Love the LORD with all your heart

By Angela Wittman

Working so hard at the things that you believe in,
No one can tear you away.
But don't you lose sight of the very one who calls you,
You may be sorry some day, some day.
For wood, hay and stubble, will all burn up in the fire.
But to love the Lord with all your heart, should be your one desire.
Love the Lord.
(Taken from Unless the Lord Builds the House, by Keith Green; released in 1980 [Copyright Sparrow Corporation])

Dear Friends,

This essay is written with great love and tribute to the Lord of my life who suffered on the cross to make atonement for my sins and who has imputed His righteousness to me for all eternity.

Many of you do not know that I have recently undergone quite an extensive pruning -- a refining in which the LORD burnt away much of the dross in my life. The result was quite devastating to my self-esteem and self-confidence. I felt as though the ground beneath my feet had given way and I was dangling in mid-air. I did not know what to do or what to even think. I could only trust that I was being held up by an unseen Hand.

You see, I was building a house on sand. I had compromised my first Love. I had let pragmatics and feelings govern my decisions instead of Scripture. Then one by one, my works fell away and were destroyed by His holy fire.

First, I lost a local election and I lost horribly. After being in and on the front page of the local papers for 12 years, I thought I would do fairly well in a local election; but this was not to be.

Secondly, I lost my job. I was good at my job and I accomplished all my boss had hired me for; I thought I would receive praise and better pay, but this was not to be.

Thirdly, I watched as one-by-one the organizations I belonged to, and in some instances had founded, were removed from my life.

My walk with the LORD was getting a little foggy by this time and it was extremely hard to see where He was taking me... I only knew to trust Him... To wait and see what the outcome would be... To fast and pray... To cleave unto Him with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding... To follow and obey.

There was even a period of time when I could not write... I knew not what to say... How could I encourage or help others when I was not seeing clearly?... Still I knew within my heart to trust and obey... He was there with me and I would once more see clearly... but for now, I was to be still and lean upon Him.

Then, a few weeks ago, I began to see a little light at the end of the road I am on ...It is as though pieces of a puzzle are beginning to fit together. My heart is getting warmer toward Him... I can feel it fan into a flame when I hear His Name or sense His gaze upon me, as when I was first believed.

My faith seems stronger now and my walk with Him is more steady. The ground is firmer and my steps are taken with much more assurance. My passion to serve Him has increased. My love has grown and my heart has softened. I can see much more clearly.

My faith has grown stronger and my convictions have grown deeper.

What the enemy meant for harm, the LORD is using for good. He has taken me through the trials, tested my faith and made it stronger.

He has strengthened some of my friendships, ended others and brought new friends into my life. I praise Him for each of you who have stuck by me through this time of pruning. Your loyalty, prayers, encouragement and advice are more precious than any jewels or riches this earth has to offer... I hope each of you know who you are and that you are in my prayers.

Dear Friends, if you are going through a troubling or dark time, please know that there is One who has gone this way before you and He goes with you now, if you are a child of God. If you do not know whether you are a child of God or not, I invite you to ask Him to make you one of His lambs as He is the Good Shepherd. Tell Him that you have heard He is waiting with open arms for all who have been called to come home to Him.

Amen.

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