I go to a fairly large church and because I sing in our choir I have the vantage point of seeing the congregation as we praise the Lord in song and as our pastor brings the message. Sometimes as I sing I see people sitting seemingly staring out into space, no smile, no emotion what so ever, and I wonder…are you just not the type to get even a little excited about Jesus, or does it run in a different direction and you are simply overwhelmed by life; maybe a deep hurt; you are depleted in the joy department. You are walking around in a fog only existing. That you are in the church took a huge effort.
I certainly know how that feels. I have walked that same path, feeling as though my soul felt frozen, I could not hear the sweet Holy Spirit speaking to me anymore. I felt eerily alone and that each breath I took was hard, each task I did made me feel depleted, my joy level had dropped to an all-time low. I was physically, emotionally and spiritually deplete all at the same time.
It was hard for me to muster a prayer up and when I did it did not sound like much to my ears.
I had forgotten that God tells us in his word that he is our hope and that he is able to fill us with peace and joy as we trust in him.
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I was asking for the wrong things in prayer, God knew what I needed on a daily basis, my needs had always been met. What I needed to do was to go to him and ask him to refill my empty soul, to let the joy that he promises overtake me. I needed that peace that only he can bring to flow through my mind and my heart. I needed that well that was never dry to start bubbling in my heart and mind. I needed what only God by his spirit could do, thaw me out!
I had started listening to the lies the enemy was shouting at me and the worse thing I could do was what I did, I stopped praying each day for my spiritual needs first and for God’s peace in the midst of my storm. I stopped seeing my storm through Jesus and started to see Jesus through the storm, which clouded my mind and heart. I separated myself from those around me who might have been a help to me. In essence, the devil had me where he wanted me; listening to him and isolated, that is a bad combination. See, he could not steal my salvation, but he could distract me and keep me feeling a mess all the time. When this happens it is a recipe for disaster.
I am so thankful that God knows our hearts, our minds, and our needs. I am so thankful that He never moves away from us even when we take giant leaps away from him. I am so thankful that when we come repentant and humble and ask for his help he gives it never saying…”I told you so,” He just loves us back into a right relationship. He always knows what we need before we ask. He can even interpret the prayers we pray seeking what we think we need into what we really are asking.
I learned a lot from that time in my life and I have been able to share it with others that I see that happening too. Again, God did not waste that time in my life, he has used it. I am reminded of it, not as a means of condemnation, but as a way of remembering what not to do.
When we live a surrendered life, a life that believes He is all we need our joy is complete. Because at the end of the day, He is really all we need in this life and the next. He is faithful to his children and he will take care of them. Here are a few verses to remind you of what his word says.
Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”
Psalm 34:10 “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.”
Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
2 Peter 1:3 “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
We always have all that we need, we just lose sight of it when we take our eyes off of the Lord and let is stay focused too long on whatever we see as the problem or the hurt. Instead of taking our eyes off of him, we need to invite him into our mess and distresses. When we do they somehow lose their power over us and we find ourselves resting fully in Jesus to see us through.
If you find yourself in a place isolated and alone, listening to the enemy of your soul talking so loudly that you cannot hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you…repent and ask God to fill you to overflowing and I promise he will, and the enemy will flee from you and your joy will return and your days will be filled with the peace that passes understanding; even if the circumstance stays the same. God can do that, God will do that!