Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thanks, I Needed That (PrayerLife)





Recently I heard from someone who is doing PrayerLife and praying 30-60 minutes a day. While taking their prayer time God confronted them with some unrighteous behavior they were engaging in. This broke their heart. 

As I heard this I am thinking, "This is good. Thank you, God, for doing this for my friend!"

This reminded me of an old television commerical for an after shave called "Mennon Skin Bracer." It showed a man in a bathroom, looking into the mirror. He'd just finished shaving, took a bottle of Skin Bracer, poured some on both palms, and rubbed it onto his face. As soon as he did this a hand came out of the mirror and slapped his freshly anointed cheeks. The man said, "Thanks, I needed that!" That's how bracing and refreshing this after shavewas supposed to be. It gave the man a wake-up call.

Many times, while praying, I have had a "Thanks, I needed that!" experience. A divine wake-up call. God has pointed out something about me, something inside of me, that is diseased. When this happens I write words like... "God, You have searched out my heart and shown me something that needs to be removed." This could be pride, a bad attitude, hatred, lust, envy, covetousness, jealousy, a controlling spirit, lack of compassion, resistance to God, or God knows what else. T revelation of inner garbage gets accompanied by brokenness.

In 44 years of following Jesus God has uncovered all of these things and even more, within me. This is good. When this happens (and it will if you continue to meet one-on-one with Him) it is another "Thank You God" moment. Because: it is another RESCUE OF YOU. 

I've met many who fear meeting with God because of this. They are like the person who fears going to the doctor because an illness will be found. We need to remember that living under the illusion of health (also called "denial") is to be on the road to spiritual disaster.

While on one level we may not like being told "You are sick" because we desire to be healthy, on another level we should be glad for the revelation of inner sickness when it is there. The revelation of inner sin-disease is always the beginning of its removal, by God. God never just shows us our failure and leaves us in that miserable place. That would be like a doctor who only diagnoses but does not cure.

I have found that when God shows me something inside that is not of Him it is not accompanied by condemnation. People do that; God does not. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) God comes only and ultimately to rescue us, to save us from ourselves. We may not have even thought we needed a rescue. Then, as we meet with Him for another praying hour, God-as-Great-Physician identifies a spiritual cancer, operates, and bathes us with radiating, healing love. This breaks our hearts. We see that it is very good. We cry out, "Thank You God, for doing this for me!"