The way of discipleship

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When I came to faith in Christ I was already a damaged, broken-by-the-world girl who viewed life with wary, shy and cautious eyes.

So my heart yearned and burned for Jesus, the only One who has ever loved me unconditionally and sets me free from guilt and shame.

He alone restores my soul and is continually healing and making me whole.

I began as an ardent follower and fan in my naming and proclaiming ‘Jesus Loves You’ sticker days.

Now, in maturity, I see how sitting at His feet is the best thing for me; spending time quietly listening while I contemplate His beauty, seeking to know Him more fully as I learn to rest in His finished work on the cross and my new identity in Him.

And aiming more and more to be an imitator of my Teacher, a messenger for the Master, a grateful grace-dweller and Truth-revealer.

I want to lean in close like John and Mary did, believe and live as though I am His beloved.

The way I’ve travelled has been full of pain and pitfalls to fight through as much as it has been gifted with grace, but my years of yearning after Jesus will never end.

He is my everything, all the more as time passes and my deep dependency grows stronger in weakness.

As I prayed this morning, the words I sensed on my heart made their way into the poem below.

It may have taken longer than the allotted five minutes to write but it has become my contribution to the word “Follow” as I join Kate and fellow five-minute friday writers who spill out their heart-words for us to read and share. Come join us?

‘Pilgrim path’

Follow hard after God’s heart

Follow through dark valleys, rocky paths

Keep your mind aligned to Mine

Keep going though the Way seems blind

Yield yourself willingly

Surrender each day to Me

Watch where I am leading you

No matter where others are going to

My path is hard; My path is long

But I keep you steady and make you strong

Listen above all to My gentle voice

Quieten yourself away from life’s noise

Be an example; be a shining light

Show My love, My power and might

Reveal the world’s great need of Me

and how it’s seen in dependency

Come, My pilgrim child, take My hand

As you follow Me your life will expand

©JoyLenton2015

Living on the edge

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Living on the edge unsettles me. I’m hard-wired for safety. Live in the pursuit of peace. Find my rest in refuge.

Though I yearn for the ease of feeling more secure, of trusting so fully in God I am like a carefree child splashing in the sea of His grace.

When parental rejection, the sting of guilt and shame, or society’s scorn casts us off as being unworthy of attention, then we can feel miserable, marginalised, desperate for approval.

Being accepted, being heard, being respected, being loved is what our needy hearts long for.

The world’s way is to embrace you one day and spit you out the next.

Without deliberately seeking it, we have become edge-dwellers, shifting shadows on the margins.

What do we do when life tips us sideways and hisses, ‘You’re not enough’? Maybe measures us by the size of our wallet, the way we live, the gifts we give?

We look to the One who speaks a soft, soothing whisper to our souls. He says we are His cherished possession, dearly beloved, fully accepted in Him. We ~ you and me ~ are enough because He is Enough, so much so He died to save us.

Jesus came humble, came lowly, and seeks those who feel ‘less than’ to give them more than they ever could hope for or imagine.

And as we seek after Jesus, we see how He stoops in tenderness to offer us comfort, reassurance and hope.

In following His ways we will find ourselves living on the edge, on the margins at times, at odds with the world’s ways of thinking and reacting.

Because all who strive to live a God-centred life will encounter resistance, rejection and strife.

But we will also have opportunity to follow Christ, to be in relationship with Him from now to eternity and receive all that our empty, thirsty souls need to be fully satisfied.

‘Living on the edge’

Lord,

I feel like I’m living on the edge

of society, with a longing to be

more, to discover, to explore

and uncover deep hidden things

for which my impoverished soul sings

Most of life feels like a race

for which I have no pace or speed

Where the primary function seems

to be to make a mark, to succeed

And as I scoop with eager arms

to catch a smidgen of success,

it very quickly loses charm and

leaves me breathless, needing rest

Depleted, weary, scarred and torn,

I feel the blast, the heat

of this world’s scorn, and have

to make a swift retreat

On the edge of obscurity

can feel a scary place to be

until I pause, sense your presence,

then reassurance comes to me

You chose the road-less-travelled

You were often on your own

You didn’t become unravelled

but kept your counsel and your calm

Found purpose in doing the Father’s will,

strength from resting completely still in Him

And wisdom from Holy Spirit’s refill

Jesus, I want to live this way

To follow hard after your heart

In all I do, think and say, please

help me to live right, do my part

©JoyLenton2014

Friend, you don’t have to wait for the world to approve of you; God already does.

Come to Him; read His word, see and hear how much He loves you, receive His cleansing, forgiveness, mercy and grace, and learn to live freely again in His loving embrace.

**NOTE** ~ This post was written a while back and sat in draft form ready for a time such as this when energy is low and I’m away enjoying some special with the family. I am grateful to God for inspiration coming in abundance sometimes so I have the ability to share later. 🙂

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