Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. (Psalm 4:4)
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
Look at the scriptures above. Read the first slowly and let it take you to that silent place where God calls you to receive Him. Then use the second scripture to bring deeper meaning to the underlined portion of the first scripture. Now sit with the first passage again.
When God allows us to struggle through trials we have two options: run to the comforts of this world or run to everlasting comfort in Him. God is our firm foundation and our refuge. Difficult moments are times when He calls us into deeper relationship with our Father, our Creator. Turning to God is described in detail in the passage above. It doesn’t have to be taken literally but let’s look at what it describes.
Tremble (in your anger) do not sin (turn toward things other than God (idolatry)). Trembling could be in fear or anger, both draw us out of comfort. We then have a choice of where we can find peace in the storm. We can choose between the Creator and His creation. The eternal or the temporal. God desires a relationship that grows deeper as our spirits mature. The best way to grow in relationship is through the difficult times where we have to rely on God’s provision and comfort to carry us through.
When you are on your bed (alone and away from distraction) search your heart (for what God is looking to teach you in this turmoil) and be silent (so that you may hear the still small voice of God). The world and its business look to captivate our attention and draw us away from the stillness we need with God. Seek the quietness and seclusion you require to draw close to God and avoid distraction. Search your heart, in openness and honesty to see where the Lord is missing in your life or situation. Where do you need in insert His power and rely less on your own? Look for the lesson God has for you. He loves you too much to let you remain idle. Seek and find what the Lord has for you. Then the most difficult part, be silent so that His voice can be heard, and the presence of His Spirit can work in your heart. Ask for understanding and be still to receive what God chooses to reveal to you.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous (humble spirit of thanksgiving) and trust in the LORD. Our sacrifice to God is submission, and a willingness to follow God’s will over our own as they become the same. Give thanks that God loves you enough to correct and lead you. Be thankful that as His chosen you are able to hear His calling and turn to the shelter of His love and faithfulness. Then trust that God is fighting battles that you cannot fight. We can rest assured that battles fought by God are fought to completeness. He will bring about His will which far surpasses our dreams. Turn to God and seek the fellowship described in Psalm 4:4. See the loving relationship and guidance the Father has for you.
We must allow God to fill our hearts with His Spirit and His Word to fill our minds with His truth. We have to be open to receive truth, in any way it is given to us. It may be through difficult times, quiet times, joyful times, times of fear, times of anger, times of panic. It may come through a person we love, someone we are fearful of, someone we respect, someone who is the opposite of what we desire to be. God is always speaking to us, always giving real life examples of His word. Are we always listening? Are we always available to find the application of His truth? Do we expect God to tailor His infinite wisdom to accommodate our closed mind? If He did, would we receive far less than He was willing to provide? We must use knowledge to help us receive God’s provision, and understand how it can mature our spirit, fill our heart, and direct our minds. We must finally enter into God’s Wisdom, God’s viewpoint. We can use the tools He makes available to us to enter into sanctification, holiness. Seeking God daily opens the doors to the life God desires for those who will enter into His kingdom, enter into His Glory.
(2 Chronicles 15:2) The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
The other half of seeking God is knowledge that can lead to wisdom. God puts questions on our heart that spur us to deeper knowledge of Him, His Word, and His Will. We must always hunger to know what the Sustainer of the universe has for us. We must allow that curiosity to drive us to seek God. Our first action is allowing the questions of our heart to drive us to learn about, not to doubt, God. Seeking the answers of God drives us closer to Him as our Heavenly Father. We must spend time with God in prayer, time with God in His word (the Bible), and time with God living out our faith. We must always seek to go deeper and never be satisfied with what is around us. We will miss the unique relationship God desires with us and the plan He has for us. Knocking indicates repetition. We ask questions to determine God’s will, we seek to find His face and learn about Him, and we do this Daily. As His mercy is renewed daily, so should our hunger and thirst to stay close by His side. Close enough to hear His whisper to our hearts, close enough to receive His provision and light. A heart seeking God repels sin and temptation as it is filled with God’s Spirit and Love.
Many know that part of prayer is receiving the provision of God. Many have an unrealistic expectation of what that looks like. Receiving an answer to prayer involves an overlooked aspect of prayer: silence. We should spend the same amount of time and energy listening as we do speaking to God. God communicates in whispers to your heart. You must allow for God to reciprocate in your prayerful conversations with Him. Finding is a process of understanding God’s answer. People get lost as they look for God to answer them according to their expectation. The answer flies by as they look for their ideal, as opposed to being open, in submission, to the provision of God that surpasses their imagination. The process of finding also allows God to redirect our path by using His provision as a guiding light. Allow God’s provision to lead your heart into deeper communication and better understanding of His desire for you. You are now led to the opportunity to enter into God’s kingdom. Not Heaven yet, I mean to take your place in His kingdom where you can be used to show His light to this world. Through persistence and perseverance God will develop you to receive His provision and be directed to the place in His kingdom design specifically for, and available only to, your submissive heart.
As believers mature in their prayer life they begin to discover the purpose of prayer. God knows what we need but wants us to ask as we submit to His will and admit our dependence on Him. God waits to give to us what we humbly ask Him to provide. Our first action, as desired by God is to simply ask. We are next asked to seek. This action is meant for the believer to look for the opportunity to see and experience answered prayer. The important thing to remember is that God answers prayers the way we need them, not the way we want or expect them. An important criteria for seeking God’s answer is an open heart and mind. This is possible through the same submission with which we initially asked. Then we must knock. Knocking signifies a persistence and an expectation. We must pray consistently in submission as we wait for God’s answer, in God’s time. We must also wait in humble, faithful expectation. Any prayer in submission to God’s will and for His glory will be answered. Continue to knock as He develops you in perseverance to receive His provision for you.