The Lord has been working on my heart pretty intensely these days. I've wrestled with an area of unforgiveness for several days and I believe I have finally been able to let go of the hurt. But, it seems that I have barely settled my heart on one issue before the Holy Spirit brings another to mind. It's what I want. I want to be more like Jesus and this is the process. But, it's so difficult and so much work. It's hard to look your failings and weaknesses in the face and lay them at the feet of Jesus!
A few days I read something that has really be gnawing on my heart. I am reading a biography of Amy Carmichael, a turn of the century missionary to India. When she first arrived in India, she had an occasion to be sternly (and perhaps not appropriately) scolded by an older missionary woman. Being of Irish stock, her temper started to get the best of her when she heard a voice whisper, "Let this be an opportunity to die".
It took me a moment to see what the Spirit was whispering to her. Let this be an opportunity to die...to yourself. Put yourself aside, Amy, and let me bring about more of Jesus. Don't claim your right here. Let this be an opportunity to die.
This has been echoing in my heart. I am beginning to see moments when I can "Let this be an opportunity to die". I am learning that I do not always have to demand my due, or claim my right. It is okay to remain silent and let it be an opportunity to die to myself.
Pray for me as the Lord continues to shape and refine me. Pray that I will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and brave enough to dig into the darkness in my heart and remove it for His glory. I want to be more like Jesus.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, an comfort from love, and participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:1-11
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. In deed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith - that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:7-11