The Freedom of His Word

photo by Claudia Meyer, Paris

There was a time, many years ago, when I thought I was praying in earnest for someone who had some real problems.  Not only did she have problems, but she created problems for many in our congregation.  I understood enough about prayer not to focus on the symptoms that were obvious to all.  I wanted to know the root cause – why she acted like she did – knowing that the symptoms would leave when the root was removed.  When I asked the Lord to show me the root, His answer surprised me.

God responded to my question with a question. “What will you do with that information?”  With that simple question, He did show me a bad root – but it was in me.  He knew I would misuse the information I asked of Him.  Unbeknownst to me, I didn’t want to help this sister in her need, but to share the information with others as a prayer concern (aka gossip).  Any prayer that would have taken place as a result of my sharing this insight would have been tainted because of my wrong motive.

Gossip wasn’t the only problem here.  My motivation in praying for this woman wasn’t to help her at all.  I just wanted her to stop being such a problem for me and others in my congregation.  My motives were totally selfish and self-serving!  I had looked at her actions and attitudes only through my eyes of flesh, not through God’s eyes of unconditional love and desire to heal and deliver her into His freedom through Christ.

John 8:32 AMP  And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.

You know, the Lord never told me the root of that woman’s problem, for it wasn’t the truth I needed to know.  Instead, He told me the Truth I needed to know, that which needed to be worked into my life at that moment, so that I could begin to walk in His greater freedom for me!  Walking in the freedom of this Truth, I am now able to pray for others that the Truth might also set them free.

It’s the Little Things

The Lord has put it on my heart to do a series called The Quest, where we dig in to discover the depths of His love for us, but I haven’t quite gotten the revelation of how to do it.  It seems like He just keeps leading me to share more revelations of His love with you as I walk it out in my personal life.  Maybe that’s what He had in mind in the first place.  For today’s installment . . .

I’ve done something to my back, probably while decorating the house for Christmas.  It has made it pretty uncomfortable from time to time, though I’ve managed to continue doing most of my normal activities, with a few adjustments to keep from aggravating it.  This is actually the background for my latest encounter with my Daddy’s love for me.

As I was still some distance away from Walmart to do my big first-of-the-month shopping, I remembered those shopping carts – you know, the ones that seem to have square places on at least one wheel, making it hard to maneuver and causing such a racket that everyone knows where you are in the store.  Then there’s the one that requires a fight to make it go straight, and the more weight in it, the harder it is to control.  Yes, I thought of those carts and the potential added strain on my back, and quickly prayed that the Lord would help me have a good cart.  End of prayer.

It didn’t even cross my mind to pray about a parking space, though that’s something I do frequently.  Since walking isn’t a problem for my back, I was merely looking for a place near a cart return.  My Daddy took it upon Himself, however, to have someone drive away from the second space on the row where I was driving!  Knowing it was His working on my behalf because He loves me, I said so with a smile and thanksgiving.

On my way into the store, I joined with the beautiful-voiced man ringing the bell for the Salvation Army as he sang “O Come Let Us Adore Him.”  It was a moment shared in the joy of Christ as we pointed heavenward and smiled – another one of those almost tangible-love-of-God times.  Proceeding inside, I kind of held my breath where the carts were concerned (I know – not a lot of faith there).  The first cart I pulled away from the others was probably the only good one in the store.  I smiled and declared again, “My Daddy loves me!” and went shopping.

Since standing was a pretty uncomfortable position at this point, I became a bit uncomfortable as I approached the checkout activity.  Typically, there is quite a wait in line for checking out at Walmart, and I was trying to figure out how many different upright positions I could get into to alleviate the waiting pain.  Imagine my “shock and awe” as I walked up and began unloading my cart immediately as the person ahead of me finished their transaction.  No waiting at all!

I know it was Holy Spirit Who reminded me to pray about the carts in the first place, only to take that little prayer and go way over and above what I had even thought about – just to show me how great is the love of Christ for me.  I see it in the big things of life, for sure, but as He takes care of little details like parking spaces, shopping carts, and checkout lines, I am made ever more aware of the depth of His amazing love for me, and give Him glory, honor, and praise!

Ephesians 3:19-21 19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!  20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] — 21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever.  Amen (so be it).