This post is available in text, video, and audio formats.
James 1:2-4 (NASB)
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I ask your forgiveness. I have suffered from chronic, severe migraines since early childhood. Their severity has increased significantly and their frequency grown to virtually daily for well over the last fifteen (15+) years! My condition has been compounded by chronic, severe body pain, which has outpaced my migraines in its intensity and debilitating effects. While recent Botox treatments and a new drug, called Ajovy, have finally given me much needed relief from my migraines, my body pain continues to intensify at an exponential rate, unchecked, as I patiently wait to see a specialist in hopes of diagnosing and treating the underlying cause. The reason I seek your forgiveness you may ask?
I have allowed my pain to be an excuse for a lack of obedience or for delayed obedience (which is still disobedience) in being faithful to the ministry to which God has called me: sharing the truth of His Word and the good news of His gift of salvation by grace, through faith, for whomsoever believes in His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have allowed my pain to be an excuse for being passively obedient rather than actively obedient, which is the same as not being obedient at all… a sign of disrespect and disservice to Him… and a disservice and lack of demonstration of His love for you.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God has convicted me of some important points as I have recently been extremely busy providing comfort to many families (including my own) and individuals, currently in crisis, for which whom the Lord has been putting in front of me and/or on my heart and mind, to minister to in His name. He has also, as He always does, used and continues to use, these experiences to directly minister to me! And He is acutely effective, like a skilled surgeon, knowing exactly where and how to cut through to my heart! He has used ALL of these experiences over the past few years, months, weeks, and especially days to gradually and as gently as possible; but, decisively and successfully, break me spiritually, to mold and refine me, for His honor and glory, to a more effective level of service of faithful and immediate (rather than delayed) obedience to Him, despite whatever trials, tribulations, and storms may currently engulf me!
His latest, most important, revelation, admonition, and exhortation to me: if He is an ever-present and ever-active God… purposely and unrelentingly in constant pursuit of a personal, loving, relationship with me (and each and every one of us)… what right?… what excuse?… could I possibly have and present before Him, to justify my being idle?
Everything… EVERYTHING… He sovereignly and righteously purposely or permissively allows me to experience… my joys… my sorrows… and even my pain and infirmities… is done to shape, mold, and refine me into the image of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ… not only to bring me into a closer, more intense, love relationship with Him… but to be faithfully and immediately obedient to Him, in His effective service, through the divine, unyielding, unstoppable power of His Holy Spirit… rather than using these experiences as excuses for disobedience, or delayed obedience, which is still disobedience in not responding immediately to His call… all for the honor, privilege, and blessing of being used as an unwavering vessel of His divine plan to share the Truth of His Word and the Gospel of His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with those who have yet to hear, understand, and/or respond to His love for us and desire for us to be reconciled to Him, through the redemption He has already provided; but, the misguided, of the deceived world, reject.
Revelations of things He has demonstrated to me in my life before; but, require His occasional, yet consistent, “spanking” of me to regain my attention, my memory, my focus, and my faithful AND immediate obedience:
First… I have not failed God and His plan for my life! I do not have the capability or resources to be THAT powerful!
Second… I am and always will be His work in progress! The only perfect being to ever walk this earth in physical form and manifestation is God Himself, in the Incarnate Person of Jesus Christ. EVERYONE ELSE… INCLUDING ME… is a sinner in need of salvation by grace through faith and even then, while still walking this earthly existence, needing His constant sanctification until such time that His earthly purpose for me is complete and He withholds my next breath… calling me home to Himself, for my rest and reward… able to rejoice in the physical presence of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for Whom all the praise, honor, exaltations, and glory is due, for He alone is worthy! In a single sentence: EVERYONE (INCLUDING ME) God has ever had at His disposal (with the exception of the Incarnate Jesus) to will and to work upon this earth for His divine plan, is a sinner (with all the imperfections that accompany that fallen state)!
Third… His ways are above my ways, His thoughts above my thoughts… He does not, nor will He ever, require my understanding of His plan for my participation as one of His broken vessels (due to sin’s resulting imperfections) in the unfolding, execution, and ultimate accomplishment of His divine plan, formulated by Him, for His own pleasure and glory! What He DOES require, is my loving, faithful trust in Him, resulting in IMMEDIATE obedience, producing good works through His power (not my own, for which I have none)!
Fourth (and finally)… No matter my current circumstances… whether they be the sunniest of blue sky days or the howling winds, blinding lightning, and deafening thunder of the angriest and fiercest of raging storms… He is using ALL my experiences, past and present, to mold me and refine me into the image of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ… because He loves me in the fullest, purest, unconditional, nature of that emotion… working ALL things together for good, for I responded to His loving, active, and continuous pursuit of me, and am called by and for Him, according to His divine purposes… and therefore, as James reminds us: I should count ALL these experiences as joy (not as excuses for delayed obedience or total lack thereof, for both are disobedience)!
My only acceptable response to Him at ALL times? Loving, faithful, immediate obedience to His call upon me, as expressed in, through, and by the revelations of His Word and the leading (or convictions) of the Holy Spirit, He has indwelt within me, by His grace… the only response that forms the foundation of genuine worship of Him in spirit and in truth!
So then, please forgive me for having been idle, using my pain as an excuse, and please continue to pray for me as I strive to continue discerning His will for me each day, each hour, each minute, each second, each instant, and seek, trust, and faithfully rely on His power, through the Holy Spirit, rather than my own, to be immediately obedient and sufficient to each task, for His glory!
May the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, be with you always.
In Christ’s service and yours,
Use the video player below to watch a video of this post.
Use the audio player below if you are experiencing bandwidth problems with the video or would just prefer to listen to the audio only.
Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:
James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.
I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.
1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19 "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
- Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.
I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
- In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:
Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
- If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.
I need to discuss my situation confidentially.
James 5:16 (NASB)
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
- Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.