November 2, 2018

God’s assurance

When trouble comes and the danger is real, I want my first thought to be that this problem is not too difficult for God. He can solve it. His solutions will surprise me, but He is powerful and not limited by the enormity of the situation.

Tozer writes that one meaning of the word “power” is “ability to do.” This week, I’ve become more aware that part of that to-do list is helping me KNOW that He is going to do something.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13)

I’ve been praying continually regarding a dire situation that I’ve been asked not to share. I’ve tried to worry and the Holy Spirit will not let me! He keeps guiding me to this: “I am in control and taking care of this situation. Nothing is too hard for me.”

This is a wonder — not just that God can do whatever is needed, but that he makes His will vivid to my heart and mind. He is not shouting, but His thoughts are clear, almost piercing and certainly beyond the limits of my intellect. He uses Scripture that pops into my head, and He brings to my recall past incidents that affirm where He is going with this.

This incredible communication with God begins with another experience, that of being made new, given new life, given His life. It is a mysterious event but nonetheless real. For me, it was even dramatic. It matches up to what Jesus told a Pharisee in His day:

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5–8)

What the Spirit does is not an imaginary or ethereal work. It is real. He does not give people a ‘zap’ but a new life that changes everything — from the attitudes of the heart to the actions of life. He changes the motivations and desires that are basic to humanity so they line up with the will of God. For some, this takes a while. For others, it is noticed immediately.

For me, learning how to hear the affirmation of the Holy Spirit began with total assurance that I belong to God and have eternal life . . .

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” (1 John 5:13–15)

 Confidence in answered prayer has taken longer, partly because I’ve been slow to listen to His voice and too quick to turn to my own thoughts and ideas. However, the Christian experience is as Tozer describes, “The Holy Spirit creates in us a new life and a new set of spiritual senses altogether, through which we discern, understand, and enter into the life of God and the spiritual realm.” This reality sustains my faith and gives me peace and assurance, needed this week more than ever.

Jesus, I thank You for a heightened sense of Your presence and for making clear to me that You are in control and hearing my prayers. You have given me that ‘peace that passes understanding’ even though the end of this crisis is not yet in sight. To God be the glory.

No comments: