“Oh God, I want to see you, I want to feel you, I want to embrace you, I want to walk with you in the cool of the day and find you in the darkness of the night. Have your way in my life Lord. Fill me with your Spirit, manifest your power, anoint me…”
I am sure that many of us have prayed these prayers at one point or another in our lives. Our most inner man, our spirit man, cries out for these expressions to be more than just words, but to be manifested in the reality of our daily living. As we rapidly approach the end of this year and are getting ready for the beginning of a new one, our souls have the tendency to be more sensitive to the voices of our deepest desires. For many of us, we start the New Year spiritual; with fasting, daily reading of Scripture, a prayer life, a physical exercise routine, eating right, etc. However, by the end of March, we start falling back to our old ways. By April, we are slaves to our fleshly man again and our souls become insensitive to whatever the spirit man is saying. This phenomenon seems to happen over and over. The reality is, my friends, that we are very undisciplined people. Even as some have mastered extraordinary self-control as it refers to their flesh, God wants more of us and God wants to give more of Him.
I remember praying frequently, after my wife passed away: “Lord, if I have to choose between a new wife and having more of you, I’d rather have more of you.” The prayer sounded good; however, it was a ridiculous prayer that placed all the blame on God for me not having more of Him. We want to have more of God and enjoy all of His benefits without surrendering: we want to keep doing things our way and for God to change His Way for us. However, in His unfailing love, God has a system in place that manifests the greater desire that He has for us.
“5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
14Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:5-14)
Many, like me, have found themselves loosing heart as we face the Lord’s rebuke. We understand that much of what we are enduring is a direct result of our undisciplined ways. Shame knocks at the door of our shallow religiosity that speaks words of judgment such as, “you should have known better.” The problem is that this Christian life is not about how much we know, but about how much we are willing to surrender. It is that lack of willingness to change that requires the intervention of our Father. Because He loves us so much, He disciplines us as the zeal of our legitimacy as His sons and daughters. That discipline is birth out of God’s love for us and out of His desire for us to be holy.
Like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them; like a good father becomes a child and plays with his children in fun playgrounds; like a good father throws the football, plays some hoops or teaches his child how to run the bases. Like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them; the playing monopoly in the dining room table, the watching a good movie at night, telling a good story, going out to eat; a trip to a sensational park, acting goofy and so many other activities that father’s look forward to do with their children. Like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them; how much more our Heavenly Daddy desires to spend the time without end and do unimaginable things with us? As children and even as adults, do you remember the precious moments that have been frozen in the storages of your memory? Those precious moments can’t even compare with what God has for us and the plans that He has written on the pages of the everlasting book of our lives.
One thing stands in the way as a symbolic stature of our rebelliousness; one thing stands as an enemy of God’s purpose, will and love for us. One voice that yells, “You can save me from hell and be my Savior, but I am not ready for you to be my Lord.” That one voice is our un-holiness! Why does God want us to be holy with such passion? Why does He allow us to go through His unpleasant and painful chastisement? Because God wants us to be able to see Him! This is what it is all about…God wants us to see Him as He is; like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them. God wants to be seen by each one of us. He is not hiding; He is not being difficult; He is surely not the problem. The problem is that we, like Adam and Eve, continue to pretend to hide our un-holiness from God with a few leaves of empty religiosity and false counsel of who God really is. Beloved, as we end this year and start the next, God is after you and me and through hardship and the power of His discipline, He will cause brokenness to be birth in our souls so that we can welcome His precious holiness in our hearts, so that we will be able to see God as He is. Like a wild horse must be broken by His master before he becomes useful for His master’s travels; we also must be broken so that we may be useful in the hands of our God. Our Father waits; patiently He waits…like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them…He waits. Do you want to see Him?
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)