Dear Brother Douglas,
Thank you for writing your post from Aug 14. I hear what you are saying and it fully resounds in my soul. I have been hearing the exact same thing from the Lord myself.
Sometimes I wonder if it is not just some bad circumstances taking place in my life at the moment (i.e. my marriage falling apart, my husband refusing to come home from Afghanistan when he could have), etc, etc. there is no point going on about all the garbage going on about me. I truly wonder if all this "crap" going on is a distraction from the enemy to to take my focus off of the Lord.
I think it is very easy to get "caught up" in trying to guess all the meanings and various nuances of the dates and times and bible codes of when precisely and exactly Jesus is going to shout "Come Up Here", but I think one thing everyone on this forum agrees on is that it is going to happen very soon. Yes, a month or a month and a half feels like a long long time away. Brothers and Sisters on this forum, please do not take this as me putting you down. If the Lord has given you this gift of looking and searching for that exact date, then who am I to tell you it is wrong. It is just not "right" for me, nor for my gifting. I myself would become exhausted. But I do know the time and the season is RIGHT HERE.
You said this:
I think of faith as abandoning myself to a rest in what/Who is true regardless of how I might feel/think in a given moment. It seems that over time God has been revealing and purging my heart from idols, things which I have looked to to get me by in life yet apart from Him. In other words, illusions.
I too have been going through the purging with the Lord and getting rid of the things I discern are not pleasing to Him, whether physical, mental or emotional. I know the Lord wants my attention focused on the Father and the Son. No one else understands this around me, but me. There are a thousand questions on what I am to do with my life yet I cannot seem to muster the strength to do any of it. All I can seem to think about is being with the Lord....nothing else.
You also said this:
I have asked God to reduce me to focusing only on Him and His Son. It seems that He is doing that. I did not anticipate how much my heart was attached to other things. An strong sense of "hollowness" is experienced as I look to those idols at this season, with a lot of whining and groaning to go along with it.
I feel that hollowness too - there is nothing left to look at, nothing that catches my attention (of the World anymore). I am exhaused. I hope and pray I am an exhausted Bride. Funny, there is a website/blogsite called just that, "The Exhausted Bride" and it's pretty good. It's kind of a misnomer though, because in this life, the Bride can easily become exhausted - you know when a bride is planning for her wedding, there is literally quite a bit of exhaustion going on - the endless details of making everything go just right - the planning is enormous.
But think about this: Our Lord Jesus has been doing this planning with countless angels for almost 2,000 years, and all the planning, all the details will be infinitely RIGHT AND PERFECT! The Bride merely needs to be ready and watching for her Bridegroom. So I take it that the exhaustion is in the waiting-part, not the planning!
So what I am hearing also in my ear - it's being whispered by the Lord himself - is to learn to just REST IN ME and REST IN WHAT I HAVE ALREADY DONE FOR YOU." I was getting tired of waking up every morning worrying about whether my garment was pure and white and spotless and unwrinkled. Well you know what, it wore me out. All that worrying when I know Jesus' work of Grace - his FINISHED GRACE, was done - it's FINISHED. I am to ABIDE in His love and REST in it. Not be running too and fro, worring about every last detail. As long as I am focusing on Him and Him alone, there can be peace. I am tired. I am very tired. An with all the crap going on around me, both in my personal life and in the World, the enticement is to get all caught up in it.
It is almost time to go home, and I cannot wait. I cry every day with longing to just see His face and be with Him. Doug, I love your last sentence of your post and I find it to be the most profound statement I have heard in a long long time:
In a way I have found that I need Jesus to enable me to wait for Jesus.
Hallelujah brother! You could not have said it any better. Best thing I have ever heard in my life! We need Jesus for Jesus sake! What a simple and wonderful and lovely statement. We are NOTHING without him, nothing. Jesus, we need you to help us "rest" in our waiting for you to return.
Thank you Douglas for your post. It encouraged me greatly.