I Love Him….I Love Him Not

Image result for Girls hand picking off petals

It’s happened to all of us.  At least once.  By the time we are young women, we’ve all had it happen:  He stands out in a crowd.  You enjoy almost everything about him.  His sudden presence gives you butterflies.  You desire to know his preferences, his dislikes, his opinion.  You didn’t plan it, but every time he’s there, you find yourself talking to him or being near him, and when that wasn’t an option, you were talking about him.

As Christians with high moral standards, it’s easy to wonder at ourselves after experiencing these feelings.  Where in the world did our common sense go?  Don’t we know better than this?  And we end up apologizing to God, making commitments or resolutions, reprimanding our lustful flesh, and failing the very next time we come in contact with the guy.  And so begins the bang-your-head-against-the-wall-routine.
True love doesn’t have to be void of these emotions…”

It’s inevitable to have these “moments” come up sometimes.  You look up and he’s smiling at you.  He walks into the room and you get butterflies.  You notice when he compliments you.  You like him and it’s just a plain fact.  Nothing in the world could change it.

 Love doesn’t deny the existence of these real feelings.  True love doesn’t have to be void of these emotions before it can be true love.  But we have to realize that emotions and feelings in-and-of -themselves are NOT love. They are feelings, and emotions. (Profound, I know!). And if we accept them as such and continue on in our life we can rest assured — we haven’t sinned and haven’t done anyone a disservice.

 If we take that emotion and dwell on it and invest ourselves into it, and allow it to dictate us, then we are obsessing in an emotion and allowing it to ferment into infatuation and that certainly is, in the very least, a disservice to ourselves. It’s also taking advantage of someone at the expense of our fleshly satisfaction. Doesn’t really sound like love. It can’t be. It’s the opposite of love, because love seeks not her own. Enjoying someone purely for our fulfillment is selfishness. Which is a sin.

Conclusion: If we like someone and have these feelings, it is not a sin.

What we do with these feelings is imperative.

If we truly love this man we will be so concerned for his best, his purity, and God’s will for him, it will trump our emotions.

If we “love him not”, we will unregrettably choose to revel in these emotions and satisfy our lusts at his expense.

The question of whether these emotions are okay or not really shouldn’t haunt us.  We should be more concerned of whether we “love him, or love him not”.

 “So, God, here I am. Here’s my heart. Here’s the emotions and feelings. Here’s my love. So baby and immature. Temptation shows me who I am. And I’m a selfish human being. But you in your love will not allow it to exceed your strength in me. I am open to the ministry of Jesus. Here I am, open and bare. Be my Love, be my all. You over anyone else. I’m renouncing me and my self, and my infatuation…even when it’s just a tiny root and bud. No, I won’t accept it. It’s wrong. But I am not condemned in the fact when I notice. I’m not even afraid to smile at the fact. But there I stop. I give it to you. I refuse to pamper the thrill it gives me. I lay it down to rest. You do what you will.”

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The Sword of His Will

Sword

“Yet more and more this truth doth shine

From failure and from loss,

The will that runs transverse to Thine

Doth thereby make its cross:

Thine upright will

Cuts straight and still

Through pride and dream and dross.”

W.M.L. Jay

This is something I’d like to call “The Sword of His Will”. Which is, to present yourself before the Lord in full surrender and allow Him to tear away from your heart whatever you hold within you that crosses with Himself. It is a painful undertaking, but a worth while one! It bleeds and stings like nothing else, but the result is a sweet savor. It is to be committed all the way. To put place yourself completely in His care. To trust Him with everything. And nothing is more sweet, more precious, or dear to Him. Nothing can compare to the bonding it forms between me and my Saviour. And nothing is worth holding onto that separates that closeness. I hope this is a blessing, dear reader, and that you wouldn’t hesitate to open your heart completely to the one who first opened His heart to you. 

I lay myself down on the cold stone

I asked Him to place me here.

But as a once silent prayer becomes my reality,

All I can sense is my own gripping fear.

My heart within me pounding

Like a heavy drum, it beats;

With every part of me shaking in terror,

My Great Physician meets.

“My child, it is time to cut through this dross

So to replace it with the best;

Someday you will yet come to understand the reason,

But for now, be still and rest.”

He knows just where to place the knife,

Cutting deep, the right incision He makes.

