Wow! Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly learn something greater, I have. Before you read this post, go read this one: here. I’ve just re-read it myself, and can honestly say that when God has something to tell me, He writes it here on my blog… NOT ME! It is so fascinating to me how appropriate these thoughts are at every turn in my life…and where do the thoughts come from? Every good doctrine that is presented to me is found in His word.
Ah, so we see, that the Word is alive (again). Over and over again, it opens up our hearts and minds to receive what God is trying to reveal to us.. so you better be reading your Bible if you want to hear from Him!
Ok, down to business. So in the post I asked you to read I wrote that in God’s timing He would pull you thru your situation (mine being smoking), and that the glory would go to Him, not to us. It’s amazing how when you finally bring yourself to that place where you are willing to see where God will take you He does. On February 25th, at around 8pm, God told me to pray.
I just happened to be at the yearly women’s conference my church puts on, the sermon had just finished up and the music had begun. The weekend was about prayer, and finding that place where you could be alone with God, to really hear and commune with Him. They had several ladies at the back of the room ready to pray with anyone that would step out and reveal their need. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to pray about, I just knew that I needed to.
As an aside, this is pretty typical of my daily prayer life as well. If I take the time to go to my ‘quiet place’, either in my room or closet, and get away from the distractions of the world, I can truly hear from God. I just wait for the words to come.. I go in expecting to hear from Him, which is what He desires, so He can tell me what I need thru the prayer that comes from Him, by my lips.
I stepped into the isle, and went to the back of the room. The lights were dimmed, and there was much singing and praising going on. A lady asked if I wanted to pray and I said yes and went with her to a side room with chairs facing each other, and tissue boxes between. She asked me what I wanted to pray about, and then the words just spewed forth from my mouth. I wanted God to give me the ‘want’ to quit smoking. I wanted Him to show me all the idols in my life, and to start to work on taking them away from me. Of course I started bawling.. I do that…especially when I can feel that God is really tugging on me.
She prayed with me, and through it some other things were brought to light that I had totally missed. I felt God telling me that He was with me. He told me to call on Jesus any time I felt the need to smoke. Jesus was the one who would carry the burden for me, all I had to do was ask. He told me that I was walking thru the valley of death, but I was not staying. It was time to let God be in control, and to quit smoking. Then I went back to my seat.
As the last song was playing I thought, “I only have 2 ciggs left in my pack. I will quit when those are gone.” When the music stopped, Kym (our Pastor’s wife who was doing the teaching) said, “I feel like God is telling me that I need to tell someone in here that they need to make a choice. You need to decide right now who you are going to let be the Lord in your life.. YOU OR GOD?”
I took that as the obvious sign that I was silly for even thinking about cigarettes again, but even as I recognized that I had just tried to turn back around another thought popped into my head, “she wasn’t talking to you, you can just have the last 2, it isn’t a big deal.. then you can let God help you.”
Kym started to pray. As she prayed she said, “Lord, help those that are wrestling inside to make the decision for you. Give them the strength to say no to the enemy and let YOU be the Lord of their lives.” Again I was shocked at the directness of what she said. This was the third time God was telling me to obey. When the group time was over I went directly outside, took out my cigarettes, and threw them in the trash. Then I immediately felt the need to dig them out. I said out loud “Lord Jesus take this feeling away from me! Be my strength because I have none!”
The desire vanished. Jesus had become the answer I was looking for, for so long. It was right in front of my face, but I could not see it. I was blinded by a force that wants only evil for me.. for me to turn my face from Christ, and look inside myself for the answers. Jesus beat the desires.. all I had to do was let Him. Over the next 2 weeks the desires to smoke would come, but I knew what to do. I would ask Christ for help at every little craving, and then it would go away. It’s that same saving power that He used to open my eyes to Himself…to resurrect me out of this dying world, and show me that there was something more awesome and wonderful than I had ever hoped for.
I am learning that this lesson was just the beginning of several to help me understand that I seriously can not make it thru this life without Christ’s help. Sure I would survive, but I would not learn anything of value for the life after this. I wouldn’t taste Heaven in the victories Christ wins for me. I have never felt closer to Him than I did in that time of internal turmoil.. knowing that He was standing right next to me, waiting for me to ask for help.
As Christians we are becoming more and more like Christ, but how can we become more like Him if we never let Him in?
Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, 19 and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”