“You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey Your words. I have sought Your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise.”
I have never been one for candidness in my journals. I have always shied away from specific names and describing in detail the situations in which I find myself.
And yet, somewhere in the past few weeks, my prayer journal has gone from its typical generalities to a string of specific names, situations and, most strangely, questions.
I have never been one for candidness in my questions. I have never been one for candidness in voicing my desires.
And yet, somewhere in the past few weeks, my prayer journal has gone from its typical “Thy will be done” to a string of specific questions and desires that I fear I will never see answered.
But I am learning to surrender them all the more.
Dare I ask for something that I want, knowing that there is absolutely nothing more that I need than the salvation that my Savior so graciously provides?
And yet, He longs to give good gifts to His children – not necessarily things that are needed, but things that are wanted and are still in His will for our lives.
Perhaps my candidness with God began when my candidness with others ceased.
I spent the first week of school in a series of deep conversations with good friends and wound up talking too much. The urge to catch up and see where the others were at led me to a point where I felt I had let my tongue run loose.
And then I became almost silent in comparison.
A good friend and I talked for a long time on Monday night (I went to bed at 5:30am Tuesday). He felt a pull towards fasting; he asked me to join him and I agreed to.
We agreed to a three-day fast, focusing on something different each day. On any day, we were only allowed to carry to God in prayer the day’s request and on no day could we discuss anything to do with the third day.
Day ONE: The Promise
The Holy Spirit Poured Out
*The two of us spent the day in prayer that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon our campus. We fasted from food and water until a time when we could meet and be united in prayer. To remind us that this world is without Christ, without salt, all we ate were unsalted crackers and water.
*What did I learn?
#1) I like food a lot more than I would ever like to admit.
#2) I do not pray for God’s work on campus nearly enough.
Day TWO: The Need
Unity of the Body
*We spent the day praying that the local body of believers would stand united and as one in the salvation of Christ. We fasted from food and water with the exception of two or three times during the day, at which we ate crackers and drank water in remembrance that the body of Christ was broken for all who believe, not just one person or one local church body.
*What did I learn?
#1) The Lord is Jehovah Nissi – the one standard over all of us.
#2) One can be full – even when in deep and obvious hunger.
Day THREE: The Desire
Our Own Hearts
*After two days of claiming God’s promises and seeking His will in matters that did not apply to our own selfish desires, we decided to pray in boldness about what God desires of us in the area of relationships. I personally have never felt comfortable bringing my desires before the Lord – I am always afraid that admitting what I want is the equivalent of saying that I will never be able to have it. Because our words seem to be a major problem in this area, we fasted from speech for a large portion of the day.
*What did I learn?
#1) I can have peace in my circumstances – even if I don’t have what I want.
#2) I am able to boldly approach the throne of grace and present my desires to God.
Granted, things are bound to be complicated for a while still. It’s all a part of me being who I am and the life that God has placed into (and blessed me with).
If things weren’t complicated, I’d be done with school and married… 🙂 But that won’t happen for at least a little over a year still. God knows I wouldn’t stay in school if I had the opportunity to be married.
But He will not let me slip. He does not slumber, but watches me day and night.
He will not give me more than the two of us cannot handle together.
There is purpose in where my heart currently lies; His power is sufficient and made perfect in my weakness.
And yes, I am weak. I admit it. I’ll be candid here, too.
But He is fully sufficient. I need nothing else to fill or to satisfy me – not even food.
If this week has taught me anything, it is that.
Mood: Reflective Listening to: Something Like Silas, Divine Invitation
Reading: Brooks, Pinson & Sissors, The Art of Editing