I’m a child of the King, yes I am, yes I am

I’m a child of the King, yes I am, I know I am

I belong to the Lord, yes I do, yes I do

I’m a child of the King, yes I am!

~Gospel Hymn~

I have been feeling a little down lately and I’ve just been driving myself nuts trying to figure out why.  After twenty-one days of prayer at my church as part of our Revival of Repentance, I should have felt wonderful.  After all, I went into the revival feeling great and knowing that the Lord is in fact, my Savior.  Night after night, I prayed and night after night, I cried.  More often than not, I was hit with a feeling that I just wasn’t doing enough.  I’m holding back.  I’m not allowing myself to testify even though God has given me so much grace in my life.  He has been so very merciful to me and I limit my testimony to what I write here or what I will allow myself to share in the context of a Bible Study.  The realization of this hit me tonight as I was listening to another Joyce Meyer cd. 

Although I love my friends and family dearly, there are those among them who aren’t so glad that I love Jesus.  There are those who try to convince me that I’ve taken my relationship with God too far.  Those who believe that my decision not to engage in certain behaviors or to focus my attention on reading the Bible or going to religious conferences, etc. are some indication that I may have lost my marbles.  There are those who have either wittingly or unwittingly tried to make me feel stupid for choosing God instead of giving in to what the devil wants me to do.  There are those who just don’t understand where I once was and where I never, ever want to go again.  There are those who just don’t understand what God has given me.  Those who want to shift my focus to what they believe He has taken away.  Those who want me to spend my time thinking that by choosing to pursue God’s word and His will for my life that I’m somehow depriving myself of the wonders of this world (sex, drugs, alcohol, etc.).  Those who don’t like the fact that God’s love is ever-present in my life and I no longer have to beg for their attention to make myself feel worthy.  Those who don’t want me to follow God because they know that I can’t possibly walk that crooked path alongside them if I’m following God and they aren’t.  Well…those are the breaks. 

 Sorry to put it out there like that, but I’ve been way too quiet about what He means to me.  I’ve failed to acknowledge just what He has meant to me and how faithful He has been even when I was trying my best to avoid Him.  You might say, “What do you mean, too quiet? You talk about Him alot.”  I mean that the measure of all that God has done for me will never be matched by a few blog posts and the occasional public outburst.  I mean that I can never use enough words to describe how He took pain and suffering out of my life and replaced them with joy and happiness.  I mean that I can never, ever spend enough time praising my God and saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord for everything you have ever done for me and for continuing to have faith in me.”  I mean that no matter how much I do here in this world, I will never be able to repay Him for His unconditional love and mercy.  I mean that there is no pursuit more worthy than that of pursuing God’s love because there is nothing else in the world that can compare to what He can do in your life.  Hallelujah!

In the Bible, they talk about suffering for the gospel.  They aren’t talking about the things they had to give up to follow Jesus.  They are talking about the way they were treated for giving up the hurtful things in this life to follow Jesus and his teachings about how to love one another.  The suffering they are referring to has little do with turning from worldly behaviors.  It has everything to do with how those who don’t understand why you have turned away from what they feel is “normal” start to treat you when you finally pick up your cross and follow the One who can show you true love and happiness.  The world would have us believe that we are suffering when we decide not to drink, not to smoke, not to be promiscuous, not to sit around and talk about people, not to laugh at the perverse, not to overeat, not to overspend, not to hoard, basically…not to live our lives for the sole purpose of  serving our own desires.  They don’t want you to understand that when we walk away from all of these things to follow Christ, we have finally broken free and there is no limit to the peace and happiness that we will experience once we are willing to “suffer” in that way. 

 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

~2 Timothy 1:8 New International Version (NIV)~

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