Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hit the Ground Running

Years ago the Lord revealed to Christians that - depending on their level of submission to God's refinement in life - when they die and enter Paradise they will either be ushered aside to the River of Life for a season, or they will be allowed immediate entry from Paradise into the Holy City and God's Throne Room.

I was nearly 30 years old when I heard this revelation, and it really got next to me.  It caused me to consider very seriously what I wanted my destiny in Daddy to entail.

It's certainly no prison sentence to rest temporarily on the shores of the River of Life, inhaling the healing vapors of the leaves of the Tree of Life, and harvesting the 12 manner of fruit it bears for spiritual edification, growth, and - hello? - eternal life.  Sounds fabulous in fact... until I considered option 2.

Don't misunderstand me - I believe EVERYTHING about God's Heaven is mind-blowing and phenomenal; it ALL should be sought after wholeheartedly.  But for me, the whole purpose of living for the Lord is so that - immediately after eating of the Tree of Life (a right Christ died to procure on my behalf) - I can enter that City, the New  Jerusalem, City of Our God, and approach His Throne.  Hugging and loving on my Abba in His House is the goal of my life.  It is my purpose... my meaning... it is the fulfillment of my God-given identity as Daddy's Girl.

So I want to hit the ground running.

Holy Spirit reminded me that this can only happen if I am willing to let God expose all "the uglies" within me - a.k.a., the hurts, woundings, emotional ruptures, and offenses - as well as all the unforgiveness I'd harbored over the years against the perpetrators (and the perceived perpetrators) of those things.  Abba would instruct Holy Spirit to take me back and forth through life exposing, delivering, and healing me with my permission and cooperation.  God doesn't force anyone to be healed.  In truth, even as much as He longs to accomplish our freedom in all areas, He won't even go there without our permission.

So the choice was mine.  As my mother always said, "Sharon, every tub has to stand on its own bottom."

It's not a sin to be ushered aside for a season to learn of God in further process and healing beneath the soothing shade of the His Tree of Life before being allowed to enter the City. But my friends, the Lord lovingly urged me to choose His highest offering, and I did.  By Holy Spirit's grace (not force), I made the decision long ago to pray for Christ's ability to obey Daddy to the furthest extent possible while I'm here, and to endure in His Name.  To that powerful, personal decision, He assured me:
"I will fight (the enemy) so that what I have established in you will be maintained.  We will get through the fatigue and what the enemy sends, together, you and I.  Just keep saying 'yes' to Me, and I will lead you out.  Amen."
What God does for one, He'll do for all.

Dear ones, it has been Abba's deep, consistent assurances to me all of these years (I'm 48 my next birthday) that have enabled me to persevere, nodding continually in the affirmative to all of His Plan, Will, and Way in my life.  Do I need His constant guidance and encouragements?  You'd better believe I do; I'm just as human as anyone else in that, without the Godhead, I can do nothing.  But that's just the thing, y'all... through this process, I've made up my mind NEVER to be without Them and NEVER to say no to Them again.  It's working!

Allowing the utter destruction of my sinful flesh by the Holy Hand of God has been one of the most challenging adventures of my existence.  Has it been painful as well? Absolutely; but only to the flesh.  The flesh is being burned away... that hurts.

Oh, but listen to the precious reward it will gain all of us who choose His highest way, according to Christ through John the Apostle:
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they might have a right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates in to the City." (Rev. 22:14)
How this is accomplished was powerfully and joyfully iterated by the Apostle Paul as he awaited his inheritance in the ecstasy of expectancy in 2 Timothy 4:6-8,
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of Righteousness which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing."
Don't take anything upon yourself other than the decision to go for the highest and best God has to offer.  Once that decision is made, call upon Holy Spirit to enable you to appropriate everything Daddy has given you.   Always remember that Holy Spirit is our "Go-To Guy", beloved!  All He needs is your cooperation to do in you what you alone cannot; the precious Spirit of the Living God will enable you to keep your word.

He will enable you to submit to His deliverance of "the uglies" in your life so that you can live obediently and righteously through the end once you decide that on that blessed day... you're going to hit the ground running!

Let's pray...

[Holy Father, we desire to submit ourselves to Your precious will, plan, and way for us in all things. Please grant us the trust and strength in You to choose Your highest will for us. Please enable us to obey, consistently, Holy Spirit's directives in the exposing, delivering, and healing of our lives by Your design and in Your timing.  In Jesus' Name we pray and thank You. Amen.]

In the Power of Christ always,

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)