July 29, 2020
I woke in a panic around 2 AM this morning. My body felt funny and I could not help but imagine all sorts of terminal ailments. I was reminded of unpleasant past events; doom and gloom were fast approaching. My heart-rate was up, my breath was shallow, and I could not find a comfortable position in the bed. Scripture was not coming as quickly as I would have liked, so I repeated the Lord’s Prayer! As I meditated on each word, the peace of God came over me; my racing thoughts slowed down just enough to muster a prayer of help. I cannot remember the words but I knew in that moment of paralyzing fear, I had to be rescued and I certainly could not do it by myself. I am helpless in the grip of panic.
How faithful and good He is! In the calm of His embrace, I heard clearly the wisdom He had to share with me. I was no longer focused on my current condition but on His loving mercy and grace. I was not alone and even if I should breathe my last breath, right then and there, I still would not be alone. In my finite mind, I would be overcome and merged into His very being, removed from my body, and joined with His, covered and infused with His indescribable love and peace.
John 16:33 (ESV) says:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Wounds in life are unavoidable. There are many unfairly taken advantage of, offended, and oppressed by very bad behavior carried out by others. I am so sorry! I pray, in the Name of Jesus, for healing on all those who struggle each day with hurt. I pray Jesus lays His healing hand upon those wounds and fills them up with his Holy Presence. Draw each one close, Father, and whisper in their ear that they are loved and well taken care of. You have a plan and it is good and I pray that you bring great faith and hope to broken hearts and give unquenchable desire to seek your face rather than turn inward and allow the hurt to rule over them! Thank you, Jesus! It’s in your Name we pray, Amen!
These wounds can become quite damaging when left uncared for, they become a part of us. As we go through life, they gain strength and dominate our thoughts, emotions, words, and actions. We are prone to seek help in all the wrong places and gravitate towards anything in the hopes of mending brokenness. A bigger mess is often created!
At 2 AM, God showed me that I look to others to be filled emotionally and as I wrote this on July 29th, my view of personal dysfunction has become completely different.
Those heart-hurts are deep! It is an area that is untouchable by things or people; this is the territory of God. Whether we have been hurt or not, we all have a hidden space in our hearts that cannot be reached by any outside influences. No matter what we pursue and achieve in life, that spot will remain barren. There is a craving within us that yearns for something more. We do not realize this deep-seated need until we are sitting in weakness and despair (my experience). Life is no longer full and satisfying for whatever reason or maybe it never was (again, my experience). We turn from our present circumstances and look to be filled in other ways. Sinking into self-pity, our heart becomes an open door to anything that brings hope and joy; this can only come from Jesus. His love gets to our vacancy and it is unchanging, unconditional, inseparable, and incomparable. This is where He belongs! He made us this way!
I have since been in prayer over a new “escape” plan! When life hits me right in the gut and I’m left flailing in the dust, I am doing my best to remember my identity in Christ, remaining in the moment, and soaking in His presence. I do this by sitting still in prayer, reading the Bible, or one of my favorite Spirit-filled authors, listening to God-centered messages, or turning on worship music and singing with my hands raised high.
Galatians 5:16-26 (ESV)
Keep in Step with the Spirit
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealously, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, division, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
It is an impossible task to “walk by the Spirit,” in our own power and it is something I am learning but as John Piper told me this morning in his message, “Let Us Walk by the Spirit” (Piper, 10:04), “The Holy Spirit gives us the desires to walk by the Spirit,” and as Charles Spurgeon said in his sermon the Power of the Holy Ghost (2020), “The Holy Spirit has power over the will…He is able to make you willing in the day of his power,” so it is nothing we do, it is everything the Holy Spirit does.
I challenge you to lean into God in those fleshly moments and see what He does! I am putting myself in this challenge as well! I will check back in with you and give you a Holy Spirit update. To God be all the Glory!
To conclude, I want to share with you this excerpt from Charles H. Spurgeon (2020). It comes from his sermon, “The Comforter.” I found God’s peace in this and I pray you do too!
“God the Holy Ghost is a very loving Comforter. I am in distress, and I want consolation. Some passer-by hears of my sorrow, and he steps within, sits down, and essays to cheer me; he speaks soothing words, but he loves me not; he is a stranger; he knows me not at all; he has only come in to try his skill; And what is the consequence? His words run o’er me like oil upon a slab of marble; they are like the pattering rain upon the rock; they do not break my grief; it stands unmoved as adamant because he has no love for me. But let someone who loves me dear as his own life, come and plead with me, then truly his words are music; they taste like honey: he knows the password of the doors to my heart, and my ear is attentive to every word; I catch the intonation of each syllable as it falls, for it is like the harmony of the harps of heaven. Oh! There is a voice in love, it speaks a language which is its own: it has an idiom and a brogue which none can mimic; wisdom cannot imitate it; oratory cannot attain unto it; it is love alone which can reach the mourning heart; love is the only handkerchief which can wipe the mourner’s tears away. And is it not the Holy Ghost, a loving comforter. Dost thou know, O saint, how much the Holy Spirit loves thee? Canst thou measure the love of the Spirit? Dost thou know how great is the affection of his soul towards thee?”
Piper, J. (2013, August 12). Let us walk by the spirit [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1iKjjkQYz4&t=604s
Spurgeon, C. H. (2020). Power of the holy ghost: Spurgeon sermons (8th ed., Vol. 1-2). Hendrickson Publishers.
Spurgeon, C. H. (2020). The comforter: Spurgeon sermons (8th ed., Vol. 1-2). Hendrickson Publishers.