Published: Monday, 15 October 2018 02:21
Written by Don Goulding
Are God's consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you? Job 15:11 (NIV)
A coffee-skinned, forty-something woman came trembling after my sermon in Pakistan.
“I had a daughter fourteen years ago, but never any boy. I am useless.” She wept from under her pink shawl.
Pakistani culture dictated she produce a male heir for her family. The poor soul had convinced herself that some great curse was on her. Her body convulsed as she pressed her palms together and begged for prayer to conceive a boy.
The Holy Spirit broke in on the moment and I found myself in a difficult position. This dear sister needed to let go of her obsession for a boy and be fulfilled by Jesus. I squirmed, then passed a note with Job 15:11 written in Urdu. It was a hard message, but the condition of that precious woman’s heart was more important than the fruit of her womb.
I am often sharp as a knife when ministering God’s truth to others and dull as a stone when it comes to applying it to my own faults. After we helped the Pakistani, Jesus worked on my heart.
“Is my love enough to make you let go of lesser blessings? Am I enough?”
I held secret dissatisfaction with certain cards life had dealt me. By my attitude, I had said to the lover of my soul that I wanted, that I deserved, more than him. I wanted Jesus plus an easy life, and please add a little popularity with some fun mixed in, thank you. The consolations of Christ had not been enough for me and his question exposed my insincerity.
I sorely needed to listen to my own preaching because the condition of my heart is more important than the fruit of the world.
Prayer: Lord, I have been a fool with your love. It is enough.
Published: Monday, 08 October 2018 14:24
Written by Don Goulding
Sinners are afraid in Zion; panic grips the godless. They say, ʻWho among us can coexist with destructive fire? Who among us can coexist with unquenchable fire. (Isaiah 33:14 NET_FL)
To die to self and live for Christ is like jumping into a volcano. Nevertheless, I was so disillusioned with the world’s alternatives that I volunteered for the plunge.
My knees flexed ready to spring out but then I led with my head instead of my heart. I was scuffed and slid down on my rear. When you make your leap, don’t hesitate. It only makes the descent painful. Jump into the middle.
Now I’m falling inside the volcano, and yet, I’m more alive then ever before. The heat intensifies as one plummets and holy fire chars impurities at each temperature gradient. Once I grew accustomed to the tolerable loss, I realized the joy of the cleansing outweighs what I suffer. It feels beautiful to soar free of those encumbrances.
At first, I worried my identity would melt into oblivion, but that’s impossible. Whatever is yielded to the blaze is instantly remade as a new and fireproof me—the real me.
Another observable phenomenon is that the deeper I fall, the more transparent the world appears while the things of the Spirit are increasingly real. Those questions we used to discuss on the rim—is God in our details, does the Spirit still do miracles—in here, all that’s obvious.
I’m not there yet but I can see the core is made of molten love. By the time I fall into its radiant heart, there will be less of the old me to burn. I’ll be impervious to heat, as the love-lava passes through my spirit in perfect completion.
I can’t wait to get there.
Prayer: Holy Creator, let me fall into white-hot love with you.
Published: Monday, 01 October 2018 14:16
Written by Don Goulding
But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge. Dan. 12:4 (NIV)
One day a fountain pen decided he would write a letter, or perhaps even a thesis. He wanted the world to know he was important. The pen searched for facts that would be impressive on paper. He consulted a globe, a ruler and books. Everyone was helpful in providing data. He learned a range of details about life, and even the circumference of the world.
The pen couldn’t write without a hand holding him and now he longed for someone to pick him up so he could astonish the world with his knowledge.
When the master finally set out paper, the pen tried to think of something eloquent. Blips of information ran through his mind, two plus six equals eight and Magellan sailed around the world, but he had nothing truly significant to say. When he tried to express himself, streaks and blotches appeared on the stationery.
The master stared at the awkward pen, shook it, and said, “What’s the matter with you?”
“I wanted to write brilliant phrases but I’m confused by the information I worked so hard to gather.”
“Silly pen. Pens don’t write. That’s the master’s job. If you want to be valuable, stop exhausting yourself acquiring facts and know my heart. I need a pen that anticipates my loops and strokes until the words flow effortlessly onto the page. You and I can create breathtaking paragraphs, but only if you accept being a pen and let me be the author.”
Prayer: Holy Master, take my life in hand and write freely.