Paying it Forward

I’m home sick today, doing my very best to recover after almost a week of being in the clutches of an I-don’t-know-what — cold? — that has me struggling to even stand upright for more than a few minutes at a time. Only God knows how much I needed this time of rest. I slept for a straight twelve hours, woke up, had some quiet time, and then delved into some hard issues with God. A few moments ago, I had such a startling, heart-swelling moment of clarity that I had to share it.

I’ve been wrestling with God about some desires that I’ve had pretty continuously for years. Some of them seem, on the surface, downright selfish, but I have my particular reasons for wanting each of them, none of which {I hope and pray} will manifest themselves as selfish. Still, a specific handful of them have remained constant and unwavering. Every time they come to mind, which is often, I ask God to cast out the ones that are not in His will. Today, maybe because He knew He had a captive {albeit more than willing} audience, He spoke to my heart through His word. I did not hear His audible voice, but His responses pressed so indelibly on my heart and spirit that I literally could not wipe the smile off my face. I even said as much: “Anything that makes me smile this big can’t be outside of Your will. It just can’t. My heart is at peace.” Our conversation went something like this:

Only You know the specific things I want, Lord. But I’m asking again — how can I know if they’re Your will for me?

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. (Matt. 21:22)

But what if what I want doesn’t honor You? What if these particular desires of my heart are not part of Your plan for my life?

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

You — serving me? {I had never in my life thought of answered prayer as an act of service — I was absolutely astonished at this realization.} But isn’t it selfish to want and expect You to serve me?

For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. (Luke 22:27)

Today, I rest in the truth that the desires of my heart can’t possibly be selfish — if what I want will ultimately serve others.

But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. — Luke 22:26

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This entry was posted in Conviction, Faith, Gifts, Humility, Life, Prayer, Spirit. Bookmark the permalink.

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