I am not who I was—can you say this and mean it?

In my studies today I came across a Daily Devotional that I would like to share with you and tell you how it affected me. My life is continually changing in ways that I never dreamed were possible. Some good, some not so good. But it is a process not an instant scratch off. That means it is ongoing. Here is the article:
Laying the Foundation of Courage
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read 1 Kings 17:1–7; James 5:17–18

EIijah had prayed that it would not rain and, ultimately, it did not rain for three and a half years. So the dried-up brook was just an indication that the very thing he had prayed for was beginning to take place. He was living in the result of his own prayer.
Have you ever had that happen? “Lord, make me a godly man.” “Lord, mold me into a woman after your own heart.” Meanwhile, in your heart you’re thinking,but don’t let it hurt too much. “Lord, make me stable, long-suffering, and gracious,” but don’t remove too many of my creature comforts. “Lord, teach me faith, make me strong,” but don’t let me suffer. Have you ever bargained with God like that? We want instant maturity, not the kind that requires sacrifice or emotional pain or hardship. “Lord, give me patience . . . and I want it right now!”
God’s spiritual boot camp doesn’t work that way. It is designed for our development toward maturity, not for our comfort. But self-denial is not a popular virtue in today’s culture.
A short time before Robert E. Lee passed into his Lord’s presence, a young mother brought her tiny infant to him. With tenderness, Lee took the child and held him in his arms, looking deeply into the baby’s eyes. He then looked up at the mother and said, “Teach him he must deny himself.”
The seasoned veteran knew whereof he spoke. As Douglas Southall Freeman writes, “Had his life been epitomized in one sentence of the Book he read so often, it would have been in the words, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’ “¹
Our God is relentless. He never ceases His training regimens. He shaves off our hair, He takes away our comfortable and secure lifestyle, He moves us into cramped and unfamiliar quarters, and He changes our circle of friends—it’s like we’re in a spiritual boot camp!
In the process, He strips us of all our pride! And then He begins to lay the foundation blocks of heroic courage, and a new kind of confidence, if you will—the kind that no longer defends us but defends Him. What a magnificent change that is. And how essential in our journey toward maturity! Again, it’s all part of being cut down to size.
Have you done that? Asked God for something but only if the process wasn’t too painful? Did you put conditions on the prayer? Let’s face it people, even in real-time without our Father doing the changing, change does not come without something becoming different than what it is now. So if you pray for something to be different, get ready. God does not make deals. You may never hear Him say a word to that particular point. But trust me on this, GOD DOES NOT MAKE DEALS. Pray with purpose. We can be grateful for one undeniable statement….He will never forsake us. He does not start something that He does not intend to finish. So pray for change and then get ready for the most astounding changes to occur. Maybe not what you asked for but what He knows you require to get to the path that He has laid before you.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bernice
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 19:36:00

    Yep. That’s me, alright. Praying for this or that, but not to let it hurt too much. Inevitably it keeps coming back to these issues; trust, faith and obedience.

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  2. JOYCE GERALD
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 20:36:52

    amen!!

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  3. Barbara Woods-Harris
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 23:19:20

    thanks Wyn, I needed this..I have been doing it alot lately, I call it bargaining…if you let me walk I will, ect..ect…ect…no wonder I’m not walking…thank you for posting on my page..you always know when I need to see one of your posts..:)
    will start working on this now..no more bargaining.,,,just change me Lord..

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  4. Sherri
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 23:40:29

    This is awesome Wyn. Thank you for posting this! I really like Chuck Swindoll; an awesome teacher of the scriptures as seen here!

    I needed this wonderful reminder tonight! AMEN Bernice….it does come down to TRUST, FAITH, OBEDIENCE. Yes, yes, yes!! 🙂

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  5. Wynette aka Flip Flip
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 11:28:42

    Trust, Faith, Obedience and total Surrender to the will of God. You can not grow in the Word without first giving yourself over to His plan. He has a path for each one of us and He will take us thorough many trials and tribulations to get us ready to take over the job that He has set up for us. But if you do not knock on the door, how will you know of the contents within?
    Thank you for the feedback. I love it when you respond to my posts. I am only human and a comment validates what the Lord has shown me. God Bless each one of you and thank you for standing with me on this path that the Lord has set before me.

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  6. JOYCE GERALD
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 16:16:55

    TRUST, FAITH, OBEDIENCE..ONE INGREDIENT THAT WE ARE MISSING IS TRUTH……BUT it must be consistent trust, faith, truth and obedience NOT just when things are bad and YOU see no personal way out. Or when things are rough and you have tried every avenue known to man.,. then we decide.. well : I had better try God.

    Many times we want to hear only what lines up with our personal opinions, life style, what we have done our own lives. If we have to think about applying a truth God has revealed to us through another person,,..then that means what we think supersedes what God has commanded and we WILL continue to experience the same problems over and over and over and over again.

    It is not about us and what we thing, or our personal take on religion, religious systems, organizations, and or belief systems. It is about us being accountable to Jesus Christ as LORD of our lives, and every single area of our lives..including our need for whatever. Especially if that whatever is not JESUS and JESUS only!!

    :Let me state that I am positive that at least one person reading this post is going to be offended by its content. I am not going to apologize for speaking truth. I will say that we have some work to do!
    God Bless!! No do not e-mail me to ask me if I was talking about you personally I will not respond to the e-mail. Play-time with who we are in Christ is over folks the clear, stark naked truth is all that is going to set us free folk–internally and spiritually!

    God Bless everyone!!

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  7. Wynette aka Flip Flip
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 16:34:34

    AMEN!

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  8. Bueller
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 12:35:06

    Flip, just sitting here reading this drinking coffee out of a cup that says “Grant me patience Lord……and please grant it to me NOW!!” Sometimes a very prevalent phrase when it comes to dealing with things we would rather not have to deal with. However, I find that I can also give God my pain and continue through it knowing He will bring to where I need to be.

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  9. Joyce Gerald
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 17:33:32

    🙂

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