Living Testimony of a Living God (in spite of the trial)
I’ve been learning how to live in spite of the trial. I am realizing this is an important lesson to learn, because truly, as one presses deeper into the chest of Christ, the more the enemy and flesh will fight against him/her. This makes sense. Satan knows that the closer we draw to the Lord, the more strength we will find, the more peace we will obtain, the more faith will increase within us, and the more we will discover of who we are as warriors of Christ AGAINST him (Satan) because of what God accomplished through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And flesh? That pesky fleshly-sin-nature…it will be something that must be put into submission and to death every day (sometimes every moment) until our Father calls us home to Glory. That said, of course the enemy will fight harder and harder as we seek to draw closer to God…so we mustn’t be surprised when wave after wave rise up against us — we shouldn’t be caught off guard when the storms rage for long periods of time — and we must prepare ourselves to be strong (in the power and might of our God!) in the face of the trials — no matter how long they may last.
I have walked through some very difficult weeks recently. It just seems like from every angle there are arrows being shot at me from the evil one — and from my own flesh. There have been many tears cried and nights of desperation with the Lord, crying out to Him for help.
It is so easy to allow other people around you to know of the trial you are in. This is easy because we want compassion from people around us — we want someone to empathize with us and to love on us for a little while. When no one automatically gives us the comforting words, it’s so easy to allow ourselves to look crestfallen, or to appear disheveled. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t seek comfort — or that we should always appear strong/perfect. No, that is one of the greatest problems I’ve found in the society we live in now — “happy plastic people.” No. We DO need to be real with people…and that includes being honest about things that are going on in our lives with people we trust and are close to. What I’m referring to is when a person completely allows a circumstance to steal their joy, overcome everything else in their lives, refocus their sights on all things negative instead of seeing good in spite of the trial. You know — those people that you can tell by their appearance – their countenance – that something is wrong.
If I am a child of God, and that is my countenance when things are hard in my life, how does my life look any different than that of those who are not children of God in the hard times? It is easy to call myself a child of God when things are good — but it is truly in the trial that people can see whether or not I have a close relationship with the God that I call the Almighty.
I have a small card at my work desk on which I have written, “Live life in such a way that you are a living testimony of a Living God.” What a challenge. God, forgive me for the days that my life has blended in with the lives of those around me who are not carriers of Your Holy Spirit. Forgive me when I squander the Power You have given me, put inside of me, to live by!
My sweet sister, Susanna, posted this quote about George Muller on her facebook a couple of weeks ago and it has stuck with me and challenged me greatly. “He always wore clothing that was clean and not tattered. He was always careful to be joyful. He was always careful not to present a burden on his face. And someone asked him one time why was this so? And he said, ‘I would not want anyone to think my Master was unkind. I want them to be able to see my face and realize that my Master is kind. He’s the kind of Master than any reasonable person would want to have.”
He was careful to be joyful. He was careful not to present a burden on his face.
The cry of my heart is that God would make this a reality in me. I want my life to be a living testimony of a Living God – regardless what is happening around me or inside of me. I want to be a life who reflects that of one who has a KIND Master. For Jesus certainly has been kind unto me!
This has grown long, but I wanted to record these things so that I might be able to look back on them and remember in the future. May God be glorified more and more in and around me — He is worthy!