Something Difficult

I did something very difficult this morning. It is something I have started doing every morning. I have a couple pages of scriptures and quotations that I begin each day by reading. I meditate on them, praying them, underlining and highlighting words or phrases each day as I am impressed of my own need. Here is the first part of the first one:  "Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, "Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee."  {SC 70}
             Now it certainly is not hard to read. And I have truly been sincere in seeking the Lord and saying I surrender to His will in all things. What made it hard today was the part about laying all my plans at His feet. You see, today (Sunday) we plan to reach the gulf of Mexico below Mobile, AL., and stay for 2-3 days at Dauphin Island Campground. When we travel we don't plan out our trip beforehand. We just "go where the wind blows" and only make plans a day or two ahead. The campground is right on the gulf, at the end of the island. Sounds like a wonderful and relaxing place. Last night we made a reservation.
             So while it is easy to read the words about laying all my plans at His feet, to be sincere and serious about my plans not working out so that His plans for me can succeed is not easy. We came south to get away from the cold winter for awhile. We enjoy white sandy beaches and the sound of the water. We are stressed out and worn out. It's not like we are running away from any obligations, we aren't doing anything wrong. So to truly say, from the heart, "Lord, if your Providence directs otherwise and something happens that prevents us from going there, then Thy will be done," is difficult.  "The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness." {FLB 87}
                         These thoughts were probably stimulated because yesterday in Sabbath School the subject of the "Rich Young Ruler" came up. We usually think that Jesus really gave him a hard requirement to give all his possessions to the poor and come follow Jesus. We may feel glad He hasn't asked us to give away everything we have. And yet, He does say the same to each of us. Luke 14:33 Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple. 
             Suppose Jesus had told that young man to feed 5,000 men plus women and children for a day. I am sure he would have been able to do so. Or maybe provide a meal to all the poor in Jerusalem for the rest of his life. He probably could have used his money and influence, perhaps set up a trust fund, so the work could go on even after his death. He still would have had wealth enough for himself, and he would be assured of a place in heaven because he was doing what Jesus asked. He could have had both worlds. But in God's plan we can only have one.
             Jesus, as our example, made the same choice He requires of us. He truly forsook all in order to follow God. God's will was for our salvation. Jesus had to forsake heaven and everything He had, to come down here. To follow God's plan Jesus gave up all, 2 Corinthians 5:21  For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.
             As Jesus hung upon the cross what did God see? Those lips that had always spoken truth, now God sees lying lips, and they are an abomination to Him. Those hands that had always been helpful and gentle now God sees the hands of a murderer such as Barabbas, or Nero, or King David. God sees on the cross the child molester, the rapist, the glutton. Yes, Jesus forsook all that He had or was in order to be God's channel for my salvation.
             So the same question comes to each of us every day.  Am I willing to forsake all my plans and ideas in order to be God's channel of salvation to those I may meet today?



Daniel Manzano and his wife Rose.