Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Suffering a Spirit of Want

Let me ask you a personal question, just between us.

Are there parts of your life that feel withered?  Do they feel barren or even cursed?

I've been sitting with the situation in Mark 11:12-25 for a long time.  It's that weird passage where Jesus sees a fig tree in season with no fruit, so He curses it.  24 hours or so later, it's completely withered.  I've stayed in that passage because frankly, I didn't get it.  Sure, Jesus is God, it shows His power over creation.

But I knew there was more to it.  Just my little brain couldn't get wrapped around it.  In reading John 15 this morning, I believe I got some clarity.  It goes back to my question.  Do parts of your life feel like that cursed fig tree?

You could have been dealt a bad hand by life, caused the issues yourself or even, in your darkest moments, think God cursed you.  Nothing is growing, there is no fruit.  You've prayed, you've asked, you've bargained and you've begged.

Still, nothing but a dried up husk of a desire, a dream, a promise, a relationship; where you once thought fruit would bloom.  It's a scabbed wound you pick at occasionally, but you have not yet allowed the Lord to completely heal. It sits there and so do you, staring at it.

I've been there.  I've stared at the dried husk of my daughter's healing, many a lonely night in her hospital room.  Crying out to God, for His mercy to be made visible.  Not seeing it, I became angry, bitter and scared.  I thought God wasn't there.  I was under the oppression of a spirit of want.  I wanted something so bad, and it was a good great thing.  It was a spirit of:
  • Where are you, God?
  • How could you, God?
  • Why won't you, God?
  • When will you, God?
Hot on the heels of all of those thoughts is the insidious, paralyzing question: What is wrong with me, God?

All these questions and no answers and my spirit felt as dead as that fig tree.  I felt forsaken.  But who knows forsaken better than Jesus?  He cried out from the Cross, in His own words from Psalm 22:1-2: why Lord have you forsaken me?

The greatest hope we have, in moments of desperation and unrequited want is: those cries, even seemingly unanswered, do not go unheard.

Once those moments have passed, though, we can't keep staring at the dead tree.  If we do, we will miss Christ.  We will miss the hope and healing that comes from being heard.  We will miss the fact that we are not, actually, forsaken.  If we let the spirit of want linger too long, our roots will grow bitter, poisoned and decayed.

When we spend too much time looking at what we don't have, we miss all the living, blooming trees of life God has put around us.  We are bearing fruit, but won't know it if we keep our focus on the one part of our lives that isn't.

It is only when we drag our gaze off the want, even taking the proverbial axe to it, we see Jesus.

Do you know where Jesus was in the hospital room, which was (seemingly) devoid of healing?  He showed me last week, on Wednesday, during a new prayer meeting my church started.  He showed me He was right at my shoulder, just behind me.  He was close enough that if I turned around, I would have seen His reflection in the window.

I want to submit an idea to you.  Perhaps that want of yours, although not right for you now, maybe it isn't as dead as it looks.  Maybe the Lord is keeping it dormant for a time when you are ready for the fruit it will bear in your life.  Maybe it isn't dead, withered, barren - cursed.  The Lord is keeping it under wraps for now.

The revelation of Sophia's healing was exactly like that.  We waited 3 years for the confirmation of the promise He made.  It is still being revealed day by day.  So, perhaps the Holy Spirit, in His resurrection power, will revive that want, dream, desire, relationship.


My point remains this: Are you going to miss all the other deliciously blooming fruit trees in your life because you keep staring at the one that isn't? 

Don't miss the evergreen forest of God's love and work in your life for this one tree.  Who knows what He will bring about in the future, but that is for Him to decide.  Remain in Him, united in His grace, and every branch He determines will bear fruit at the right time.

Psalm 23 and Notes
I suffered from a spirit of want for 3 years and it formed a hole in my soul.  Even after I saw the revelation of the answer to my prayer, I kept that hole as part of my identity in Christ.  Yet, I'm not meant to have a hole.  I am meant to be whole.

I choose whole.  I feel so much better, lighter, knowing my God was with me in my want but He wants more for me than that.  I know He is greater than the want, infinitely more satisfying.  I know now it's better to choose to see the blessings already being poured out. 

 The Lord is my Shepherd....I shall not want.

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