God Speaks Today…Literally, Part Three
For Part Two, Click here.
It’s no coincidence when I’m on a fast, all hell breaks loose. Satan hates a good fast. He hates anything that might deny our flesh or suppress sinful temptations. So he comes in hot and heavy with the chaos and the conflicts. He tempted Jesus repeatedly while He was on a fast (Luke 4). Who am I to think I’d be exempt?
My chaos and conflict comes in the form of personal relationships. But unlike Satan’s desire for me (and my natural instinct) to wallow in the hurtful words or retaliate, I turn it over to God. I really, really do. I pray sincerely for people who have hurt me. I go to the Word. I turn destructive thoughts to prayers for those who hurt me and I ask God to truly help me to see things from His perspective.
God reminds me of my favorite scripture, which I think I have subconsciously adopted as a “life verse.”
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Corinthians 12:7-10)
The part that really stands out to me is this: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Through that verse, God releases me from the pressure to try to be perfect for all people all the time. That’s tough for me. Especially when I know I’m failing someone. I end up resorting back to my people pleasing ways. I grovel, I wallow in the pit, I go to extraordinary lengths to get people to approve of me again. No coincidence, again, since I just completed a little blog series on People Pleasing (part one, part two, part three). I’ve always known that the enemy likes to attack in spiritually fruitful areas.
God gently reminds me that His approval of me rests solely in that fact that He loves me. Period. Exactly as I am. Not in who I will be some day. Not in who He hopes I will eventually become in the future. Not in how well I perform as a mother a wife or a friend. But today. In all my unshowered, uncaffeinated, crabby, hungry glory.
He doesn’t hold my sinful tendencies up to my face, as a constant reminder of all my short-comings. When I sense that from others, I can be certain it’s not from God. Even if someone says “God told me to tell you this,” I know that’s not how God operates. God fjrmly reminds me, Satan is the accuser.
He assures me that my areas of weakness provide amazing opportunities for His power to be made strong in me. And He gives me the strength and wisdom to recognize the origin of these conflicts and to respond with honesty and love—so NOT what I would normally do.
And a cool, yet unexpected byproduct of this prayer time? God stirs up an excitement about the husband and children He’s given me. Oh my, what a blessing to have a supportive, loving and handsome husband. And three amazing children who love their Mommy. Then God asks me to commit this fast time to covering them in prayer, as well. And I realize, I’ve been lax in interceding for them. So, in obedience to God, I pray fervently for each one of them, and I make a special effort today to let my family know just how much they mean to me.
And after I’m done praying, I feel completely enveloped by God’s grace and mercy.
Every blog I have read this morning is on the same theme. Read my blog at SeaGlass. Our Lord is trying to tell us something big. Blessing to you and that your day is enriched.
Thank you for this today. I am feeling some mommy struggles lately and it really stood out to me today that I need to cover my kids with prayer. I rush through the routine and the needs so much sometimes that it's too easy to miss that part.