We had a ladies retreat about a year ago. I knew that we'd be afforded time to get alone with the Lord, so I went prepared with a list of things we needed to discuss. Things I wanted to get a specific word on...hoping that the atmosphere and quiet would allow me to hear better than I had as I prayed at home. When that time came, I took out my list and prayed and prayed and listened and listened. After a couple of hours I was about to give up. Frustrated, I basically said to the Lord "I'm here...I'm doing my part...Say something!"
What He said was..."I have spoken. You know what is required. Now walk in it."
Not the answer I was looking for...but the one I needed.
All along as I'd been praying (and not hearing "this is how this is going to go" or " this is the next step you need to take to get closer to that thing you want") it seemed the Lord was continually telling me to "Be still and know that he is God." Of course, I didn't see it that way until that day at the retreat. I saw it as silence...and I didn't like it. But what the Lord was telling me was, faith is required. Contentment in today is required. Obedience to what He HAS said is required. I am to walk faithful, obedient and content in today and let Him handle tomorrow...and the next 5 years.
"Walking in" what I know was what yesterday was all about for me.
The area of sin and lack of faith that was exposed was in the area of my finances. After the initial revealing, I could look back and see that the Lord had been tapping me on the shoulder, so to speak, about this for some time ... and I ignored it. This was the slap on the hiney to get my attention.
It wasn't that the Lord had said "don't do this or stop doing that." But I did have moments of conviction that I successfully justified and moved past. The Lord had done a major work in this area a year or so ago...my giving quadrupled, I always had more than enough and felt very blessed. But since I started losing weight...I started liking buying clothes in smaller sizes...actually liking trying new things on...and I liked it a bit too much. I wasn't extravagant in that I went to expensive stores and spent $200 a pop or anything like that...but I definately bought more than I needed and at times made unwise choices.
I knew it was something of an issue and did mention it to those I am accountable to...but I am not sure I really realized the real sin of it, and therefore did not repent...and did not walk the way I knew the Lord wanted me to in this area.
After all was said and done yesterday, I sat here thinking about the whys and wherefores. Prior to last year, my finances were wholly a mess and the Lord allowed me to set them straight with Him alone. Why did He chose to do it this way...things weren't really that bad. What I heard was "...to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more."
I had to look it up to make sure it was scripture...it was ... Luke 12:48.
The Lord has given me much...financially, socially, and in ministry...he has also given me much of Him. Thinking about that makes me realize that He has consistently chosen to do that through my sin...through exposing my sin...through my being open about what He exposes and how He deals with it. That is amazing to me! While in the first moments, the exposure of sin makes me feel just that...exposed...naked before God and man...there has also consistently been blessing beyond measure and the encouragement and accountability and motivation I need to continue to "walk in it."