It is amazing sometimes how these blogposts fare with the common reader. What I personally deem as some of the most important posts are often the least viewed. The opposite is also true. What I deem as the least important often get the most views.

For example, my most read blogpost to date was one I wrote about two years ago defending Joel and Victoria Osteen when people were railing accusations and knee jerk reactions at them for something she said about worship, in what appeared to be a moment of confusion. Nearly 7000 people read or at least viewed that post in one day. We only have several hundred followers and average about 100 views per day. In comparison, the first two posts of this blog have received under 40 views each. Why the stark contrast? Generally speaking, most people are carnal. They love to read articles that come across like the National Enquirer and contain content that appears to be  juicy Christian gossip.

These end of the year nuggets are filled with deep spiritual truths, and it takes a spiritual person to understand them. These nuggets of wisdom from the book, The Final Quest, do so much for my heart. I can’t tell you how much I sense God’s grace and peace when I meditate on them and let them do a work in me. Here’s the big revelation I take away from many of these: most of the decisions I often make are mostly based on what will benefit me and take me further in life and ministry without the consideration for the perfect will of God and His heart in the matter. Oh, how deceptive the heart can be!

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jer. 17:9-10)!

How I can obtain victory without suffering? How much of what I still do promotes myself instead of Christ? These questions often reveal to me that I am still operating in far more self-centeredness than Christ-centeredness. This weighs heavily on my heart because I am a minister, and to whom much is given much is required.

When the apostle Paul saw the light on the road to Damascus he began to understand that his own reasoning had led him into direct conflict with the very truth he claimed to be serving. Our reasoning will always do that, too. It will lead you to do that which is contrary to God’s will. Because I’m a minister, greater anointing brings greater danger of this happening to me, if I do not learn what Paul learned. If I do not stay in a place of humility and take up my cross every day and do all things for the sake of the gospel, the more influence I have the greater danger I will be in. That is a very sobering reality that all ministers and saints need to realize. This is the reason why a mature man will not reach for anointing and authority because he realizes that the stumbling blocks increase with such.

One of the greatest deceptions and stumbling blocks that comes upon God’s anointed ones is that they begin to think that just because God gives them a little supernatural revelation and power, that their ways must be God’s ways and what they think must be what God thinks. But we can only think like God when we are in perfect union with Him, and even with the most wise and anointed men, this only happens part of the time. Everyone falls short. Even the apostle Paul did. Our quest must be in that we are maturing and getting closer to the heart of God and not further away into greater darkness of thought and destructive reasonings.

Paul’s great wisdom was to embrace his weaknesses. He understood that if God delivered him from them He would not have been able to trust him with the level of revelation and power he walked in. Paul learned to distinguish between his own weaknesses and the revelation of the Spirit. He knew that when he was beset with weaknesses and fears that he was not seeing from God’s perspective, but from his own. This caused Paul to seek the Lord and depend on the Lord even more. This was his great wisdom, and it is the reason he boasted in his infirmities or weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:5). This level of spiritual depth and understanding is clearly lacking in Christianity today. We confuse what comes from our own hearts and minds with what comes from God’s heart and mind. Paul had learned to decipher between the two because of his sufferings.

It is easy to see light in God’s light (Ps. 36:9), but our perspective begins to change when we are in the battle or some kind of trial. When we don’t abide in the Lord, fears, impatience, frustration and even anger besets us. We don’t see clearly. We don’t judge righteously. We don’t see the Lord.

One of the greatest attributes any Christian can cultivate is to see the Lord in every situation and circumstance. In order to do this we must look with the eyes of our hearts. We can be just as close to the Lord here on the earth as anyone else has ever been, even Paul, if we will lay aside everything that hinders intimacy with Him and give ourselves fully to seek Him and to know Him. We are the ones who determine how close we will be to the Lord and not Him. If we will humble ourselves He will give grace.

Let us pray for one another that the veils that cloud our thoughts and judgements may be removed as we continually turn to the Lord.


