“A soul cannot seek close fellowship with God, or attain the abiding consciousness of waiting on him all the day without a very honest and entire surrender to all his will.”
It’s the “very honest” that grips me. It’s one thing to be honest, but very honest? It requires me to examine dark corners that I would rather leave hidden. If I’m very honest then I would have to admit that I don’t surrender well. And I want to surrender well. So I hide from the truth that surrender doesn’t work without honesty.
Surrender without an honest examination of our hearts leaves us deceived into thinking we’ve surrendered, and the deception leads to frustration because we don’t experience freedom.
This waiting on God brings me to deep waters and the discovery that I need God much more than I ever realized. It’s in the waiting that I discover layers of my heart that haven’t been relinquished to him. I realize that I’ve given him a pseudo-surrender, but failed to give him my honest heart.
My honest heart defaults to insecurity and comparison: two enemies that vie for the death of my soul and the defeat of God working and moving in me. So today I’m going to tell you a secret.
The secret to an honest surrender lies in building an altar based on the character of God. His character is only good. It is faithfulness, it is strength, and it is our everything.
If I know that he is faithful, then I can trust that he won’t run when I am at my ugliest. If I know he is truth then I can relinquish the lies I believe. When I realize that his love is never-ending and nothing can separate us, I’m willing to be honest with my fears.
It’s knowing his character that allows me to surrender all.
And it’s surrender that transforms me. Without surrender I cannot be a living sacrifice or experience his transformative work in my heart. My Christianity turns into a list of tasks to accomplish rather than a relationship to develop.
When we fail to get to know God we rob ourselves of the light he can bring to our darkness. Do you have pockets of your heart that are deep? Do you have secrets that you fear bringing to the light?
He knows the deep, he knows the secrets, and he’s waiting for you to invite him into those raw places. He’s waiting for you to acknowledge his faithfulness and love towards you. Will you take steps today to build an altar based, not on your fears of what might happen, but on who God is? Will you open your Bible and let his words soothe your soul?
The Giver of light gave me the gift of flickering light after a long season of darkness. Hope flashed briefly in the darkest of soul night where I had wandered searching his word, playing God-music, fellowshipping with the body of Christ, praying and waiting for Light. I waited a long time for that flash. But I knew this hope:
Isaiah: 30:18 “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
It speaks of inaction, of watching paint dry, of pointlessness. Yet it’s not.
Andrew Murray describes best:
“Waiting in the sunshine of his love is what will ripen the soul for his blessing. Waiting under the cloud of trial, that breaks in showers of blessing is as needful. Be assured that if God waits longer than you wish, it is only to make the blessing double precious.”
God certainly waited longer than I wished. Much longer. I feared I would never hear from him again. I feared that my Christian life would be shallow. I feared how much longer I could go through the motions.
But I learned much in the dark and when His Light pierced through I knew this:
God longs for your heart. Your heart that says yes to him even if the red sea doesn’t part or the flames consume or the lions devour or the waters overtake.
But the only way you can give him your heart is if you understand the power of his presence in your life.
Not the power of his promises, although they are mighty. It’s his presence that our hearts should most long for yet we substitute his promises for his presence.
It is possible to experience both—his promises and his presence—and we should experience both because if we don’t then we have things a little mixed up. It’s mercy and grace and judgement in one package that transcends comprehension.
Why? Because God longs for a relationship with you. And relationship comes when you enjoy and long for his presence. He wants to know you and be known by you. Waiting on God will bring joy and peace and also discomfort because if we are to make him known he will continue to rid us of anything that is not of him.
My dark night? It was rooted in anger at God. An anger I didn’t know was there until God pierced the recesses of my heart and brought it into his light.
His judgement or conviction is something we don’t need to fear if we know his presence. When we know his presence then we know his heart is for us, that he thinks good thoughts towards us, that he makes good out of bad.
But if we don’t know the power and beauty of his presence then we fear conviction and believe it leads to depravation. But it really leads to freedom. Freedom to be who he created you to be. Freedom to choose him and his ways. Freedom to live for him and in him and through him.
The Lord longs/waits to be gracious to you and blessed are you when you wait for him.
If you are in a season of waiting for God to be gracious to you, may I offer you this? Keep waiting. Keep leaning. Keep trusting. God may be growing you in this waiting time so that you experience a double blessing when the sun breaks through the dark, dark soul night.
A double blessing of his presence and his promise.
Hello friends. I’m glad you’re here. It’s been a bit busier than normal around here. I’ve been immersing myself in a community theatre production and I’m learning all things lyrics, lines, and steps that will soon be forgotten, but underneath the surface God has touched some tender places and brought revelation and healing that will last long after the final curtain call.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been reading Andrew Murray’s “Waiting on God” and I’m half done (it’s a 30 day devotional) but no where near being finished. Each day’s reading is filled with profound thoughts that sit heavy in my heart. I’ve been a little hen-like: I keep scratching the ground and I keep finding the best morsels.
And because I love doing life and sharing it, I’m giving you the four best morsels I’ve discovered so far. Drum roll! Fanfare! Crowds cheering!
Waiting on God brings me more stillness to realize God’s presence.
I’m busy. You’re busy. Our kids’ are busy. Our dogs are busy. Everyone is busy. Busy. Busy. Busy. Being still is almost as foreign as life without cell phones. Yet, being still and quieting my soul allows the presence of God to be known. And God’s presence is his greatest gift to us. The more I experience his presence, the more I am dependent on it.
Waiting on God increases my consciousness of my ignorance of what God’s great plans might be.
Knowledge. Insight. Both are good and we need them, but God is continually doing new things. He has made me new and is keeping on making me new. I can’t assume that just because God does something one way that that’s the way he’s always going to work. I cannot put God in my “Jessica Box” because my box puts limits on God and who am I to limit God? He knows all. He sees all. He does all. I do not. And I need the reminder.
Waiting on God gives me more faith in the certainty that God has greater things to show me.
As I surrender and submit my will to him, I realize I don’t have it all together–even if I am having a great hair day. Faith is what makes living this God-life work. And I need greater faith. I need it like I need chocolate. A lot.
Waiting on God reveals God to me in new glory.
As I wait on God, he reveals himself to me in greater and greater glory, which causes me to be still and grow in consciousness of my ignorance of exactly what he’s able to do. Which in turn grows my faith and as my faith grows he becomes even more glorious. It becomes this kaleidescope that bursts forth in beauty with each turn.
Delightful, isn’t it? More stillness brings us more presence. More ignorance brings us greater awe. More faith brings us revelation. More glory brings us to our knees.
I entered it in a contest and am quietly asking that you pray about voting for me.
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