“The man who articulates the movements of his inner life, who can give names to his varied experiences, need no longer be a victim of himself, but is able slowly and consistently to remove the obstacles that prevent the Spirit from entering. He is able to create space for Him whose heart is greater than his, whose eyes see more than his, and whose hands can heal more than his.” –Henry J. M. Nouwen
Yesterday morning I responded to God’s prompting to allow Him to begin spiritual surgery on certain areas of my life. I want more than anything that the Holy Spirit would flow freely through me everywhere I go and that I would have sufficient courage and anointing to follow through on His calling for these next few months, and ultimately the rest of my life. He wasted no time in beginning the process. Last night and this morning, God allowed a certain level of enemy attack on my life to bring to the surface some things that had been tucked away inside. As I struggled through the ugly feelings and thoughts in my mind, I realized that this was all a part of the process.
However, knowing what is happening and knowing how exactly to respond are two different things. I can identify old lies I used to believe about myself for what they are: lies; but how do I face a lie in a way that honors God when every emotion inside of me just wants to crumble and wave the white flag of surrender?
Be honest with God. It doesn’t matter how ugly your feelings are or how ridiculous your thought processes; be honest with God. One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that God’s not offended by us. He already knows that I’m angry, confused, and weak, but sometimes it’s me that needs to admit it to Him for the process of real change to be able to take place. I have often come into God’s presence wailing because of the agony in my heart, yelling because of my anger toward Him, and complaining because of my impatience for His promises to come to pass. Sometimes we’re afraid of dishonoring Him by truly letting go, when in all actuality, He is big enough to handle any emotion or response that we might have. It is our raw and painful honesty before Him that creates the greatest molding clay. It’s almost like I can hear Him say, “Now I can do something with this!”
I listened to a sermon today on Job. Talk about a man who had a reason to complain! His friends came to “console” him, when in all actuality they were judging him. At first Job tried to defend himself, but then turned his complaint to God. He cursed the day he was born and spoke in nostalgic longing about years past of blessing and peace. Then comes the famous confrontation in chapter 38, when God steps in and says something to the effect of, “My turn. Let me set things straight.” Some might take this as God shutting Job up, but right after the Lord’s amazing speech, He honors and restores Job to a greater place. I believe that God’s intent in speaking to Job was to honor Job for taking his case before Him and to set the record straight on some crooked thinking that suffering often causes. It’s like God was saying, “Since you sought me in your affliction, I will be glorified in you.”
I challenge you today: whatever you are going through, be brutally honest with God. Bring your heart before Him. I guarantee He’s got this; and He’s got you…right where He wants you. Don’t despise the process, because the result is a life that is prepared and ready to be a pure conduit for the Holy Spirit’s power in this world. Don’t settle for good enough; don’t be content with a touch from the Lord when you could have His full and complete presence dwelling inside and spilling out. It’s worth every moment. Don’t despise the process. See it through.