Can’t see the forest for the trees

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It’s been an interesting day.  The thought came to me last night that trees in dreams often represent people, so I’d been thinking about the word I’d received yesterday (about walking into trees and then having to go around them).  This morning I came to the conclusion that what I’ve been doing (though I’ve known this for some time) is wishing I could have other people’s experiences.  You know, big ones like what Will Hart and Brian Connolly had, or like Ravi Kandal spoke about just a couple weeks ago (Jesus actually appeared and spoke to him–and God still speaks to him daily).  It seems that when I “run into” a story about someone’s great God encounter, or angelic visitation, or you name it, that it knocks me for a loop.  You see, I put spiritual experiences right up there with spiritual gifts, i.e., I desire them.  All of them.  I want to see/hear/know/experience things that up to now I only hear others talk about.  And it’s become a problem. I realized today that I’m fixated on it, in part because I keep getting words about it and desire it so much, but also because I know that three minutes in His presence could do (or undo in all likelihood) more than three years of my muddling along.  And yet it doesn’t happen.

So as I’m thinking about all that this morning the thought comes to me, “Would you still follow Me if you never had another experience?”  The answer, of course, was yes.  I wasn’t prepared for the sadness that filled my heart following that yes, though.  It caught me off guard.  It didn’t help that I sat down immediately afterward and found a book I’d been reading (but had put it down a couple months back) and when I picked up where I’d left off read the statement (from someone who’d had a big God encounter) that he didn’t understand at first why the Holy Spirit was touching only a select few during an impartation.  His conclusion was that the Holy Spirit was moving upon those “who truly counted the cost, those who were wanting more of God and wanting to be used by Him.  These were the hungry and thirsty who were about to be satisfied.”  Just what I needed to read, someone telling me I’m not hungry and thirsty enough.  I have done everything I have known to do including multiple extended fasts, prayer, read tons of books, received counseling, attended all the seminars Global offered this year, yet I’m not hungry and thirsty enough?  And don’t say “Ye have not because ye ask not” because I’ve asked.  I know what it is to weep with desire, to dissolve my bed in tears, to have my soul pant for God.  Telling someone they don’t have an encounter because they’re not hungry enough is the equivalent of telling someone they’re not healed because they don’t have enough faith.

I think of John 20:29:  “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  I do not have to see to believe, but still I long to see.  That said, I know that God has His reasons for whatever He does (or doesn’t) do.  I can’t base my future on something that may never happen.  At the same time I believe there are times when one must contend.  After all, the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force.  And there’s work to be done, so I need to stop running into trees and having my bell rung!

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