Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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Good morning John,
I had some of the best feelings this morning that were so big that I wanted to write them down. How preciousness are the gifts God offers to men. For God to offer anything to any person is a very precious thing. And for any person to say 'YES!' when God first offers something is a very rare thing. Many times, we walk right pass it, so we can (in our own minds) get to the things that are really important!
God is good. He has been so good to us - it is almost too much to take in.
I have written down my feelings below. I would title it "Desires of the Heart", with the attached warning God that gave me last week during the night: "If you do not eat the good things of God – you will be empty."
Desires of the Heart
"If you do not eat the good things of God - you will be empty."
There is a time in a young person's life when he decides what he wants his heart to go after. It might be a certain career, a boyfriend/girlfriend, to look a certain way, any of those kind of things. Major mistakes have not been made yet, and he is lacking the wisdom that comes from hurt as a result of his own ignorance and misjudgments. The whole world is open to him. He can be his own person. He can do anything he wants.
Each person has his own ideas of what he wants in life. And by this time in a young person's life, he is starting to have very certain ideas and methods of how to get exactly what he wants.
It is a rare young person indeed who, while their life is still fresh and young, will be willing to trust God with their whole heart. Katherine Kuhlman said in her address to the graduating class at Oral Roberts University, "There cannot be two wills. One must die out." It is more common to see older people repent and start to serve God. They have made the mistakes and have the scars and the hurts from years of self-will (ignorance and misjudgments). They have learned that getting their own way is not a good thing. They have hurt themselves, unknowingly, and now they have lost years and lost blessings. That is how good God is. He really will let you have your own way.
But where is the young person who will give up their own will - while they are young - without having to have their own way to begin with? There are not many people who have taken hold of this special treasure. From what I have seen, it is only offered to a very few. And only a very few of those have taken it.
Most people are too afraid. They are too afraid to let go of their own will and trust God from the very beginning. They are afraid they won't get what they really want.
Where are the young people who will dare to trust God with their whole heart - with ALL their life? Where? Who is it that will trust God from the beginning with their desires, their hopes, their heart? Who can believe God? Is there a young man or woman who dares to believe that God is the best and only judge of what is best for their life? That he really will care for you, that he really will give you the desires of your heart - if you will put Him first.
Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
This whole chapter from Proverbs is wonderful.
The very young boy in ancient Israel, Jeremiah, took God up on His offer of a holy, fulfilled life, as did the boy Samuel. And just look at the results - even for us today!
The poet Edgar Lee Masters wrote in his Spoon River Anthology about a man who, after he died, could finally see the wisdom that you are describing. The man said that in his youth, his wings were strong, but he could not see very far ahead; that is, he didn't know what to do with the strength God gave him. Then, the dead man continued, when he grew old, his eyes were sharp and he could see far over the mountains, but his wings would no longer take him there. His concluding statement, heavily spiced with regret and sadness, was this: "Genius is wisdom in youth."
Trusting and obeying God is wisdom, and true genius is having that wisdom while young. There is no earthly wisdom that can measure up to that. So, I suppose that best way to interpret the concluding statement of that dead man is to say that any young person who places his strength at God's disposal instead of following the world's lead is a genius.
It is good to begin serving God at any time of your life. Even to serve Him acceptably the last year of your life is preferable to never doing His will at all. But for a young person not to start living his young adult life as a fool is a special and rare thing. My father used to say it this way: When an old person gets right with God, there is a soul saved. But when a young person gets right with God, there is a life saved. The true geniuses among us are those who, while young, value God's gift of life so much that they bow to God early, so that their precious gift is not wasted in foolishness and sin.
We have some young people who are in relatively good spiritual condition, and I thank God for that, but only the ones who have their minds really made up will survive the clever snares of the devil. God help them. They are so valuable!