Being “shut in with God in the secret place” often creates a life-shaking crisis of macro magnitude. For this reason I tend to run AWAY from long seasons of intense time with God, separated from my normal routines. What kind of crazy person would intentionally move toward a life-shaking crisis?
God, it seems, gets a big kick out of showing me all of the ways I prop my fragile self up with inferior goods and false beliefs. Knowing that my soul is susceptible to the wind and waves, I intuitively pursue the unmovable, permanent, and unshakeable.
My friend, Rick Enloe, told the story of a new resident of the USA Gulf Coast. Hearing that a hurricane was fast approaching, he immediately went to the beach to save his boat from the approaching storm. The best way (he figured) to secure his prized yacht was to tie it off to a large variety of unmovable, permanent, and unshakeable things.
He tied his prized possession to a towering tree, a boat house, and the dock. About this time an old experienced storm survivor was walking down the beach and said, “Howdy, friend. You are new around here, aren’t you?” Taken back, the guy says, “Yes. How can you tell?”
“Oh, that is easy. You have just tied your boat to everything the hurricane is about to destroy.”
Like the new boat owner, I have tied my life off to many a thing that I mistakenly believe has the power and groundedness to give me a sense of stability.
The scripture says, “My soul finds rest in God alone.” All the props I gather around myself are totally inadequate to provide even a hint of solidity.
It is so easy for me to falsely believe, “My soul finds rest in God and career or God and a retirement plan or God and good health.”
Listening to my life in a season of fasting and prayer allows me to hear God’s tender voice saying, “Son, career, retirement plans, and health are all very fragile gifts. Don’t cling to the gift. Hold strong and long to the Gift Giver.”
One by one God removes my inadequate props and I fear that my self can not survive. In that moment I learn again that my weakly gathered props are not supporting me, but I am supporting them with false hopes and beliefs.
God Himself and God alone is the unmovable, unshakeable, and permanent foundation for life.
As you fast and pray, I invite you to allow God to challenge your props. Tell yourself the truth. Only God is adequate.
I trust that you and I can live honestly before the Lord, prop free.