Nebuchadnezzar: 47 I am now certain that your God is the God of all gods, the Lord of all kings, and the Revealer of mysteries, for unlike the other wise men in my service, you were able to reveal to me this mystery. You told me not only what I dreamed but what it all means….
3 One day King Nebuchadnezzar ordered his craftsmen to make a statue plated with gold that was 90 feet high and 9 feet wide.
When finished, it was set up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon…
Herald (shouting): 4 People of all nations and languages: by order of the king, you are commanded 5 to bow down and worship the golden statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar every time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, lute, harp, pipe, and all the other musical instruments. 6 Anyone who does not obey the king’s command and refuses to bow and worship will be taken immediately and thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.
This is an example of what I call the rebound effect.
My theory of this effect is that whenever you have an extra-close time with the Lord say at a conference or when you have received something significant – a blessing, a revelation for example – then a strong impulse or urge or pull grows up to take you away from the place you are in.
Last weekend I had an extraordinary time of worship, healing, prayer and growth at a conference. I came back full of zeal and determined to rest under the shadow of His wings. Then the times and things of life (from which I had admittedly been removed for the few days) rose up to move around me. Nothing major – no soldiers banging on my door to arrest me, no threats against my life if I didn’t recant my faith, no offers of x billion dollars to give up; just the simple everyday things that somehow tested me.
There’s nothing wrong with being tested, Jesus endured temptation after all. What matters is our response. Can I, like Jesus, respond to temptation with trust in God and His promises? Can I stand under that wing and let the winds, waves, worries wash against me and remain there sure that I am safe and secure? Can I come back under that wing when I stray out from it?
It’s the last question that is the most important I think. We all slip, we step out to look at something shiny or because the wind really buffets us and we don’t wait for God to shelter us we go looking for our own shelter or God’s not moving fast enough so we dash ahead and bump straight into guilt and shame. The test is turning back when we slip from that ‘lofty perch’ we were in.
I don’t know if it is the world, the flesh or the devil that tempts me. I just know whichever always overplays a hand when they say – “ah don’t pray this morning, missing one won’t matter and you aren’t really good enough to pray today not after …”
Absolutely right that I’m never good enough to come to Him but missing one would matter because then guilt gets a bigger hold. I don’t pray because God needs it, or because it makes me ‘good’ or because it makes me acceptable. I pray because -I- need it. Because I really need the moments I spend with Him focused only on Him (as much as I can) so that I can try and stay focused the rest of the day. It’s my calibration time, my tuning in time.
I’m standing. The rebound is buffeting me but I am setting my heart and mind to stand in hope and trust that when it fades, as it does, I’ll still be closer to Him.