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Friday, May 9, 2014

On Jim Elliot, by his wife, Elisabeth

I just started rereading Shadow of the Almighty, the biography of my Dad, and I'd like to put this paragraph in as a challenge to those of us who call ourselves Christians:

"When Jim was twenty years old he prayed, "Lord make my way prosperous, not that I achieve high station, but that my life may be an exhibit to the value of knowing God." His life was that to me, who shared it more intimately than any other.  Was it extraordinary?  I offer these pages so that the reader may decide for himself.  If his answer is yes- if he finds herein the "stamp of Christ," and decides that this is extraordinary-- what shall we say of the state of Christendom?"
                                                                    from the end of the preface

From the first page of the preface:

"Some who pick up this book may make  no claim to know God. Others may make the claim but be victims of the self-delusion that John ("the disciple whom Jesus loved" from one of his  letters in the Bible) observes. Yet others may know Him, and obey Him, but wonder sometimes at the value of this knowledge and this obedience.  I think that this book will have something to say to all three.  If those in the first category want to know God, they may perhaps learn how.  Those in the second group may find that they are missing a great deal by not backing their claims with action.  And those in the third category may be encouraged to pursue their course. "

There are many times when I am overwhelmed and humbled by the fact of being the daughter of these two extraordinary Christians.  There are other times when I am "proud" in the simplest sense of the word, that I was born of them, and that I have some of their characteristics- sense of adventure and fun, a desire to do what's right, a sense of humor. But as I have often felt, when comparing myself to them( I know that is not wise!) and their accomplishments, I am struck with the lack of consistency and diligence, the lack of the will of steel in my own personality, that has kept me from accomplishing what I thought I "ought" to accomplish.  God made me who I am, and did  He not want to teach me what obedience to His will is, throughout my life, and have I not taken steps of self-discipline, in "fits and starts", later to castigate and berate myself, because I've "not done those things that I ought to have done?"  Yes, it takes a whole life time to do those things He wants us to do, and it takes daily repentance from our dead works, in order that His work of life may transform us. May He conform each of us to the image of Christ, and may we imitate those saints that we read about, or from, as Paul told his churches to imitate him, as he imitated Christ.  May the chastisement of the Spirit comfort us, as we know He is at work, "reshuffling our categories" as my mother used to say, and working in us that which is pleasing in our Father's sight.  May we be mold-able and pliable in His hands, willing to be convicted by the Spirit of Truth, as well as convinced of His help in changing our bad habits and tendencies.  He equips those who want to do His will with His powerful enabling....our lives becoming exhibits to the value of knowing Him....Praise be to Him! Romans 15:13