I started this year with these words ringing in my spirit: Know your God.
I talked at length about how 2015 is the year to get impressed with God and started a blog series from that revelation. Alex and I began writing the Know Your God book which we planned to publish this year. I even started the Instagram hashtag #knowyourgod2015.
I was all excited and geared up for all the great + daring adventures God had in store for me this year. I looked ahead at the road laid before me and saw that it would be wonderful, magnificent, glorious. I couldn’t wait.
And then I took my first step on that path… and fell flat on my face.
These past few months have been hard. The falling-into-a-black-hole-of-depression, can’t-get-out-of-bed, lost-all-feeling-in-my-heart kind of hard.
There have been heart issues + health issues all mixed in, and its been a lot to take at once. I’ve been feeling like the losing end of the battle for my heart – trying not to let it grow cold & hard in the face of betrayal and sorrow.
I was taken beyond just proclaiming God’s prophetic Word; now I had to live it.
But here’s where it brought me.
I found that everything I depended on – health, youth, relationships, talents, gifts – were shaky ground and easily taken away. I found that God was the only Source. Just like He said I would.
I grew so utterly unmimpressed with all the things that I’d hitherto been impressed with… and in the process got pretty impressed with God. Just like He said I would.
The path was unexpected, but it brought me to exactly where He told me it would.
You see, God’s Word has the power to perform itself.
He had given me the prophetic significance of this year – to know Him, really know Him – and He would watch to see that His word was fulfilled. (Read Isaiah 55:11 and Jeremiah 1:12)
He shook everything that could be shaken to reveal the areas of my life that had been built on shaky sand. The only parts left standing (there wasn’t much!) were the ones built on solid rock. Everything else had to fall in order to be rebuilt.
He helped me, in spite of me, to peel away the layers of security I had wrapped around myself. He took away all my many, many crutches so I would see what I really needed – wholeness.
Because you see, God is interested in real wholeness.
He doesn’t just give us promises; He watches to see that it happens.
Watch: keep under careful, protective, or secret observation. look after, care for, minister to, foster, nurse, safeguard, protect.
It is an amazing experience when God gives us a life promise or a promise of blessing. But I am learning that the more amazing truth is that God is fully committed to making that promise happen in its fullness for us.
Jesus said that trials will come because of the word (Mark 4, Parable of the 4 soils). We sometimes envision running into our destinies in a haze of triumph with guns blazing. But God is far more interested in the fruit that lasts – our hearts. Our acts are not eternal, our souls are.
He is ever watchful, actively preparing our hearts so that we are ready to enjoy the blessing when it comes.
Because truth is, if our hearts aren’t ready to receive the blessing, it becomes a stumbling block.
So the question is: How much do I want Him?
His promises come with trials designed to do deep heart-work (Joseph).
His blessings come with long periods of wrestling and a permanent weakness that ensures we have to lean on Him in order to keep walking (Jacob).
His calling comes with rejection and loneliness and oftentimes a stigma (Jesus).
The trials are meant to prepare us to receive the blessings, and the joy of the blessings are far greater than the pain of the trials. He has promised that He will be with us in the crucible — “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
Is it painful? Sometimes.
Is it hard? Oh yes.
But is it worth it? A thousand times over.