Have you ever chased after something or someone with everything you have within you? Have you ever really been able to find satisfaction in whatever or whoever it was that you gave everything you had to get? Have you ever found yourself giving up every moral fiber of existence within you to have that someone or something? You get my drift... I mean if you found yourself addicted to something or someone you know what I'm talking about. I know my addictions took me to the darkest of places and doing the very things I swore to myself I would never do. As I sank deeper and deeper into my abyss of darkness I never thought anything else would ever be possible. I never believed there would be anything different for my life. I was in way over my head and didn't even know it. I had sunk to the bottom of bottoms and found a sick kind of comfort in that dark abyss. But God saw fit to liberate me from the bondage of addiction and free me. I recall being prayed over by a pastor from Anchored in Christ ministries in October. He said something to the effect of being a captive of Jesus. He declared my slavery of sin bound in the name of Jesus and released me to the Hands of the Almighty Lord Jesus. I remember him asking me if I was willing to enslave myself to Jesus, or something to that effect; but I understood the way he spoke to me. I needed to see it that way. Jesus set me free from the prison of sin and released me to His supervised release. I had no idea the chase was going to be kind of similar to my chase of the world. But the results are so much better.
Bethel Music has a song called "In Over My Head. Here's how the song starts:
I have come to this place in my life
I'm full but I've not satisfied
This longing to have more of You
And I can feel it my heart convinced
I'm thirsty my soul can't be quenched
You already know this but still
Come and do whatever You want
I'm standing knee deep but I'm out where I've never been
I feel You coming and I hear Your voice on the wind
(I recommend you take a minute to listen before you continue reading: https://youtu.be/6mAvt3CxEQM)
"Come do whatever You want" has been my prayer since I accepted Jesus in my heart again. When I surrendered my heart, mind, body and soul to Jesus Christ, I haven't looked back to my old life. My desire for living is only to serve the Lord however that looks. I didn't realize how in over my head I was when I prayed that dangerous prayer. I didn't have a clue how amazing my encounters with the Lord would be, I just knew it would be better than any drug or person I had ever been intoxicated on. But be careful what you ask for when you ask God to take you deeper. Yep, another dangerous prayer... and deeper He is taking me.
For some reason or other, I found myself unsatisfied with my living situation this month. I had convinced myself that "something deeper" was someplace else than where I was right now. I vascilated back and forth with staying here in Set Free Needles (my home) and venturing out into another faction of Set Free, lets say Oceanside or Yucaipa or Riverside. You may be asking yourself, what is it you are seeking? How much deeper? Why are you unsatisfied? I want what I want, yea I still have those tantrums with God. So I wrestled with God, yea I really did wrestle with Him these last few weeks. Being still in His presence for 5 days due to a respiratory illness brought me some clarity; however not as clear a picture as what I received yesterday.
On Friday, May 22, 2020 I got the test results back from the hospital. A blockage in my coronary artery and a 1.3 cm diameter nodule in my left lung. "Come do whatever you want... Take me deeper... Talk to me Jesus..." And I open my word up to none other than James 1:2 & 12, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials (vs2). Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (vs12)" (NKJV). All I could do was chuckle. I remember when I was first diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure in 2015, I was so afraid. The doctors told me I had 10 good years left on my life before I would start to succumb to my heart failure. I couldn't cope and tried to jump in from of the F train in Brooklyn, NY. To no avail, I was stopped by some stranger waiting nearby. My mom says it was probably an angel, and I believe her. I share that with you because I want you to know how good my God is and I mean how really good He is. His nearness to me is why my heart is steadied. He is my comforter and my shelter from the cold. He constantly carries me, never letting me go. He has been with me in the fire of the world and He is even more near to me in the fire of my walk. The difference is that I can feel Him near me. I can feel His presence in the love, joy, peace, and goodness I experience throughout the day. I can see Him in the faces I look at each day. I can hear Him in the conversations and the fellowship I experience every day. He is constant. He is everywhere. He's even in the center of my most recent diagnosis's.
"I'm full but I've not satisfied this longing to have more of Him..." I don't think I'll ever be "satisfied" and why would He let me feel that since He knows that as long as I'm craving Him, thirsting for Him, and unquenched in the desire to be with Him, close to Him and near Him, I will never stop chasing after Him. That would be the end of me as I know me, to lose sight of who Jesus is in me and in my life would be a sure death. And He knows me better than I know who I think I am or might be or could be one day. When I chased things of the world, not only was I never satisfied, but there were always negative consequences and outcomes once I found that brief relief. With God, I have not once had an outcome that has caused me to end up in prison, end up in the hospital with broken ribs and blackened eyes, end up in a psychiatric hospital because I failed at suicide, and I have yet to ever feel empty and dead inside. I have life so abundantly in Christ. I have this joy that I can't even put words to describe the feeling that is uncontainable most of the time. I have a peace that I don't really know how to describe in words either, it just is a perfect peace. Sure I have anxieties and worries sometimes, but they don't have me chasing after something that will never bring me relief anymore. Those anxieties and worries keep me chasing after Jesus.
And finally, "I'm standing knee deep but I'm now where I've never been. I feel You coming and I hear Your voice on the wind." Yeah, friends, I am definitely in unchartered waters, but all I can say, is thank the Lord I am a strong swimmer. I have sunk to the bottom in this life and He saved me. I know that no matter what He has me and He is in full control. And even if I get tired from treading water, I have the option to float on my back and rest in those uncharted waters. Thank God I am here at Set Free Needles ministry and God has given me the loving support of my spiritual family and my actual family. I have a mom that has showed me how wonderful the Lord is by her patience and faithfulness in waiting and knowing that God would bring me back to Him. She waited 25 years to have the relationship we finally have and there's no way I had anything to do with that. It was and always be all Jesus.
1 Peter 1:6-7 says, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love." I will never be satisfied until I am at His feet in heaven. So Jesus, in front of all those who are reading, I attest to you when I say, "Father, come and do whatever You want to" because I know I can anticipate praise-the Lord's commendation in heaven; honor-the crowns that will be distributed at the judgment seat of Christ; and glory-a precious, enduring and genuine faith, as the result of every trial I get to experience with Jesus right beside me. Oh I am beautifully in over my head.
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