When we have no more love to give, when we have become overwhelmed by the demands of others... simply confess... tell God...
I will run the way of your commandments, WHEN you enlarge my heart, (Psalm 119:32 KJV)
I was so relieved to find the KJV of Psalm 119:32. It gave me an immediate out. I told the LORD this week, that I will run the way of His commandments WHEN he enlarges my heart. I am at a standstill, unwilling and resisting His call in a situation. I am holding my ground, not willing to go forward. I judge myself as disobedient. God whispers as I type, "You're being critical, it's just a time of learning." Boy does He see differently than me!
Do you think you are allowed to take a time out? To stop? To tell God, "I'm not able to do what you are asking me to do."
I believe we are. I had victory last week, asking for mercy and not two days later, there I was back in an ever greater trial failing miserably! I believe He absolutely brings us to the end of ourselves. For me of late it seems daily. If He didn't, when would we need supernatural help?! He knows the spirit is willing; but the flesh is weak. It's more about what we do in those moments though that will bring victory or defeat. Do we run away from Him, or do we put ourselves in a prayerful "time-out" and wait on His power?
Last week I said to my small group, "I don't know what I know right now." I just want to be silent and not say anything. Interestingly, we just started a study about living in the power of the Spirit. Yet there I was feeling all flesh and dead to emotion, no spirit.
Have you heard of Watchman Nee? He has a book called "Release of the Spirit". I spent some time reading it again this week. He was one who suffered severe persecution in China, ultimately dying for his faith, yet leaving a legacy of Spirit life beyond his earthly days. In this book he states, "Anyone who serves God will discover sooner or later that the great hindrance he has in the Lord's work is not others, but himself. He will discover that his outward man (soul) is not in harmony with his inward man (spirit). Both tend to go toward two opposite directions from each other. He will also sense the inability of his outward man to submit to the inner control of his regenerated spirit, received through the new birth. Thus, he is rendered incapable of obeying God's highest commands. He will quickly detect that his greatest difficult lies in his outward man, which hinders him from using his spirit."
Nee's words begin a chapter on the Spirit called "The Importance of Brokenness."
Fun, fun, fun... brokenness is required. Our soul (seat of our emotions and will) and our flesh (body) need to be surrendered for the Spirit to manifest through us, see Romans chapter 8. Its the parable of the seed falling to the ground and dying to produce many seeds, John 12:24. Christ was the first seed, now we are the many seeds called to do the same.
All the while the spirit is willing; but the flesh is weak. Galatians 5:17 has a great scripture that makes this battle so clear-
"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."
But sometimes we do get stuck and look for every avenue to bail out.
We try to do the right thing; but all efforts lead to frustration. All attempts lead to failure. We can waste years in this "one area" or "areas" of frustration. We know something is wrong and repeatedly attempt to "will" ourselves into submission. But in the end that effort fails and we can be just left sitting and staring at the wall, feeling utterly defeated and upset, no light on our path to victory.
Another giant of the faith, Oswald Chambers describes the need for brokenness this way-
“At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him...Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet...When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.”
There are places not yet surrendered; there are places I cannot reach. I lay myself down in my weakness. LORD of mercy descend... rise up in me.
And for a 3rd man of great faith that taught the same message of brokenness; calling it the law of travail, Theodore Austin Sparks (1888-1971)
"The Lord allows travail- indeed, He not only allows it, but appoints it- in order to find out whether really there is a heart-relationship to His things... I found a tree lying at the side of the road, not far from my house. The day before, it had been upright and growing, and looking like all the other trees. It had all the leaves of profession, all the proximity of association with other trees, and outwardly it could pass off as being the real thing. But a storm came and now it was lying there; and when I looked at it I found that it had no heart: it was a completely hollow thing- there was only a framework. That is a parable. That is what is happening, and what is going to happen, and what God will cause to happen everywhere. The travail will come- the suffering, the persecution, trials, whatever it may be; and, whatever may be its form, whether it be within or without, it is going to come in order to discover whether there is a heart there for God, or whether, after all, it is hollow, it is profession, it is simply association on the outside, and not real on the inside. God must expose what is not real, and God must test everything to prove it."
If you are at the end of your faith, really struggling, count it normal! But do not stay there! Boldly confess the end of your faith. Boldly confess your weaknesses to Jesus (2 Corinthians 12:9), He loves you and longs to hear you need more of Him. As you boldly confess, wait. Days, weeks, months, whatever the case, wait. That is what I am doing, waiting on more life of the Spirit.
Watchman Nee stated he waited 3 months one time, until He felt God's power enter a situation. He said nothing; He did nothing on his own strength. He even stopped preaching and ministering during this season! He fasted, he prayed, he read God's Word, he waited. Then God's power came one morning and he got true victory! He was willing to admit need, to wait on God's presence and power. May you be willing to wait on the life of the Spirit and then obey. Look to Jesus, the author and perfecter, the finisher of your faith, Hebrews 12:2.
Read last week's blog for an exercise of crying out for mercy; or pray Psalm 119:32 and wait on His Spirit's touch to enlarge the work of the Spirit in your heart. If you want to fast, here is a link to a recent blog with a fasting document you can download.
Psalm 119:32 "I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart."
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!