Some time ago, I heard this phrase from Pastor Steven Furtick’s How To be Brave part four: See It Through sermon:
The tomb is the holding place for resurrection.
The statement rightly summarises the month for me. The Lord, full of grace, led me to the end of the narrow, dark tunnel called “Myself” and led me gently out into the bright, open, and endless pasture of green grass.
In every struggle, in every episode of tears, of mourning, of indignance, the Lord was with me through it all.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Lately I’d been thinking about “shadows”. Shadows reveal the presence of something real, something of opaque substance. So when I say I am hidden in the shadow of God’s wings, I have to recognise that God’s wings are real. In the same way, death in the above psalm is real. Death looms, in all sorts of real or metaphorical sense, and casts a shadow in the valley. Yet even as I walk through it, assuming it is a necessary route that I have to walk which is essentially my life, God is with me. And yes His rod and His staff comforted me. It comforted me that He loves me enough to rebuke and correct me with His rod, and that He was still lovingly guiding me over rocks, over upcoming obstacles or challenges, with His staff.
A Christian walk is one of self-denial and identification with Christ. It’s been three weeks since my social media fast. I’ve lost ‘contact’ with the virtual world, but has gained so much in intimacy with people who matter: the Holy Trinity, my earthly shepherd, and the family and friends who really matter.
It ushered in a season of questioning my reasons in all I do; stripping away all pretenses and defenses, and ultimately coming to the end of myself: Christ is enough. All else is trash.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
On hindsight now everything makes sense. God has more ahead (do you really believe it?) and He needed me to let go of the things that hindered, so that my hands and my heart could be free to receive the more that He really really has and desires to pour.
Just the 3rd day after my fast began, the Lord did His powerful work (that still leaves all of us in awe) in the ID Christian Fellowship. We baptised two brothers and a sister in the Holy Spirit, witnessed by a pre-believing visitor. My God, that was incredible! Two weeks later, just last Friday, when Glenda and I met with Hans for lunch and evaluation/alignment, he shared with us that he is assured that we’re on the right track in Christ, because the vision that he had received from the Lord after creating the ID Care facebook group of him baptising others with a group of students in the Holy Spirit had already come to pass in that session! Aren’t you in awe of the Lord yet?!
I’m reading the book “Watch of the Lord”. I’m still learning how to keep in step with the Spirit and to watch the Lord intently with dove’s eyes on His move. I’m starting to see that as God’s child (in this case, me) begins to surrender and yield to Him (surely, may be slowly) in every (and I mean every) area of his/her life, He honours the heart behind it, and He replaces every single thing that was there with something even better, more valuable, something that lasts for all eternity, that truly truly satisfies. And as He does that renewal and resurrection work, He takes good care of the needs of His beloved child. He blesses in abundance: He provides (joy even in the midst of suffering), and He delights (in making His child head and not tail).
I’m expecting more with hands wide open, head held up, eyes fixed on You, heart clean and open for Your dwelling. Come, Lord.