I decided not to post either C. H. Spurgeon’s morning or evening devotional earlier today because they just didn’t feel right. I am going through a period during which God’s convicting spirit combined with amazing instruction from John Owen on holiness, sin, and temptation in the form of 3 books consolidated into 1 which can be found here. Owen’s writing is hard to read and requires much patience as it sometimes takes several passes over a paragraph before I am able to grasp the intended point.
And so it is in my current spiritual state that I found the two meditations in question a bit out of place. I am not generally averse to messages on dying, and in fact I usually find them enlightening and well worth reading. But on this day I just did not want to post either one of them.
Continue reading “Memories of Anita”
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. – Jeremiah 29:12
Growth in the life of a believer is occasionally marked by the recognition of simple, but profound, truths.
My most recent experience in this regard has come about over the last couple of weeks during my prayer time. I am saddened to confess that it has only been in the last year that I have made a nightly practice of going to my knees in prayer before going to bed. It’s not that I haven’t prayed frequently during the course of my 25 year faith journey, but in all of those prayers I did not experience the nearness to God that praying before bedtime brings about.
My epiphany relates to God’s telling us that when we pray unto Him, He will hearken unto us. Nightly, I find myself stammering in incredulity over this truth. And I say this knowing full well that in the past on many occasions and in so many ways God has both heard and answered my prayers. But the difference now is that I am making an effort to understand just how amazing this is.
I find myself opening my prayers with words to the effect of, “Heavenly Father, the one true and living God, a creating God who is able to speak creation into existence from nothingness; how is it that I, being such a lowly and despicable creature who dared to stand in defiance of one who I can’t even begin to comprehend, how is it that this man could possibly expect to commune on an intimate level with you? But here I am, by your grace and provisioning, speaking words from my heart which spring forth from a holy desire to worship, honor, and glorify you. Eternity will not provide me with sufficient time to fully express my gratitude for calling me out of the darkness and into your light. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I thank you for your work of redemption and ask that you would strengthen me in wisdom and understanding that I might serve in the furtherance of proclaiming the good news that you make it possible for sinful people to be saved from their sin.”
I pray that each of you would find comfort in pondering just how amazing this simple act of speaking to our God and Father really is.
As I mature spiritually, rarely at a consistent rate, I find myself responding to God’s answers to my prayers in one of two ways.
The first, occurring mainly during seasons of great mercy when God seems to be flooding my life with answered prayers, is an overwhelming sense that I am undeserving of such work on God’s part.
And secondly, I find myself increasingly content and trusting of God when his answer is, “patience my son.”
You will make your prayer to him, and be answered;