Thanks to my friend Kimmie, this quote from Oswald Chambers says it better than I could. Consider this the sequel to my former post, The Summit.
“We have all had times on the mount, when we have seen things from God’s standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, something is wrong. It is a great thing to be on the mount with God, but a man only gets there in order that afterwards he may get down among the devil-possessed and lift them up. We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle. Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount. We feel we could talk like angels and live like angels, if only we could stay on the mount. The times of exaltation are exceptional, they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware lest our spiritual selfishness wants to make them the only time.”
This was also one of the songs I listened to on repeat before I even came to Chi town…
So as I descend, it seems fitting to share a few of my prayers from the beginning of this summer. I wish I had recorded more in my journal, but these are a great sampling of some of the things God did in my heart and life throughout the course of project in Chicago. Perhaps each response to prayer will be a post itself, but for now I look back to these as landmarks on my journey up the mountain and record them now for memory of His providence, His tender care and ever-present ear to my over-active heart. Looking back it is neat to see how and when He answered such specific prayers in my life.
Precious Jesus, thank you so very much for bringing me here to Chicago. I have had a blast so far and I am excited to see what all you have in store for this summer. These people are amazing – I have loved seeing more of Your heart through them – and I can’t wait to know them even more. Father, I long to be in complete awe of You. I ask for a continual refreshment in Your love, for Your help and an overwhelming satisfaction in You alone. I desire You above all else and I beg that You would awaken my heart to You once again. I have hit a plateau and I long to go deeper. To let You in more, to ask You for intimacy, for help in my hour of need, for satisfaction when I am looking for love in all the wrong places. I long for You and You alone. However You want to do this God, please help me to be open to it and willing to allow You to continue Your incredible work in my heart and my life. I am Yours, Lord. Take me and mold me to Your heart.
What a crazy couple of days it has been! Thank you Lord for such a rich time so far in Chicago. I feel like I am continually overwhelmed by everything here – it’s so much to take in all the time. I love it all and I want to soak it all in, every last bit. And more importantly I want to get to know people even better, diving deep into life-long friendships and expanding my understanding of other people. Most importantly, I long to draw closer to You, Lord and grow more deeply in my relationship with You.
I thank you for the incredible peace and comfort you have brought me in the past week, Lord. It is truly amazing how You have sustained me, helping me to get through the week. Thank You for not allowing me to be consumed by depression or overtaken by the emotional drain I experienced last weekend after grandma’s death. I have been refreshed and cared for in different ways in the past week that I haven’t been able to experience before, so thank You. I am incredibly grateful to be here, surrounded by awesome people in Christian community this summer than to be alone in the middle of nowhere. Truly Your providence is remarkable. I am so grateful.
God, I also desire to be responding to you differently and I don’t quite know how yet. Could you please help me in this? I long to respond to You in deeper ways that involve more of myself. I desire to be responding more intimately and I just feel stuck. Would you please show me if there is any way within me – any sinful tendency, attitude or behavior that needs to be revealed – so that I may draw closer to You? I feel like I am on the brink of something greater with You than I can fathom and I am excited for it. I feel that there is a depth with You I have yet to know and I want to dive in, surrounded by You, enveloped in Your love and grace – free to move and respond to You in deeper, richer ways. Show me, Love. Teach me Your love in new ways, open my eyes to things unseen and conform my mind to that of Christ. I want to be more like You in every aspect of my life. I give you permission into the parts of my heart that I have not let you do your magnificent work within – parts that are scary to me but will only demonstrate Your glorious power and magnify You more in my life. Jesus, invade my thoughts, my heart and soul. May I open my ears and my life to where You are and please equip me with strength to listen and follow.