“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth
in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”
– 2 Chronicles 16:9 –
In particular, look at how God uses “the process of 7”
on the uncertain, unknown, uphill side of victory and spiritual breakthrough.
These prolonged seasons of unresolved challenge are a reminder
that school is in session – a test is being administered by our Father in heaven.
I simply call it “the worship test”.
Here are three examples:
Elijah & His Servant – 1 Kings 18
but the promise of provision came from the Lord to Elisha . . rain is coming . . but when??
Elijah would turn to the Lord in prayer on the top of Mt. Carmel
and then ask his servant to go and look towards the sea to determine if there was any sign of rain . .
but to no avail.
This process would repeat 6 more times Only on the 7th time did the servant notice a tiny little cloud.
A “terrific” rainstorm soon ensued – the drought was busted.
The Worship Test?
God was looking for fervency in prayer – fervency that can only be demonstrated
in relentless perseverance and pursuit of the throne of God
when nothing in our circumstances resembles breakthrough.
Naaman & The Jordan River – 2 Kings 5
Elisha’s messenger pointed the leprosy-stricken cure-seeking General Naaman towards the Jordan River
where he would need to wash himself . . you guessed it . . 7 times,
to find the healing and relief he so desperately craved.
No prominent military commander is ever going to be comfortable with receiving directions
that lead to a virtual spin cycle – even worse if the circle you take leads
to the unimpressive muddy Jordan River as compared to
the fresh mountain-sourced clear-water streams back home.
The Worship Test?
God was looking for humility – humility that can only flow from a life that comes
to an utter and complete place of surrender to God’s ways, at God’s time, in God’s place.
Joshua, The Israelites & Jericho – Joshua 5
“I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.” Joshua 6:2
Add one not so small wrinkle: Joshua was tasked with the mission
of instructing the entire Jewish nation to go in circles for 7 days – even worse,
the 7th day would require 7 laps alone around Jericho . . and most importantly,
there was not to be one word spoken for the entire week until
the appointed moment for a corporate shout of victory.
Can you imagine where runaway conversation might have led the circling Israelites after Day 1 . .
or how about Day 6, knowing that nothing had happened
and tomorrow would mean more of the same times 7.
The Worship Test?
God was looking for trust – the kind of trust that wouldn’t even think of flinching in His presence
or scrambling in fear to take matters into one’s own hands.
but our times of deepest and most undiluted worship
are typically far removed from a programmed environment.
How we “sing our song”, especially including the melodies of relentless stubborn prayer,
undivided surrender and steady quiet trust, on the unresolved side of a major life challenge,
will reveal once and for all that you have discovered and embraced
God’s chosen chapel for the soul.
Hungry for tenacious faith?
“Father help me to stand strong in persistent prayer that comes from a right heart –
the kind of prayer that has great power and produces wonderful results.”
– James 5:16 –
Ready to win the war on pride?
“Father I choose today to humble myself before You, knowing
You and only You can restore my soul and heal my diseases for your glory and honor.”
– James 4:10 –
Desperate for a breakthrough in your Divine “trust-factor”?
“Father, help me in this time of challenge to first and foremost be still, and know
that You are the only true God whose mighty hand of victory
will command honor throughout the world. Amen”
– Psalm 46:10 –
How is God encouraging you today?