Sometimes I wonder, Lord, why I ever wonder.
And I realize why one particular thing You ask of us is so vitally important.
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice…” (1 Samuel 15:22)
Yesterday, You called me to a simple act of obedience. You had awakened me before dawn with words to say to a beloved sister-in-Christ. Words of Truth, spoken in Love.
Your Truth. Your Love.
My sister lives far away, in a time zone that differs by three hours. So I sent Your words in an email… and wondered how they would be received.
Within an hour, I had my answer.
Shortly after I had emailed Your Words to her, still before dawn, You had awakened her. And You had prompted her to open her email. So she could write to me. To apologize for not being in touch, because of… so much.
And there was my email — Your email — to her!
She knew You had spoken to her. And she drank in Your Words as the Living Water she needed to quench her soul thirst!
What if I hadn’t obeyed You, Lord? What if she hadn’t? But we had, by Your Grace… and as a result, everything changed.
My beloved friend had been living in a pit for much of her life. Recently, You gave her a glimpse of Life Outside the Pit. Not a “wishful thinking” kind of fantasy. No… You gave her tangible evidence that there is LIFE — real LIFE — outside of that pit. A Life of FREEDOM.
“I have come that they may have Life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b) “Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
You had given her tangible evidence that this LIFE of FREEDOM was, with Your Help, within her reach. But the enemy had tried to convince her otherwise. That his form of “life” was her only option.
The enemy’s form of “life” is not “life” at all. He had made that fact abundantly clear to my friend, even in the weeks since her first “taste” of Freedom. Heaping condemnation on her. Accusing her of “failing” to follow through. Convincing her that “life” in The Pit is all she deserves. Wooing her to return to The Pit.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10a)
But the thief is the one who failed!
Because yesterday, You sent Your Words to my beloved friend, Lord. Stirring up her thirst and hunger for the “taste” of Freedom You had given her. Reminding her that she has a vital role to play in turning that “taste” into a Feast — a new lifestyle.
You will not do “our part” for us. You love us too much to take away our freedom to choose. You made us in Your image, Lord — with the capacity to think and reason and choose. And You want to renew our minds with Your Truth… so we can choose LIFE.
You want us to renounce the lies we have believed for so long. So we can replace them with Your Truth. And Your Truth will begin to set us free as soon as we begin to believe it.
Not because we “feel” it. Whatever “yes, but” feeling we may have when we look at Your Truth is still tied to the lies we have believed. Lies that come from one source.
“[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:43-44)
But You, Lord, always speak TRUTH! And You are right here with us — right now — to help us choose LIFE by choosing Your TRUTH!
So, I didn’t really need to wonder yesterday… did I, Lord? About how these words from a friend might wound.
Because You are truly my friend’s BFF. Mine, too. You are always doing something much bigger than we can see. Even when You ask us to do the simplest of things. Things that turn out to be not only simple, but deeply profound. Because…
“A friend loves at all times… ” (Proverbs 17:17)
“… there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
That’s You, Lord. The Friend who is sticking closer to my friend than she has ever dared to hope. Proving Your Love to her in tangible ways as she follows You into Freedom… one baby step at a time.
Joyfully expectant… 🙂 🙂 🙂