Clear through my dearest desires and dreams,

My heart, He deliberately breaks.

The pain within me, overwhelming

How it aches and stings and bleeds!

But still one thought returning,

“Lovest Thou me, more than these?”

How the sorrows of loss compassed me!

My eyes, heavy laden with tears;

Weary and wounded, I cry out to Him-

Only silence; Yet, I could sense His presence near.

Still He continued to tear me

All earthly pleasures severed and crushed;

The hopes once hidden away in my heart,

Like blood from my veins, now rushed.

Such silence disquieted my soul

But His touch was still gentle and sweet.

For no one else knows me like He does,

All my deepest needs, He alone can entreat.

His smile towards me was reassuring

Though His face with anguish seemed worn.

I felt secure in His strong grasp; But still wondered,

Why, with such heaviness of tears, He did mourn?

For behold, He too was standing there bleeding!

All my pain and grief to bear;

And it was then, I knew that He loved me

What great compassion! My death to share!

Lord Jesus, You gave all Your life blood,

“The Man of Sorrows”, became for me;

And so through Your grace and by Thy power,

I’ll lie here and bleed for Thee.

Still, He won’t leave His helpless victim,

Lying shattered and lifeless and wasted to be;

But He comes in quite different apparel

Jehovah-Rapha- “I am the LORD that healeth thee.”

Such peace floods my soul!

He’s a healing balm to my open wounds;

What joy overflows me; He mends the broken heart again!

Whatever the losses I feared, my thanksgiving now consumes.

It is good that He did afflict me

For He only is able to fully use;

Those things which are willing to be sacrificed,

And a heart that is broken and bruised.

     -Lynea Bickish   January 2014-

Keeping our Hearts with Diligence, Part Two

This is the continuation from my previous post “Keeping our Hearts with Diligence (Part I)”.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  (Proverbs 4:23)

In my previous post on keeping our hearts with diligence, I stopped with the subject of our eyes. Who we might be looking at. What we are looking for. Where we are setting our affections.

Colossians 3:2-3 says- “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” 

The problem is most of us haven’t even realized who we truly belong to. The reason our affections aren’t on things above, but are rather, on this earth, is because our lives are not hid with Christ in God. But they are supposed to be. In fact, Romans 12:1-2 tells us that this is only our “reasonable service”. Paul couldn’t even go beyond what was “reasonable”, because the Christians wouldn’t even do that. And while the desires of our hearts can be extremely hard to give up, I know, it is a crucial part of our walk with the Lord. We do not belong to ourselves. It is not our life alone, to choose what we want to do with it or who we will spend it with. We answer to the Lord.

“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” (v.26)

Here I would like to talk about our path. “Let our ways be established”. Where are we going? What is our goal? What are we establishing?

I heard it said recently, that “You are either devising your own way or God is ordering your steps.” When it comes to our heart’s path, there isn’t much middle ground. Either you are conniving to get what you want or you are waiting on what the Lord wants to give you. And if you would but search your heart a little while, you’d know exactly which one you were. The truth is, our actions speak louder than our words. A lot of young girls will say that they are waiting on the Lord, but their actions do not prove it to be true. They seem almost desperate to attach themselves to someone. This shouldn’t be. Why? Because our contentment is found in the Lord. He is the One satisfying our heart’s desire. He fills all our emotional needs. He is love. He is our purpose. He is our goal. Sometimes it is needful to ask ourselves a few questions.

Just to see where our hearts honestly are.

Am I content exactly where God has placed me?

Is there anything (or anyone) that seems to always come before my desire for Christ?

Am I patient and happy to wait for His perfect timing, even if it’s much longer than I would have expected?

Is there just as much peace in letting go of my desires as in seeing them fulfilled?

Proverbs 28:26 says, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

“Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.” (Proverbs 23:19)

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying before, “follow your heart”. What a dangerous thing to do! Seeing as our hearts are deceitfully wicked above all things. They are not supposed to be followed, or heeded in the least. No, instead, we are actually commanded to guide our hearts. So, while our hearts will often at times feel completely unruly and impossible to deal with, they aren’t. How are we to guide our hearts? By trusting them to Jesus.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

By trusting our hearts to the Lord, we allow Him to lead them. This often requires continual surrender. But with surrender, comes a blessed peace. The Lord Jesus wants to establish our ways. He wants to lead our hearts. His paths are always the loveliest to follow. He is a good Heavenly Father. He delights to give His children good things. We can trust Him. And no path can be deemed lonely when He is the One traveling it with you.

