At RLM, we just finished up our annual Prophetic Conference. It was a very powerful time. For me personally, the Lord really took some time to speak some different things to my heart. You know, as Christians, we are always going around talking about how much we want Jesus to speak to us. We want direction for this, instructions for that, a yes or no for some particular question, and so on and so forth. And then there are those times he gives an answer to a question that we never actually asked. He really is still in the business of reading our hearts.
I had not realized how “cold” and “dry” my heart was until about a week ago. This is not a dark time in my life and I haven’t spend months or years in this spiritual place, but nonetheless, i noticed that not very much was “moving” my heart. It seems my faith had become a little more cerebral and much less passionate. When this happens to a person, one’s worship, love for the Word, desire to help others, generosity with time and money, and a host of others things wither.
The Psalmist wrote, “My heart…is withered like grass” (102:4).
The Psalmist wrote, “My soul clings to the dust” (119:25).
The Psalmist wrote, “My soul melts with heaviness” (119:28).
Every person’s spiritual bones get dry from time to time (Ezekiel 37). As of late, mine have been. It really started to concern me. I talked to the Lord about this. Now, part of this I know is the lack of sleep due to my wife and I’s newborn. Less sleep is the price you pay and it is totally worth it. However, not only have I been really run down, but I my routine of spending time with God in the morning by my window with a cup of coffee has gone out that same window. Things have been turned upside down. I am a firm believer that God gives you time and grace to adjust to new seasons. He has not been mad or frustrated at me at all. He is giving me space to learn and grow. Yet, that does not change the fact that my heart is missing him, his tangible presence, and the fuel that fills my inner tank.
In the midst of my heart growing a little cold and my bones getting a little dry, I did not realize something until the Lord whispered it to me during the conference. Here is what he spoke into my deep heart: “You stopped being a son.” OMG, he is right. It never occurred to me. Funny how sometimes, the person we understand the most and the least is ourselves. I knew my symptoms but I had no idea as to the source of my illness. But the Lord did, and he cared enough to show me in a loving way. He wasn’t mad, frustrated, or even sad. I sensed he was simply pointing something out so I could quickly get back on track. How ironic that in the midst of having our first son and the business of being a husband, father, pastor, and professor, I had gotten away from my core identity being, “I am God’s son.” When you exchange this identity for something else, even if for a short amount of time, coldness and dryness begin sneaking through the back window of your spiritual house. There is a chill in the air. You may be a good person, keep going to church, throw some money into a tithe bucket, help a person in need, or who knows what else. But your heart, the thing God wants to burn up with his presence and root in his love, goes into hiding. When the Lord spoke this convicting, wonderful word to my heart, I immediately had an ah-ha moment. You know when something is right. I knew he was right and was thrilled he showed me. I asked the Lord to get me back to that place in which the main song I hear beneath the surface of all of my everyday activity is, “You are my son. I love you. I accept you. I enjoy you. This is who you are. Do everything today with the peace and joy that results from knowing that the One who matters most is passionately in love with you and for you!”
Daddy God fixed my heart. He restored my center. John writes, “Yet to all who did receive him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NIV). We are all God’s creation, but only through Christ does one become one of his children. When you lose the sense of son-ship (or “daughtership”), you lose peace, joy, a deeper sense of vision behind what otherwise would seem very mundane, a drive to help others, and even your physical body can suffer additional fatigue.
If you have gone crooked as of late, hurry back to that center you were created to live out of: That you are God’s child and he loves you. When you move away from this, even for a day or week or month, things can dry up quickly. So come back to Dad, open your heart, and let him remind you that he did not save you to be a machine for his glory. He saved you to know him, love him, and rest in him. Anything you do for him will flow out of that and therefore, will be interwoven with the peace of trust rather than the sweat of self-effort and religion.