I will trust and not be afraid…. (Is 12:2)
I wish I was better at this verse. It’s definitely an area where God is challenging me to go deeper with Him. It is easy for us to say, “Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go,” but what really matters is not what we say, but how we respond to the difficult journey God sets before us to make us more like His Son.
The question of following Jesus is not one of, “God, what do you have for me,” but instead, “God, what do you want to do in me?” In our culture we focus so much on the external, the things we can do for God, the results we can muster up through our own hard work, the number of people we can minister too, etc. However, the greatest work God wants to do in you is not external, it is deeply internal.
When you made the decision to follow Jesus, not only did your eternity change but your destiny and purpose too. We must grow and change into a new person if we are going to fulfill God’s destiny and purpose for us. We cannot stay the same.
There’s a stripping away of the old person inside of us that must take place and the longer we fight it, the more we’ll dread the journey of becoming more like Jesus. This is a sad state to be in. Yet, I totally understand, because I’ve been there too, not being ok with the cards I had been dealt. It felt unfair. I wanted an easier way. Truth be told, sometimes, things are rooted so deeply in our lives that God must allow for drastic measures to take place in order to uproot them.
There is no shame or guilt in the journey of becoming more like Jesus. Sometimes we must be humbled in extreme ways, not because God is punishing us, but because He’s giving us what we asked for, to become more like His Son, Jesus.
As a Christian, our faith is made sure, not in the boasting of our love for God, but in the obedience of our submission to Jesus when the storm hits. When God strips everything away and we have nothing left, but prayer and trust, we are in the right place. This is an opportunity for God to show up, but do not run ahead of the great provider, for you will never experience Him in the way you’ve asked for. The journey of sanctification might take longer because you fear what God is asking of you. If you really want to become more like Jesus, He’ll keep asking the same thing of you until you truly surrender it.
“As a Christian, our faith is made sure, not in the boasting of our love for God, but in the obedience of our submission to Jesus when the storm hits.”
Lord, thank you for seasons of difficulty. Thank you that you use them to make us more like your Son. There’s a cleaning out in our lives that must take place if we’re going to be made more like you. Father, forgive me when I have boasted of my love for you, but not submitted myself to the process of sanctification. Lord, I am chief of sinners, but you still love me. Today, I long to walk in righteousness. Today I chose to walk in your strength for the journey ahead and count it all joy because I have you. Thank you that even in the storm, there is a joy that awaits me in Jesus Christ, amen.