Monday, August 2, 2010

Are you in God's Way . . .


If you become a necessity to someone else’s life, you are out of God’s will. As a servant, your primary responsibility is to be a "friend of the bridegroom"( John 3:29). When you see a person who is close to grasping the claims of Jesus Christ, you know that your influence has been used in the right direction. And when you begin to see that person in the middle of a difficult and painful struggle, don’t try to prevent it, but pray that his difficulty will grow even ten times stronger, until no power on earth or in hell could hold him away from Jesus Christ. Over and over again, we try to be amateur providences in someone’s life. We are indeed amateurs, coming in and actually preventing God’s will and saying, "This person should not have to experience this difficulty." Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, our sympathy gets in the way. One day that person will say to us, "You are a thief; you stole my desire to follow Jesus, and because of you I lost sight of Him."

Beware of rejoicing with someone over the wrong thing, but always look to rejoice over the right thing. ". . . the friend of the bridegroom . . . rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:29-30 ). This was spoken with joy, not with sadness-at last they were to see the Bridegroom! And John said this was his joy. It represents a stepping aside, an absolute removal of the servant, never to be thought of again.

Listen intently with your entire being until you hear the Bridegroom’s voice in the life of another person. And never give any thought to what devastation, difficulties, or sickness it will bring. Just rejoice with godly excitement that His voice has been heard. You may often have to watch Jesus Christ wreck a life before He saves it (Matthew 10:34).

Used with permission from RBC Ministries,
Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest Devotional

March 24, 2006, was an exceptionally painful day in my life. With circumstances entirely out of my control, I heard the Lord whisper in my ear and say, “Kay, stand back and stay out of my way.” Of course, I had nowhere else to go. Nonetheless, for me it was one of those moments of truth. I had a decision to make. Would I allow the circumstances of my life to consume me or would I trust God and stand on His Word.

I’m not sure that I have ever fully surrendered in my life without some kind of struggle. Generally, my journey to the place where I leave my burdens at the cross is much easier if it doesn’t include those I love most. We struggle so to manage the unmanageable. Why is that so hard? What is it that makes us want to protect our loved ones from the natural consequences of disobedience and sin . . . to keep them from experiencing the same kind of pain that brought most of us to that place of brokenness and ultimately the Cross wherein God began to change our lives? In spite of the fact that I fervently pray and ask the Lord to draw my loved ones close, I seem to always end up somewhere in the way trying to make pain go away.

But on this day, revelation knowledge from a great man of God . . . Oh Lord, that I would be called your friend! How I yearn for that mantle! Take me to that place where my desire to serve you rises above all else . . . where my loyalty to you takes precedence even over the members of my own household . . . dear ones that my heart loves so much!

How many times do we get in God’s way? How many times do our best intentions result in preventing those we love from coming face-to-face with Him who is able to exceedingly and abundantly above and beyond all that we can ask or imagine? How many times do my band-aids interfere with the deeper healing the Lord would do? How many times do I build obstacles for Him to walk around? Oh Lord, please don’t let us be hindrances to your power to save and obstacles to Your answers to prayers for those we hold dear!

Let us stop! Teach us to listen for your voice. More of you, Lord, less of us! Impart to us the truth of James Chapter 1: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Remind us, Lord, that the refiner’s fire is necessary to purify and mold us into the fullness of the men and women you have created us to be. So too, the refiner’s fire is the hope for those we love to come to the altar of brokenness so that they can be made new and cleansed through the blood of Jesus.