The cold and lifeless air of a tomb is a haunting memory. What is perhaps more disturbing is its insisting refrain in the life of the believer.
The Bible says the devil prowls like a lion, preying to devour you (1 Peter 5:8); but sometimes it comes as a hiss from the forked tongue of a sly serpent much too close to the ear.
I’ve been inactive here for a few weeks, walking through a cool valley in my spiritual life. I don’t like those, but I know they’re necessary. Nothing has been particularly difficult or taxing, but spiritually I was waning. As Scripture suggests, it’s impossible for the new wine to ferment without prayer, reading & fasting. That last one, I feel, gets slept on a lot.
I’ve expressed to my friends how it often feels like I’m on an I.V. to communion with God. How He has taken me to the point where If I’m not praying and reading, I start to crumble;.. how I’m always ready to crumble. Like a broken vessel whose shattered remains the Lord has carefully glued back together.. with a glue that will never dry.
Truly, its a blessing that can feel like a curse. But ultimately I’m glad, for this IS answered prayer: to be taken to a place, where only faith carries on.
This can seem very contradictory to the promises of God, to be made a whole again. But what happens when mom puts a bandage on your booboos is you go back outside to play. Even after the sting of that peroxide treatment. Even after the agony of repentance, and the joy of that precious deliverance. .. wow I could write a whole thing about just that
Anywho, I’d regressed into the juvenile misconduct of relinquishing the showbread.. so to speak. What’s so strange about this, and about God, is that my prayer preceding this season was only to grow nearer to Him and be more substantiated in faith and fidelity.
Lord, I pray thee, spare oil, that I may minister to this fire You’ve ignited.
The scarcity of longing that followed is beyond my understanding. As the words “thank you Jesus,” became lost from my lips, my worship turned into performance and my midnight dialogues were mute. Sedition was planted in my heart as my faith-based blog escaped my agenda and I divulged into old profanities.
Bitter and irritable, that familiar cold and lifeless air looming around my headspace; longing only to return to a brighter part of this Path. “Return unto me the joy of thy salvation, and restore in me a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:12) I feel you David.
In my moment of weakness, my old demons happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to see what was up. What would typically be an ignored knocking on the door turned into the leer of old company piercing through the windows of my soul. But the Hearth, the center-piece Light of this house, still shone even as just an ember, a small flicker of light.
I heard the Lord say, “I will always keep a remnant.”
Charles Spurgeon wrote in His 1-Year devotional, “When you find a small ember of grace, bow down and blow it into a wildfire.”
The prayer to grow closer to God is responded with being tossed into a fire. .. hah lol. What a joke. In retrospect it’s hilarious, and really that’s the darker part of my humor that’s tickled.
In the heat of the consuming Fire that is our God (Hebrews 12:29), all that is not of Him is become ashes. And what is left is like pure silver tried in a furnace seven times over (Psalm 12:6). Today I stand firm and in awe at the majesty of a Good King. What has come out the other side of this ordeal is a version of myself more consciously reliant on grace, with higher praises and more desperate faith.
The self is purged, and the pride is salted. And as I pound the hardwood floor, the enemy taunting me for my insufficiency, the Lord replies “My grace is sufficient for you.”
King David carefully writes, “as I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death,” conceding it was not death itself but the shadow of it. God, in His wisdom teaching His servant that in Him is the still waters and the green pastures. Even in the grips of death, He is there. Though my flesh should run towards a grave, He will meet me there.
Thank you Father, You know I need you far more than I even now understand. Continue to teach us, at whatever price. Guide us through the temptations, for they come against us. Thank you for your deliverance from the evils, for they bore ill-will against Your own. But you are the Faithful Shepherd, in Your Hands and in them alone, I am confident.
*Indelible Grace is also a worship group. The song “I asked the Lord,” was the soundtrack to this revelation. A truth hidden in the Holy Spirit all this time*