Sometimes it is good to take time to remember and reflect. I wrote the following severeal years ago. As I read back over it recently, it is amazing how timely this still is for 2012. I do not want to waste the lessons of the journey. So I am inviting you to join me and reflect on these core truths.
This attitude reflects a heart of humility before God and sensitivity to his gentlest whisper. This is the place of brokenness, repentance, and seeking God. It is meekness, bridled strength, the humility of wisdom, having no agenda but God’s. It is surrender and devotion, essential for hearing God. The only desire is to please him. When we think we have the victory, beware! There is great danger in thinking we are standing tall and strong (1 Cor. 10:12). Pride goes before a fall. God is stripping us naked, allowing us no covering but himself. He will not allow us to walk in anything but him. Only his life bears life.
Another area of staying low and staying close is spiritual warfare. In time of war, a soldier doesn’t move without the command of his commanding officer. One step of presumption will be disastrous.
God is radically changing the way we depend on him.
God has been saying, “Stay behind me.” I protested, “But God, don’t you always tell your friends what you are doing?” He said, “Yes, and I am telling you that you will not be able to know what I’m doing. You know nothing about trusting me. Stay behind me. And don’t peek!” I did not want to accept this. My lack of trust had to be refined. Something in me had to know, to do, to see, to understand. God calls it unbelief. I like flying by “visual flight rules.” God has called us to submit to “flying on instruments” when we can’t see where we’re going. We must be convinced in the deepest places that we can trust him. We will depend on him fully only when we come to the end of ourselves. We must learn to more quickly get to the cross with our dependence. Radical Love won’t let any person or any thing on earth meet my needs but him, so I won’t trust in them.
As important as it is for me to trust God, he wants to know that he can trust me.
Paul said, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2). Our faithfulness to God in all things, great and small, matters to him. His truth and his righteousness are established in our lives practically and experientially, by being tested one obedience at a time, by learning and application, by training and discipline, in trial and warfare. He must keep my heart tuned to his, or I perish.
The bigger the vision, the deeper the death, but missing God costs more.
The cross of Jesus will sweeten any trial, difficulty, or roadblock. God knows what we need even when we don’t (but think we do). We must learn to surrender our expectations of him that he perform according to our uncrucified agenda. The “new” requirement of God is the same as the old requirement: to come and die.
Bless and honor your authorities.
It has never been more important to bless and honor our authorities. The early church was told to trust God and honor the emperor (Matt. 17:25-27, Mark 12:14-17, Rom. 13:1-7). We honor the un-honorable because of their position, not their personality. If we take authority lightly, our prayers will be hindered. We reach for God on the other side of a closed heart and draw from him until he changes the heart. We rest in God’s ability to deal redemptively with our authorities, and we get out of his way.
Now It’s Your Turn
Take some time alone with God before your open Bible. Let Jesus open up his heart to you in his Word, personally, between you and him. Prayerfully reflect on your life in the Spirit. What is he saying to YOU? Pause and let him review the traces of his hand in your life. Ask him for a word of direction or promise. Make an altar stone of what he says by writing it down and writing it on your heart.
Taken from Prayer Essentials for Living in His Presence, Vol 1, page 19-21. © 2000 by Sylvia Gunter
Available at www.thefathersbusiness.com An archive of past devotionals is available on the website.