This weekend I had the privilege of sitting under one of my favorite Bible teachers and letting the Word of God fall fresh on my soul. No wonder the Scriptures say that man cannot live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. I was (in retrospect) starved for a feast in His presence.
She reminded us that God does not call us to forsake a thing in our lives without the invitation to take up something in its place…
Forsake a life of sin. Take up the resurrected life in Jesus.
Forsake all doubt. Take up genuine belief.
Forsake bitterness. Take up grace and forgiveness.
Forsake regret. Take up peace.
Forsake our flesh- our carnal appetites. Take up the life in the Spirit.
Forsake hatred. Take up love.
Forsake death and destruction. Take up Jesus.
In praying through this very idea this morning I realize I am prone to a religiousness that is futile and empty because I tend to make big lists of “forsake” and forget that if I were to try to live there, be satisfied there, make sense of this life there, I would turn up empty and dry. Like a shallow pool. An empty cavern. A walking dead woman.
This is not the life God rescued, yes redeemed, me for.
Come to find out I do not have to forsake riches. Yes. Indeed, I may be rich. Rich in deeds. I do not have to forsake treasure. I, instead, can hold the vast treasures given to me by God. I do not need to forsake a desire for beauty. No. I could actually plead and yearn and pray for beauty- that breathtaking beauty of a gentle and merciful heart that has been made-over in the presence of Jesus. I do not have to cease craving. The invitation is bold and clear- God is vast enough, deep enough, high enough, full enough to quench every soul appetite that churns deep within. Only He satisifies with holy and pure rivers of joy, and peace, and love. Rivers that do not contaminate the soul.
May I be, may the church be, may us as women be no longer satisfied to forsake death without taking up the miraculous new life that we can have in Jesus. May we willingly trade the life we’ve known as paupers for the rich extravagance of the treasure store of the risen and reigning Lord Jesus Christ.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”