My week has been filled with unexpected ministry moments. I'm learning from Pastor John's example of how important it is to be interuptable. I have much to learn. God has brought across my path this week opportunities to bring truth to people with addictions and dependence on other things. Their situations are desperate, their families being highly affected and hurt by their dependency. I love these people and my heart aches for them to be free...but more than that, my heart aches for them to know the One who can free them. As I've been in conversation with these people, I've been, to the best I know how, pouring out God's truth to them. He is the only way, the only life, the only truth. He desires us to come to Him completely dependent and aware of lack of strength to do anything for ourselves. He desires relationship with Him, where we willingly yield our way of life to take up His. These things are true to the uttermost and I believe them...but to others who haven't been awakened to His steadfast love, these truths are just words. Without an encounter with the living God, these truths are just another set of advice from just one more person.
As I've been interceding for these people this week, I've been asking myself, "How are you doing in the area of dependence? If someone were to pinpoint the independent places in your heart, how would your words of truth sound to you?" Regarding my areas of weakness, I could easily have a response that says, "Easy for you to say, but you don't deal with my struggle day in and day out like I do." I'm in the same boat. Without an encounter with the living God, truth presented can be simply words.
Today I am meeting with one of these people again. I play out conversations in my head and I had a plan to ask them, "What are you doing to put yourself in a situation to win? How desperate are you to let go of unhealthy, comfortable patterns and to allow God to come in and transform you? Are you willing to go through the work it takes at any cost?" I'm thinking about these questions and asking them of myself now. I'm struggling in areas of money and relationships. I depend so heavily on these things. I haven't yet fully placed my dependedence on God in these places and it's weighing on me. My heart wants to do this. My mind is programed on a different course with what's familiar. But whether it be dependence on money, relationships, or alcohol or food...whatever the other trust-souce may be...dependence is nothing more than idolatry. Dependence on anything other than God is telling Him He's not able in that area of my life and I need a golden calf to make myself feel secure. I need to touch or see something physical in this weakness, rather than a God I can't touch or see.
This morning I am thinking about Psalm 63. David is running around in the wilderness of Judah. From day to day, Saul is pursuing to destroy his life and all he has to hang on is a promise that he will not die, but will rule all of Israel. His heart condition is matching his physical wilderness surroundings. He is desperate. He needs help. And this man who was able to kill the bear, the lion and giant has a choice - "I'm strong enough in my own power to kill this murderous king who's wreaking havoc in my life OR I can place my dependence on the One I love and can't see." David's choice?
Psalm 63:1 "O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water."
Psalm 63:8 "My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."
I often think I'm so much stronger than I am. I think that I can handle it and that I don't need to bother God with this issue or that issue...I got this one. But I'm learning that part of God's character is that He desires to help us. He has all the answers and will lavish them upon us. My part, though, is to humble myself to dependence. To admit to my heart, my mind, my fears, my independent spirit that I can do nothing outside of Him...but with God ALL things are possible.
Holy Spirit, I am needy and weak. I cannot do anything without You. Please come today and break my independent heart that lives to do things my way and in my strength. Help me to accept Your way and to joyfully yield my will to You. Help me to remain Your child and to look to You as Father. Give me an obedient heart.