I Thought I Knew

It was a surprise when I recently grasped how much I really didn’t know about intercession.  It’s not that I thought so highly of myself, but I had a fair amount of instruction, time, and experience with the Lord in prayer and intercession.  I know quite a bit more now than I used to, but in a head-on collision of my knowledge with God’s, guess whose fell dramatically short – basically to the measure of infinitesimal?

The early ’97 journal entry I read while working on my book indicated that the Lord was preparing me for a time of intense intercession.  That was His phrase, not mine.  I thought, then, that I knew what He meant by it.  Now, reading it 13 years later, I know what He meant.  It was not total lack of knowledge that was my problem then, but not even knowing I lacked the knowledge I needed – that there was so much more to know – so I didn’t ask the Lord for further direction or clarification.  Even the increased knowledge I have now, which helps me understand what He was saying then, is minuscule in comparison with His eternally infinite knowledge.

Equally amazing is this same truth at work in every other part of my walk with Christ.  No matter how long I walk with Him, and no matter how many hours I spend in study, regardless of the topic, His wisdom and knowledge is profoundly beyond what I can ever know about anything!  (The word omniscient comes to mind.)

I find this absolutely freeing!  Don’t we talk about relying on Christ alone?  About having the mind of Christ?  About trusting Christ?  My reliance and trust are not to be in what I know, for it will always be lacking.  It’s His knowledge I need, and He is willing to give it, if I will only ask, whatever the issue: prayer, the love walk, healing, etc.

1 Corinthians 8:2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. NIV

Now I know what I need to know for any situation: I simply need to know and rest in the One Who knows all, the One Who lives in me – Jesus Christ.

 
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Painful Illumination

I was angry – really angry.  I wanted to kick something, or hit something, or scream and cry, or throw up.  What I didn’t want to do was what I knew to do – forgive.  I thought I had, but apparently I had suppressed some emotions along the way, rather than really dealing with the issues, and they waited for the “appropriate” time to surface with much venom attached.  As if the anger itself wasn’t bad enough, after stewing a bit, I began to turn it toward the Lord.  “Why haven’t You done something about this, God?!”  “What about all those prayers I’ve prayed over the years?!”  Even knowing that He is my only hope, and the only One Who could help me through, over, and out of this boiling cauldron of anger, I didn’t want to let go right then.

A little while later, I actually tried to rationalize the anger, thinking maybe it was righteous anger, though I knew better.  It certainly wasn’t compelling me to anything good, like praying – only to letting my mind go wherever it wanted, right down the path of listing all the wrong things that had been done to me, and the things I’d like to say and do in retaliation.

The quiet thought that Jesus wouldn’t be dwelling on what I was dwelling on in this anger began to shine His Light on the darkness around me.  It began to dismantle the anger so that I was no longer in its grips.  It wasn’t because of anything I did, like pray or repent.  Whether someone prayed for me at the urging of the Holy Spirit, or it was simply the Life of Jesus making intercession for me (Hebrews 7:25), I don’t know.  What I do know is that the Holy Spirit broke through, praise the Lord.  Once He did, the anger became God’s anger, as it turned toward the real enemy, the one who has continued to bind up anyone he can so as to keep them from freedom in Christ.  At that point, I repented.  At that point, I forgave.  At that point, I was restored to my God-given position of intercession for all those like the one toward whom my anger had been directed just moments earlier.

Even in the worst of the anger, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the trial, because of what the Lord had shown my prayer group as we prayed for the body of Christ.  He prepared us for how it was going to affect us, personally, though not with specifics other than that it would be painful in the process, with greater glory for Him on the other side of it.  Regardless of the pain, I will say, “But God!”  He will never leave me helpless, even when I rant and accuse Him!  He is the perfect Parent, and He knows just how far to let me go in a tantrum before bringing it to an end – in the best way.  How thankful I am for His mercy!  How thankful I am that He keeps working to change me, though my flesh has a screaming fit.  From these painful times, there is even less of me and more of Him visible to those around me.  Glory to God alone!

Hebrews 12:6-7, 10-11 “6 For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child. 7 Fully embrace God’s correction as part of your training, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. For who has ever heard of a child who never had to be corrected? 10 Our parents corrected us for the short time of our childhood as it seemed good to them. But God corrects us throughout our lives for our own good, giving us an invitation to share his holiness. 11 Now all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it.” TPT

Blessings as you feel the hand of training in your own lives – for the glory of God!