I told everyone I knew... everyone I interacted with daily anyways, that I was going to cease to exist for a few days. I prearranged to be free from obligations and turned off my phone and closed my facebook tab on my internet browser. The point was to quiet myself before God.
One of the first things I did was to look up the word bless in blueletterbible.org
It is a fascinating word. It's Hebrew word is Barak and it appears in the Bible as follows:
kneel down 2
make to kneel 1
I was surprised as it has been translated as curse four times! That's the opposite meaning of the word! I then looked up where it was translated as curse so I could check the context. They are all in the beginning of Job. Once when Job was sacrificing in case his kids accidently cursed God. Twice when Satan said that Job would curse God if bad stuff happened. And finally once when Job's wife told him to curse God and die.
I couldn't just put in the translation bless instead of curse without changing the meaning of the sentence. I was so confused and tired. It was the end of a Sunday and an especially long one at that. I hadn't slept long the few previous nights because of ministry opportunities and I was wanting to catch some z's. So I put away the computer, gout out my big white fluffy Z catcher and went to sleep.
I'm still not sure about how that word got translated as curse or why the author of Job used that word there. But I prayed about it. For most of today, since about midnight Sunday night until fivish Monday afternoon, I went back and forth from sleeping to praying to reading to eating to sleeping to praying all day long. I feel wonderfully rested and my body feels like it's recovering from a lot of physical activity... which I think is just the stress in my muscles relaxing. But just because I'm being quiet before the Lord does not mean I'm not getting spiritually attacked.
This morning... at least it may have been morning... I wasn't paying attention to time a lot, I was praying a prayer of petition when I heard a distinct spiritual no. (Meaning it wasn't audible.) At first, I thought it was God, but it sounded different. (John 10:4) That no also doesn't jive to what I understand to be God's character in the way He's been leading me recently in this particular avenue. I was really expecting more of a, "not now." So at first, as I thought it was God, I was disappointed with that answer, but as I thought about the harshness of the "voice" and the inconsistency of God's character, I was a bit skeptical. So I prayed asking for confirmation and started to sing (only in my heart, not audibly) a song of Praise to the Father, Son, and the Spirit of God, and the gruff voice that told me no started to scream and shrink away. It was not God after all, and whatever it was, it could not stand it when I praise my real God.
Now on the subject, if God tells me no, and I know it was from Him, I would accept it. No is a much easier answer than wait and I can deal with disappointment. I can deal with heartbreak. I can deal with emotional pain by the boatload, but waiting is quite a bit harder. I don't want to go without God's guidance either, so I would rather wait than assume a yes. When it is time, and God says Yes, I'll let you know, but if I'm wrong and God does end up saying no, I'll probably not exist for a while longer to seek His will some more.
I've been praying about a lot of things while I'm non-existent, and I'm not getting a bunch of answers. I know it's only been a day, but I'm impatient like that. I have had a lot of dreams though. Some were pleasant and some were attacks. I remember being chased through a building. I'm not sure what was chasing me, but I wasn't scared. I don't know why I didn't face it, but I seemed to be confident of where I was going and why. I think it was a trick of some sort, but I do remember crawling through an air duct and barely fitting. In another dream, I was helping someone. I can't remember who or what I was helping with, but it was something big and that person couldn't have done it alone.
Speaking of alone, I don't mind being it. I actually enjoyed not talking to anyone. I enjoyed keeping my mouth shut and soaking up God's Word and books about God's Word. I enjoyed praying myself to sleep and waking up in a state of prayer. I enjoyed not existing, but I know that I must not stay this way. This is a special time that I get to enjoy between my and my Jesus, and although I would love to have all my time be this special, we (both me and Jesus) are called to be in the World spreading the news of the Kingdom and growing up believers.
My ministry is to help Him do His ministry of seeking and saving. We work together. He doesn't need me, but chooses to bring me along to work beside Him. He is showing me how to be a good husband in ministry for when He provides me with a wife. (If you are my future wife and you're reading this, I just want you to know that I'm studying really hard.)
One thing that I've been praying about in my life is time away from ministry to spend with Jesus like I'm doing now. It's not good to be so busy with work you don't spend quality time with Jesus. I've been struggling with that lately, but what can I give up? I love everything I do and I want to do more. But it's only for a season. When I get married, I can't do that anymore. I will need to spend time with my wife... (I told you I'm studying hard.) She will need to be a priority so we can minister effectively together.
That part of me that I've identified as the flesh has been acting up lately. It's been screaming and yelling and making all sorts of fuss. I've been able to step back from it and keep it from influencing my actions and most of my speech, but I've been praying for God to take it out. That's part of this time away. I think it gained strength as I took on more and more responsibility. I'm praying on what to do. I would love to do everything and more, but there are only so many hours in a day and days in a week. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak... actually my flesh has been strong lately, but it's also been a brat. Today, since I didn't exist, it hasn't been too bad. It has no power on days of prayer. Why can't all my days be days of prayer?
If anyone reading this is already married, make sure you take time to spend with your spouse. I cannot emphasize how important this is! After God, he/she must be your first priority, even before your kids! You cannot minister to your kids properly unless you and your spouse are working as one. Take time and spend it alone with your spouse! Call me if you need someone to watch your kids for you. I'll even do it for free if it's the only way you can get away. Also, in your time together, approach God together seeking His will and have it be a time between the three of you. You, your spouse, and the Almighty God! It's the best.
Oh, and for those of you who might worry that I don't exist... don't. I'm safe and cared after.
PS. I still haven't figured out the bless/curse thing yet. Google wasn't as helpful as I thought... either that or no one knows... or I just don't know what key words to search for.
Setting Sun - Sun Setting in SoCal...I forget where exactly.....
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