Sometimes we don’t know how not to be ourselves. We may immediately speak what’s on our mind, to tell the truth to someone in darkness, even though scripture tells us to be slow to speak, quick to hear and slow to wrath (James 1:9). Maybe it’s not swift speaking. Maybe it’s something good like cleaning the house or paying bills when God would have us do something more beneficial at the time. Or maybe it’s like with me, relying upon my own ability to hear from God. We just do what we do because we’ve always done it that way and it’s easy for us, convenient for us. In these instances God has to step in to help us. This was the case with me.
God made me as one who has a strong desire for His presence through direct contact with Him. Seeking Him for myself has been a strength for me. I rarely seek the direction of authority figures in my life because I haven’t felt a need to. Well, God showed me that I must go to them because they are there to lead me. I knew this intellectually (Hebrews 13:7 & 17) but would not allow this truth to manifest physically. God allowed me to become spiritually weak so that His purpose for leadership placed in my life might be fulfilled. I needed humbling and to recognize that I wasn’t treating my leaders like His representatives. It was natural for me to count on myself.
Like the Apostle Paul, God has allowed me to experience some wonderful things in the spirit. To ensure that I didn’t boast about these experiences (and even dismiss the spiritual effectiveness of my leaders), I, like Paul, had to receive a thorn in my flesh. God knew that Paul’s natural tendency would be haughtiness. He knew the same for me. He sent me the thorn of spiritual dryness so I could seek refreshment from my leaders. And as God would have it, they had words of life and light for me in two areas of darkness that I had been groping in. Spiritual self-reliance—arrogance—is dangerous. Even with knowing the voice of God, as blogger Milan Ford says, it’s always good to still check in with Eli for direction.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith