Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2015: The Year of Prayer, Week 15

This week is good.  Not that there aren't things I'm swimming upstream against, but my intensity about it all seems to have come down a few (much needed) notches.  Of course, who knows what the next few days have in store, but I want to report on some good teaching I encountered, which really hit home on the point of making this year - 2015 - all about prayer.

There is a better best way to do things.

When I'm experiencing those feelings of stress, fear, frustration (etc.), I'm leaning on and into my own understanding of the situation.  I'm trying to process what is going on with my mind alone, rather than involving my heart, where Jesus is.  In Proverbs 3:4-5, we are instructed NOT to do that....
Lean NOT on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

"Jesus meets us where we are, but He never leaves us that way."  The rubber meets the road of this statement only in prayer.  It is there, before God and in conversation with Him where I am set free and right.  By not only talking to Him about what is going on, but listening for His perspective, I can move from good to better to best.  Prayer is when Jehovah shows me what the Apostle Paul called....The Most Excellent Way. (1 Cor 12:31)

That's the progression - the walk of faith - is always towards better.  But more than just getting to better, He wants us to get to THE BEST.  Every good father wants that for his children, so knowing who the Lord is, He is THE BEST Father; so He wants THE BEST for His, the People of God.

Sometimes the best requires walking uphill.  We are not meant to keep walking flat.  There has to be some peaks and valleys to strengthen our different faith muscles groups.  I feel as though much of this year has been one continuous training run, going uphill.  The good news is I will (eventually) reach the end of the race (this season).  And then I'll start a new one, the race this season prepared me for.

It is all about the preparation.  That's the adventure of Christ - always a new level, new mercy, new experience, new truth to make a part of your life with Him.  There are seasons of rest, to wind down and recover.  I did that for about 6 months after Sophia finished treatment because I had to figure out what life was about again.  When those times of rest are over - we are meant to get up and walk again with Him from glory to glory.

The Great Evangelist Smith Wigglesworth wrote this (which I read yesterday),

Any number of people are satisfied with "good" - that is, justification or salvation.  Other people are satisfied with "better" - that is, a sanctified life, purified by God.  Other people are satisfied with the "best" - that is, the fullness of God with revelation on high.  So I come to you with the fullness of God in the Holy Spirit through His baptism.  I come not with good, but better; not with better, but with best.

To say this was a challenge for me would be a gross understatement, but not a discouraging challenge.  I prayed, asking the Lord to keep moving me toward His best.  Truly, that is what I desire and the Lord works in us in such a way to make sure our desires line up with His; so He can give us what we ask for that will also bring Him maximum glory.

Then, after reading and praying through that early, a couple hours later, I was listening to Chuck Swindoll.  At the end of his message, he said the same thing, only another way!!!

Swindoll called the progression an extension of John 14:6.  He said salvation was finding Jesus as The Way; sanctification was learning and walking in Jesus as the Truth.  Finally, this glorified, best way was living with Jesus as our Life.  Get in the spirit, walk in it and move towards learning to live all the time in it. Good is ok, but it just barely scratches the surface.  Better is getting there, more and more of God at every turn. BUT BEST IS WHAT WE WERE MEANT FOR.

I will always need more clarification on what to desire more of in my relationship with Christ.  I don't want to settle, in any area of my life and I'm asking the Lord to show me where I have.  I've made a decision to start seeking His best, every time I pray.  I want the Lord to so renew my mind, I can discern the 3 options Paul gives in Romans 12:2 - the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

It is daunting, to be sure, to seek the perfect will of God.  More valleys will follow but I learn more in the valleys than the mountaintops.  And because the perfect will is the best, I don't have to fear what is coming.  Jesus will be right there, making sure goodness and mercy keep me company all the days of my life with the end result being I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).

I'll end with two questions: are you settling for only good or better?  What would happen if you sought God's best for your life?

Keep journeying and look forward to meeting up with you long the way....

1 comment:

Janice and James said...

I, too, desire the best! Thanks for the reminder!!