[ To Walking Index Page] [ To Previous Article ] [ To Next Article ]
Sunday morning the sermon was supposed to be about the ordinances of baptism and communion. However David, who was preaching that morning, focused more on relationship with Jesus and how God comes and meets us personally.
He did manage to touch on the "official" topics of the sermon. When he taught on communion, he presented it as similar to being invited to the whitehouse and the president himself puts on a apron and serves you. He showed how communion is not just a pretty little ordinace we do, or just an opportunity to examine ourselves and repent, but is also being invited to the King's table. He encouraged us to reach out and take as much of God as we dared to, implying that the more we took of God, the more He took of us.
Then we had communion. David encouraged us to reach out and take more of God. However, I found myself reversing that prayer. As I put the bread element in my mouth, I invited Jesus to take more of me -- He could bring His Lordship to whatever part of me He wanted to. I really meant it as I prayed/took communion. Then as we took the cup (grapejuice), He spoke to me.
"Ok, I have decided what part of you I want."
"What part is that, Lord?" I started to sip the juice from the tiny communion cup, very aware of His presense.
"I want the rebellious stubborn part of you."
I nearly choked on the grape juice as the impact of His words washed over me. I fully intended to give Him whatever part of me He wanted. But it never occurred to me that He would ask for the one area of myself that I was not in control of and was not capable of sumbitting to Him.
Have you ever prayed one of those hesitant prayers?
"Well, OK, Lord....." I sighed. "Oh, who am I trying to kid? There is no way I can turn that part of myself over to You and remain in submission to You in it. You must know that built into the very nature of what You are asking for is something that I am probably not capable of giving to You."
"Are you willing to invite My lordship into that area of your life?"
"Of course I am, Lord. But we both know that chances are I won't be able to submit to You with that part of me. I would if I could, but gosh, the problem with that part of me is that it is rebellious."
"And stubborn," the Lord added.
I sighed. It seemed like a hopeless situation. I really had meant it when I told the Lord I wanted to give Him more of me and when I invited Him to choose what area He wanted to come into. But He chose the one thing that there was no way I could deliver. He knew it and I knew it.
"But Teresa, I specialize in impossible situations. I am going to win that part of you."
"Oh?" I put my communion cup down and stood with everyone for the closing prayer. How was He going to do that?
"I am going to win that frightened, stubborn, rebellious part of you with My love. I am going to love you so richly and so deeply that you cannot even immagine it. I am going to literally melt that rebellous part of you with My love. Then that part of you will willingly give yourself to me and be able to submit to Me. Then I will bring My beauty to that part of your being."
Hum, that sounded sorta nice. I felt His peace descend on me. What started out as an impossible situation was turing into a rather pleasant promise.
"Lord, You know that I want to be in submission to You in every area of my life. But we both know that there are parts of me that remain rebellious and stubborn, despite my good intentions. If You can gain Lordship in that area of me, I'm all for it!"
"Teresa, I am going to melt you with My love. I am not going to break you or destroy you or harm you. I am going to love you so deeply that you feel totaly safe in My love and I am going to reveal My goodness to you over and over again. You will see that My grace is not dependent on Your behavior, but on the fact that I am good. As you begin to grasp how good I am, your rebellious nature will grow smaller and smaller and will welcome my Lordship over it."
"Gee, Lord, this kinda sounds like a good place to be."
"Yes, Teresa, it is a good place to be. Enjoy it."
So, I was flooded with a sense of His goodness and His peace. I began to wonder how this would walk-out in my day to day life, but was not worried about it. Then they called the minsitry teams up to pray for people. Soon I was busy ministering and did not have time to think about it any more.
