It is nearly one in the morning. I am awake yet again in the wee hours, yet, I enjoy it. Have you ever seen the Bruce Willis movie, "16 Blocks?" I only just finished watching it after completing a self-imposed month-long ban on movies, TV, etc. I think I made a wise decision to first watch a movie where a man is willing to give his life for something he believes in, no matter how long a time period he has believed in that one thing.
That is what true belief does for you: it makes you willing to sacrifice, to die.
A favorite, and often printed on this blog, quote of mine is one by Rev. Richard Wurmbrand:
"A man truly believes not what he recites in his creed but what he is willing to die for."
I just love that because it inspires me to seek out the depth of my beliefs and sincerity. Am I willing to die, physically, or sacrifice anything, relationship or material, etc., for what/who I believe in? I guess time can only tell the true depth of my belief as I, and many American Christians, have not yet been tested to the extent that Chinese Christians and other Christians around the globe have. They have had/still have guns shoved in their faces, with the holder screaming that they denounce the only One who offers them hope and true life, Jesus Christ, or else they will pull the trigger. Yet, in their hour of GREATEST need, the Holy Spirit comes over their hearts in a way that I can not even imagine, and at a time when everyone else's hearts would faint and quickly give in, they refuse. And they die.
When I was younger, my uncle was making movies about the encroaching threat of anti-hate laws, specifically targeting Christians, taking away free speech in this nation (see National Prayer Network and Hate Laws Exposed links in sidebar.) I was asked to participate in a "skit" as a persecuted Christian, or as someone persecuting Christians, I don't remember which. I remember everyone else being so involved, so happy that they could help possibly, and indeed, save free speech as it was threatened in that session of Congress. But all I felt was a deep cold, a gripping fear constricting my throat and chest. I saw my dear family and friends acting, but I didn't see it as that. I saw it as if it were real, as if they were really being attacked, or arrested, or beaten. I tried to act my part, but I could not stop the tears of fright from pouring down my cheeks. I ran away. The only reason I am telling you all this, not because I think you will understand since tomorrow this will probably all read as gibberish, but because I wanted to try to illustrate my intense fear of persecution and pain. I could never, in and of myself, stand and face death for my belief in the Lord. But as I grow closer and closer and more and more in desperate love for the Lord, my spirit becomes more willing to give up any measure for Him.
Remember how it says in the Bible, perhaps by Jesus, the "spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak?" Well, God is making my spirit willing, so He is going to have to make my flesh strong too.
I guess that is all a mumble-jumble, the ramblings of a desperate, seeking heart. Oh, how I want the Lord to make me into a jem for His crown. And I don't even feel worthy of say that because what if I don't really mean it? I mean, what if I am saying it for a show? I know THAT isn't true. If I were "showing off," I wouldn't have said any of this post because it is so intimate and it is all so frightening to my body to think of the coming persecutions that will inevitably come as evil takes its final stand against God. (Read Revelations if you want nightmares, by the way.)
I am seeking, I am seeking the Lord's face. One day I WILL see it. I am determined I will not be swept away. But I only have this determination because I am clinging with reckless abandon to the arms of Jesus. I wouldn't have even made it this far without His mercies that are new and overflowing every morning...
Dear Lord, please accept my broken, humble heart. It is all I have to offer. Besides, no treasure on earth could be perfect and holy before You. I can only trust in Your grace that washes over me in a steady flow like the waves of the ocean. The waves of the ocean that You set the boundaries for. The ocean that washes this great globe that You have hung in space. The space the stretches on farther than man's eye can reach. The eye of man, the man that is too stupid to behold even your smallest miracle to the greatest extent... But You said, You said that what You value most is faith like a child. Well, Lord, that is ALL I have to offer so it is a good thing it is good enough.