I think I now know a little bit as to why I didn't receive that miraculous moment of healing that I had so badly been wanting a week before.
My friend Jonathan and I hiked in 5 miles through sand and snow to get to the place prepared for us. Sandbeach Lake by Jonathan Roberts.
At its core, it is because God loves me. I'll explain why later - for now, I want to show you a little bit of how I came to that conclusion.
This week's teaching topic was on the "Fear of the Lord," which, as I came to find, was exactly what God wanted me to learn more about.
Here are a few gold nuggets from this week's talk that stood out to me:
Fear of the Lord: caring more about what God thinks than what we or others think.
You do not need healing to be intimate with God.
Love can be one way; intimacy must be two-way.
Don't be lazy spiritually and expect God to reveal the deep things of his heart.
You will be as close to God as you want to be.
Prov 2:1-5 verbs: accept, store up, turn ear, apply heart, call out, cry aloud, look [for silver], search [for hidden treasure] - how badly do you want this?
It's all about doing everything with God.
How exactly does God change a heart?
God can change our hearts! He not only can help us do his will but also help us want to do his will - Phil 2:13
"Do you want me for what I can do for you - or do you just want me?" ~ God
"Do you want me to satisfy you, or do you just want what you want?" ~ God
The Father does not work for our comfort - he works for our good.
"I don't just fix you - I transform you" ~ God
As we come closer in intimacy with God, he will convict us of sin in our lives. Why? Because he is a good, good father and strongly desires to heal us of what he knows is not good for us.
When God comes to heal us he does not use a hammer. He uses a scalpel. The motive is not your pain, the motive is your healing. Condemnation/shame (from the enemy) is general. Conviction/guilt (from God) is always specific.
As we progressed through the Fear of the Lord, the Lord began to speak to me. It began with my own thought that I was doing pretty okay in my Christian walk and didn't really have anything that God would convict. But, knowing that as we deepen our intimacy with God our sensitivity to our sin increases, I immediately recognized my former statement as a lie and a kind of pride that was covering up sin in my life.
So without further ado, I confessed this to God on paper. I proceeded to ask him to search me and reveal more of my shortcomings, preferring to be closer to God than to remain in ignorance.
Sure enough, God answered. I was writing down "Seek God's truth, not your emotions!" when I realized that I had been idolizing emotions that I did not have.
So without further ado, I confessed this to God on paper as well. Now, emotions are great and can often be a confirmation of something or a medium through which God speaks. But when we desire them more than God and his truth, we are in great danger of serving/pursuing something that is not God.
When we ask for forgiveness, we receive it by faith, not by our fickle minds and untrustworthy emotions. But truth is unwavering, which is wonderful, because I'd much rather lean on truth than my emotions. My emotions say that I am loved or forgiven only when I feel loved or feel forgiven, but truth says that I am loved by God no matter what I've done or do. Truth says that when I turn from my sin to the Lord, he delights in mercy and forgives me.
So, this is all one long way of saying that, had I gotten some kind of miraculous heart change when I so badly desired it, it probably would have resulted in some kind of emotional high, followed by a confusing and frustrating crash. Also, though I was unaware of it at the time, I was in a state of desiring what God could do, not desiring God himself.
Now, it should be noted that I am not implying that I needed to already be perfect before receiving healing. That would defeat the purpose of being healed, wouldn't it? Nor am I saying that my heart needs to be in a state of perfect desire for God and nothing else.
God was acting out of love for me when he chose not to heal me in an immediate way. And that is something I can be thankful for.
SPEAKING OF THANKFULNESS...
Yet another conviction of mine is that I have a lot to be thankful for but I do a pretty poor job of expressing thanks. And gratefulness leads to joy. And gratefulness can become a discipline. So, without trying to create a fake feeling in my heart, I can simply surrender my heart and emotions while steeling my will to wake up early and verbalize thanks for little and big things God has done in my life.
Breath, colors, light, animals, the sensation of touch, being out here in beautiful Colorado, having opportunities to love people, being loved by other people, knowing by faith that God loves me, etc.
Why groan and complain to God about what others have that I don't when I have so many things I can thank him for? My breath would be better spent on thankfulness than greed.
But I'm finding that is a lot easier said than done! Please pray for me to stay disciplined in gratefulness to start off my days here.
If I say that I want joy in my life, but don't act as if I do, do I really want it?
Please pray for an unquenchable thirst for joy that compels my heart and mind into fervent action.
I know I'm not alone in this. If these two last blogs have been resonating with you, and/or you feel stuck and are desiring a breakthrough from God, then I strongly encourage you to join with me in this journey and follow through with action.
Let's do this together! Feel free to reach out.