A Blog by Jennifer Aulthouse


A heart for those who want more of God. A desperate plea for those who don't.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Changing Battles

There are some prayer requests that you know God will grant you every time.

Of course, they’re usually not the ones we instinctively hope for, like safety, health, wealth, and happiness. He does grant those requests without fail, however. He grants them spiritually. He’s all too eager to lavish those spiritual promises onto anyone who sincerely prays for them, and scripture reminds us of this all over the place. But I suppose I’m suspicious regarding whether they are really the prioritized cry of a desperate heart for most Christians. Most of us would likely prefer the promise of physical health, safety, and provision over the probable pain included in having an awareness of spiritual wealth cultivated in us.....usually because we cannot know spiritual treasure without having something of the tangible world that we treasure removed from us, at least for a time, in order to give us the impetus to search for Treasure that cannot be taken away.

What I’m discovering is that prayers that are always answered are the ones that come from the truly broken person, desperate to grow closer to God before all else, in godly character purely out of a desire to know Him more, and see His will prevail regardless of the pain endured, without any conditions on how God should choose how to develop these things. I don’t think God can resist granting such requests. It’s what He desires more than anything from His beloved creations.

I’m seeing evidence of this in my own life, and it’s more than a little unsettling. Oh, how this battle between the new creation I am in Him and the desire of the dead flesh rages on and on. I’ve found myself over the past year praying with more and more fervency for a desire to know God in waters that are over my head, to be used in ways that necessitate me coming out of my comfortable suburban bubble, and that lay all my abilities to use on the altar regardless of the personal cost, whether in material, or emotionally or egotistically vulnerable ways. Each time I have done so, He’s been so quick to show Himself at work, and while this thrills me in spirit it terrifies me in flesh. But I again remember that “the purpose of life is not to arrive safely at death” (Mark Batterson, “Wild Goose Chase”). It is not to blockade ourselves against being hurt. And it is not to anoint ourselves warriors in the passionate battle against whatever forces block the fulfillment of our wills.

Daily, this is the battle I am lured into joining. Daily, though, stronger grows the nagging voice in my soul calling me to that which is most unnatural, and that is to a life of total abandonment to His will and His will only. The ideas that have flooded into my mind over the last year are decidedly not me in character and yet an indescribable yearning grows to see the come to fruition; they are all anchored by an intense pursuit to have every aspect of my life entirely devoted to His uses for me and my family.

A few times, I’ve harnessed the strength deposited in me and vocalized in voice and spirit to God the desire for these to be infinitely more than just Christian-sounding longings.

These prayers, I am certain, will be more than merely heard....

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