Review to remember
Previously in my post, Self, you’re not really going to admit you’re afraid? , we pondered a question, which begged another question. The initial hurdle I faced was finally overcome by my obedience to sit still and tune my spiritual ears to the invitation of Holy Spirit. His invitation is always to freedom. He sees the bonds entangling me while I fritter about trying to manage on my own.
Gently, firmly and without condemnation, Holy Spirit called me to stop, sit still…
First, as He illuminated the dark closet of my soul with His presence, I was able to admit; “Yes, there is a fear dangling there in the dark.” As soon as I confessed it, the first bonds were loosed.
Second, Holy Spirit led me to the truth of God’s Word in 1 Kings 17:8-12 – the story of Elijah and the widow who lived in Zarephath.
I read her story and I felt her pain. Her fear of using her last oil and flour, which would ultimately result in their death seemed reasonable to me. But, that’s not my fear. I can’t even imagine her circumstances. I spoke it from that deep place in my heart as Holy Spirit continuously increased the light…
I know, dear one, you’re not there. You’re not physically walking in her shoes. These are not your physical circumstances. Look again, with spiritual eyes. Listen to Elijah’s requests of the widow. I’m here with you, lavishly loved one, look at the question.
Of what are you afraid?
As I sat quietly pondering, the light of God’s presence filled me with wonder and awe. My trepidation turned to a desire to know, and I pressed in toward the truth to make an agreement with Him.
Yes, Lord, what is it? What is at the root of this fear?
Again, looking at the widow’s real life predicament, I wonder if the answer is found in Elijah’s unequal equation. To have plenty of food to last us through the remainder of the drought and live, use everything you have left to make a meal, and feed me first.
Elijah was confident. He had the solution and assured the woman she should not be afraid. He offered a miracle.
And again, Holy Spirit whispered above the noise of Self-chatter:
Yes, and she would have to believe. To see the miracle fulfilled, she would have to physically pour out what she believed to be her last. What does that look like for you, dear one?
As you look at your life and your circumstances, what do you see contained in that jar you hold? What is it you feel is dwindling to the last? Do you see?
For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lordsends rain on the land.’” 1 Kings 17:14 niv
Self, now you see it. You see the question and the answer. What is it you fear, Self?
I see the vessel containing, what appears to me, to be the last drops of faith-oil. My life circumstances feel like a drought with no end in sight. Without a trace of a rain cloud, the lack of opportunity threatens to last beyond what I feel sure I will be able to endure.
I fear running out of faith.
I know intuitively I will obey. I will, out of obedience, continue to pour out faith-oil. I will pour out what seems to be my very last drops, as a worshipful thank offering to my Lord.
And as I do, I am afraid I will be left with an empty jar… no faith left… no hope. And if I were to be left with an empty vessel, I am afraid I will die – at least a spiritual death. For who can live without faith-oil? Who can live without hope-bread?
Further exposed, as Holy Spirit light fills the no longer dark closet of my soul, I see the ugly shadow lurking behind the fear. The spotlight uncovers the shadow’s identity – PRIDE.
- Self, it’s pride – to think somehow you’ve stored up your own reservoir of faith.
- It’s pride – to think you’ve worked and produced this faith-oil in your vessel.
- It’s pride – to think you’ve done a good job of saving as if it were a bank account.
- Self, it’s pride – to think you’re spiritual well-being is dependent on you.
Oh Lord, I see. I confess. I agree with You. This is a deeper entanglement. And I want to live free of pride – of fear. I want to live in the Light of Truth, Holy Spirit.
Dear one, now you see in truth. Surely, I am the One who continually fills your vessel with faith-oil enough and beyond to take you, dear one, through the drought. Do you trust me? Do you believe I will never leave you just as I have always promised?
Come, follow Me. Trust Me on this adventure into greater intimacy and maturity.
She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. 1 Kings 17: 15-16 niv
I want to… Help me, hold my hand. Help me trust You. Help me believe. Help me follow.
And with that, pride slinks away, defeated in this battle.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
This two-part post, Self, you’re not really going to admit you’re afraid?, is my awkward attempt to relate my devotional experience with God, in the fullness of His Trinity, through prayerful interaction with the God-breathed Scripture of the Bible. This is also a very concise presentation as I’ve been reading, marinating in and chewing on the words of 1 Kings 17 for several weeks.
I included the very true to life conversations I have with myself. In italics, I tried to convey the words, many times delving questions, lovingly spoken to me by Holy Spirit. Honestly, these are deeply intimate moments I share with my Lord. His presence is so real saturating the room where we meet. I never want to leave for earthly duties…
- Do you desire this intimate interactive relationship with the One Triune God? Will you speak out your desire for this relationship with your Lord?
- If you haven’t lately, will you begin this week reading the God-breathed Scriptures, asking Holy Spirit to teach you and listening for His response?
- If you already have this interactive time with the Lord regularly, is there something He’s stirring in you? Is there a question He’s asking? Perhaps a Scripture Holy Spirit has highlighted for you to chew on? Will you take whatever time it takes to pursue this conversation?
- Let’s give thanks to God together for He is good and His steadfast love for us endures forever. Thank You for being a Good Good Father, and for patiently teaching us as we grow up to be more and more like Jesus. Amen.