Knowing.

I often wake up in the wee hours of the morning to hear Him speaking.  This particular morning He brought a couple of verses to mind.  After I thought of them, this blog post was born.

“….and did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn son.  And he called his name Jesus.”  *

“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain…”  *

This word means something intimate in scripture.  The first verse I mentioned is about Joseph knowing Mary — the mother of the Messiah!   The second verse I mentioned is clearly about Adam and Eve ‘knowing’ each other and it resulting in a son.  immediately these passages entered my mind:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and perform many miracles in your name?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!'”

The Lord is definitely stirring something in my heart.  It has little to do with me knowing Him though and everything to do with the unreached.

{I want them to have what I have, Lord.  I want them to know You}

In March of 2011, I started praying differently.  More powerfully.  Perhaps it’s because it was such a season of despair and God was calling me to draw closer to Him and learn to rely on Him for all my needs.  Teaching me that control is just an illusion.  My ears were open, but my eyes weren’t.  I actually heard the words to this song finally….

I started praying for God to break my heart for what breaks His.  Let me just say…..pray this prayer and hang on tight!  Be prepared for the ride of your life.  He’s so faithful to answer prayers.

Before my eyes, I have transformed into this person whose heart is full of love for the unreached, the lost, the orphans.  It’s funny because before I even knew that mercy*, faith*, and exhortation* were God-given Spiritual gifts, I felt my possessions of their meanings from an early age.  I can remember telling people I hurt for others.  And I really did.  I can remember riding in the car with my mom and passing a homeless person walking on the side of the road.  The only way to describe how I felt in words if that I took on their pain.  As we passed them, I felt what they were feeling.  I actually felt it in my emotions, body, and heart.

I can also remember the enemy using other people to try to shut my gifts out.  To whisper the lie in my ear that I was just being a martyr when I simply told people I was hurting for them.  He seemed to use the same people over and over to shut out any calling and purpose on my life.  Satan is predictable like that — always up to the same ole tricks.  Sometimes the truth hurts, but guess what.  Sometimes the truth is a lie.  Praise the Lord that I realized what I was fighting against.  The fight is so much easier when you know who you’re fighting.  Thank goodness I am free from the chains of rejection and insecurities that entangled me long ago (and thank goodness I am married to a man whose spiritual gift is discernment). It’s so clear to me now why I faced those struggles.  God had plans for me.  The enemy needed to destroy those plans.  God loves the hurting and lost.  Satan hates orphans.  God wants them to be free.  Satan wants to hold them captive.

I’m reminded of something Holly Wagner recently stated at a women’s conference I attended.  Since she and her husband pastor a church in LA, they often get questions about how hard it must be to pastor in LA. She said this:

“Actually it’s easy.  In LA, you’re either a believer or you’re not.  You’re either christian or you’re not.  You either love Jesus or you don’t.  Down here [the south], everyone is a Christian.  It’s more of a tradition…..”

Wow.  At first I thought it was a pretty bold statement for her to make!  Perhaps I was even a little tense because I sensed people in the room may be offended.  Then there was just good ole conviction.  She’s right.  Bold or not, it’s true.  Offended or not, it’s true.

I pray that I can use my gifts to impact many.  I pray that I can reach the hurt and lost.  I pray I can change an orphan’s life.  I pray that I will live a life that is a life-giving example to others.  I encourage you to find out what your spiritual gifts are and use them!

KNOWING God is the greatest gift of all and it brings me to literal tears when I think about all that don’t even have traditions.  Our comfortable homes with AC, our hot coffee from Starbucks any time we want, our nice church services every Sunday morning complete with smocked out children and 30 miles away a girl is being sold into sex slavery.  A world away a street child is asking men walking down the street if he can be a woman for him to make money so he can eat.  This is happening people.  This.  Is.  Happening.  I want to KNOW God deeper and more intimately than ever before.   And because He blesses me, I will be able to bless them.

I don’t want to cry out “Lord,Lord!” my whole life and never know Him and I certainly don’t want them to not cry Lord.

 

*{verses taken from Matthew 1:25 & Genesis 4:1}
Spiritual gift of mercy: to be sensitive toward those who are suffering, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, so as to feel genuine sympathy with their misery, speaking words of compassion but moreso caring for them with deeds of love to help alleviate their distress.
Spiritual gift of faith: to be firmly persuaded of God’s power and promises to accomplish His will and purpose and to display such a confidence in Him and His Word that circumstances and obstacles do not shake that conviction.
Spiritual gift of exhortation: to come along side of someone with words of encouragement, comfort, consolation, and counsel to help them be all God wants them to be.

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