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” (Psalms 40:2)

In Isaiah 55: 8 and 9, we see where the Lord’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways, not our ways. They are infinitely higher and so much wiser. Sometimes, it would seem, the Lord has to rescue me from myself. Thinking that I know what is best for me, when in reality, I don’t. Of course, we all think that if we really got what our hearts longed and wished for it would all turn out right in the end. But just as a wise mother lovingly holds back her child from danger, so Christ holds us back from what we don’t understand. We will never see as He sees. And we can never love ourselves as much as He truly loves us. There is just as much love in His “yes” as in His “no”.

I remember one time in my life, a couple of years ago, when I wondered about a certain young man in my life. I found myself attracted to him and wondered if the feeling was mutual. Considering whether he might be the Lord’s will for me or not, I prayed about it. And the Lord gave me John 21:21-22.

“Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”

Basically, it is none of your business.  J

What is my path? To follow after Jesus. And the rest is His responsibility. It doesn’t matter who your future husband may or may not be, or where he even is, that is for the Lord to direct. We are to be waiting and keeping our hearts with all purity, with all diligence. The Lord has to be our goal. Not marriage. Not a relationship. Not anything else. Just Him.

“Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” (v. 27)

And then, we have the command to “turn not” and to “remove thy foot from evil.” Again, it isn’t “evil” to like someone. It isn’t “evil” to want to get married. But it is evil to be thinking or dwelling on anything that doesn’t fit into the verse of Philippians 4:8.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

In removing our foot from evil, we need to be establishing our thoughts.

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Our thoughts are very important to the Lord. It is easy to excuse them as not really being “that big of a deal”, especially since no one else can actually see them and aren’t necessarily effected by them. But this isn’t actually true. For one thing, Jesus sees all our thoughts. He is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) And if for no other reason, we should care that our thoughts are pure because of Him. Proverbs 23:7 tells us “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” What we think about, says a lot about us. Where our minds continually dwell, says a lot about where our hearts are. And while others may not see your thoughts per se, our thoughts affect our actions, which then affect those around us. It is important where our minds wonder. You are not alone in your little world of imagination. Girls tend to daydream to an unhealthy level. It almost seems to be built into our nature somehow. Like the little girl who always wants to play house. We were made to be homemakers and “nesting” comes, oh, too easily. We think about what our future might look like. Girls are also very relational. And it is not uncommon for girls to often think about their future husbands (or who that might be) and even their future children before ever entering that time of their life. And while it might not necessarily be wicked, it can be dangerous. It can be taken to an unhealthy level and reality can be lost. Our “fantasy”, or even hope of what our futures might be, can become more enjoyable to live than our actual life.

Proverbs 24:9 says, “The thought of foolishness is sin:”

This verse puts an immediate stop to all day dreaming, because that’s exactly what it is. Foolishness. According to Philippians 4:8, it isn’t whatsoever things are true. It isn’t whatsoever things are honest. It is vanity.

If you’ve ever “liked” someone in particular, you already know just how easy it is to think about that person. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, he can be in the back of your thoughts. And while thinking about that person isn’t necessarily a sin itself, and honestly just comes naturally, what we are thinking could be. Are you already mentally planning as if you’d spend your future with him? This isn’t right. This isn’t whatsoever things are just. Are your thoughts always drifting to the romantic side of things? This isn’t whatsoever things are pure; whatsoever things are lovely; whatsoever things are of good report. There are other thoughts along this subject which are more subtle, but equally just as dangerous if not more so. These are the thoughts about this “special someone” that actually are true. Things said or events that actually happened. Such as, maybe the last time your families spent the day together or when you last saw him at church; whatever it might be. Our minds have a way of “replaying” everything. Like, how he looked at you, or even if he looked at you. What was said; how we laughed together. Maybe the things you did. All these “little things” become precious and hidden away in our hearts when we like someone. But my question is: Is it virtuous? Is it praiseworthy? Philippians 4:8 says “…if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” And it is all such thoughts that we must surrender to the Lord. They are not healthy for us to hold so close to our hearts, or to replay in our minds.

II Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ:”

Our thoughts must be brought captive to the obedience of Christ. When our minds wonder foolishly or even romantically, we must stop and submit them to the Lord. It hast to be a conscious effort. It is a choice we make. “Casting down imaginations”.  We must cast them down at Jesus’ feet. And when we do, we’ll find that He is always there faithfully waiting to take our thoughts and imaginations. That He has already promised the victory. It is ours to claim at the very moment our hearts looks up towards Him. Ephesians 4:23 says, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” Our minds need to be renewed. And it is by taking them to Jesus that He then forgives and cleanses and renews them again.

“And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” (Matthew 9:4)

“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psalms 10:4)

Sadly, what could be said of the “wicked” here, could also be said of most Christians. God is not in all his thoughts. And what a difference it would make if He was!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24)

In order for the Lord to even be able to help us keep our hearts with diligence, they must first be given to Him. He must have our heart. Our will must be put into neutral. Our hearts cannot be set on anything that isn’t of the Lord. Even with the things that just aren’t His timing yet. We cannot have a froward heart. To stubbornly insist on our own way is heartache.

“He that hath a froward heart findeth no good:” (Proverbs 17:20)

“They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.” (Proverbs 11:20)

In Luke 12, we are encouraged to “take no thought for your life”. I think this is the biggest secret to keeping our hearts with all diligence. Letting God be our everything. When we have let go of our life, our plans, our dreams, our heart’s desires, our future hopes, and our deepest longings; when instead, all else becomes as complete loss compared to Him; when He becomes that one desire of our hearts.

“I’ve been a great deal happier since I have given up thinking about what is easy and pleasant, and being discontented because I couldn’t have my own will. Our life is determined for us; and it makes the mind very free when we give up wishing, and only think of bearing what is laid upon us, and doing what is given us to do.” George Eliot

Keeping our Hearts with Diligence, Part One

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  (Proverbs 4:23)

I’ll be honest. This verse has always discouraged me. I’ve heard it my whole life growing up- “Keep your heart. Keep your heart. Keep your heart!” I’ve even told this to other girls younger than me. But what does it mean to “keep your heart” anyways? It always felt like a pretty good saying that was somewhat overused and completely unexplained. But it was Biblical, right? It was most commonly used in reference to boys. Not giving your heart away to some guy you “like” or have a “crush on” when you’re 14, that may after all, never be your husband.

It has also been commonly used as I’ve gotten older, during the years when you are officially “coming of age” and marriage is actually a very real possibility. If you ever show interest in a guy or he shows interest in you, it is one of the first things you hear. “Keep your heart.” It sounds good, I’d like to be able to do that, but how? What does it even mean? What does it look like, practically applied?

I’ve been told that if you don’t keep your heart, you will be giving away pieces of that heart, which can never again be recovered. That you will then, never have a “complete” heart to give someone else. I am honestly not sure this is strictly true, just speaking from experience, but I do know there is a difference between “liking someone” and literally “giving someone your heart”. Some girls think they are “in love” with a guy they’ve hardly even spoken three words to, when really, they are only in love with the idea of being in love. This is called “infatuation”. For those of you who might be worried that because you have liked someone, you’ve ruined any chance of giving yourself completely to your husband, I’d like to say that giving your heart, is actually a choice we make. Just like love is a choice. It is painful, vulnerable, and not something that “accidently happens” without our knowing it. Being attracted to someone isn’t “falling in love with that person”. Also, just because you are interested in a potential possibility, doesn’t mean you are “beyond the point of no return”.

That being said, however, I would also like to bring out the fact that our hearts are extremely weak and vulnerable. We can form dangerous “heart strings” very quickly. We can easily become unhealthily attached to someone. (For more on “heart stings”- please look up Toni’s previous post “HeartStrings”.) We do need to be careful. The Lord wouldn’t have commanded us to “keep our hearts with all diligence” if He also didn’t know that out of them are the “issues of life”! Our hearts are also very deceitful. The Lord describes them as such in Jeremiah 17:9- “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

We can’t even know our own hearts. They deceive us.

But guess who does?

