These past few weeks have been trial after trial. There have been bouts of depression, rapture, utter amazement, and inexplicable depravity. Throughout this period the thing that keeps me focused and somewhat sane has been the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. There have been countless moments where the Holy Spirit has led me to do one thing, say one thing, and see one thing; unknowingly I walked right into what God had already prepared for me.

The passage that has given me the greatest hope in all of these things has been the following:

    Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
    John 12:23-26 NIV

I realize that everyday, a part of me dies to myself, and everyday a part of who Christ is in me, grows. Summer is a funny time because it forces you look at yourself honestly. You’re naked to the thoughts that stare you down. I have to say that these past few weeks have been a glaring anomaly if anything. Things have been out of the ordinary and I’ve been forced to re-evaluate and re-align my priorities and primary purpose. There’s been highs and lows throughout this journey, but all in all I’m learning to trust the voice of the Holy Spirit, embrace Christ who dwells deeply within me, and accept the love that the Father showers down upon me so willingly.

I am but a sinful wretch; I would pass that test with flying colors. Everyday of the journey has been one of realizing that even though I am a sinner saved by grace, I am also now a son of God; a grace that has been appropriated to me through the cross of Jesus Christ.

The one thing that I’ve done in this past season is go to God with my heart. There I place my weak and frail organ before His throne, knowing full well that as much as I try to walk this Christian life with all the bravado I can muster, God knows the battles that rage within me.

So this is rather a confession of how weak I am. I am broken vessel that once thought I was called to glorious things. I now realize that whatever the call may be, my purpose is to please my Father in heaven. If that means something grand and wonderful in these oft-deceived eyes, so be it. If that means something menial and humble in this selfish, glory-seeking mind, so be it. I’m finally giving up the dreams that have so entangled this mind.

I’ve heard pastors say the Christians have a destiny. I know full-well what that means, but sometimes I think the Christian life is so much otherwise. God is out to kill us. He’s out to kill us and our vain imaginations that think we know what God wants us to really do. Yeah He gives us ideas, but when spoken of in actual practice, we are but blind beggars claiming to have seen the sun. Our revelation of destiny and purpose only comes when we can reach a point of utter depravity and surrender before our Lord Jesus. We must die to the things that drive us so. Upon closing the casket on our glorified dreams and ideas of what our destiny really means, we must then wait for the Lord to resurrect our dreams in His time and way.

So then our destiny in this Christian life is dying to ourselves daily, and rising again in meticulous pursuit of the life called Following-Christ. Whatever dreams, desires, or aspirations we hold onto must first pass through the process of dying. We do not follow a dream, nor are we burdened by the weight of our glorified aspirations. We follow Christ. We follow Him to wherever He may lead us.

I’m learning to follow…

I Am Ashish Joy