This is what greeted me this lovely Sunday morning when I opened my front door to walk, Baxter.
Last August I spiraled down to the most frustrated I have ever been. You can get more about that here if you like. The frustration I battled was invading every area of my life. Once I came to grips with the reason behind the resistance to follow God, and decided to follow the leading He put in my heart, I had peace and felt for the first time in such a long time like life had come back to me. I had been familiar with Proverbs 13:12, well at least the first half of it. This pivotal point in my life brought the second half of this wonderful verse to life (no pun intended) to me.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
A little side note here. I do want to stop for a brief moment and say I know some look at the word “desire” as our own personal aspirations and dreams. Most of us are familiar with Psalm 37:4;
Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Delight means to have a great degree of pleasure of enjoyment. It involves happiness, gladness, to relish something and contentment. We must be in that state in our relationship with the Lord for the desire of our heart to see fruition. Why? Because when we walk that close to the Lord, He puts His calling, His desire in us.
...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power... Ephesians 1:17-19
And when we are that close to Him that we will obey, He makes that desire a reality.
That is one of those bless me verses we like to grab and hold onto. We love the part where God will give us the desires of our heart. I spent many years in a singles group and along with the verse that says it is not good for man to live alone,
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18,
this one about getting your desires ranked number one. I personally liked and still like the one that says:
...that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3b
I am rambling. My point here is that the first part of Psalm 37:4 is crucial to see the second part manifested. We must “Delight ourselves in the LORD, first.
So, I began Bible college. I was at a place where stepping out in faith and obeying became the only desire of my heart. Peace and life were a result. Remember how the Jewish nation would be blessed and then would start trying to figure things out on their own? Well, that day I stepped out truly was pivotal and I have not recessed back to that frustration but have moved forward. God began putting on my heart the next level of my pursuing His calling and so I started reasoning, researching and slightly recessing my way back to frustration. Last Thursday I put a principle of God's kingdom into my life.
Prayer. I am not going to go into a lot of detail here but just let me say I have always been intrigued by the what Paul said in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18;
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I now have a better understanding on that verse. For some time I have understood we don't thank God for everything, we thank Him in everything. But after some amazing lectures this term, I have received a much clearer, well I have received revelation on what the "without ceasing" and "in everything give thanks" and "rejoice always" is about. Praying is not about begging and pleading. It really is not even about the way I was "taught" to pray, P.U.S. H AND A.C.T.S.
Pray Until Something Happens and Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. While there is a small and limited amount of actual scriptural truth in those acronyms, they basically promote a regimented and self based style of prayer, at best. Our prayer life should be no less than a "life of prayer". Therein lies the secret to praying without ceasing. If we drop the begging and pleading and telling God about everything that is wrong, everything that we need or want to see happe and that He needs to be attending to in the next increment of time before we "get before Him" again and give Him our list of supplications, only of course after a few minutes of a little praise, a quick "oh forgive me for the wretch I am" and then a little thank you for all you do and start just praising Him in all we do and all the time, we would have less needs, more clarity and less frustration. There is a time for asking, but that needs to be with thanksgiving.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; Philippians 4:6
That was quite the run~on sentence I know, but there it is.
I will wrap this up by saying I finally decided to just put all of what I knew about prayer and my relationship with God into my life and I started with the decisions about the next step in front of me regarding school. And, I knew there would be a last year of school to consider at some point, but I laid it ALL down. I then proceeded to walk out and make a permanent part of my life the way I now knew to pray and just live. I then sent an email that I knew could yield an answer that would put a dream I have had in my heart since third grade to its final resting place. I knew the possibility of not seeing that dream come true in my life could quite possibly be in the response I would get. But, I was willing to accept that if it were not in God's desire for me.
The answer came! Not only did the answer take the confusion and stress out of the next step, not only did the answer make clear what the next step was, the step after that, the final decision about school was offered in that response. I am going to see the desire, the desire God put in my heart come to life in my life. I won't go into detail here but these things that must happen for all of this to take place are HUGE, and in the natural without exaggeration, not possible. One answer, one email and God had it all sorted out and gave it to me. Pushing and pleading I am done with. I never did feel it was right. Thank you Father for loving me and showing me how to live to please YOU!
These beautiful flowers this morning made me think of how thankful I am and I just thought I would share this story with you.
Just like any other government or kingdom, the Kingdom of God is established on principles. Whether you believe in God and have accepted His Son as your Savior or not, the world is governed by the principles God established for this world. If you have made Jesus the Lord of you life and are going along with what your personal ideas are on things, functioning in the traditions of man that nullify the Word of God, or follow religious doctrine that is not scriptural; you can go along as long as you like frustrated and bewildered about why things are the way they are for you. The good news is, when you get your Bible out and see what it says, really says, and apply those principles to your life, really do it God’s way and not your own, He doesn’t hold back. His principles work, they work every time and they always are for your good. Thank you, Father for Your patience with me and for Your faithfulness!