This morning I was praying and writing down my thoughts and the Holy Spirit revealed something to me that will change my life if I let it. I’m reading the book, Killing Kryptonite, and at the end of each chapter, the author gives you a little assignment. This particular one tells you to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you things in your life which put your devotion to Jesus in jeopardy. So far I’ve been faithful to do each assignment, even if I get to it the next day.
I’ve learned that when you ask the Holy Spirit a question he’s always faithful to answer, but you can’t ignore anything that comes to mind, even if it sounds ridiculous. We are so unaware of how broken we really are that when He brings things to mind, they can seem far fetched or perhaps even unrelated. However, as I have went down a few seeming rabbit holes with Him, I’ve found that what looked unrelated or far fetched, even sometimes exaggerated (forgetting that Jesus doesn’t exaggerate), was actually so deeply rooted inside. The fruit didn’t seem connected to the root, but because we’re blind to our own brokenness, we don’t always readily see the connection.
So today, I began going through the assignment, asking the Holy Spirit to show me what I couldn’t see. What began coming to mind were things that felt familiar, but nothing to which I felt blind. I’m aware of my love of comfort. I fight off my old self’s laziness all the time. I’m aware of how food serves as a lower-case savior when I’m stressed. I eat to feel better. And as he kept bringing these familiar things to mind, I was tempted to move on to the next exercise, when God opened my eyes to the hidden root.
I turn to earthly comfort, whether I’m using food or using a Netflix binge, to escape. Escape what? The fires that God sends to refine me. These things have served as fire escapes in my life. If I can forget, if I can soothe, if I can turn off my mind and just escape for a while, then I’ll feel better. But feeling better cuts short God’s opportunity to demonstrate his power! In some respects, you and I run in an unending circle through the same fire on repeat because we keep finding ways to soothe ourselves instead of letting the fire do its refining work. When the fires of trial are stoked, we head for the fire escape – be it food, be it entertainment, or whatever – instead of trusting God to lead us through and letting the fire do what it was sent to accomplish.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
I keep asking God to demonstrate his power through my life. It’s not going to happen until I tear down my fire escapes. Is there anything wrong with food or finding some way to enjoy some comfort? Of course not! But the demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life is only going to come when I stop running for the escape when fiery trials flame up. My fire escapes must come down. So should yours.