Yesterday, a fire storm (from the devil) started and the gates of hell pursued me. This fire storm was happening in my mind. I could not obtain peace! Today I got up and immediately went to prayer. I have been slack in terms of the amount of quality time I have been giving the Lord, feeling pressured about life, and daily responsibilities. As a result, I opened myself up to this attack myself. I have no one else to blame.
I also opened the Scriptures for the first time in quite a while, in terms of quality personal devotion time (I often open the Scriptures, but have not done so for quality personal devotion for quite some time, I must confess). I said, “Okay, Lord, I will read five chapters of your word. I think that would be appropriate. Let’s see what you can do when I read five chapters.” I did this, of course, in the context of simply sitting down (or kneeling, or walking, or whatever you feel is best) and being willing to give God my time in the midst of the reading. This was not rushed reading. This was quality time. It was time I felt I could not afford but which God showed me, again, that I could not afford to be without, for then I would lose my precious connection with my life-line – the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!
So I chose five chapters. The first one was from the Song of Solomon. I read it. I was blessed.
But I didn’t feel like reading another chapter from there. So I turned the pages. I came to a passage in the Old Testament, around 1 Samuel or so, and then the New Testament, in Luke, but did not like either. It was simply a matter of peace.
I said, “Lord, I want to read something that I have peace about. (I did not have peace reading those particular passages. I knew God would honor that and give me a passage I would have peace in reading. That may be a sign to read another passage.) Anyway, I flipped, and came to Proverbs. Finally, I had peace and began reading.
I read four chapters of Proverbs. Several times, the Lord arrested my spirit (i.e. stopped me), and I had to pray about the passage I had just read. I prayed each time (I could not go on unless I prayed). The devotion time turned into a real blessing, because the Lord used the word to lead me in very effective prayer.
As I was praying, the Lord was urging me, ever so gently, “What are some things that you can pray about? Where are the needs? Think about your loved ones. Think about your nation. Think about society.”
Suddenly, I knew what to pray for! I prayed that Muslims would be saved. I prayed that Christ would invade their lives! I prayed for the Prime Minister of our country! I prayed for the elected officials! I prayed for my sister, and my mother!
As I prayed, the burdens lifted, lifted, and lifted some more, until ALL OF THE BURDENS WERE COMPLETELY GONE!
Also, as I was praying, on several occasions, my eyes were drowsy, and I just sat there, in a sleepy state. But don’t be fooled. This is often when the Lord will move in visions, and it has happened many many times to my wife like that, and to me, as well. And the Lord did give me several visions. One vision was a cup that was about two thirds filled with beans (i.e. spiritual energy food, as per “eat your beans!”). Every time I saw a vision, I would tell the Lord what I was seeing. I said, “Lord, I see a cup about two thirds filled with beans.” Previously, I had come to Him and had said, “Lord, I feel so empty!” But now, the Lord was showing me that He was filling my cup with spiritual energy and vitality! I had at least one other vision, too, of this vehicle coming around a corner. What was the Lord showing me? I was coming around a corner – through prayer, He was steering me straight in a new, fresh, and exciting direction.
Praise the Lord. For His mercies are new every morning.
Try the Lord. “It works!” Try reading His word. Choose just five chapters. That’s all. I challenge you today. Find something in the “pantry” of God’s word that is appropriate for you today. God’s word is like a pantry, full of good things. You can open His word and find something in it for you, no matter what your circumstances. Perhaps it is from the Psalms, or the Proverbs, or from Genesis, or from Revelation. God will lead you if you simply open the word and believe that He will meet you. Then, as you read it, God will do what He did with me. He will begin to speak to you! Perhaps you will experience moments of pain and frustration as you read it. Why? Because God’s word is a lamp and it exposes us for who we really are. That is not a bad thing, because through the truth, we will be set free (John 8:32).
So read His word with confidence. And know that, as you do, you will be allowing God to do a very special work in your life. He will be merciful to you. He will bless you. He will guide you as you read. And remember to pray as He leads you, and do not be surprised if, in those moments of apparently drowsiness, you “see” something on the backdrop of your mind. What did you see? Explain it to the Lord, just like the prophets explained what they saw to the Lord (see Jeremiah 1:11, Amos 8:2, Zechariah 4:2). As you explain to God what you see, God will speak to you about what He is trying to communicate with you. You will be blessed. And you will know that there really is a “two-way connection” going on here! As you pray, and as you obey in the midst of your devotion, God will lift, lift, LIFT those burdens from off of you! For have you not been carrying them too long, already?
Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8)