“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18)
I’ve seen something. After all these years searching, I’ve finally found where there is peace. It may seem far away. But I am willing to give up everything for it, though I tremble in my own weakness. Whether others come with me or not I must press towards it by the grace of God. It’s unlike anything this world affords. It is joy unspeakable and full of glory. So I have laid it all down on the altar. I can’t pursue what I want anymore. I can’t do what seems best to me anymore. I can’t live for what makes me happy anymore. I have a higher calling. It isn’t heaven yet, but it is the closest thing to it I have ever found in this life. I’ve tasted, and now I can never be satisfied until I apprehend it. I could have before, I could have been normal and well liked and lived the life most girls my age are living now. I could have had so much in this world if I was willing to take that instead of Jesus. But there’s nothing left for me now here and I know it. There’s only vanity, death and emptiness. I’ve died to it all. I’ve died to who and what I was before God called me. I’ve died to everything I was living for, my plans, my dreams and hopes. I’ve given it all to God, to follow him no matter the cost, and it will cost, to be a living sacrifice. It will be a hard road if I continue, I know that. I’ll face ridicule, contempt, scorn and persecution, and I’ve faced much already. I may lose everything I have in life. Maybe I’ll even face losing my head. But if it brings God glory, all of it will be a privilege. I’ve entered the straight gate, and now I’m on the narrow way. I can’t turn back; I’ve set my hand to the plow. I can never go back to the world and what the devil holds out to me, to disgrace my king, my testimony and destroy my soul. I could never be happy and fulfilled with Christianity as most know it to be. I could never live with myself if I did. Today the label of Christian means nothing. At its best, what we know of commonly as Christianity is an empty shell, void of everything it was meant to be. I can’t abide it, much less content myself with it. There is more, far more, far greater things than worldly religion. I want the real thing, true, biblical Christianity, something this culture knows so little of, something that is so far removed from where we are today, but something that is real – not an act, a sham, a way the lost seek to quiet their consciences; not a side hobby or a game, not a mental assent to a checklist of theological statements. For everyone, myself included, our eternity hinges on the soul finding true Christianity, if God peradventure will grant us repentance and faith. I can’t afford to go along with what’s likable or popular, to settle for what makes me no enemies, if by any means I may be counted worthy of everlasting life. Too much is at stake. Not that I am the author of my salvation or ever could be by any means, but that I may strive to enter into the kingdom and not grow weary and faint, to lay hold upon that which the Lord in His graciousness gave me.
So you see, I’m bound, though some may call it bondage, but I know what bondage is. And though it may seem to be bondage in the eyes of the world, this is true liberty; this is the way. This way may be full of paradoxes. I think that’s why so many are offended, and turn back before they ever start. It is not because of my own holiness that I hope to aspire to follow this way wherever it leads me. But somehow, through no merit of my own, God has had mercy on me, and God has opened my eyes, and turned me from darkness to light. He has quickened me by His Holy Spirit. Why He did I do not know, I who am less than the least of the saints, I who am a worm and vile. And now it is my vision, my calling, my duty, my love, and my deepest joy to continue in the things which I have learned and have been assured of, no matter the sorrow, pain, trials, persecution, fears or loneliness I will face, no matter if I die lowly and of no reputation, in poverty or sickness or ridicule, as long as I can die right with God and be at peace with Him who made me. I will face these all in the strength of the Lord God, I will make mention of His righteousness. I will press on towards the mark of the prize of this high calling in Christ Jesus, enduring unto the end, so running that I may obtain, living by every word of God as contained in the Holy Scriptures, clinging to His promises, by His exceeding great grace, which He hath in His wondrous mercy showered abundantly upon this poor unworthy vessel,