July 7, 2010

All Noble Things Are Difficult

"...narrow is the way..." Matt. 7:14

Thank God for Oswald Chambers. I don't know what I would do without his little book of devotions. Encouragement comes at just the right time.

I've been struggling a little - not too much, but a little - as we seriously consider moving to Argentina. We are sure God is calling us, it is unmistakeable. He never stops calling. He is relentless.

But we doubt.

We doubt how it would go. We doubt how we could make a living and pay the bills. We (or, at least Tony) doubt that I could handle it (in my mind I am Superwoman :D, but then there is reality). We doubt a million things.

And then I read today's entry in My Utmost:

"Enter ye in at the strait gate . . because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way. . ." Matthew 7:13-14

If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it rouses us up to overcome. Do we so appreciate the marvellous salvation of Jesus Christ that we are our utmost for His highest?

God saves men by His sovereign grace through the Atonement of Jesus; He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure; but we have to work out that salvation in practical living. If once we start on the basis of His Redemption to do what He commands, we find that we can do it. If we fail, it is because we have not practised. The crisis will reveal whether we have been practising or not. If we obey the Spirit of God and practise in our physical life what God has put in us by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes, we shall find that our own nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us.

Thank God He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a glad thing, but it is also a heroic, holy thing. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is bringing many "sons" unto glory, and God will not shield us from the requirements of a son. God's grace turns out men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not milk sops. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things. It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble.

The noble thing God is calling us to do is move to Argentina. Moving to Argentina is definately noble. One does not move there looking for a better life, a life of ease. Unless you are wealthy. Which we are not.

Moving there to take the Gospel of Christ to those who have not heard, in the hopes that a few will be saved, is noble. Leaving everything for poverty, struggle, worry, want, need, danger, persecution, loneliness, misunderstanding, and overall difficulty is not what I would chose for myself in this life. My flesh wants to remain in comfort where things are easy. Life is so easy here. And, mind you, we are "poor". But the poor in America are infinitely more well off than the poor in other parts of the world. The poor here are quite wealthy. We live like kings. We really do, and we know it.

But the still small voice is still there, whispering.

Oh, but to follow God...! What a beautiful and glorious thing! I don't want to miss it. I want HIM, more and more and more of Him. I guess I just wish it didn't cost.


It costs.

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