"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 Then one night when I had withdrawn to the coffee shop that I go to in order to get away and get into God's word...there it was....there was the verse that God showed me for the first time (I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.