“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Job understood this truth. He says – “And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.” (Job 10:13)

Just because “giving our hearts away” is a choice, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be careful not to make that choice. And because our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful, we need to be cautious. Just the simple fact that God told us to “keep” them, actually means that they can be “given away”. So how do we keep our hearts?

Here is something I recently wrote in my diary-

“The heart seems unruly and impossible to keep. But then, why would He give the command to? He would be an unjust God to command something without giving the ability to actually do it. God doesn’t give commands that are unreasonable. Yet, He also tells us that without HIM, we can do nothing. He is involved in the heart’s keeping. He has to be. However, I think there are principles we can live by to help that along. Just like, we can ‘quench the Spirit’, we can quench His working in our hearts.”

Here are some principles which I believe enable us to keep our hearts with all diligence. All of them are taken from the four verses immediately following Proverbs 4:23, where He tells us to “keep our hearts with all diligence”.

 “Put away from thee a forward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” (v.24)

Firstly, we have our mouths. James has a lot to say about the tongue.

“Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! …For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. … Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? …Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (James 3:4-5,7-8,10-11,13)

Where are our words continually dwelling? What are our lips speaking? What are we always talking about? Is it the typical “Who likes who”? Is it always about boys? And romance? Or maybe something even a little more subtle. “I can’t wait to do this or that for my wedding!”? Whatever it might be. Is it wrong to like someone? No. Is it evil to want to get married? Certainly not. Is it wicked to be excited about what you might or might not do for your wedding colors? No, it isn’t. But what we are usually talking about, what we are always dwelling on, says something about where our hearts are. We also need to remember that our mouths also affect our listener. We are not an island to ourselves. Remember how James just talked about a fountain either yielding bitter water or sweet? It is the exact same with our words. We can either be edifying our listener, or we can be corrupting their minds. It could be blessing or cursing. Why won’t we try to use our words to edify? Maybe the next time one of your girl friends wants to talk about the “latest with so and so”, you could casually change the topic. Why not share what’s on our hearts about Christ? He is an endless and beautiful subject matter. Or maybe, we don’t, simply because we wouldn’t have anything to share? I hope not. Or maybe you know someone who is discouraged about their singleness? You just might be able to encourage that heart to stay content in Jesus alone, simply by how you use yours words. A wise man will show forth his works in a good conversation.

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”  (v.25)

Next, we have our eyes. We are told to let them look “right on” and to what is “straight before thee”. But in doing so, we have to honestly ask ourselves a few questions. What is before me? Where are my eyes looking? Who are they looking at?

Hebrews 12:2 says- Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (II Corinthians 3:18)

What we are focused on, is what we become. As we set our faces towards the Lord, we are changed into the same image. I wonder what our faces would look like in comparison to this standard. I wonder what we’d honestly see. It depends completely on what our hearts are truly seeking. What are we looking for? Romance? Marriage? Selfish desires? Fulfillment from our own dreams?

I hope it’s more.

Proverbs 23:5 warns us about where we set our eyes.

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?”

If the Lord has told us “no”, then there is a good reason for it. To continue to set our eyes and hearts on something that is not the Lord’s will for us, is not only vain, but can be a hindrance in our walk with the Lord. We have to trust Him with our hearts’ desires. We have to rely on His wisdom.

He searches the same heart that so easily deceives us.

Proverbs 14:30 says- “A sound heart is the life of the flesh:  but envy the rottenness of the bones.”

What is a sound heart other than a strong confidence and contentment in the Lord? A heart that is set towards following Jesus Christ. Not having a heart that is envious. Not wanting something that doesn’t belong to you. That could also apply to things we just don’t have yet. Are our desires and the focus of our hearts encouraging “life”, or maybe, “rottenness” to our bones? Where we set our eyes bears a big part in how we keep our hearts with all diligence.

To be continued….

What has a Consecrated Heart to Fear?

 Image result for praise
 
 

Just recently my brothers and my two dearest friends went on a two week car trip.  During some of the long hours of driving we had some great discussions.  One of them was on our insecurities.  It revealed to me how everyone has secret fears…even the most seemingly confident people.  The introverts, extroverts, women, men… we all have them.  


The past year I have been forced to face many fears.  Some of them I’ve had since I can remember.  Others are only recently recognized.   


