the burden of the Lord
I remember when I first met the Lord (that's that Christianese language I mentioned the other day).,...but it expresses so well what happened back then in 1968 that I risk using it here :)
Way back then I was taught to pray....I was taught I needed to begin with making up my prayer list...it was a very legalistic taskmaster this prayer list thing, as it seemed that somehow it was my responsibility to pray for every Tom, Dick and Harry I ever met (that's 50's language, sorry) Somehow I was responsible for their salvation.
After I was baptized in the Holy Spirit near the end of 1968, I was again taught that I had to pray for everybody who was sick...and that covered every kind of healing you can think of..... physical healing, emotional healing, healing of memories....then of course we also learned about demons and my new responsibility was to cast out every demon in every person that came across my path.
How about all them there missionaries Philip? All those in government....local, state, national, international, all the wars and rumors of wars........are you getting the picture. My prayer list was so long I finally had to divide things up into 7 categories and I would pray a different category each day of the week! This is the truth. I am not making it up.
Then one day in 1970, a young girl who was coming to a youth outreach we had back then, got pregnant, she was maybe 15/16, just beginning to seek to know God, devastated for a zillion reasons and I experienced the burden of the Lord for the very first time. I found myself weeping for her, full of compassion, felt a love for her I had never experienced before and started crying out to God for her..... the next day she had a gentle miscarriage and was no longer pregnant.
As I became more and more aware of His anointing, the power of prayer, the incredible things God would do by my simply asking Him...I began to think how I must have a little bit to do with that. That progressed to a lot a bit to do with that until I knew I was God's man of faith and power for the hour!
The anointing left, the power left, the intimacy with Him left and the saddest part was that I didn't get it..... I just moved into the blame shifting mode and it all became your problem... you just didn't believe hard enough, didn't have enough faith, must be clinging to some sin you wouldn't give up, whatever....is that sick or what? It is so real in our religious systems, I cannot tell you....and I was on the top of the list of the Pharisees!
The Lord is merciful. I am glad all that baloney is all in the past and washed clean by the blood of Jesus. I am excited about the intimacy I have with Him, an intimacy that seems to increase each day I walk and talk with Him in this garden where He has placed me.
Today, I have a board full of pictures on my office wall ...... pictures of people the Lord has placed in my life. Each day in my daily prayer I ask Him to bring to mind anyone He wants me to pray specifically for...is there anything or anyone Lord? Just tell me. And He does!
That is a whole lot different than an endless list of names/situations to rattle off every day. It comes out of time with Him. It's out of relationship... intimacy. Oh....by the by....He now, once again, gives me His burden every once in a while too. It happened just the other day as a matter of fact. I'll tell you about that in my next posting.
Who knows.....you may just get the burden of the Lord!