The next day at work, someone brought in some white chocolate coated almond rocha. It looked so good and I really wanted some. (I should explain that the Lord has put me on some dietary restrictions, including no meat, no caffine, low fat and almost no sugar/sweets. I am supposed to get permission for sweets and that permission is sort of rare. I know these dietary restrictions must sound really weird, but my eating had been out of control for years. I had cried out to God for help, but could never get control. Then one day He said He'd come take Lordship of that area of my life. At first nothing changed. Then I got sick -- I mean very seriously sick -- with a disgestive disorder. I was sick for 3 monthes and the doctors were having trouble figuring out what was wrong and how to treat the nearly crippling symptoms. Then God called me to a long fast and the symptoms when away the day I started the fast. He told me He'd healed me, but that I would have to obey certain diatery restrictions if I wanted to stay well. So, until I hear otherwise, I'm pretty serious about following those restrictions. After you've been as sick as I was, it becomes much easier to stay away from foods that might be causing those problems.)
In general, sweets are not very tempting for me any more. But I really love white chocolate and I really love Almond Rocha. I'd never seen the two put together before and I really wanted to try it. I asked the Lord and He said "no". I forced myself away from where the candy was, but felt sorta miffed at God. About an hour later, He told me I could have some, but was only to take two pieces. Boy, those two pieces were good.
On my back from a meeting, I passed the candy and had another piece, without permission from the Lord. Well, I knew that displeased Him and was sorry -- but not until after I'd already eaten the candy. So I told myself that I really wanted to give Him Lordship in my eating and kept away from the candy the rest of the day.
The next day (Tuesday), I passed the candy again and some still remained. I started to reach for a piece and clearly heard the Lord tell me "no." I did not take that candy, but spent the next few hours trying to talk the Lord into letting me have some -- boy, I wish I could interceed for some things with as much fervor as I used trying to convince God to let me have that candy!
About 4:00 PM I heard the Lord say, "You can't have the candy, but you may have an ice cream." (The boss keeps the freezer at work stocked with ice cream, but never any sugar free ones. Since I know I can't have the stuff -- it's loaded with sugar-- I rarely even look in the freezer.)
I figured that was probably NOT the Lord's voice, but must my own self trying to find a substitute that that white chololate almond rocha I could not have. So I ignored the voice and continued working. Then I had to go to the printer to pick up a listing.
"You can have any ice cream bar you want from the freezer."
"Lord," I said, "I hope that is Your voice. I think I'm gonna go do that. If it is not really Your voice, please correct me before I get to the freezer."
I did a few work related chores before I wandered over to the freezer, figuring it would give the Lord more time to correct me if I'd heard wrong. Then I went to the freezer.
"Choose anything you want." The Lord said, "You really do have permission."
"Pity You couldn't give me permission for the white chocoloate almond rocha instead of for an ice cream bar..."
I started to rummage through the freezer. It was packed with a whole bunch of boxes of different types of ice cream bars. But for some reason, none of them looked appatizing. So I kept rummaging. Then, burried on the very bottom I found a box of my favorite ice cream bars -- and this box was both sugar-free and lowfat. I could not believe my eyes! Then I started to laugh and helped myself to a bar.
Remember, they NEVER have sugar free ice cream bars at work. And I did not even know this particular ice cream bar came in a sugar free variety. What a delight. I could eat this without even breaking my dietary restrictions.
"Lord," I said, "You knew all along that this ice cream was in the freezer, didn't You!"
"Sweetheart," He replied, "Not only did I know it was there, I am the one who caused it to be there. And I put it there just for you -- because I love you and I wanted to give you a good way out of that temptation for the almond rocha."
I enjoyed the (guilt free) ice cream bar and my desire for the almond rocha just sorta disappeared. I felt content and it was really neat to see such a practical demonstration of His love for me.
"Thanks, Lord, for that neat demonstration of Your love."
"Oh, you haven't seen anything yet. I still intend to melt you with My love and My goodness..."
This is sure going to be a fun/neat season that the Lord is taking me through! I can hardly wait to see what He does next.
[ To Walking Index Page ] [ To Previous Article ] [ To Next Article ]