Psalm 51:16-17 (NKJV)
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God area broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart-These, O God, You will not despise.
Isaiah 66:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Thus says the Lord: "Heavenis My
throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the
house that you will build Me? And where is the place of
2 For all those thingsMy hand has made,And all those things exist," Says the Lord. "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
Matthew 5:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessedare those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
God`s desire for us to have a broken spirit, contrite heart, hunger to know His scripture and to know Him personally, and to humble ourselves as much as we can. Once we get to that state, we see a different level of faith springing up. The main thing I`ve come to realize through all the trials is that everything I have is only by the grace of God, and if He doesn`t bless, the wilderness is my only prospect. I don`t want wilderness, I want green pastures that testify of His love and abundance in my life, so I choose to cleave to Him and to seek His face even when I don`t understand something or am drained as I am now.
I thank God for all the encouragement, prayers, and support that I get through the quiet time, sermons, and everybody who is praying for me. Although I had a few tests in the past month, which I must testify I passed, I must admit I struggled to obey the Lord at first. God was faithful to reward me and to answer some of my urgent prayer needs as a result of my obedience and desire to please Him.
I will encourage you if you have some outrageous requests that God is testing you to do, to not hesitate in your obedience to the Lord. I can testify to you that He is faithful to provide for you when you make that step of obedience to His word. Just like God provided Abraham with an alternative sacrifice when he obeyed to bring Isaac into sacrifice (as an act of obedience to God`s request); God provided for me the same way confirming to me that He is a Jehovah Jereh (Genesis 22-23). He has been disclosing His character to me through the personal knowledge of His names: Jehovah El-Roy (God who sees everything); Jehovah Jereh (God who provides a way where there is no way). I treasure those moments because I experience the Lord as close as never before, and I come to realize more and more that the rest is all vanity.
Shortly after I passed a few tests and was blessed, the pressure became so tremendous that I found myself parched and spiritually drained. Once again, I had to come to the Lord and surrender all my desires in exchange for His will, so I could continue to walk in His way. My husband went on vacation with his friends, and it`s painful to realize that he continues to live for himself, but I was blessed that my daughter stayed with me for almost a full month as a result of that, so this is just another example of how God turns everything for the better to those who love Him.
At the same time, I started to think of all the possible scenarios of how God`s judgment could take place on my husband and his friends while they are away. I started to picture the possible hurricanes, accidents, or other scenarios, and after a week went by without any news of those possible outcomes, I started to pray for the Lord to just take away all those thoughts. In the end, God would never do what`s predictable because His ways are higher than our ways. I repented and started rejecting all those thoughts, so I could praise Him for the ultimate victory, but these thoughts bother me because I am just so drained from waiting for some major breakthrough and shift in my circumstances. It is exhausting to think that my final hearing is not until October and nothing happens other than more and more pressure of uncertainty and unknown.
Yesterday, I was reminded once again through the Sunday sermon in my church that God doesn`t choose the mighty or known, or prosperous people, but He chooses the unwanted. My pastor used the example of John the Baptist`s birth and the birth of Jesus as a contrast. John the Baptist was born with great celebration in the family where family members from all over the place came to rejoice in the birth of John the Baptist with Zachariah and Elizabeth. Yet, when Jesus was born, there was nobody in the stall (Jesus wasn`t even born in the house, but in the animal barn) other than Joseph and Mary with farm animals. God chose the unworthy, the unwanted from the town of Nazareth, so He could bring to this world His Son-our Savior (John 1:45-46). He chose the unworthy, the unwanted, so He could glorify Himself and to show that He loves the meek and the lowly in heart (birth of John and Jesus described in contrast in Luke 1-2 the best). This is how I feel myself- unwanted and unworthy. I come to realize that I am nothing without Him in my life. I am not as great as Abraham, Moses, Joseph, or David, or Daniel. I don`t have as much guts and faith as they had, and I am not worthy to be called His daughter, yet He is merciful enough to stretch out His hand and to lead me, to guide me, to guard me and to sustain me. There is absolutely nothing that I can do on my own or of myself that would be rewarding and satisfying enough for me.
I think we can only come to that realization when we take to heart the scriptures above. Again, I think it`s important that God`s character and scriptures do not contradict each other in both Old and New Testaments as we see that in Psalm, in Isaiah, in Proverbs, in Matthew and other scriptures God shows us the same message- that He blesses the meek and lowly in heart. He is consistent in His word when He shows us that He is pleased with the humble, yet He rejects the proud. Contrite heart is the ultimate blessing for His sacrifice that we can bring to His feet because He is only interested in our hearts.
I have so much pressure because I face layoffs, because of the upcoming custody hearing, because of the financial shortage, because of all the loans that I have to pay for my school and for legal fees` loans, but in all that I must once again trust the Lord would provide for me like He`s been doing every day.
I think it`s important what James 4:7-10 (NKJV) said:
6But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."[c] 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, yousinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
It`s an extremely tough thing to do- humbling yourself and submitting to the Lord even when you think you are right in your own eyes. Because than you are left off thinking what if God would as me to do this or that, and I don`t want to do that or think it`s "fair" of Him to ask me of that. I think these kinds of thoughts only hinder God from using us, and I must confess that I had to work through them myself. It was very tough to get to the place where I submitted it all to God and said I would do whatever it takes to glorify You regardless of how foolish or "unfair: it may seem to me.
I urge you to think of your life and of the motivations that you have in your heart because if they don`t coincide with God`s desire to see a broken and humble heart, He would not be able to use you. Until you get to that state, you are limiting God because the ultimate goal of our creation was to bring all the glory to Him and not to you. This is completely contradictory to what the world dictates us today. I personally want to decrease, so He could increase all the more (John 3:30). I don`t ever want to forget that God resists the proud but gives blessings to the humble. I`d rather be the last and wait for my turn, regardless how exhausted I may get, rather than boast and attempt to elevate myself with my own pride and deeds.