Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weeping in the Prayer Closet - Longing for and finding more of God

For several years now I have felt a void in my spiritual life.  I have sensed that something was missing.  I would go to my prayer closet and pray, and many times I would weep.  I would cry out to God:  "I want more! More of YOU!", not truly realizing what that meant. 

Even though I cried out for more of God, I did not think that my sense of emptiness had anything to do with my relationship with Him. I know that sounds odd, but I was faithful to read and study His Word, I was faithful in meeting together with other believers, and I was faithful in living out my faith - so I thought.

Now I understand.

If you have not yet read my post about Connecting the Dots, please do so.  In it I shared how God has been leading me on a journey of recognizing the importance and relevance even today for His children to follow His commandments.  

Now that I have that understanding and am doing all that I can to be obedient in following His instructions (or Torah, as it is frequently referred to), I have so much more joy in my heart and peace in my spirit!  Sounds crazy, doesn't it?  How can following a "bunch of rules" bring joy and peace? 

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.   
I Corinthians 1:27 

That verse came to my mind as I was praying in my prayer closet this morning.  The world considers the things of God to be foolish, and yes, even weak.  I again cried before the LORD, but this time my tears were tears of joy!  He is so faithful, so compassionate, so kind, and so patient (Exodus 34)!  I was thanking Him for answering my heart's cry for more of Him, and for spiritual unity with my husband and my children.     

Now don't misunderstand me.  My husband and my children have always been close - praise be to GOD!  But in my time of hunger and thirsting for more, I knew that somehow it also included my family.  I knew that whatever it was that was missing for me, was also missing for them.  

Since my husband and I both have submitted to following our Father's commandments, we have grown closer to one another. We have seen our children follow with a desire to obey Him as well.  That is huge!  

Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. 
Psalm 72:19 

So why do I now believe that God's Laws are still relevant for His children today? I simply believe that He says what He means, and He means what He says!  The Bible, the Word of God, clearly states that Jesus is the Word (John 1:1).  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  The LORD does not change (Malachi 3:6). God is not human that He should lie (Numbers 23:19) . So when God said that we are to keep the Sabbath day holy, He meant the Sabbath day! (Exodus 31:15; Leviticus 23:3) When He said that HIS appointed times (feasts) are to be kept FOREVER (throughout your generations), well, He means FOREVER (throughout your generations)! (Leviticus 23). 

More often than not whenever I would go to my prayer closet, I end up praying Proverbs 3:5-6 over myself, my family, and the Body of Christ.  These verses say: 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I see this prayer as being the Holy Spirit teaching me how to pray (see Romans 8:26).  My spirit knew that I was missing out on the fullness of God because I was not following His commandments!  My spirit understood before my mind understood that God's Law is trustworthy & true, it is light, it is perfect, and it is freedom!  (see Psalm 119)

Now that I have determined to follow the LORD's commandments to the best of my ability, I have a new level of love for Him, and a new level of peace. I also have a new level of gratitude for what Jesus did for me.  

I was thinking more about that today.  Jesus is the Word (I've already said that, I know), the Word of God tells us God's instructions.  So Jesus is essentially God's instructions for us to follow. Jesus is the Law. He came to fulfill the Law, not destroy it (see Matthew 5:17).  The meaning of the word "fulfill" means: 

to fulfill, to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full; to render full, i.e. to complete; to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise; i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfillment 

The meaning of the word "destroy" means: to dissolve, disunite (what has been joined together), to destroy, demolish metaph. to overthrow i.e. render vain, deprive of success, bring to naught; to subvert, overthrow; of institutions, forms of government, laws, etc., to deprive of force, annul, abrogate, discard

I share all of that with you to help you follow my train of thoughts this morning (I hope it works). Jesus was essentially the Law of God showing us how to keep the Law of God.  He willingly laid down His life on the cross for those who had broken and would break the Law of God!  He took our punishment for breaking God's Law upon Himself!  

I don't think that I'm doing a very good job of expressing the magnitude of that loving act! 

All I know is that I love Jesus for Who He is and for what He did for me.  And because I love Him, I want to obey Him and walk as He walked by keeping God's commandments (Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; Proverbs 3:1; Proverbs 4:4 John 15:10; John 14:15; 1 John 2).  

Psalm 119:9-16

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rulesc of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

1 comment:

Christy Jordan said...

Yes. This. Exactly this!!!
His instruction is a blessing to all those who keep it! This has been the greatest blessing in our lives. We are so grateful!