As I stated in my last post, I began searching for God in the charismatic Christian conference circuit. For any kind of glory meeting that promised the manifest presence of God, I was there. I was hungry for His touch and willing to travel about to find it.
Now, I wasn’t prepared to lie about receiving something that I didn’t; I just wouldn’t violate my own conscience that way. I had a genuine passion to experience God and I wanted an actual experience. Though I might have been willing to sell myself for some counterfeit, I wasn’t going to make it up or work myself into it. Funny enough, God wasn’t up for my settling for counterfeit, so I just stood in the mass of Christian experience, waiting.
Waiting for Him to Fill My Spiritual Capacity
I wasn’t doing this for others; I was doing this for ME. I wasn’t seeking to save face in front of people. This was my long-time pursuit, one that had arrested me as a young child. So among the Toronto Blessings, Rodney Howard Brown meetings, Brownsville Revivals, and the like – I sought God.
Now usually I left these meetings in tears, or in anger, because the Spirit didn’t touch me in the way He seemed to touch others. I said to Him as I left these meetings, “What is it about me that You don’t like?” You see, a deep-seated spirit of rejection and fear of abandonment played with my emotions like a cat with a mouse. So I left these meetings with the accuser, accusing God of withholding from me something I NEEDED.
Now let me just give you a brief preview of where I am going. I am not saying God abused me, not one day of my life. Though He was willing to hurt me, it was for an amazing plan and purpose. Often I’ve thought that pain equated wrong. If I hurt, it must be off. If something is hurting you, fix it right?!?!
He Was Increasing My Spiritual Capacity
God’s so incredibly trustworthy with our hearts. He is about the working of things together with such skill and intricacy. And the sign of hunger is not the evidence of error. My Creator was working into my heart an increased spiritual capacity to experience Him. He was stretching my ability to experience and this had to be done through hunger pains and resistance to my demands. You don’t demand to move into a house when only the foundation is set. No, you wait until the Builder builds the dwelling and sets things in order.
…And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.
Mathew 15:26-28 NASB
Martha has taught me that the size of the hunger is the size of the fulfillment. In my NOW generation, delayed gratification is seen as abusive. But God is unmoved. He’s working together a purpose and fulfillment that is His to bestow. This Canaanite woman was willing to do something I failed to do: humble her self and take the lowest place. I had my demands of God but not the humility to bow. I had always seen this event as cruel . . . I wonder why! Jesus wanted to increase her hunger to fulfill His choice of satisfaction. She was willing to bow. I, on the other hand, had to receive a few more knocks.
So maybe you can relate to my story? Maybe you have scampered about looking for that legitimate, undeniable touch from your God? Has God withheld to increase your spiritual capacity? On Friday, my saga continues!
Yes, I just saw how I’ve been (wanting) demanding an emotional deliverance from God for years and years. Asking and begging Him to give it to me once and for all! It’s “funny” how wanting something good could be so wrong.
Though I had a different path and background and process, I also had “my demands of God but not the humility to bow.” That’s quite spot on and quite summing up what this goes about. Demands that become entitlements (you recently talked about this) that go deeply buried, “it is difficult to unbury them, but I must do it in order to refute them” (I am inexactly quoting from memory some Martha’s words from some of her books, don’t remember which one, but I remember that expression vividly.) But what’s the raw reality in my heart this points to? I… Read more »
“Often I’ve thought that pain equated wrong.” This has been a deep lie that I believe is present in our American Christianity mindset due partly bc we have not known the true message of the cross and it’s purpose of love and life. This lie confirmed my own belief of condemnation and failure. God is faithful to keep me and give me the heart to trust Him and wait.
and I continually hear THE question from God … ” do you believe I love you?”.
in the desert, in the flood, on the mountaintop, in the valley, in the pain, in the yearning,
in the desperate search, in the midst of the crowds, in the wait …….
Well John…I have yet to learn to be concise as you will see. Unlike you, my initial interest and introduction to The Savior of my soul occurred during the ’70’s as a college freshman. My realization of who Jesus was and what He’d done for me was met with much gratitude and tears of joy. The gratitude and tears fast turned to terror and fears as I found myself steeped ever so deeply in one of the Cults of that day. However, Breaking free from the cult didn’t free me from the lie based beliefs that had been drilled into… Read more »