I had a revelation a few weeks ago.  It came after praying with much fear and tribulation.  I usually don’t pray on my knees.  I only do so when I really need to hear from the Lord.  One time after such prayers, I had the following thoughts…

How come I always have to beg the Lord to answer?  Doesn’t He understand my needs?  Can’t He feel I am in so much hurt? I am tired of praying like this all the time.

As I got up and wonder when I will grow up, that’s when I realize the idea of growing up is actually the idea of self-dependence.  I could actually hear myself talking to God, ‘can you give me more strength so I don’t have to ask you anymore?   Do you think there will be a time when I am mature enough that I don’t need you?

I don’t need you…..

…as those words trailed across my head, I realize I am prideful.  This is spiritual prideful and it is sinful.  God does want us to be spiritually mature.  He desires us to be fully mature in Christ.

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in ChristColossian 1:28 NIV

This maturity doesn’t mean we become independent from the Lord.  This reminded me of a story in 2 Kings 5 about Naaman.  Naaman was a great commander from Israel’s enemy and he was sick with leprosy.  Through a servant girl, he heard that the prophet Elisha could cure him.  Not only Elisha didn’t come out to meet him in person.  In that culture, it is very disrespectful to Naaman.  Instead Elisha sent his message to tell Naaman to wash in the filthy water of Jordan seven times.  Naaman was outrage and said,

I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his handover the spot and cure me of my leprosy.  Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?2 Kings 20:11b-12a NIV

Humility.  That’s the name of the game.  The water of Isarel is worst than the rivers of Damascus.  But it isn’t about the water.  It isn’t about the great prophet, Elisha.  God wants to demonstrate to Naaman that it is Him that saves.  God will be glorified and not the water or the prophet.

The Lord didn’t want me to be less dependent on Him. He wanted me to depend on Him more and more.  As I recalled my life, those times when the Lord answered my prayers or spoke to me were times of desperation. I had nowhere else to go.  I hit a dead end.   Then I was down on my knees and full of tears, laying my life problems before the Lord.

 

I wonder why we don’t lay down on my knees as much these days.   Maybe it is not in today’s culture.  But maybe we don’t think the fear and tribulation of the Lord is important anymore.  Or maybe we just lost the skill of intense prayer.

Underneath it all, my desire for independence is spiritual pride.  I am prideful because I want to be a strong Christian without God’s help.  Ironic isn’t it?  Those who are used by God are those who fully dependent on the Lord.  In fact, it requires more faith to trust in the Lord in ALL things.   He alone is sufficient.  There’s no need for plan B or plan C or ‘be practical’ against world’s worries.

And so, I am back to where I am before.  Down on knees and before the Lord.  Praising and worshipping. Humble on my knees with tears of joy and fear.

A devotion on prayer brought this revelation ever more clearer:

Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems— the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.Oswald Chamber’s Utmost entitled The Purpose of Prayer