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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Reward (09/27/04)

TITLE: REWARD
By Blantina Jones
09/29/04

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Corresponding with people I met over the Internet has given me occasion to share my faith with many. Recently, a pen-pal wrote concerning her faith: "...but like so many, I'm still not certain." Another expressed his unbelief this way: "As for God... I do not disillusion myself with the fantastical." And still yet another email friend shared, "...perhaps Jesus is just the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind," to which I must reply, "If God's revelation of Himself, of why we're here, where we are going, of how we are to live, His love and compassion toward us...if all that is Good, Holy, Just and Right in this world is a ‘hoax,’ I must ask, what kind of hoax would be a world without Christ?"

We have created an environment ripe for unbelief. The outcome of our labor no longer depends on God's provision but on our ingenuity and hard work– or so we would think. Why pray for rain when we can transport water from other sources? Why pray for healing when we can spend the time discovering medicines that can cure our illnesses? We have become a self-sufficient people, having little or no need for God.. Having been given the faith to believe does not necessarily mean that we are given eyes to see the obvious.

God would need to take me down a long–sometimes dark–path of experiences in my training before I would learn to "see" Him with my spiritual eyes. I had professed faith in Christ. I was praying and attending church and still He seemed unreachable. "God, what else can I do to find You?" I cried out in desperation one day. The assurance of my salvation and "peace that passeth understanding" was something others experienced but I could only dream about. The enemy soon reminded me that perhaps I just wasn’t good enough.

On my journey I succumbed to a deep depression, and through a series of events, God permitted everyone I had depended on to be removed from me–by death or distance. From sheer desperation I clung to Him tighter. Without God, who could I count on?

God would teach me invaluable lessons through two stories I would hear over the next couple of years. The first was a message from Luke 15:8. Jesus, sharing a parable about a woman who lost a coin, asks, "Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?" I sensed God asking me, "How important am I to you? To what lengths will you go to find me?" I envisioned myself losing something more applicable to our day–say, a diamond ring. Like that woman, I was certain I would move heaven and earth to find it, especially if I knew where I had lost it!

The Lord highlighted for me the fact that the woman knew where she’d lost the coin–in her home! In other words, if she searched her house, thoroughly, she would find it! The Lord showed me that in my life (my house) where He resided, I had misplaced Him among the clutter, and He had been of less value to me than even a coin–or a diamond–for I had not searched for Him as diligently as I would for a much less valuable trinket. And of how much more value was He!

God then spoke to me again through another message I heard. A man approached a preacher baptizing new believers. Desiring to find God at any cost, he so insisted, that the preacher submerged the man, and though he fought and kicked, he did not allow him to come up for air until he had exhaled his very last breath. Upon regaining his breath and strength, the man was irate and accused the preacher of trying to murder him. The preacher then explained that he was merely showing him how he could find Christ. That when his desire to find Him was as great as was his desire for his very breath, then he would surely find Him.

God does not desire our empty prayers, observances nor any other empty ritual we call "religion". He wants to be our all and all that He might reveal Himself to us and show us many wonderful and unspeakable things. He is the reward of all who seek Him, and He seeks nothing less than our all.

"And you will seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart."(Jer.29:13)


Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 10/04/04
Well written - and you made some excellent points. Thanks for giving me something to chew on.
Blessings, Lynda
Glenda Lagerstedt10/04/04
I, too, struggled long and hard for the assurance of salvation and for the peace that passeth understanding. You did a great job at clarifying this for people and assuring them that it is there.
Teresa Lee Rainey10/04/04
Very well written and a beautiful message.
shirley shields10/07/04
Great message, God Bless
L.M. Lee10/08/04
I thought I was the ONLY one God removed everyone from! It's a running joke among my friends...get to know Lissa and in 6 months you'll get transferred.

Hope I learn your lesson soon so I can keep some short-distance friends!