February 22, 2012

TRUST Training Highs and Lows

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” ~ Hebrews 12:11

I am undergoing a metamorphosis and I can tell you with great joy that it is VERY uncomfortable!
Did I say, with “joy”?  Why yes!  I did.  Joy in that I clearly understand the goal.
God is working intently on building my trust in His sovereignty.  Sovereignty is His judgment to exercise control over the details of my life, the bad in addition to the good.  Because He is the great and powerful mastermind behind the veil, I can take joy in each moment because each moment is a revelation of His plan for little ol' me.  Not only are my eyes seeing, but my heart is understanding.  The personal touch which God extends to ensure my learning is so personal it brings with it great joy.
My agenda is always well intentioned but sinfully impatient.  I am a person who will look at her resources and assess that I have corn kernels in my hand.  It doesn’t matter where I am or what God wants to do with those corn kernels. I never wait on Him.  So what if I am located somewhere conditions aren’t acceptable for growing corn, I won’t wait, I will plant corn kernels in a rice field!  And then I fret because the corn doesn’t grow.  Where is my brain?
God has ordered me recently to quit acting without asking His permission. As I adhere to this instruction, I find that His announcement over the new year, “It’s Time to Get Uncomfortable”, is coming true.
Uncomfortable has arrived.
Let me walk you through some recent events.
I prayed and after sensing God’s permission I sent out some feelers in the direction of specific desires. I received encouraging feedback. Then before the reality manifested, the favorable feedback was withdrawn.  God pulled back to observe what I had learned.  The predictable wave of anxiety, restlessness and sadness besieged me.  Temptation rose with a vengeance to impose my will where God had not opened doors.   It took everything in me to restrain myself from taking action into my own hands but I still threw a temper tantrum before God.
I prayed, “God, why won’t you put me to work?  I have this, this, and this which is going unused!  I’ve learned these lessons and developed these skills and they are profiting no one.  I am fruitless when my hands are tied from action.  I am waiting on you to open doors but you are underutilizing me!” L  
When my pity party had lasted long enough God responded,
“Would you sit around counting someone else’s money?” 
With those words came the visual of me reaching across a coffee table digging into someone else’s purse to take a peek at her checkbook when she left the room.  Oh the horror!  I would absolutely NEVER do that, NO WAY JOSE’!  
God showed me that my complaint of Him underutilizing me was a similar offense, for not one signal thing which I had brought to His attention was rightfully mine.  All of the things I threw up to Him were archived on His bank statement, not mine.  He is well aware of them and will decide how to put them to use.  I envisioned pulling up my bank statement online to see my name at the top but a zero balance.   I own nothing; He owns all.  That is the way I need to perceive my reality.
The sheer evidence of blessings in my life is proof that God intends to glorify Himself with those resources, both the tangible and the intangible.  My fretting over closed doors is never appropriate.  He will not let His assets go to waste.
Psalm 37:8 says, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.”
Proverbs 19:2-3 says, “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,  And he sins who hastens with his feet.  The foolishness of a man twists his way,  And his heart frets against the Lord.”
So what should I do with fretful emotions when they rise up? 
I am simply to pray, ask, and then SACRIFICE my will. 
Sacrifice in the form of waiting and trusting is the hardest thing He could require of me!  It would be much easier for me to write a check or volunteer for a service project than to relinquish my impatience, trusting all needed action to Him.  Knowing that my sacrifice is a worthy one which pleases Him brings me joy as I wait.

I shared this story with a friend and she complimented me on my diligence to undergo this spiritual transformation.  I said, “How can you compliment me on this?  I am miserable!” 
She replied, “That’s just because you aren’t fully trained yet.”
Ah yes!  I am in TRUST training and it incorporates a forced discipline where none existed before.  Discipline always contains discomfort.  This is training season and the end result will yield much faith.  Acknowledgment that I am learning sustains my will to surrender. 
In addition, God granted me another token of encouragement.  He revealed that those closest to me are watching and listening as I endure these renovations of the heart.  To stay the course inspires the pursuit of God in them.  Lord help me stay committed to this process that I may perpetuate an attitude of perseverance.
Sacrifice is not just about burnt offerings and tithes.  It can be the relinquishment of attitudes which keep your faith stale and your witness unstable.   What sacrifice is God requiring of you to take your faith to the next level?   Could training season have also arrived for you?
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.” ~ Psalm 40:6-

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