It’s not easy to be a disciple of Jesus. Sometimes I don’t understand what He’s saying to me. Sometimes I hear, but I don’t want to listen and I don’t want to follow through.
Sometimes I wish that because I’m the King’s daughter, I could have a specially stamped ticket to quickly grant me a pass around difficulties and trials.
“’Cuse me, I’m with Jesus.”
“Yes, ma’am, right this way…CLEAR OUT!”
But that’s not what my Jesus is. He’s not a good luck charm. He’s life.
I wake up in the morning with two choices:
When I follow myself I camp out in my own inabilities. I hit the play and rewind button on what could’ve happened, what I’m afraid might happen and oh, it was so bad when that happened. I seek to fulfill every hole in my soul with the latest gadget Kohls and Target advertise. Except soon after I unwrap the packaging, I find the gadget needs batteries that I don’t have. So instead of resolving my problems, they have added to them.
Walking in my flesh feels good, but it doesn’t last.
When I choose, instead, to let the truth of God’s Word spill over me and identify or align myself to it, I experience joy and freedom even in difficult situations.
I had one of those today. It started with this wrestling in my spirit before I was even fully coherent.
“It’s only by my Grace. Yesterday is gone, today is new…follow me.”
“But, but, I don’t, I can’t…Yes, Lord, I am nothing without you. I will follow where you lead me today. I surrender,”
Luke 9:23 “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’”
We were going to a local church led by one of the Lighthouse Pastors. The Ghrists (Host family) needed to help Josh’s parents who just flew in from the U.S. acclimate to Kenya timezone and get some groceries for the week, so we were on our own.
About ten minutes from the church, Jared, the Pastor and our driver said, “Zometing iz rrong.”
Then the car died.
We push (by we I mean Adam my husband) it over to the side of the road and decide we must walk the rest of the way to church.
This church is in the village. Had I not had this conversation earlier with the Lord I would have been scared, mad and frustrated. But instead, as my clean, white feet adorned with rather new flip flops hit the dusty, dirty road, my heart broke and I wanted to weep.
Not because I felt sorry for these people. No! They are stronger than I am.
Because I was honored that God would pluck this small town girl from East Texas and allow me the privilege to walk this road. He would have walked a similar road. His feet would have looked like these peoples’ feet. I caught a glimpse of following Jesus I’ve never seen at home before as I walked that road.
I met glances with the children of this village and shook their hand. The look in their eye when I smiled melted my heart. I am so blessed. Not because I’m an American. Because God chose to reveal Himself to me through His Son. And because He loves me.
I watched people who may eat one meal a day worship my King with ALL their heart. I watched kids, ages 16 to barely walking dance and raise their hands in worship. I fought back tears the whole time. The sound of their voice… It overwhelms me to witness His Spirit so alive and vibrant in Kenya. Overwhelms. Me.
I want to follow him everyday – if I will just choose to step aside.
Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
Have you ever been overwhelmed by God? Not by something He’s done for you, but something about Him that has brought you to your knees?
You know, it’s only when I’m tired of following me that I hunger to follow him. When I actually hate my self and the ugliness I’m capable of do I completely bow my knee, raise my hands and align my will with His.
I’m reading a book called The Green Letters by Miles Stanford and he has this to say…
“We will be ready to take up our cross when self becomes intolerable to us, when we begin to hate our life…
The deep burden of self and hunger to be like Him cause the function of the Cross – the crucificion – to be attractive.”
Those are hard words for me live by…yet exactly what I need to hear. Thanks for listening to my journey.