Most of us have been to the ocean, we have stood on the sandy shore laughing as the waves come crashing in upon our ankles and then chase back out again. We are able to stand in the shallows for awhile, and then we go a little deeper into the ocean. Now we are fighting the waves coming in upon our knees, almost knocking us over- but we remain standing, so we go a little deeper. The waves are bigger now, we are up to our waist, the waves come crashing in and overtake us. We go under and when we come back up, there is another wave, waiting to knock us down. My life feels like that right now. I am up to my waist in trials, and the waves are knocking me down, pulling me under. I catch a breath and come up to the surface, only to find another wave crashing in on top of me.
I was very upset yesterday, I was crying, praying, pouring out my heart to the Lord asking Him if I was doing something wrong. Was my heart not right? Was I not confessing some sin that I had in my life? What was it? Why were all these things happening with no answer to prayers or pleas for help? I am sure many of us have felt this way at some point in our lives. Is there hope? I asked my God that question this morning. Is there going to be end to all these waves and turmoil? Are we ever going to see the light through the darkness of this deep ocean of life we are in? I did get an answer. I found it nestled in the pages of Proverbs, waiting for me to open my heart and receive His answer.
“To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding. To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment and equity;…..The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-3; 7
My prayers of late have been more along the complaining side. I have been asking for wisdom and knowledge, to understand why these things are happening- but forgetting the one most important thing- The Fear of the Lord in my life. What stuck out at me the most was verse 3- “to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment and equity..” To receive something you have to be able to accept it, you can be handed a present, but unless you actually take it- you have not received anything. The same is with our spiritual walks. We have received eternal life, we have received grace- but unless we accept these gifts, we do not truly have them.
The Lord showed me that to be able to receive from Him we have to come to a place in our hearts where we can accept them. We ask for the Lord Jesus to come into our hearts and we receive Salvation. But if our hearts were not ready to accept Him, then we would not be ready to receive His salvation. Do you see where I am going with this yet?
There is a tendency in us to put earthly expectations upon the blessings we ask for- or the prayers we pray. But we forget that God is Spirit, and that everything He does is in the Spirit. We ask for financial help, but we are not ready to receive it because of a “heart condition” He needs to work out before we can accept the full amount of His answer. (I hope this is making sense.)
Being broken is not about us breaking, not always, sometimes we have to be broken so that God can take us to that place we need to be so that He can pour out into us what we need. I prayed for my mother to be healed, that the Lord would take her cancer away and that she would be healed and in no more pain. I set earthly expectations on that prayer. The Lord did answer my prayer, but He answered in the Spirit- not in the flesh. He took her home to be with Him. She is healed, she has no more cancer and she is complete and in no more pain. He did answer my prayers- just not in the way I expected Him to. It is very easy for us I think, to put earthly terms upon what we ask of God. But God is Spirit; He does not work that way. He sees the needs we have- spiritually and earthly. He works in and through the Spirit, the manifestation of His power, His answer to our prayers are seen in the earthly.
To be able to receive anything from the Lord God, we must first have a fear of Him. We must understand and know that what we ask for, He does hear- but there is a greater purpose, a greater lesson, a greater blessing to be had- He just needs to work it out in our spirits first. We will not always understand why things happen, not at first. Right now, I have no clue why all these trials and hurricane force waves are crashing in upon us- but I am confident of one thing- He is in control of them all.
My heart must not be at a place yet where I can see and receive what He wants to do, and I am okay with that. I am willing and ready however, to be as broken as I need to be so that He can work in me. Brokenness brings us to a place where we can receive from the Lord God all that we ask for- spiritually first, then earthly last. The waves are still crashing in, and I am still underneath, trying to catch my breath, but the difference today is that I am at peace with it all. I am His and He is mine. He is in control. And when the time is right, when my heart is at the place He needs it to be, I will receive from my Father in Heaven, my Lord and my King that which I need most- Him.
When the Lord is working in your life, there will be trials and turmoil- there will be tsunami waves at times. It is okay- it is supposed to be this way. The ocean is a beautiful and powerful wonder to behold, but what is greater and more beautiful that any ocean or sea? The sight of God working in the lives of those who love Him and fear Him and seek after Him, that is beauty indeed.