But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)
My prayer time is way off. I imagine I have felt like this in the past, actually, I have because I often look back to previous days to see if there was something I did that caused the lack of focus. I will try to read or write the answer to my disconnection but I’m not feeling the need to do this which is quite unusual.
I feel clear and it is certainly not from anything I did. I am confident in the Blood of Jesus; this is a new thing! Hallelujah! I do not feel the need to take inventory of the past couple of weeks in search of words or actions that would lead to ill feelings. This is a mighty miracle in itself; something like this can only point to God and His desire to make all things new!
It’s been four days of cloudiness regarding my “normal” prayer time. It has bothered me up until this morning. I was quite concerned that I was squeezing Him out. I have been praying each night that He would keep this from happening. I cannot see what is all around me but He can. So, if evil is lurking and the intention is to put a wedge between God and me, send the enemy packing immediately, gather me up, and set me straight.
After prayer this morning, I am somewhat aware of the Lord’s new thing. Details I do not have but I have the direction I need to leave concern alone and press forward with what I do know. The Lord is expanding on His teaching of the importance of prayer. He is moving me from my usual sort of prayer time into a time of patience and self-discipline. The reason for this is because I rely on my books more than I do on Him. I look to devotions and spiritual authors for my answers, help, understanding, and encouragement. I can never entirely know the mind of God but I do know something has shifted.
I guess I feel that sitting quietly without reading or writing is lazy. If I am not doing anything, I am feeling wasteful and spoon-fed. Here I am Lord, what do you have for me today and if I take no action in seeking Him then I am taking advantage of His goodness!
Forgive me of this thought, Father! It does feel so peaceful to sit and talk to you but I cannot help but feel that I must reciprocate by reading or writing. I am feeling a little unsteady!
In this moment of insight, I find I am seeking God to show me in writing or reading, a confirmation of this self-discipline of just sitting quietly with Him without action on my part. His only request is to turn my heart in His direction. I am not trusting His voice as I am designed to. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27, NLT).
An investigation is my normal start to the morning and prayer follows! I’m backward! Is a personal relationship with you really this easy? Is it my sinful state that manipulates your blessing of intimacy into something that I can understand. Are you not Lord, God Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth? You are so much bigger than me and to understand you would be to drop you down to my level so that I could clearly see you. I do not want this kind of god! I want the God who I saw in my dream years ago, the God who held a jumbo jet in the palm of His hand, and compared to that hand, the jet was a child’s toy. Small and insignificant! This, you are not!
Each morning, I quickly get to my desk to sit with you but instead of saying good morning to my Father, I say good morning to my spiritual authors. “Good morning Mr. Spurgeon and Mr. Oswald. How are you today? What do you have for me today?” Well hello, Mr. Murray! How are you this fine morning? Will you teach me about prayer?”
Help me God to sit quietly with you. Let this time of filling come from only you. Let me not seek other resources because they are there right before my eyes. I see the book, I read the words, and by your mercy and grace, they jump to life and create newness within me. Have I made them gods? Forgive me and tear them down, in the Name of Jesus! Yes, wonderful sources but you have to be my Source. My dependency needs to be in you without interference from books. I want you to be my Source!
You are taking the training wheels off my bike, aren’t you? Hold me up, Father! Don’t let me fall. Don’t let my mind wander into fruitless territory. Teach me as you have done in the past. As I sought answers in my books, you have taken full advantage of my faithfulness to books and used them for your good. Oh, the things I’ve learned from my favorite godly authors! I do love them all but I love you more!
God, Bible, and then books!