Sometimes my health dictate my emotions.  And even when I know it is…I can’t seem to fight it.    This past year I’ve struggled with depression.  Just as hard as the lows, are the “highs”.  I have had evenings that feel like an epic ending…the future is just around the corner.  I’m in “happily ever after” and all my dreams must be coming.  They will happen.  And the next morning I wake up unsure if God really finds me a good daughter.  Nothing is guaranteed; why was I so sure before?  I feel dirty and sinful, all past godliness is behind me and I am digressing.  I’m condemned.  I’m a complainer.  I’m a disappointment to those I love.  I’m convinced I’m ugly.  My body physically struggles…I am sick, I put on weight, even though I’m allowed little food.  I feel unlovely, and therefore unlovable.  My will to live ebb and flows.  Which makes me feel guilty.  I am extreme.  I either endlessly self examine, or throw caution to the wind.  


Some of my fears are related to relationships. Sometimes I don’t want to get too close to people because I have this unreasonable fear that as soon as my heart attaches, Jesus will require of me to cut them away.  It has happened before.  For some relationships it would be easier to “detach” than to vigorously work and maintain.  I find autonomy refreshing and easier, and escape tempting.  Other relationships require a great amount of courage to face.  I fear them; but God has specifically put them in my life.  


These are my most recent fears.  And I only share them because I desire to share with you what Jesus has been showing me.


“What has a consecrated life to do with being afraid?”  Francis Havergal 


I stared at that question a long time.  I realized all my journal entries lately have been filled with fears.  Untitled, but definitely fears.  


Am I consecrated?  Who consecrates me?  What does consecrate mean?  Consecrate means to be made and declared holy and separate.  God consecrated me when I became His child.  I am consecrated.  If I am His, and I am willingly His vessel, then why am I afraid?  My peace and security and standing does not depend on the fervor of my devotion.  It has nothing to do with how healthy I am or what I look like.  It is not based on my crosses, my crucified life, or my state of relationships.  It has nothing to do with how I feel.  


What if He asked of me to continue on “broken” and sick?  Then I can be assured that it is His good pleasure, that it is for my benefit, that He is being a good Father, and will provide the strength.  Why?  If I am consecrated to Him, than I am His responsibility.  And He is either a good, all knowing God who loves me and has separated me to this “cross” for a purpose; Or, He is a merciless tyrant who decides random cruelty on His consecrated children.  


The same love that grants my desires, denies the ones that He knows will hurt or hinder me.  He understands every peculiar and unreasonable fear, my hopes and dreams, my strength and weaknesses.  I cannot cringe from pain more than He loathes to see me hurt.  But He has allowed it, for a greater good.  Why?  Because He is either a good Father, who knows what He is doing and proves His love by not sparing me beneficiary pain.  He trusts me with a weighty cross.  Or, He has consecrated me to an unprofitable and lonely path and enjoys allowing pain without reason.  


Health is a privilege.  Not a guaranteed necessity.  If I am His, and He is my infallible master, it is not my responsibility to worry about why I am sick, or if I will ever heal, or if it’s an accidental evil.  I am His charge and He is responsible for my welfare.  My job is to be scrupulously obedient and give Him glory in my bonds.  Fearing them will bring Him very little glory.  What has a consecrated heart to fear?  


Why would He allow my heart to attach only to rip it apart later?  Why does He allow heartstrings and then tell me “no”?  Am I at fault?  Can a heart be helped when it comes to dreams and hopes?  A hope seems to be an involuntary act, not a premeditated one.  And yet He would only deny that which would be evil.  I fear pain. But, when I think of the cost of consecration I have to smile.  Would it be hard to let go?  Yes.  Would it hurt?  Yes.  Would I have His strength to obey?  Yes.  Would I heal?  Yes.  Would I ever regret obeying.  Never.  The unconsecrated hearts have no similar hope.  They are made to let go.  They hurt.  Their dreams are dashed.  But they rely on their strength.  They often do not heal.  


There is no fear in real love.  I am a consecrated heart.  I am separated to a jealous, strict, loving, all- knowing God who loves me more than I can comprehend.  I can relish the fact that I am His.  How freeing!  I will end with this short snippet from my diary:


“Take over this consecrated heart Father.  Man this little vessel.  It’s sea tossed and uncertain of it’s destination.  Rule my heart with ferocious tyranny.  Here I am — laid bare.  What has a consecrated heart to fear?”