Saturday, October 29, 2011

Soaking in His Presence

The oil in my heart that needed to be changed in my last post had been changed—and yet some residue remained.  This past year has been hard on me, and some of the hard things in my life have affected me adversely.  God continued the analogy that He showed me a few weeks back.  A few days ago, He revealed another part to me.

As I said in the last writing, I had allowed bitterness to creep into my heart.  There were several factors in this, and there’s really no need to list them right now.  Because I hadn’t been casting my cares on Jesus, coming to Him as He says in Matthew 11:28 and bringing Him my burdens, they attached themselves to my heart.  Like the residue left on a baking dish or the crud left in a car motor, they were in layers in my heart.

Two of their names were anger and bitterness, which are very closely related.  Actually, I had already been shown about the bitterness, as I said in my earlier post.  Bitterness creeps in as a result of allowing anger to stay —they came as a result of me feeling like I had been overlooked and forgotten, that God didn’t love me as much as He does others. I felt that if He did, He would have given me a good marriage like He has given so many of my friends. Then there’s resentment.  This crept in behind anger and bitterness, and fed off them.  I started to resent people who seemed to have better lives than I do.  Anger, bitterness, and resentment decided to stick around since I didn’t take them to Jesus.  And stick they did.  My heart became hard and crusty with all the negative emotions that were hanging around.

The Lord showed me that I had done right in asking Him to drain all the old oil and let Him fill me back up with the oil of His Holy Spirit.  It was definitely a step in the right direction, but I needed to let Him do a more in depth work in me. When I cried out to Him and asked Him why He didn't often give me words like the one in the last post, He reminded me I had not been spending a lot of time in His presence.  Recently, though, I had become more sensitive to His presence and lingered after prayer and Bible reading.  I spent time in corporate prayer with the rest of the Heaven or Hell cast at church.  Because of this, He was able to get me to hear Him.  He said I needed to soak in His Spirit to get the negative emotions to come off the walls of my heart.  Only time in His presence and in His word would soften my heart and get the ugly crustiness off.   

Although I wasn't aware why, for the past few weeks I have played the same 2 or 3 worship songs in my car everywhere I went, and I have spent more time in prayer and in God’s word.  Little by little, the negativity that was encrusted on my heart has dissolved and has been washed away by the blood of Jesus.  The very intense presence of God at the prayer time before the Heaven or Hell drama tonight caused the last of the bitterness to melt and leave.  None of that can stay in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I broke and was unable to stop crying through the whole drama.  I slipped out and went to the bathroom instead of working at the altar tonight because I needed to talk to God myself.  I sat in the stall and just poured my heart out to Him.  Then I slipped out and came home.  I know some things in my life will be different, and that’s ok.  I know God is in control, and He has plans to prosper me, not to harm me. I just have to remember to bring my worries and cares to Him every day.  He's the only one who can do anything about them anyway.

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)