Pillow talk is the best. Sometimes I can be laying down trying to fall asleep when Jesus speaks softly into my spirit. Other times, He awakens me during my sleep to speak to me, or just as I’m rising.
I have been pondering over the past few weeks or so about God’s love. I’ve been asking Jesus to reveal more of His love to me.
So one night this past week as I lay down to fall asleep, I got some more of that sweet pillow talk from Jesus. He brought up the story of the woman He commended in the gospels:
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word.
So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. ”
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30
This story never made full sense to me until Jesus unlocked the mystery for me. The Canaanites and Jews had a bad history and basically hated each other. The woman knew Jesus was a Jew. But despite the hatred between the two ethnicity groups, she believed that Jesus was the Messiah. He came to deliver, to save, and to heal, and he would not turn away anyone who came to Him. She was convinced of His heart toward her.
Then, later that day (or maybe that week, I can’t remember) Jesus started speaking to me about prayer. Sometime back in February of this year, someone encouraged me to pray in tongues every single day. I had been slacking on praying in tongues and was convicted through this person’s exhortation. I committed to praying in tongues every day for thirty minutes to an hour.
Pray without ceasing
1 Thess 5:17
I can’t believe how much God has grown me in just a few months of being home, and I know without a doubt a lot of my growth has come from this daily praying.
So then I began to think…why? Why does God respond so readily to prayer? And then another light bulb went off! It’s all connected to faith! God is pleased with those that are fully convinced that He wants to give to us!
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
But if that’s so easy, then why isn’t everyone healed? Why am I not a millionaire over night if I just pray for it?
I think we must ask God what’s in His heart before we pray so that we are always praying according to His will (which is always perfect). And we must be fully convinced that He wants to reveal His will, and then pray for exactly what He revealed, being fully convinced that He wants to answer us. I’ll never forget a guest speaker from last year at our church saying, “I don’t ask God for guidance as much as I ask Him what to believe for.”
Then, during another pillow talk session I had recently, Jesus just said one line: You must learn to receive.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
There’s that word again: “ask.” I have to ask first before I can receive anything. If I have to ask, I have to be fully convinced, like the Canaanite woman, that God wants to give. And when those two things happen, when I ask in faith and God gives it to me, Jesus says my joy becomes complete!
But for me to even go to Him and ask Him what to pray and believe for, I had to know that He wanted to reveal those things to me! I had to be convinced of His heart toward me, just like the Canaanite woman! And all of the sudden I realized I was believing this lie about Him that He was choosing to withhold His plans and His thoughts from me because He is a big God and He wants me to learn to give Him full control. But I realized this isn’t God’s heart toward His sons and daughters!
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD.
I feel like I’ve taken one step further into my true identity as a daughter of God. I no longer believe the lie that was first whispered in the garden of Eden that God is holding back on me because He’s a big bad controlling authority figure. And I believe a majority of people who say they don’t believe in God actually believe in His existence, but don’t believe that He wants to be personal and relational, who wants to talk to them, and wants only good for them.
So to sum everything up, what God’s been teaching me through all of this is that love and faith are tightly linked. The more I decide to trust God and go to Him for all areas of my life, the more I experience His love, that it’s nothing but good and glorious. My hearts begins to realize, “Oh wait, God doesn’t want to harm me? He’s for me and on my side? He doesn’t want to criticize me or constantly rebuke me? He wants to fulfill my desires? He wants to reveal His will and other secrets to me?”
Learning to actually trust God, and not just in theory, is a process. And slowly, fear starts to fade as I realize there’s nothing to fear in Him as I experience His love personally. And the more of His love I experience, the more my faith and trust in Him grows, and so on.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
In my last blog post, I mentioned life isn’t worth living without joy. Jesus says in Matthew 21:22 that my joy will be complete when I learn to receive from God out of a perfectly trusting relationship with my Father.
Jesus, my prayer is that you make me like the Canaanite woman, who is fully convinced of Your true identity. Lead me even deeper into the Father’s heart. Increase my knowledge of His love that my faith increases with it. And since this is why you came to this earth, I know I have received what I asked for. So thank you and amen!
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.