Written by Robert Truesdale   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 06:36

                                                                                I HAD THE WRONG “F”


     I had some success writing several years ago. I published quite a few articles and stories for magazines and devotionals. I was on a roll, or so I thought. I started to get a little bored with the whole thing and decided the next step was to publish a book. I couldn’t think of a subject. The process took way too long. Too many ideas get rejected. You only get about a buck a book. I started coming up with a host of ‘reasons’ why this wasn’t such a hot idea. So I gave up, completely. I didn’t write again for a several years. Now I know why.

     I’ve mentioned in other articles how my life has gone through some rather dramatic ‘changes’ over the last few years. None of them has been pleasant and there’ve been tons of tears. One of the clearest lessons to come out of this desert experience has been that my former motive for writing was all wrong. So much of it was for my glory. I wanted to be known. I wanted to be famous. Yes I wanted to touch lives for Christ, but I wanted the byword! I know now He had to take me ‘out of the game for a while’ in order to give me an attitude adjustment. Kind of like tending sheep for forty years!  He needed to humble me. When He says, “I will not give my glory to another” (Isa. 42:8), He isn’t kidding! So here I sit some seven years later and what have I learned? How is it different now? David says in Psalm 119 (v.71), “It was good that I was afflicted that I might learn your righteous decrees.” Now I know what that means. Job goes through all kinds of extreme hardships and after being delivered offers up these humble words, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5 NIV) While battling leprosy, loss of family, herds, and especially hope, he learned the most important lesson of all; that he wasn’t God! In other words, humility. David learned it in caves. Joseph learned it in dungeons, and you and I learn it in the deep, dark places of loneliness and suffering. I really wish there were another way, but if Jesus “Learned obedience through what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8), I’m thinking we’re probably not going to escape it.

     I have a good buddy who said to me one year after my divorce, “Man if my wife ever left I would never take her back! No way!” You know what’s coming. She did. He cried and called out to God night after night in my living room. God listened. She repented. She is now a completely different woman. It was nothing short of a miracle. My friend and I were talking about it yesterday. “Man I was such an arrogant jerk!” he said. “God had to humble me for being so self-righteous and proud. He really did a work in me!” Humility, I thought. It’s a beautiful thing to observe but an incredibly difficult thing to learn. The price paid for grasping that God is God and we are not is intense suffering. It’s the only way! I remember when my kids were little and after they messed up would come to me and say, “Dad I wrote down some things I’m going to change and what I’m going to do to make it up to you.” My response never changed. “I’m not asking you to do anything special or make me a bunch of promises. Just obey your mom and me and learn something from this.” What I’ve learned in these last seven years since writing is that God doesn’t want me to seek to be famous or accomplish great feats for Him, He just wants me to be faithful. Period. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t ask us to run huge ministries (not that it’s a bad thing!), do great things or take a vow of intense poverty to ‘prove’ our love to Him. He just wants us to love and obey Him, day after day. To walk in simple faith and humble obedience is what pleases Him. There often times is no audience or fanfare associated with washing feet or loving the unlovable but our Father sees the “deeds done in secret” (Matt. 6:4) and rewards us in His own time and way. One day our time on earth will be over. The Bible says “Each one of us will give an account before God”. (Rom. 14:12) He will open the books and look over our lives to see what we did with what we were given. He won’t be looking for fame or fortune. He won’t be impressed with the grand designs we had to do great things for Him. And He won’t be happy if we just buried our talents and did our own thing. (Matt. 25:18) The only thing that will matter is, were we faithful with what He gave us. Pure and simple. It’s not rocket science, just plain faith and obedience. “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15)