Today's post is written by my daughter, Kristin Herrin. Kristin is 21 years old, and a continual source of joy as I observe in her a heart that seeks after God. Yahweh has given Kristin a sphere of influence with some of the teenage girls at her church. He has been leading her to share with them concerning denying their soul's desires that they might live for the will and pleasure of the Father.
My daughter and I
(Click on picture for larger image)
Yahweh is using Kristin to guard the innocence of these young women. They are at an age where they yet have the innocence of childhood, but are emerging into womanhood. The Spirit has burdened Kristin's heart to see that these young women do not lose their innocence before God and man. How do we lose innocence? We do it one decision at a time, as we choose those things our soul desires over the will of the Father.
Kristin was inspired (in the truest sense of the word) to write the following:
Kristin Herrin (10-06-09)
A delicate flower, a tender bloom
Purity is its color, Grace its perfume
Full of life and laughter, Gentle with its tears
Vulnerable in its innocence, Yet open without fear
Guard your heart, dear children
Let your affections be above
Don't let desires rule you
Let God be your first love
I've been thinking today about innocence and purity, the beauty God finds in one whose heart is fully His. I see people with an openness and innocence in their lives, and it breaks my heart to know that many allow it to be robbed by spiritual compromise. Purity of heart is so beautiful, so precious, yet it is so easy for us to allow things to turn our hearts from God, and so often we do so without even realizing it. Compromise can be hard to detect when it comes at us in seemingly innocent forms.
God wants us to be passionate about Him, passionate about what He wants us to stand for. How often do I let my testimony be watered down because I am unwilling to give up my own pride to stand for Him? How often do I miss His best because I am lured away by what is permissible? Innocence can fade away just one petal at a time, but the end result is no longer a flower, only a stem reminding us of what once existed. Do I do things just because I feel I am allowed to or even have a right to do them, or do I do things because I know they are what God wants me to do?
Why are we so hesitant to be labeled radical? We want to straddle the fence because that's where we feel comfortable, and yet often fail to realize our own lives bear the mark of lukewarmness.
It was said of Christ that He did nothing of His own initiative, only what He saw the Father doing. Do I really want to be like Him? Am I really desirous of having no initiative of my own, no self-will, but being completely crucified? I think we recognize that taking up the cross is our duty as Christians, but often forget that the cross is intended to end in crucifixion. As A.W. Tozer brought out, the message of the cross loses much of its power when it is no longer viewed as an instrument of death, but simply a religious icon of beauty.
We are not supposed to get down off our cross and walk around seeking our own desires - We are supposed to die to our own desires, to completely surrender everything that identifies us as ourselves to the will of One who created us. Does this mean we have no desires, that life no longer holds any pleasure? Not at all- The Bible says that if we delight ourselves in the Lord He will give us the desires of our heart. If I learn to truly find my delight in the Lord, perhaps I will find my desires will be different as well... In any case, my desires alone shouldn't rule me or lead me. Does this thought scare me, make me want to shy away from the cross, maybe follow the path only to the foot of Golgotha? God give me the grace to press on, to not be held back by any fear.
What is the message on my heart that I wish people could hear? Guard your heart at all costs, and I'm not speaking just in romantic terms, but guard your heart from all things that would turn you aside from pure devotion to Christ. When God leads you to walk through a door that has been your desire, embrace it and rejoice in it! But do not let your desires lead you to walk through a door that God has not led you to, lest you miss His best. God's best is always worth waiting for. Innocence is so precious; It is also very fragile. If you desire to keep a rose beautiful in its entirety you must handle it with much care; How much more our hearts...
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