Sometimes I pray the most effectively when I don't use any words. My sighing tells God that I am feeling broken or exhausted. And when He hears my sighs, He breathes on me anew and fills me.
Sometimes, though, I am not meant to be comforted by God. Sometimes He has to provoke me...to stand. It might be required of me to put on a rather militaristic uniform of conviction and begin an uprising of sorts. I have to take a stand. I have to lift my chin in defiance of what would take me down- whether that's fear, discouragement, or lack of vision. Instead of flailing my arms and quoting a bunch of Scripture, I will, instead, eye my enemy with a look of "You're not going to win here, bucko" and then just stand there. I may stand in the middle of the living room, silently, with the dog giving me a glance of confusion. Then he'll sigh and go back to sleep. (Harry, my dog, may need to learn a bit about having a warrior spirit, but that will have to be another matter I tackle later).
I went to bed, last night, reading John Maxwell's book, Talent is Not Enough- which probably wasn't a good idea. Great book, wrong time to read it. The book has sound instruction regarding initiating, focusing, preparing, persevering...but it fails to inspire me. I just don't get inspired to return to "the fight" through instructions and details about how to execute the steps leading to success and potential realized.
If John Maxwell appeared on my door step with the words, "Congratulations! You've won a day with me- the premier Christian Leadership Expert in the U.S.! Now what would you like to talk about or learn from me?"- this is what I would do.
I would invite him in, make a pot of hot tea, set the table with my favorite mismatched china- colorful and cheerful. I'd put pumpkin muffins on the table that I retrieved from the freezer, light an apple spice candle, and pour the tea. Then I'd look him in the eye and say this:
"I appreciate the information in the book. Now please tell me about a time in your life when what you knew in your head wasn't enough to help your heart. Tell me about a time when information and strategy failed, and yet you received 'a word' to go on."
If he didn't know what I meant, I would share about the times when God sent me a word, so that I would "know the word that sustains the weary". (Isaiah 50:4) Call it a prophetic word. Call it a word of counsel and insight.
At every major turning point in my life, there's usually been something I heard in the back of my head, a quiet phrase of lucidity that resounded in my darkness. Sometimes it's not even a phrase, or a sentence. Sometimes it's just one word.
The word for me, right now, is Satisfaction. Sounds carnal or selfish, at first. But Scripture resounds with this concept of God's people being satisfied in- and only because of-Him.
"For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness." Ps. 107:9
Yes, He satisfies- and when He does, it's like a refueling. At least it's a refueling of the things that should be refueled. When He satisfies us "with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's"(Ps. 103:5) what are you going to do with that sense of renewed youth?
Satisfaction leads to action. You decide to go back to the fight, to take on that mountain after all. Or maybe you decide to get off the mountain that you were encircling for too long. One mountain we should never stay on is the mountain of frustration. There's a principle clearly defined in the Scriptures- the man who works his field will be satisfied with bread. The One who looks to God will be satisfied. The one who comes empty, to His throne, will go away filled.
"To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" Ephesians 3: 19 tells us, referring to how God satisfies us. He satisfies us by filling us up. God's objective? "That you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
The word in Greek is pleroma- meaning full number, full complement, full measure, plenitude. My commentary, describing this fullness, gives the example of "a ship with a full cargo, a town with no empty houses."
Or in my case, I would describe it this way-
"A Woman with all her marbles. She's satisfied, and ready to go on."