In the Valley

I’ve been reading (for the 2nd time) a book by Tozer called Alive in the Spirit. He wrote something that stood out to me concerning the person of the Holy Spirit and how we miss the point when we don’t seek out a relationship with Him. We ask for the gifts of the Spirit like tongues, prophecy, healings etc, but we don’t seek intimacy with the Giver of those gifts Himself. Please don’t misunderstand me. I get excited about the gifts. It’s wonderful to see God at work and even better when we experience those gifts ourselves. But what I need most is simply a closeness to Him.

When we seek to commune with the Holy Spirit, himself, we have a steady companion in life. We have One that walks with us in the valleys as well as brings us up to the mountain top experiences. When we seek to know Him without any agenda but to know Him, we begin to recognize Him even in our hardest of days. We can point His voice out in the silence and in the noise. We begin to love Him. When we love Him, we look forward to the time just spent in the silence with Him. I can be downstairs and can differentiate the differences in footstep and voice of my family. I know how to recognize them. I can sit in the silence with them and just enjoy being with them even in the hard times because I love them. This is how I believe the Holy Spirit wants to be for us. Yes, He gives us those gifts…they are important for our faith and for our church, but if we have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit Himself, it doesn’t matter whether or not we are experiencing the mountain top moments, we are steadied by Him just the same. Our walk is constant because He sets the pace when we walk with Him. 

I think this is very much the same in our praise. We need those high moments, we really do. Our praise should also reflect those moments, but our praise is the deepest and also the most sacrificial in the lowest of moments…in those valleys. The Holy Spirit steadies us in both. We don’t have to fluctuate with the highs and the lows. I just want to stop right now and point out that our emotions are not bad. We have them for a reason. They shouldn’t dictate our worship, though. Praise Him in the best times and praise Him through your tears. Praise Him when you can see Him at work and praise Him when He doesn’t seem to be anywhere at all. The Holy Spirit enables us to do these things. 

I don’t remember the name of a missionary, but the story I have never forgotten. He was being led away, by the people he was trying to share the gospel with, to be executed. His wife held captive being forced to watch. I can’t think of any lower of a valley in life for both of them. It still hurts me to think of it. This missionary being led to certain death went singing a worship song all the way to  his last breath. His wife clapping her hands in tears singing right along with him. While heartbreaking and honestly, I never want to have that kind of experience, that story assures us the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and how walking with Him daily lengthens our stride and strengthens our steps. 

So we sing. So we thank Him. Regardless of where we find ourselves at this moment. I find it freeing that my breath isn’t restricted to only crying. That my breath can be used to praise Him through my tears. My hands aren’t only able to raise when I am doing wonderful, but they can be raised with only the white flag of surrender and sacrifice. 

One other thought before I finish here, if you have ever been on a mountain peak, you know it’s only for a short time. The walk in the valley is much longer. However, it’s the valley that is usually the most fertile for growth and fruit.  I have found this to be true physically and spiritually in life. 

Everything dims compared to the light of just WHO He is and that He chooses to be with me and walk with me. What a wonderful gift that we have in the Lord? When we have Him, we have everything. He is what sustains us. He is what brings us to the other side. 

~ Janean

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