I finished reading “Anything” by Jennie Allen about two weeks ago. I have yet to remove it from my desk & put it on my bookshelves with other read books. It is still compelling me to pick it up & read pages here & there. That is how much it has gripped my heart.
The book explores a prayer of surrender which the author prayed. The prayer, simply stated is, “Anything. God I will do anything.” To say the book has challenged my faith & my relationship with God is an understatement.
Often in life we face battles that we do not understand. Perhaps we were never truly meant to understand them. Perhaps we are supposed to live this life, ever aware of the battle, ever aware that our battle is not against flesh & blood but against the forces of evil in heavenly places. Perhaps the biggest story that our lives are meant to tell is that we wage the war & we do not let it destroy our faith & trust in our God. Perhaps the greatest victory that we ever win is when we remain faithful, ever loving our Savior, ever serving Him, ever trusting Him in spite of the battle.
Today I am asking myself, “WHAT IF that is it? What if that is the very way God displays Himself & His glory in & through our lives?”
Jennie Allen has challenged me with her book & answered my question in this way:
We will all continue to face discouragement, loneliness, criticism, and suffering.
And here is what I hear God speaking to me in it.
You protect yourself with me.
You bind truth to the front of you so when darkness comes you remember me. You remember I am bigger. You remember I win. You remember I am with you today and forever; even if you can’t see me, I am there. You put my Word, my truth, in front of you. Protect yourself with me and my righteousness.
And then, you run. Let your feet carry you into battle building my name, sharing my love, telling my story, showing my glory. Go. Run. Fight. Do not just sit there feeling sorry for yourself. Run and fight.
Let your shield be faith. See, if I am real to you – if you believe you stand behind the God of universes – you won’t need to be afraid. You may get tired but you won’t forget why this war matters if you don’t forget me. You’ll fight bravely, like someone who knows she fights for a cause worth dying for. You’ll keep fighting if you see me.
You have me with you – I am in you.
Fight bravely because I am for you & I am with you.
(taken from Anything by Jennie Allen, page 160)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you & help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).