Let me distinguish clearly between pride and humility. A humble person is not one who thinks little of himself, hangs his head and says, “I’m nothing.” Rather, he is one who depends wholly on the Lord for everything in every circumstance. He knows the Lord has to direct him, empower him and quicken him and that he’s dead without that!
David Wilkerson Devotions
Three enemy armies were closing in on Judah, and King Jehoshaphat called the nation together at Jerusalem. Something had to be done immediately. No doubt people expected him to announce plans, a decisive declaration of action, a way to wage war. Instead, Jehoshaphat stood before his people and poured his heart out to God in confession.
Listen to the words of Jonah: “For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all your billows and your waves passed over me. … The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me. … The earth with its bars closed behind me forever” (Jonah 2:3-6, NKJV).
Jonah had hit rock bottom, entombed in the belly of a whale. He was in a battle for his life and filled with despair, shame and guilt. He was heavy of heart, literally as low as a person could get. He thought God had abandoned him.
God always desires to pour out more of his glory on his people. He longs to do for us “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV). This is why he wants a people who have a ravenous appetite for more of him. He wants to fill them with his awesome presence, beyond anything they’ve experienced in their lifetime.
I asked the Holy Spirit to give me a one-paragraph description of faith so that the boys in our Teen Challenge drug center could understand it. I have a book in my library that uses over three hundred pages to define faith, and I never understood it. Frankly, I don’t think the man who wrote it understood faith either.
What does it mean to behold the Lord’s glory? Paul wrote, “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV). Paul is speaking here of devoted, focused worship. It’s time that’s given to God simply to behold him, and the apostle quickly adds, “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:1).
After exalting God’s Word at length, David concludes one of his psalms with this verse: “Let my soul live, and it shall praise you; and let your judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments” (Psalm 119:175-176, NKJV).
When scripture says the Holy Spirit “abides” in us, it means God’s Spirit comes in and possesses our bodies, making it his temple. Because the Holy Spirit knows the mind and voice of the Father, he speaks God’s thoughts to us. “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak; and he will tell you things to come” (John 16:13, NKJV). The Holy Spirit is the voice of God to us!
The Holy Spirit yearns to bring God’s people back to serving the Lord with joy and gladness. How grieved heaven must be to witness the wet blanket of despair and sadness that has fallen upon multitudes of believers. The Psalmist declared, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15, NKJV). The prophet Isaiah also said, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).
When you hurt the worst, go to your secret prayer closet and weep out all your bitterness. Jesus lamented over Jerusalem and wept at the funeral of a friend. Peter carried with him the hurt of denying the very Son of God, and he wept bitterly! Those bitter tears worked a sweet miracle in him, and he came back to shake the kingdom of Satan.