So this morning, we had yet another time of repentance and receipt of freedom. This was number three this week. They do love for us to respond when we’ve heard a particularly poignant lecture or testimony. I don’t have a problem with this, because I’m sure there were people in the room who really needed that time. The problem was that I pretended I did too.
After I had my little breakthrough on Wednesday I honestly felt so joyful and blessed and excited to live and walk with God. And then nothing was super different about my prayer time and I had no crazy new revelations or experiences or angelic encounters or anything (I’m exaggerating, but only some), and I so so quickly started falling into the old habit of being angry with God. And so I started going, “Well maybe there’s more I need to lay down.” So today, I’m back up front going “God, I’m trying to lay down everything for you! Just tell me if there’s more! Tell me what more I’m holding back! Just speak to me!” And I was getting frustrated and God was getting frustrated and I finally finally heard him saying (He’d been practically shouting it, but I was frustrated and not listening well), “STOP IT! Stop trying so hard! Stop repenting for things you’ve already repented for! Stop apologizing! We’re good!” I was still kind of upset because I didn’t feel like He was really speaking to me like He should have been if we were actually on good terms. But at least I calmed down and got peaceful enough to go to lunch.
It was when I was peacefully on my way to lunch that I started having POW realizations. I have been trying to kind of barter with God. “Ok God. I surrender something, I repent, then You speak to me in really cool ways and blow my mind with Your amazing presence.” That’s how it works, right? GAAAAHHH. I can be so frustrating sometimes. Of course that’s not how it works! I have been, as we all so often do, making it about works, making it about me. Trying to pressure God into speaking with me in some spectacular fashion by doing something for Him.
The repentance we’ve been practicing isn’t for Him, it’s for us. That’s only to help us get out of our own way. He’s ALWAYS speaking, we just have to listen. Of course, once I had this realization I started going back through my three weeks here. The first few weeks, when I was really just basking in His love, I talked with Him all the time and I felt loved and in His presence and there was no comparison, it was just good. Then, there came some time when I felt like maybe I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the relationship, for whatever reason, and I started to push. To pray harder, to listen harder, to spend more time in the prayer room. I looked back and remembered myself praying over and over and over “God, where are you? What else can I do to hear from you? Just tell me what else to do!” Over and over and over He told me “Nothing! Stop trying to do things! It’s not about you!” Over and over and over again, I didn’t believe Him. I went, “Shut up, voice inside my head! I’m trying to hear God!” Oops.
Ugh. This is something I’ve always struggled with. I’m a capable person. I can do a lot of things. I generally prefer to get something done on my own than to ask for help. I knew coming here that this would be something I would really need to work on. Which is why it was so surprising today to be so…surprised by it. How can you miss something that you’ve been trying to be on the lookout for?! Gaah. The enemy. He’s a sneaky one. But God is bigger. And we’ve won one more battle. We will win the war.