14 thoughts on “END-OF-YEAR HEART SEARCH (Part 3)

  1. Reading each of these end-of-the-year heart searches has been too much to do at one sitting. It was too much to handle–I felt failure all over my life. After the third blog, I knew this was the soul search that I had been doing in my own life, and yet, it all still seemed too overwhelming–I felt stripped to the core.

    I started to think about my relationship with the Lord and how the Holy Spirit teaches me, personally. Immediately, I felt peace. I then realized it’s not about reaching a destination or attaining spiritual purity, it is about the process. It’s the day to day communing with the Lord, acknowledging who He is and knowing who I am to Him. Listening, learning, doing what I hear and staying yielded and hungry and captivated by His love and His presence. Putting Him first, no really, first in your life. Desiring to please Him and conform to His ways. Obedience, obedience. To be like Jesus, “1 [the all] righteous [upright, just, Who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose, thought, and action]”– what a tall order, but persevere I will because the journey, the process, is life changing and changes lives.

    And how do we know if we’re on the right path? 1John 2 (AMP) continues, “3 . . . And this is how we may discern [daily by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognize, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]; if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practice) His teachings (precepts, commandments). . .”

    God has made it so we can’t do any of this without Him. That way the results are divine and not just more of us. More of You, Lord. Less of me. In fear and trembling, and yet, with a sense of abandon, I say, “Let the journey begin. . .”

    • Barbara, that feeling of failure and being stripped is necessary for the peaceable fruit of righteousness to prevail in our lives and for a work of humility to be done in us. We will only overcome as we keep our eyes on Jesus and depend on His grace continually. Bless you!

  2. A lot to take in and think about. You’re right about Christian gossip rather than trying to improve ourselves and please God, obeying Him. I need the Holy Spirit to tweak me whenever I’m in the wrong! It’s a lot more peaceful life to follow Him, that’s for sure.

  3. Its amazing how easy it is to superimpose our desires, fears, and earthly insecurities over the true will of God for our circumstances. We find ourselves lost on our own plans rather than submitting the battle to the Lord God of all creation. In the lawlessness of today that is a constant temptation.

  4. The truths in this post blessed me like a bright spot in this season! It’s so helpful to be focused to see weaknesses, and trials God’s way, that they can cause us to trust Him more, and learn to walk closer with Him — that He always has a purpose, as well as bringing good out of bad; and that there’s a positive spiritual end (I Pet.5:10)…and along with this, I thought of others, David Wilkerson for one, also saying we can have as much of God as WE want. I love something (maybe from Kenneth Hagin, or Don Basham), that we need to seek God’s wisdom in trials, to know whether to accept and learn patience, fight and resist, or flee (where’s the devil in the details, and how is he opposing God?) Helpful too, to remember, we don’t battle against flesh, but the devil’s powers– that the world will not like us, or accept our thinking, the more godly that becomes (thank you for that confirmation). I’ve been remembering lately, Paul’s awesome prayer (1Col.1:9-12), that we might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom, and understanding; and verse 11 is not what we might expect — that we’d be strengthened with all power…for steadfastness and patience! May you and your family be enjoying all of God’s blessing this season (just thinking…you are so blessed to have an immediate family that you can enjoy God with)!

    • Penelope! Thank you for your wise comments. You make some very good points. The important thing in all our trials is to see God. Most people see Him only in the good times, but never in the tough times. The kind of faith we need is to see Him always in all things.

  5. Thank you for your recent blog post. You have given me a lot to chew on. Also you have put so well what I have been contemplating lately and that is the motives of my heart. I am learning to be thankful & joyful even in the valley. I am also examining my heart to see if it is the Holy Spirit motivating me to do something for someone or am I doing that thing because it will benefit me somehow. Faith requires waiting to allow God to move rather than me making something happen. We truly are going from glory to glory!

  6. Thank you so much for this. That is what I love about you, you’re running after the heart of God.Hopefully I can share this on FB.

    • Feel free to copy and paste Laura. We appreciate your kind words.

      I remember when we met you in Rochester, MN several years ago. We believe it was by divine appointment. We pray for you and our partners often. Thank you for being a part of our lives and ministry.

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