Archive for May 2nd, 2016

(No new sermon this week.)

During my Pastor’s sermon last week, I was sitting and listening intently; my mind wasn’t wandering, I wasn’t looking around see what other people were doing, I was paying attention to what he was saying. And then, with no warning…:

1 Kings 19:12 (WEB)

12 … there was a still small voice

It said that I should pray in my prayer closet first thing after I get up every day, in addition to doing so in the evening (which I have been doing every single day for months). This dropped into my mind completely out of a clear blue sky; I wasn’t thinking anything about prayer, the prayer closet, my schedule, or anything remotely connected with these topics… I was just listening to the sermon. I can’t remember what Pastor was talking about at that exact moment, but the topic was prosperity; he wasn’t saying anything about prayers, prayer closets, or schedules either. I specifically thought at the time how what popped into my head had absolutely nothing to do with anything Pastor had spoken about… and I knew that it was God giving me what most of us hope passionately for all the time… instructions!!

Interestingly, as part of the sermon, Pastor gave one of his rare mentions of the original languages; it was an interesting point that was EXACTLY what I had emailed to him a month earlier, which he had never seen because his wife is a little bit unreliable in passing things along. That’s way beyond the bounds of coincidence, so I think it was a sign that I received a true word… not that I had had any doubts.

Needless to say, I had been praying from the moment I woke up every morning anyways, but if God wants me to be more formal about it and actually be in my prayer closet, that’s what I’m going to do, every day for the rest of my life. That is the sort of obedience God is looking for.

A few days later, I’d had a terrible nighttime prayer closet session because I’d had a major personal issue come up that evening, and it had overwhelmed my mind. I’d had some bad sessions before, when I was exhausted or had too many things going on and was babbling rather than focusing, but this was worse. I always feel bad, frustrated, when prayer does not go well, but I’d never done anything about it. This time, however, maybe half an hour or so after I left the prayer closet, here came the still small voice once more: it told me to go back and do it again. I’d never done that before, it had never even OCCURRED to me to do it, so there was no doubt in my mind as to the source of this request; needless to say, I did it. 

Why did I get TWO instructions in such close proximity, and about the same thing, my prayer closet? Clearly, God wants me to go to a new level in my prayer life. Why, or why NOW? I think that something big is coming, and that this is preparation and/or a test… Time will tell.

The takeaway from this is: God will sometimes tell you, in actual words, something that He wants you to do. He won’t shout it, He won’t beat you over the head with it, you’ll just get that one, quiet instruction… and then the rest is up to you. It’s easy to let doubt take over, to talk yourself out of it, to let it just slip out of your mind; God generally will not do anything to prevent this. He’s not looking to force you into doing anything, He wants you to do something for your benefit, and He wants you to demonstrate your obedience by doing it just based on that single request. You might not WANT to do it, because you don’t feel like you have the time or the energy; I’ll admit to having had a sort of mental whimper at the idea of adding another formal prayer session to my jam-packed schedule. God understands that, He even expects it, because after all He made us and knows us intimately; the important thing is that you make the immediate decision to obey, and that you carry out. 

If you want God to give you more instructions as to what you should be doing in your life, and don’t we ALL want that, you need to pay attention and be ready to take action; God will do the rest.

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