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Can you handle being in the background?
Galatians 1:10 GNB
Does this sound as if I am trying to win human approval? No indeed! What I want is God’s approval! Am I trying to be popular with people? If I were still trying to do so, I would not be a servant if Christ
Can you Handle being in the background and not being seen? That’s the question that God posed to me one day while I was cleaning up after my boys for what felt like the millionth time that day. I answered after hearing that question like “come on God YES, I am at home with my boys, aren’t I? I haven’t been in the corporate workforce since May 28th, 2015. You know I am good with that”. I thought that conversation was over but if you have ever had a conversation with God, you know that’s likely to not be the case.
Later that night I was in the shower and He showed me the ways that I wasn’t comfortable being in the background. The things he showed me I thought were innocent enough and totally not out of order but He wanted to show me that to serve Him truly means taking a back seat even when you want to scream "HEY!! I've been praying for you." I stood there thinking God wait so I am not supposed to tell someone that I have been praying for them? I am totally confused, how does that work?
Well, God is so sweet with His correction that He will walk you kindly back to the place of error and show you a better way AND where you got off track. He showed me that I had a friendship with a couple who had been struggling with infertility issues for the first few years of their marriage and how He allowed me to co-labor with Him by praying that He would open the wife's womb and conceive. I'd been praying as He led and then our friendship dissolved. I felt that it was not my fault that our friendship had fallen apart and God told me it didn't matter who was at fault "you are still to pray". I was angry and hurt so I did what most people do in the age of social media… I "unfollowed" her. However, God was STILL calling me to do as He had instructed; which was to pray.
Man, did it hurt and it was most uncomfortable to do; but I knew I had to because the urge to keep calling out for a child on their behalf was so strong. Although I'd unfollowed my former friends, my husband remained friends with them on social media and from time to time he would tell me the good things going on with them. I NEVER wanted any ill will to befall them but I was hurt and didn’t want to hear it. However, as I continued to pray my heart softened. Finally, after years of praying as friends and months of praying after not speaking to one another, my husband said that they were expecting. I was elated, I was overwhelmed that God had answered the prayers that had been prayed. I debated if I should reach out and congratulate them and after a few days I posted on her wall" … I am SO EXCITED for you all congratulations. I never stopped praying for you all. God is worthy to be praised for this great miracle". Sounds harmless right but smack in the middle of it He shows me that He will NOT share His glory with ANYONE even if He asked me to pray. That one phrase "I never stopped praying for you all"; OUCH right? Truth is I was truly happy for them and I am glad God heard not just my prayers but the many offered on their behalf but what He was showing me was that what my heart was really saying was "look I still prayed for you even after we weren't friends… you're welcome".
It was that day that God told me that the heart of an intercessor is to serve Him whether anyone knows or not as long as He knows. People will never respond in the way we want especially if we feel we have been wronged and that little bit of "shine" from that post that got ZERO acknowledgment was all that I was going to get. God wasn't pleased then and isn't when we work out of selfish ambition. We are to serve Him with a pure heart unto His glory. I am not fully surrendered to being in the background but I am better than I was. I am happy to die to my flesh as long as God keeps choosing me knowing that I will fall but rise again to serve Him.
Dear Lord, I thank you for renewing a right spirit and clean heart within me. Thank you that even when my heart is broken you can take the pieces and put them together for your good. Thank you that your correction is for my good and your glory. -Amen