There was a time when I felt very forgotten. My heart burned with desire for more—for the big dream I knew He had placed in my heart. Nevertheless, I saw no progress toward my dream.
I was seeking God faithfully and serving faithfully. My heart was passionate for God and fully engaged in everything I did. All the while, however, my dream was burning like a fire in my bones. I desperately wanted to see it happen.
You may be there too. You may know that God has placed you where you are. You may love God with your whole heart. You may be serving eagerly with your whole heart. Yet, deep in your spirit, you yearn for the “more” God has promised you.
If you feel forgotten, you are not alone.
I asked my email subscribers two questions in a special email yesterday:
- “Do you ever feel forgotten–either by God or by people?” and
- “Do you dream of “more”–of seeing more fruit from your labor, more opportunity?”
And I received droves upon droves of responses.
Of the people that responded, there were four or five folks who said they did not feel forgotten; or else had just been healed from feeling forgotten.
But all the rest said yes, yes, and yes again.
This breaks my heart for you, because I’ve been there. I spent many years feeling forgotten and overlooked in every way. I felt that verse about “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12) deeply, but it was the first part–the hope deferred–that was the reality of my existence.
And I wasn’t having fun.
But finally, when I couldn’t stand it any more, that agony of hope deferred drove me to my knees before the Lord in a new way.
I knew God knows me intimately, but I had never talked with Him about some of these things before. So I bared my soul and confessed the deepest concerns and desires of my heart.
I found seven Bible promises to stand on, and I presented God’s Word back to Him like an attorney before her Judge.
And when I did so, I found that my Judge was also my loving Abba Father who would move when I prayed.
The very next day after I prayed these seven promises, I began to see change. Radical things pertaining to my dream began to happen seemingly out of nowhere, and amazing things have continued happening since that time. God began to open doors to the destiny for which He created me, and I am now beginning to walk out the “more” that burned in my heart for so long.
Are you ready to go before the throne of grace as well? If so, here’s help:
- There’s a HUGE FIRST STEP that you must do at the beginning. I’ve described that first step below.
- The next seven blog posts will go into detail about each of the seven promises–prayer directives God gave me–that you can claim when you pray. I’ll provide personal examples about what happened to me when I prayed each one; the actual Scripture verses (plus supporting verses proving that I’m taking them in Biblical context); and more. These posts will build your faith so you will be able to pray fervently and effectively and prevail before God. So be sure you read each one.
Praying the way we’re going to discuss over the next few days is not manipulation. It’s not trickery. It’s standing on God’s promises about your deepest dreams.
You can do it. It’s not even hard… and God will answer.
So please be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This series starts today with this introduction, and it will finish January 30. Or, you can sign up for email updates here, so you will get all the emails directly into your inbox:
So here’s the essential, huge, big, most important first step (did I mention this first step is a REALLY BIG DEAL?):
You and I both have to make sure that we’re seeking God for Himself first and foremost–not turning our dream or our promotion into an idol that is more important to us than He is.
This is something I, personally, have to watch out for continually. I love God so much, and I press and press and press into Him. And I pray big prayers. But after awhile, sometimes I find myself caring more about the thing I’m praying about than I care about seeking God.
I start seeking God for His hand, not for His face. And that’s bad. It’s idolatry. (YOU may not have any problems with this at all, but if not, just humor me here and keep reading anyway, ok?) 🙂
When we desire anything more than we desire God, even if it’s a thing we’re asking God to provide, we’ve set up an idol for ourselves. We’ve enthroned a THING in that first, most important spot in our hearts, desires, and emotions.
And God will not bless our idolatry.
He can’t. He’s too good. He knows that He Himself is the best thing–the best One–for us. He knows idols will hurt us, because they keep us from Him. So if we pray with idols in our heart, He will say “Not yet, precious” until such a time as we have dethroned our idols.
He’s simply not going to hurt us by giving us something that would only take us away from Him.
But when we give HIM first place in our hearts…
Oh, precious reader, that’s something God can bless.
When we seek His face and not merely His hand, it pleases the Father to give us the Kingdom. All things that belong to Jesus are transmitted to us by the Holy Spirit. He LOVES us, and He loves to bless, increase, and reward us.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us:
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
When we seek Him diligently, He rewards us. That’s all there is to it.
So what does it look like for your heart to be free from idols? How can you be sure you’re seeking God’s face and not only His hand?
It looks like total surrender. It looks like passionate love:
- It looks like going before God every single day in your private quiet time, and crying out to know Him more.
- It looks like telling God that He is everything to you, and meaning it.
- It looks like telling God that no matter what happens, whether He promotes you or not (although He will), and even if you never get your specific dream in this lifetime–you will still seek Him, love Him, and worship Him anyway, because of Who He is.
- It looks like asking God to have all the glory in your life.
- It looks like setting your face like flint to obey Him every day, moment by moment. Yes, you may fail sometimes, but if you’ve set your heart for 100% obedience, you’ll get progressively closer to Him anyway.
Now this is very important: listen to this worship song on the YouTube below. It’s Steffany Gretzinger singing something that will really touch you right now. Listen to it all the way through, because the most important point is at the end.
Did you hear it?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the song at the end, which says:
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
My soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is yours*
This is what it looks like to seek God for His face and not merely His hand.
Please, please, please. We’re about to start praying seven life-changing prayers together. God will answer them, and you will see change.
But before you get the change you desire, this is the all-important question:
Will you stand in worship, with your heart abandoned to the One who gave His all for you? Even if you never get what you want, will you stand before Him, completely surrendered, HIS to do with as He desires? Will you seek Him with everything you have anyway?
And if not, would you get alone with God and ask the Holy Spirit to take first place in your heart and life, and help you dethrone your idols right now?
This is the most important thing. You have a loving Papa in Heaven who WILL answer your prayers. He WILL perfect all things that concern you (Psalm 138:8). But YOUR JOB–the most important thing you can do, today and every day, is to make sure that the gifts aren’t more important to you than the Giver.
Does this message speak to you? If so, please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you!
And if you’re ready to seek God with everything you’ve got, and to stand on His promises about your deepest dreams, be sure to check back Friday as we talk about asking God to answer you and honor you.
*This part of the song on the video is called “The Stand” by Hillsong United.