Around 2:00 pm yesterday, I was awaiting deliveries to come through. They were few and far between. The inactivity was driving me insane, so I took a drive to the church. I know I can pray anywhere, but I feel a certain freedom in there when the building is empty. I got there and began to spew out to God my deepest struggle. My goal was to petition God for a specific thing and not leave until I got the answer I wanted. Instead, I got the answer I needed.
While I need God to work a certain way, God’s answer to me was one that is all too familiar – Praise God in the hallway! In other words, worship Him as you await the answer. My time began with my expression of disgust for a certain situation. It ended with praise.
The turning point happened when some song lyrics came to my mind. The song, “You Get the Glory” by Jonathan Traylor”, exposed some error and selfishness in my mindset. The truth is that you may struggle with these lyrics:
This is so heavy And it’s bringing me to my knees And I’m crying out Lord, I need You now To come and see about me
Don’t know why’s this life so hard? And why do You seem so far? But if this cup won’t pass Help me to stay steadfast Let Your will be done
And this is my cross to bear This is my story to tell That no matter what I’ve gone through I’ve been tried and came out true So let Your will be done
Tribulation, persecution My affliction, You get the glory from it In my weakness, in my brokenness In the crushing, You get the glory from this
On the mountain top, in the valley low You are in control, You get the glory from this On my good days On my bad days, I will still say
You get the glory from this You get the glory from this No matter what I have to go through in this world As long as You get the glory from it
My time of prayer turned when I asked the Lord, “Come and see about me.” In that moment, I felt deserted. Oh, did He answer that prayer! I was totally feeling the second paragraph about life being hard. As I continued to work through the lyrics, I realized I was too selfish to truly mean the words of this song as a prayer. I started admitting that to God and processing through it. I told Him, “I know You have called me to deny myself, take up the cross, and follow You, but I don’t want the self-denial or the cross at the moment.” My pride, flesh, and arrogance somehow turned into praise before my time was over. I knew that I had to practice what I have preached to people for years – Focus on the Lord and not circumstances! Every day, I must choose to praise.
Do you remember what Jesus addressed in the sermon on the mount beginning in Matthew 6:25? Worry! He addressed the subject of worry. He told the crowd that if God takes care of the birds and flowers, He will take care of them. Then He gave them the command to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, and all these things would be added to them. I was reminded to seek HIM first. Not seek what He can give me first. Seek HIM! I must align with what Cody Carnes wrote: “I just want You. Nothing else will do!”
While I wanted the situation on my heart to be fixed right then, God had an appointment with me to fix me and my fleshly mindset. I’m glad He did! I had forgotten what it was like to forget about myself and worship Him like I did. I want daily appointments like this. It may hurt and go against every selfish part of me, but that’s what I need. Make it a point today to set up such an appointment with God and let Him change you!