Do you ask for God to test and purify you from all sin? Or do you covet a simple Christian walk? Does everything inside of yourself desire to live an easy life and not have to diligently persevere? Yeah, I totally get it. But, it is still not where we want our hearts and minds to be.
Welcome back to day 14 of the 30 Days of Prayer series! We are getting into some meaty chats, friend. I hope you have your wits about you because it’s time to dig in your heels to fight.
This post may be hard to swallow. Most Truth is, so take hold of the Spirit, breathe in the love of our Abba. Let’s look at trials and testing as our Abba sees them in the heavenlies.
Above all else, remember: He is with you. Let’s go.
30 Days of Prayer: Pray to Be Tested and Purified from All Sin
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” ~ 2 Cor. 7: 1
One of the most dangerous prayers I ever prayed was done in the sheer ignorance of my youth.
Abba, use me. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness that I may be found pleasing and honoring to You. I want to hear on that fateful day, ‘well done, my good and faithful servant.’ Purify my heart from anything that is separate from You.”
Unlike the temporary fancies of man, God has every intention to follow through on His end of every bargain. And, He surely has brought the fires to test and purify that I requested.
I’ve experienced intensely dark seasons in my life. My marriage was a lonely and distant desert land. I lost hope of a dream with the onset of an auto-immune condition in my then 22-month-old son. We have endured the wilderness of unemployment and career transition from the military for more than three and a half years. And, for good measure, had to deal with some seriously strong-willed little people in the midst of it all.
This faithful walk that I began in my youth has been quite the experience of dying to myself.
But, although these seasons have been incredibly difficult for my flesh, they have also been some of the most significant seasons for spiritual growth and development! What Satan meant for my destruction our Abba has used for His glory and my benefit.
Through the valley of marital strife and discordance, I learned how to love my husband in a Godly way, even when things were wayward and distant.
As I trudged through the loss of my dream for my son’s future potential, I recognized various sources of idolatry and control issues I had that blocked my walk in faith.
The wilderness desert, though difficult, has fortified my knowledge that my God is with me and is our Good Provider at all times, in all ways, and I need not fear for He is with me.
And, my children with the internal strength of an ox have taught me better than anything the value of saying “no” in love.
The trials of life offer the most effective fire to purify if we welcome the lessons that they teach.
The Christian walk is not a walk of ease. If you think it should be, you’re in the wrong place. Our faith is based on a Savior that came to earth and died on the cross in a very painful manner as a sacrificial offering for the sins of humanity.
That does not sound like a warm and squishy tale of comfort. If we are meant to “walk as Jesus did,” surely we must realistically expect some trials, struggles, persecution, and risk of harm in this lifetime.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 1: 2-4
I know that it is not common to live with this view as a Christian. Truly, it is the biblical precedence set before us.
Countless men and women all throughout the Word have laid down their lives for the faith that they held dear. They gave up proximity to family (Abram and Sarai), favor in the world (Joseph), respected positions of rabbinical prowess (Paul), and so much more.
If those who have gone before us have set the path of self-denial to the sensual elements of the flesh, and obedience to God through faith and strength of Spirit, surely we too must expect a similar path for our own lives.
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” ~ Luke 9: 23-26
The spiritual virtue of self-denial is not putting on the least expensive clothing and having a poverty mindset of nothingness. This is a lie the enemy has thoroughly enjoyed spinning for millennia within the Body. In contrast, self-denial is knowing I am not here for my own purposes. I am here to serve God as a co-laborer with Christ. I am not here to live a life of pure comfort, but rather to learn to enjoy the little blessings of delight as they come while handing over the reins of control from selfishness to my God, who I choose to trust because I believe He is Very Good.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” ~ James 4: 8”
Remember, sweet sister, the enemy walks around looking for a scripturally weak faith-walker. If you want to make it through this thing intact, get rooted in the Word and in a close, intimate friendship with the Father who loves you.
God is Faithful to Redeem the Years of Theft and Destruction
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten– the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.” ~ Joel 2: 25
I know that it can be scary to hand over the reins to God. Sweet sister, that fear is not because there is something to fear with God, but because you are still learning that He truly is as Good as He declares. This faith walk is not an unwinding road of ease, but rather comes with many valleys and mountains in difficult terrain.
However, take heart, because He truly IS as good as He proclaims. He really WILL take care of you each step of the way. And, He never will leave your side as you go. Now it’s your turn to promise to stand by Him through it all, too. Remember, this is a marriage; you’ve made a covenant through good times and bad with our Savior.
You do your part, and let God do His.
Abba Father, I come to You today with a most heartfelt, but difficult request. Purify me from unrighteousness, and cleanse me from everything that is flesh rather than Spirit. Guide me into new paths of Your glory, and lead me to streams of Living Water. I am nervous and unsure of what lies ahead. But, I choose to trust that You are who You say You are. I am safe in the palm of Your hand.
Provide for me every step of the way, and let my eyes see Your goodness overflowing into my life. I lay my dreams and ambitions at Your feet. Give them back when it is time for Your everlasting purposes and burn up anything that does not belong in me. My life is Yours, Abba. Show me my path as I walk day by day with You. Lead me in the Way everlasting. In Your Son’s Holy Name, Amen.
Shoulder-to-shoulder we are all walking this path, following obediently the guidance of our Good Shepherd. Let us continue to fight the good fight and not grow weary. Sweet sister, He’s got this.
Stand firm. Keep walking.