By John Miltenberger
I was blessed to sit in church Wednesday, 11/1/2017, and hear my son-in-law and my daughter give their testimony. That alone is a situation to be envied by many, and I was well aware of it! But the point of this essay is found in what they said, and how God spoke through them, because it’s important to train our ears to recognize His voice.
Through the years I’ve heard God speak in many ways, and to be candid, I’ve no doubt missed hearing Him more often than not. Good thing He’s eternally patient with His kids! Books, a few of them worthwhile, have been written setting forth how to hear from God, but it should be said that no book, no teaching and no sermon can take the place of actually hearing from God ourselves. It has been said that a man with experience will never be at the mercy of a man with a doctrine, and within biblical guidelines that’s true.
There was a time, not that many years ago, that I told my wife if my son-in-law were to show up in my driveway, I’d probably just have to shoot him – and I was not exaggerating. My daughter’s marriage was not just on the rocks, those rocks were jagged and unrelenting. Shortly after that comment to my wife, she and I began to pray, seriously pray for my daughter, her children and my son-in-law. We did not consciously sit down and pray because it was the right thing to do, we simply forgave my son-in-law, because that was the right thing to do, and then we prayed for their marriage.
There are prayers that seem to be just prayers, maybe most of them, then there are prayers that immediately morph into an adventurous journey, and I don’t think we have the choice which ones become which ones, but God knows what is needed. And as we prayed, mostly separately and unknown to each other, we both began journeys we highly value today. At the conclusion of our independent adventures in prayer for these two, I knew my son-in-law would live; my wife knew my daughter’s marriage would be healed. This was not a quickie fix, and our prayers spanned many months.
Indeed, my son-in-law did not self-destruct, and their marriage was transformed from a hellish, agonizing thing into a marriage that shouts for all to hear, “God did this! This is what God can do!!” I find myself in a weird position today, for I am in total shock, in a good way, and totally envious in another. Every time I see these two once broken, wasted lives, I see the very life God promised to become in the lives of His children. Honestly, I know it’s a fact, but I don’t really understand it, but then, I don’t have to, for He works in His own ways. He doesn’t work miracles so we will understand them; He works them so we can see Him.
So to restart at the beginning, here’s what I heard God say to me Wednesday night, and He said it through both my son-in-law (a true prophet), and my daughter (warrior to the core)…they said the answer to all their problems came when they both realized:
“ALL I WANT IS GOD!”
Today, two days later, I finally began to digest those five little words. As I prayed and meditated on them, their significance became clear…Mack truck clear! They hit deep, until I heard the voice inside those words I should have heard Wednesday. God was telling me, and you, if you’re willing to hear it, that if we allow our spirits to live inside those five words, nothing else will ever cause us to succumb to circumstances, be in lack, be sick, be discouraged, be damaged, and on and on… Nothing. If we can say, and mean it from deep within, “All I want is God.”, God Himself will invoke these promises quoted from the last three verses of Psalm 91, in our lives:
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high. Because he has known My Name, he shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and (I will) honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and (I will) show him My salvation.”
I call those the eight “I wills” of God, and they become ours if we base our lives completely and irrevocably on those five little words: “ALL I WANT IS GOD.”
This is no secret and no mystery, and it’s only hidden from those who don’t want to find it. God is real, and He is really good. When we give Him all of us, He stands ready, willing and able to give us all of Himself.
From my house to yours, “ALL I WANT IS GOD.”
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