"The sign that God is at work in us is that He is destroying our confidence in the natural virtues, because they are not promises of what we are going to be, but only a wasted reminder of what God created man to be. We want to cling to our natural virtues, while all the time God is trying to get us in contact with the life of Jesus Christ— a life that can never be described in terms of natural virtues. It is the saddest thing to see people who are trying to serve God depending on that which the grace of God never gave them. They are depending solely on what they have by virtue of heredity. God does not take our natural virtues and transform them, because our natural virtues could never even come close to what Jesus Christ wants. No natural love, no natural patience, no natural purity can ever come up to His demands. But as we bring every part of our natural bodily life into harmony with the new life God has placed within us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that were characteristic of the Lord Jesus.And every virtue we possess-Is His alone."
You don't think it's painless do you? To die to self, to take up the cross of Christ, and become a servant.
By all means I haven't attained this nor I am close. Yet when I asked God to start (and really meant it) yikes God started His work all right. And it is definitely His signature. No regrets because it is far better than I could have ever imagined. Yet oh how humbling the journey has been and how hard it is to be humbled- how hard it is to die to pride- to myself.
For me this is the cost- the cost is my pride. My pride is my everything.
For before I asked God to take it all away:
I felt strong. I felt capable. I felt athletic. I felt smart. I felt highly qualified. I felt like a good person, a faithful God follower, a descent woman.
And ever since I asked God that day in Peru 2 years ago as I prayed (laying in a dirty smelly orphanage teared eyes with a sky full of starry wonder) I prayed God take it away. Take away the comfort because I want what you have and that day I asked God to break my heart. It wasn't the first time. But it was definitely the hardest. That night I lay it all before God- my career choice, my future, where I would live, if I would be a missionary for life, if I would date or be single- I layed it all on the table.
And since then God began His work, chipping away at my prideful heart and saying "let me strip away everything you call your own and make you empty until you choose me" and let me love you while I do it.
And it is hard, it is painful, it is difficult to die- to give up worldly desires.
Yet compared to the cross of Christ, it is nothing. Compared to heaven and the hope we have in Jesus, it is worth every struggle. For this sacrifice that I may make even though it cost me everything is worth nothing compared to the joy and hope I have found in God, compared to His promises, compared to His love. I will endure anything for His sake and His name because He alone is worthy to be praised and by God's grace, I will endure it joyfully =)