"If we stumble in a safe country, how will we follow Him into the thickets....?"
"If we are not prepared to make the sacrifices that come with following Him in life, I doubt very much that we will follow Him in death."
"You will respond to persecution the same way you respond to temptation."
"Wrists that become accustomed to wearing gold chains, never willingly embrace those made of iron."
4am. my morning starts. Bible, journal, pen. I read and write; verses, thoughts, events...whatever comes to mind flows out on paper. Computer on. vomclassroom.com typed in. My lecture for the day is 39 minutes long. It's a leftover I never finished from yesterday's class. Headphones in, volume up. I listen, only halfway at first. My mind is elsewhere. It's in another place. A place even I'm not sure of. All I know is it's somewhere, and I must go there.
Words sound in my ears. Words that pierce my heart. "What?" I rewind and listen again. My mind freezes. It shuffles the meaning of the words around. It drops the words to my heart. A heavy blanket covers my soul.
How can I daydream of going there, to share the gospel, to spread His name, to suffer for His sake, when I struggle simply to say "No," to temptation? How can I, who purposefully tries to accustom myself to the gold chains, ever be willing to wear ones made of iron? How can I, who am unwilling to impart my own plans, ever be willing to follow His plan?
I ask myself why I'm not doing more and I fail to recognize that it's because my heart is still not in the right place. My heart is still hard and rocky in spots. Part of it is becoming moldable, but so much is still rock solid. I fail to recognize that I am here because I would not be faithful if I were there. I fail to recognize that the little sacrifices that I daily, am unwilling to give up, prove that I am not ready to sacrifice it all for the sake of the gospel. Daily I blame God, because I fail to recognize that it is my own sinful heart that stops me from doing more for His glory.
But today, in this dark, cool morning, I recognize it. I see it plain as daylight. Following Christ is not a one time commitment. It is an everyday re-evaluation of my life and recommitment of those parts that are drifting from Him. It is trusting Him to guide every move. It is a willingness to give it all up for Him and Him alone.
So now that I recognize it once again, I supposed I need to change myself. Scratch that. I need to be willing to be changed by Him.