I’d probably say that the biggest breakthrough I received from this recent prayer and fasting is this – that I now truly understand the sovereignty of the Lord over my life. I realized that even though I have been a Christian for almost a decade now, I would still very much label myself as a ‘wandering’ Christian. Wandering in a sense, that even though I knew that Jesus is the answer to all my life’s problems, deep inside me – I still doubt whether He truly is. I was still constantly searching for an answer somewhere else outside of Him.
My previous year was marred by depression and trying to get back on my feet and faking joy – you know, you’re smiling and laughing from the outside, but miserable inside – which left me even more depressed. However, those small tiny steps of faith and daily choosing to believe in the power of God, have helped me to overcome my daily struggles. This has somehow made me realize that much of my sufferings, as a believer has been brought about by my dissatisfaction of God’s gift of salvation.
But in spite of my selfish pursuit of the things I thought would make me happier, I seem to be always hitting a blank wall – only to find out in the end that there was nothing there to be had, but empty promises and deceit. More like that moment when Eve was deceived by the serpent, making her believe that where she was – the Garden of Eden that was full of God’s provision and the chance to literally walk and talk with God – was still not enough for her and that something was being kept from her. So she was cunningly deceived, took the bait and dragged her husband along – and we all knew what happened after that. Both Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden and in the very presence of God.
But that’s what we all are in most cases even as believers. We pray long prayers. List down all our faith goals, prayer points, prayer requests, etc. etc. and give out 110% of our faith with all our mind, soul and strength – for the answers to our prayers that we have earnestly been praying for, that deepest desires and longings of our hearts.
But what if…?
What if the only answer to your prayer is the answer God has already provided for when Jesus died on the cross two thousand years ago? What if this year, as much as you’ve been believing for a breakthrough all you would ever receive from Him is Him? After all, He is our greatest need! Not the brand new car, or the new house, or the healing, or the promotion or new job, or the husband/wife you’ve been praying for?
Would you still love Him? Would you still stay in His presence and not wander around? Would you be satisfied with just having Jesus in your life? That deep knowing and confidence that your sins have been forgiven – and nothing else comes along with it. Just that… and Jesus!
Would you say, the very words which Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego uttered in the midst of their trial before King Nebuchadnezzar as they were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to the gods of Babylon,
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18, NLT)
As I meditate on this, I ask myself, “Would I be like Eve who gave in to the temptation of the serpent? Or would I be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who stood their ground with resolved hearts that even if God doesn’t come through to deliver them, they will never serve other gods?”
I choose the latter.
So, I bowed my head down with my knees on the ground and my hands held up as I cried out to God and asked Him for mercy and forgiveness; to change my heart, to keep my gaze fixed on Him, to help me decide each day for the rest of my life, that even if He doesn’t deliver everything I listed down in my faith goals nor my prayer requests, I will still serve the Lord.
He is enough. Everything else is grace.
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15, NIV)