Adventures Wherever He leads.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, and beyond… immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine

Do you love me? June 5, 2010

Filed under: faith — chinabean @ 3:09 am

“When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I truly love Him? if i can say yes to that question… why can’t i say yes to pleasing Him. can’t i say yes even if it means sacrifice. Yes to God, always leads in the end to JOY.”

-betty elliot

The word obedience always makes me a bit anxious. In my sin and lack of trust, I think things like…  “what is it that I have to be obedient in now.. what does obedience look like in this situation or that… how can i be obedient when there’s so much demand, change, circumstantial issues, frustrations, struggles… (you get the idea)…” and in his voice he says, “do you love me? you cant, but i can.”

It’s a huge lesson I’ve been learning over again recently: Obedience. Obedience to the Father isn’t easy. But, it’s vital. In His word, there are over 250 accounts of some form of the word obey. You’d think its important, eh? I was reading this morning in John, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” and also: “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” Though there’s been many issues at SMIC that i cannot even begin to go into but all in all, i’ve been faced with the decision to terminate contract due to the “crap” theyve put on me recently… I went on job search steriods yesterday and having more f8th to leave than to stay for another year, but circumstances and situations aside, Father is clear. Commitment to obedience is clear.

It’s been a constant uphill battle, with the uncountable struggles, and unending trials, f8th is definitely being tested. i think being on the frontlines in a closed country isnt as glamorous as a once young christine had imagined. I’ve been constantly challenged as to whether “I am called to china or not?” but truly, that’s not the point. I’m called to father and if that’s in china then i will follow if its elsewhere… i will follow.  The reality of being here, often times really sucks because reality of my sins is SO great, that i feel like im constantly repenting and in need of his forgiveness. It’s crazy how i “recognize” my sin here so much that i cannot go on until i die to it and bring it before the cross. ..

These 10 months here have been excruciatingly difficult. and would i want to relive it, instinct: NO WAY.  But after thinking it through, i wouldnt trade it for being anywhere else. Ive never found myself relying more on his gr8ce day to day, depending on his mercies that are new moment to moment, and rejoicing even when i dont feel like it,  I want to have a great vision to grow a deeper understanding and ultimately an enlarged heart for Him and His kingdom. I realize that obedience always questions my love for him. How could i not? he gave himself for me.

so undeserving, am i. here’s a poem my friend CL showed me, her friend wrote it into a song… and it brings me to tears just thinking of how much i do love him, because truly, he first loved me, and even if i tried to love him back with my itty amount of love, it pales in comparison.

Obedience
By George MacDonald
(1824-1905)

I said: “Let me walk in the fields.”
He said: “No, walk in the town.”
I said: “There are no flowers there.”
He said: “No flowers, but a crown.”

I said: “But the skies are black;
There is nothing but noise and din.”
And He wept as He sent me back –
“There is more,” He said; “there is sin.”

I said: “But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun.”
He answered: “Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone!”

I said: “I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say.”
He answered: “Choose tonight
If I am to miss you or they.”

I pleaded for time to be given.
He said: “Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem so hard in heaven
To have followed the steps of your Guide.”

I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said, “My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?”

Then into His hand went mine;
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light divine,
The path I had feared to see.

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3 Responses to “Do you love me?”

  1. Chris G Says:

    🙂 christine i miss you! i feel like i havent talked to you in forever … your words are always encouraging to me.

    and now i want a hug … a big one.

    🙂

  2. Jessica W Says:

    Amooon. So difficult, when it shouldn’t be. How amazing grace is! Struggling to rejoice with you 🙂 -Many blessings

  3. tiffonthego2 Says:

    chinabean, you are such a strong one. i am remembering you! see you soon!


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