Can you minister to someone else or yourself in the state of absence? After my post on a crowded heart condition, I reached out to a friend. She is a faithful reader of the blog, and she had similar concerns and thoughts. We decided to pray for each other and to read the book FerVent by Priscilla Shirer. This girl bought me the book the next day and delivered it to my door. In the midst of many things going on, her love gift brought a boost to my prayers and spiritual being. She was able to see my sweet new grand-daughter, too!
God delivers through His people and through His Word.
My quiet time with Jesus rocked my world. I found myself laughing at the timing and connection. When we are faithful to seek Him; He shows up in a mighty and personal way.
Jackie Kendall wrote a book called Surrender Your Junior God Badge. In this book, she talks about a crowded, busy life. We often hear messages from the faith about serving and translate the message to be available at all times. Be a yes girl. Jackie found herself, in some cases, feeling like she was acting as the Holy Spirit in someone’s life, thus the Junior God Badge she put on every morning. She was left feeling exhausted and disappointed. Her first priorities of God and family were neglected. In some circumstances, she was a barrier to the person working out their issues with God.
When you get your priorities straight and stop being the rescuer, two things happen. Your soul is replenished and balanced, and you get out-of-the-way for God to work. Jesus himself told the disciples that he must go away so the Advocate could come and minister. The disciples had access to Jesus 24/7 in the flesh, but Jesus knew a day would come when He would leave. In His absence something “good” would happen. What is better than Jesus standing right there?
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7
If you have studied the New Testament you find a group of men clinging to Jesus’ every word with passion and confusion, at times. Jesus was crucified, buried, rose again, and ascended into heaven. When the Advocate (Holy Spirit) came, many of the disciples and others became new people–they started their ministry and changed the world. It was not until the work of the Advocate took place that powerful, life-changing self-discovery, and ministry took place.
I do have moments in which I cry out to God and say, “Jesus, please just come and sit next to me.” I know He lives within me; but, honestly, I do want to touch Him sometimes. It’s in those moments of my crowded heart that I need to pray in the Spirit and listen. By the way, my friend reminded me of the importance of listening. Are we quiet enough to listen?
Priscilla’s book reminds us that the enemy has strategies against us. This is the hard part. Who wants to hear about the devil, the enemy? With all the evil going on in the world around us, we are drawn to the feel-good sermons and messages of hope.
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. (Eph. 6:11)
He tricks, lies, and laughs at our attempts to fix our issues.
At the end of the day, the enemy is going to be sorry he ever messed with you. You’re about to become his worst nightmare a million times over. He thought he could wear you down, sure that after a while you’d give up without much of a fight. Well, just wait till he encounters the fight of God’s Spirit in you.
War. (Shirer, 2015, p. 8)
If you took the heart-condition inventory on the previous post, and you were honest with the “why”. I recommend moving forward in a war-like, battle stance, and intentional position. I’ve tried everything I know to do (that’s the problem), and the only way I see winning this war is on my knees.
A prayer from Psalm 25 (thank you for sharing with me mom)
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.b
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord,c is in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!