Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hidden

"Faith without works is dead, " He said in James. Does that make you break out in a cold sweat, too? Good, we'll help each other through it then. I really, really wish faith without works was alive and perfect, and showed just how much I love God.

But it isn't and it doesn't.

I have recently been beat up by this fairly petite, blonde woman in Texas name Jennie, and for some odd reason, I keep coming back for more! :) This "Anything" book has grabbed the deeper parts of my heart and is pulling off callouses I had no idea I'd allowed to build up.

Oh how the softening hurts.

I read her words about Jim Elliot who was killed by the Waodoni people in Ecuador because they couldn't understand that he was trying to invite them to heaven with him--and they sent him there sooner than his family could have imagined. I read about D.L. Moody who was an uneducated shoe salesman who felt the call to preach the gospel. And somehow through his ministry, the most prestigious seminary was built--an uneducated man somehow gave one of the biggest contributions to the education of God's people. I read about Katie Davis (who I found out about in 2012 and was every bit as intrigued by her as Jennie says she was) who at 19 left the perfect American life she held to live in Uganda and raise orphans as her own.

These people...I get emotional thinking about their FAITH. This is what was so harshly attacked in me only 5 short days ago. My faith. And maybe I understand a little bit more why now. Because if my faith becomes active, where I step out and do something with it...that must be absolutely terrifying to our enemy. "The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him," said Moody's friend Henry Varley.

I don't want to move to Uganda or be killed by a people group honestly...but I want to live a life that truly shows what I believe. I want everyone who knows and meets me to walk away with one absolute for sure thought: Cara loves Jesus with everything, and she just might possibly do anything for Him.

Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." I had read that before, but reading it this time did something different in my spirit.

Jim Elliot wrote that in his private journal. No one else was supposed to see it. He wasn't trying to craft the perfect line or get the best publisher's attention. And yet, he wrote one of the most astounding quotes I've ever read, and it obviously DID get published.

Here's what the Lord so gently revealed to me through this part of the book: There was a time where I was desperately hunting down notoriety, mostly through my writing. I knew God had given me a gift with words, but it was so hard to pinpoint exactly what I was supposed to do with it. My life got blown away in a tornado, and suddenly I had a platform on which to write. So I threw my whole self into it for a season. 

And you know what happened? Nothing. 

Because my heart was nowhere near the heart of God. No big book deal showed up at my door. People moved on and their hearts grew weary of hearing about the tornado, as people's hearts do.

During that time, I didn't realize it then, but now I see that one of my greatest fears was to not be known. In fact, the thought of moving back to my hometown was terrifying to me because then absolutely no one would ever find me here. How could I become a published writer if no one even knew me--if I were hidden in a tiny town on the side of a mountain?

If you know where I live, you're probably laughing now. You know what, I adore the side of this mountain. It has brought so much peace to my heart. Yes, I'm quite hidden. You can't even find my house unless I give you directions because my address doesn't show up on Google Maps. How 'bout that?! God absolutely cracks me up, y'all. But in this time of being "hidden" I have also done the most writing for Him than ever before. 




Oh, His ways are not our own!

This is a bit of what He's changing in me. But it's a constant battle if I'm honest. I can so easily slip back into wanting my own welfare, my own glory. And so I ask Him to keep my heart steadfast, to keep it longing for HIS glory instead of my own, for OTHERS' welfare instead of my own. I desperately want to honor God--not just on Sundays. With my whole life. It is scary, though. What will it cost me? What will that mean?

Today I'm realizing that one of my biggest "Anything" prayers that I'm offering up to God is the dream of my being an author. My heart pounds a bit harder and my hands shake a bit as I type this...because I honestly still want to clasp my hands around it just a little bit longer. 

But I need to release it because I can't keep it.

It wasn't even mine to begin with if I'm honest. When He knit me in my mother's womb, He saw fit to put a love for words in my mind, and I believe He took a chance on whether I would use them for Him or not (I know He knows all things, but He lets us choose too). So my "Anything" in this moment is handing my talent over to Him, not knowing how He will handle it. Will He ever give it back? Will anything ever come of it? 

I don't know.

And that's okay.

I'm believing that heaven is real, God is who He says He is, and that He is worth it. So nothing I could hang onto could possibly be more important than Him. Jesus, teach me to put all things in their proper place and You in Yours.

This is my "Anything" today, Jesus, and I am laying it at Your feet.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden [on the mountainside] with Christ in God (Colossians 3:2-3). 

Peace of Christ to you,

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