that you are tough and unloving. No, in fact it is the opposite. It just means that you care enough about people to tell them the truth in love and don't waver on God's word. I don't expect the world to recognize this true love though, because it is not of the world. If it wasn't for the moments and hours and days and even years like James describes in the video, there is no way one can even have the strength and courage to stand up for Christ and His truth in a world that will toss you to the waste-side for doing so. That strength can only come from the grace of God. But I know that if it wasn't for those times of God bringing me through the valley I would not be where I am today. You really do learn to, not necessarily look forward to those times, but you definitely realize that those times reap a spiritual growth that cannot even be described, so you really do look forward to the fruits that come as a result of the intense struggle.

Most Christians can relate to the feelings that James talks about. But most won't admit it. I know that until about a year ago I didn't admit it. In fact I spent most of my time fighting these types of feelings because it is what the world told me to do. But I noticed that when you start being open about this stuff and start to actually be guided by the Holy Spirit and not the world and you share what the Lord is REALLY doing in your life...well, people start to treat you different. And not usually in a good way. But hey, God tells us ahead of time about this, so we shouldn't be surprised...in fact we should rejoice. After all, you realize who your true brothers and sisters in Christ are. I know I did. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. So if you feel the Lord calling you out from among them and drawing you unto Himself...please please please don't fight it. Set your affections on the things above and commune with your own heart alone with the Lord. And be encouraged by these moments of being stripped of all earthly comforts...it is just the Lord getting you to trust solely in Him. I pray that the Lord will continue to draw His children in so that we may grow in holiness and be sanctified and conformed to the image of His son. Amen.


Pastor B. said...

Hey Susan,

Was doing some blog surfing this morning and came to your site. Just wanted to encourage you and say what a great blog you have going. Keep up the good work and posts!


Anonymous said...

That scares me to death! I'm so aware of the hypocrisy in (my own life especially) and others very close to me...and in people with authority over me. I have a vague inkling of wanting to give into the Lord but I realize my whole world is going to get torn apart and it's going to be so messy and people won't understand me as I follow the Spirit's leading- not to mention my flesh's attacks hindering the purity of my pursuit. There's a war I see in the distance...I have this desire to join in and fight for truth but it's so hard! I know children who have been raised with a fear of the Lord and they don't have as much flesh to fight against, or they're just more seasoned in standing for truth. I wish I could be like them. I'm only 22 but I realize that's 22 years of wrong thinking / living that's going to have to get straightened out. How in the world did you ever give in? When I realize all of the damage I've done to the Church by my misleading 'lukewarm' example- I see suffering upon suffering ahead of me 1)To rid me of my 'holy' reputation and 2) To sand down and clean out the sinful complacency in my life. I just wish I could've been more fearful of God when I was younger. How do you will and decide to follow His leading especially when nobody understands? How do you persevere? Also, do you have older godly women mentors encouraging you on? And could you just respond to me through e-mail please...I'd prefer not to have my info (age, name, email) out there but I want to share it with you so you might know how to help me! Thank you Susan, Alison. athlete13@hotmail.com