Monday, July 4, 2011


 Paul lived on Christ: “For me to live is Christ.” Now, what might have been put afterward? For me to live is to be able to go to meetings! For me to live is to be able to have fellowship with other believers! If I am cut off from them I cannot live! If I cannot go to the meetings I cannot live! You can put in anything else: For me to live is to have encouragement in the work, to see results for my labors! You can cover a great deal of ground, if you are going to cover the ground of our demands in order to be triumphant. But Paul looked out, and he saw his work being injured, damaged, outwardly destroyed, his old friends being alienated and led to doubt and suspect him. Oh, he saw enough to take the heart out of any man at the end of such a life, but he did not say: “for me to live is to see my life work standing as a monument, intact; to have all my old friends faithful and around me; to know that my message has had universal acceptance and appreciation!” No! “For me to live is (when all these things, and many others, have gone) Christ!”                    T. Austin Sparks

Looking back at my journey with God I occasionally would be brought to such a desperate place wherein I would ask Him ….Why do You hate me so? I know that sounds dreadful, but it’s the painful truth. It was just so hard when I lost another friend, was abandoned by another family member or be completely misunderstood by people who really mattered to me.

That was especially true when I felt I was trying so hard to do all He asked me to do. Why did He have to make it so hard?

One after the other the things I “got by on” would be taken from me. The more I collected these little life preservers the more He would take them away. Finally the time would come whereby I would cry out ….I can’t go on! What do you want? I’m doing the best I can and I’m still sinking!

I would read the bible and wonder how the apostle Paul could keep going with the kind of persecution and heartache he endured. Then I would cry out … Lord, make me like Paul!

The reply from heaven was always the same…. I am. I didn’t make Paul like Paul; I made Paul like my Son and I did it the same way I'm making you like Him. You must learn to let my Son be your only security, your only strength, your all in all.

Once during one of those difficult times the Lord brought back an experience I had with my earthly father at a lake in Texas. I was six or seven and he had brought me to the lake to teach me to swim. He had already showed me the basics but I was still scared to try it on my own. I had my little floating device and felt secure going down to the water.

I was a little concerned when He told me to leave the floating device with mom and follow him. We came to a little four foot embankment that we stood on looking down at the lake. He asked me if I was ready to start and I said yes. Then to my utter shock he picked me up and threw me about 8 feet out into the lake! As I flailed around in the water he said... "swim!" I cried "I don’t know how... and I was drowning!" He just stood there. When I finally exhausted myself, I looked up pitifully and said while spitting out water…"Help!"

That’s when he said “Stand up”. I quit struggling and stood erect. I could stand! Then he looked at me and said... "Now swim back to the shore". I did so and have never needed another swimming lesson since.

The lesson that day wasn’t just how to swim; ….it was in learning to trust in my father’s judgment. He wouldn’t ever put me where I would drown; only where I think I might drown. I needed to focus on his command and let him worry about everything else. Another hidden revelation that my dad could be at my side in a split second. There was never a need to be afraid.

Now I am not advising this method of teaching the art of swimming to anyone, but it did teach me a very important lesson. I could do what my father asked me to do.

It seems we all start our spiritual walk thinking we are fully trusting in God and walking in faith.We don’t see the baby walkers we're using or the crutches we're leaning on. We continue that way till we take a hard fall or someone or something knocks us down. Then we begin to “flail around”, grabbing for those spiritual walking aids.

Those baby walkers and crutches can take the form of having faithful trustworthy friends always around, those  special people who believe in us or at least believe in our good intentions. They can even be visions of the those“great things” I am going to do for God. They can be someone who I think will always be around and have leaned on for direction.

When a small child begins to walk a little, something to lean on often helps him overcome his fear of falling and gives him courage to stand up and walk. Even as an adult when we are injured our Father will let us use "spiritual crutches" till our wounds heal. But there will come a time for those who want to run that the "supports" must be taken away and how painful it can be when they are taken away.

How will you know if something is a crutch? Just let the Lord take it away in times of desperation. If  you think you can't go on without it … it’s most likely a crutch. If He chooses to remove it... let it go.

When my earthly dad made me leave my floating device behind and threw me into the lake it seemed cruel. I could not have understood his motive by his actions. So it is with our heavenly Father.  He may be taking away some those things we previously relied on.... but it's for a good reason. We won't drown; He’s not just being mean.


  1. Good post Abba. Thank you! Miss you & love you! Praying for you guys.
    Take care and may God be with you

  2. That's awesome Abba! I feel like He's doing that with me here in CA also. It's been scary and I feel like I'm flailing around alot with nothing familiar to hang onto. God has been good to me though in this process of learning to swim. Thanks for the encouraging word. May God continue to speak to you while you're in Africa. Give Ammah my love. ~Ari

  3. Hello Abba!
    I feel exactly as you described, I know God is trying to take away my security in people and things so I can fully be secure in Him, It is painful and scary at the same time, God is sooo good! He is making me into what He wants, Thank you sooo much for all you do, And everyone else, I love you all! I am grateful for you! Cheres

  4. Thank you Abba for this article. It describes exactly what I am going through. I know God is trying to take away my securities in people and things. Making me learn to look at Him for all my needs. Making Him my security. It has been scary and painful at the same time. I feel like my roots have been shaken and are loosen in the dirt. I want Him to plant me more firmly than I ever have been planted. Thank you sooo much for all you do. God is sooo good to us! Love you all and am thinking about you guys. Cheres