I’ve been working through something.
Do you ever have something that you want to do, and you think God is saying no, but you still want to do it? Crunch time is a long way off, so there’s a long wait to wrestle it out together before you have to make a decision. Somewhere along the way you either find out either that it isn't God saying no, or you end up doing what He wants, or you do it anyway and have to deal with the consequences…
My biggest problem is that I’m not sure if it's Him saying no or my history trying to punish me. That whole "you can't have nice things" voice. I’m sure we'll get there, and we're not really fighting, it’s just a bit weird till I work it out.
I recently bought the Smith Wigglesworth Devotional and I read it on my Kindle (thank you Jesus Amen!).
On the 16th of June, the devotion was titled ‘Experience Resurrection Power’ and I thought I’d share part of it:
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings. Philippians 3:10
Jesus had what Paul desired. Paul knew Jesus by revelation as we do. He did not know Him from being with Him in His human ministry as the other apostles did. Paul saw that Jesus lived in resurrection power. Paul wanted to gain the rest of faith, so he refused all hindrances and pressed on. He wanted to remove any interference that stood in the way of his knowing Christ. Before facing the Cross, Jesus told His disciples to “stay here and watch” (Mark 14: 34) while He went further in the garden to pray.
SM, WIGGLESWORTH (1999-07-01). Smith Wigglesworth Devotional (Kindle Locations 3829-3834). Whitaker House. Kindle Edition. (Available on Amazon)
The part that was really impactful for me was the statement that Smith makes “Paul wanted to gain the rest of faith, so he refused all hindrances and pressed on. He wanted to remove any interference that stood in the way of his knowing Christ.”
Immediately I thought of the interaction between Jesus and the rich young man.
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” Mark 10:21-23 (NIV)
For several minutes I cried as I realised that it isn’t just riches that get in the way of us knowing the fullness of our relationship with Jesus, but it’s anything that we prize that we feel we cannot or will not let go of. It could be the simplest of things. It could be the most basic of human needs. It could be something that we see as a right. Or it could be a revelation of something like the lack of trust in God to actually be God.
According to The Google a honeytrap is: “a stratagem in which an attractive person entices another person into revealing information or doing something unwise”1
I think it actually applies to anything that seems sweeter than the wisest decision of all: to follow Gods’ directions closely. To walk the narrowest of Narrow Paths. Anything that would overshadow our relationship with God.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. Psalm 119:10-13 (NIV)
Sometimes, even with or after all the practice, all the personal relationship history, all the testimony, all the worship, prayer and praise; we just have to scruff our humanity and nail it to the cross.
…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
It’s important to remember that it’s the seat of the desire that He wants to deal with and not always the thing itself.
Often, we forget that God wants us to have the desires of our heart – and we also forget to put Him in first place before the thing that we want most…
I seriously don’t want the order I put things to get in the way of being able to be a part of the fullness of Who God Is and is able to be through me and in me here, in this life, on this earth.
God Bless You Very Much
P.S. Update: Two days later, somewhere along the way, I did something that got things into the right order. I was sitting on the couch watching re-runs of Masterchef and writing. I heard God say, “NOW you can do that thing.” It was because I had come to a place where I had finally put it second behind Jesus, completely unconsciously. It is now part of who I am, not a choice to wrestle with... Still not sure how it happened, but it has. Thanks for letting me share! Xx Anita