Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened unto you.
I love when I am aware of just how connected I am to God…
The other day while driving I was worshiping God; singing the tune Good, Good Father and thanking Him that He is, and for all He has done in my life. Then out of the blue, I just asked Him to reveal any areas of darkness that remain in my heart; any open doors where the enemy can gain a foothold. I don’t even know why I asked that, but while I was asking that another thought came to me: As a good, good Father this should be a question I can ask and get an answer to right away. This is important! I don’t want to wait and wonder. I just want to be able to ask and receive! (I want what I want, when I want it…oh dear) Almost immediately, as I was thinking about how to stress my point to my Heavenly Father (like He didn’t know). I was already “feeling” rejected, like He wouldn’t answer me right away. See how the heart deceives…and in just a moment (Father forgive me). This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, the bible says, in Jeremiah 17:9…The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Not me!
So anyway, this all occurred in a split second…and at the same moment, I looked up to see a billboard…
Wow…talk about FAST! That’s what I call Holy CONVICTION!!!
The thing is, I wouldn’t have thought of greed. I actually believe I am a fairly generous person. Ever since my “Come to Jesus” meeting with…ummm, Jesus…I have let Him lead me and I have followed. I’ve given my things away, given my car away (ok so the transmission went out…but I donated it to Kars for Kids), I quit my job and committed a year of my life to a mission field. So, I gotta say…I haven’t really been feeling all that greedy! Oh, but God…His thoughts are higher than my thoughts…and I believe He is showing me just how greedy I am…and how I need to: learn the truth.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the word greed I get a picture of someone who takes and takes and never gives back. Someone who hoards or is stingy with what they have. But perhaps I have wrong thinking…
…a simple Google search of the word “greed” sheds more light on this subject and I am reminded that things aren’t always what they seem and sin goes MUCH deeper than we often understand. Greed is desire…and He is a jealous God.
Wikipedia defines greed as: Greed (OE grǽdum) is an inordinate or insatiable longing, esp. for wealth, status, and power.
By seeking to learn the truth, I find that I actually do have a darkness I can attribute to greed. Greed is desire and I actually still have many desires. I believe I began this journey with my Lord and Savior with my true desire being to draw closer to Him and to follow Him. However, an honest look at this reveals many other desires ranging from wanting to stay in bed and sleep (even just 5 more minutes), to wanting to eat things that aren’t good for me just because they taste good. And what about how I frequently desire to have my own way, or for others to agree with me, or for control over any number of situations, or best yet…more “free-time”. These “desires” seem normal, natural and even reasonable by the world’s standards, but am I giving the enemy an open door? Is bitterness trying to make it’s way back into my heart again when I don’t get what I want? Thank You Lord for showing me where the darkness is. Increase my desire for intimacy with You. Increase Your truth written on my heart so that I know the truth above any lies of the enemy or my own flesh! More sleep will not draw me closer to you…none of these desires will! I want to desire ONLY those things that will lead me into Your presence.
So I knock on the door of true generosity of spirit, of temperance (which is moderation and self-restraint). I knock on the door of humility and of wisdom. I know that You, Jesus are the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through You (John 14:6). I ask, I seek and I knock…and while the answers may sometimes (ok, often) be hard to swallow, I thank You that You do not condemn me for my failures…but You lovingly show me the truth.
And then I hear my good, good Father whisper in my ear…”you are my beloved daughter, above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
6 thoughts on “Be careful what you ask for…”
I have lived in a homeless shelter in Washington, DC since being released from federal prison almost 2 years ago (although now I have moved into a room in a house owned by the mission as opposed to being in the rescue mission itself.) While in prison I prayed for – and received – guidance on how I should live and what I should do upon my release. With the help of Central Union Mission, I stabilized and then joined the staff to give back for all that had been given to me. With God’s steady hand of direction, I was able to convince the Mission to allow me to create a workforce development program centered around a bakery operated out of the Mission which teaches men to bake and will also train them in retail, personal, and life skills. For all that He has given me (including my life, when He saved me from an attempted suicide when the FBI came to arrest me) I should be humbly grateful and lifting Him up for others to see that it is all Him, and not me, that enables us to do these things.
Instead, I became greedy (although I didn’t realize THAT until reading this post.)
I became greedy for the recognition of accomplishment. I became greedy for MORE success, claiming I wanted it for God, but I see that I really want it for me. I know that God is pleased with what has been done, and things are progressing in HIS time, not mine. I also allowed a space called loneliness to grow within me, squeezing God out to a far greater degree than I care to admit, and I became greedy for a relationship which my past, my age, and my circumstances have all combined to convince me will be impossible to have (of course, if it is God’s will, it will happen.)
But God led you to my blog to comment on a post there, which led me back to yours, and to the words that pulled me up short and reminded me of the dangerous path I have allowed myself to be led down by the one who had so completely seduced me with his evil intent in the past.
Thanks for being the tool God used to pull me up short,Jackie.
And thank YOU, Lord, for I know you have orchestrated these events.
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Oh sweet Jesus! Tears are in my eyes as I read this. I almost didn’t publish that post wondering if it was something He wanted me to share or not…I’m so grateful to hear that the Lord reached out to you through my experience…because that is also confirmation for me that He is calling me to share what He is giving me. I too struggle with wanting recognition…for the things I’ve done and I have to continually check my motives. I believe, Tony that we have both started with right motives, the love of Jesus compels the believer in the beginning and because we live in a fallen world, we can still be swayed by the evil one…read all of Psalm 37. I believe the Lord wants to speak to you through this.
Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)
23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
And Tony…do not be convinced about anything except the love of Jesus…Lord, thank you that You are Lord over Tony’s life. Thank you that You saved him for a reason…and You delight in giving him the desires of his heart. He is serving You Lord and You will bless him in that. He is hearing You Lord…and He is following you. He is your sheep and he knows your voice! If a relationship will bring You glory, Lord…set that in motion. Bring forth his bride that together they may always serve You and bring glory to You. Prepare their hearts Lord as You know the plans you have for them…they are plans for good and not for evil…to give them a future and a hope. In Jesus mighty name!
Thank you for sharing how this post helped you. Thank you for letting God speak to you…and thank you for following my blog!
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Thank you for your powerful words of encouragement and prayer.
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Thank you 😊
You are welcome.