As a teen, I used to be and still is very touched and amazed by a particular prayer of saint Francis even though I did not know much about who saint Francis was.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
I would ponder in my heart, wondering who would have such pure hearts seeking to console than to be consoled, to understand thant to be understood, etc. It is definitely a prayer of one who clearly identifies with the death of Christ and could easily echo along with Paul, "It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me..."
When I go through circumstances which really reduce me to nothing, I would cringe and be upset. But, I hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit saying, "have you not prayed to decrease and Jesus to increase in your life?"
How funny, isn't it? Many at times, we were so sincere when consecrating ourselves before God and making prayers like "I decrease and You increase". How does God answer such prayers but to allow circumstances where our self and flesh would experience the crucifying pain of death? Sometimes, God answers our prayers by arranging circumstances that cause or seem to cause our reputation to be worthless or causing us to be unnoticed and ignored by people around us. Would we welcome such circumstances in our lives and say "Yes, Lord. I die this momoent. And I die daily. It's not about me, it's all about You."
He desires truth in the inward parts
Sometimes, we do not know our own hearts until God reveals it to us through trying circumstances in life. We would claim to be sincere and truthful but it would only be so until we have truly undergone His tests in this life.
It was not until Abrahim was in the act of nearly stabbing Isaac to death that God intervened and said that now it's clear that Abraham feared God and would obey Jehovah God to the point of sacrificing his one and only son.
Our God is a holy God. He is true and righteous. And He longs for His Bride and His children to share in His divine nature. No, He is not like the Liar who would take advantage of such circumstances in life to condemn us. Not only is our God holy, He is also a compassionate, loving High Priest who understands our nature. He reveals our hearts not to condemn us but to draw us to Himself. There is no need to despair when we come under the glorious Light of God. We can always run to the Strong Tower who is our Refuge and in Him, when we are weak then we are strong.
God is raising a new company of His end-time army. Doubtless to say, this army will be very powerful and equipped with His precious anointing, with signs and wonders following. However, these carriers of God's presence and power can qualify to be a part of this company when their lives are so transparent before Him that there is not even a tiny blot of darkness within. Rather, this company of God's army will allow the love, light and holiness of the Lord of Hosts to shine through their lives. Can you see the rising of this company? Can you see this glorious Bride of Christ? The golden light of God shine through them and dispell the powers of darkness wherever their feet would tread. Hallelujah! Come forth army of God!!
Father God, as you are preparing and birthing forth this glorious Bride, this company of end-time warriors, let me yield myself to you and allow you to complete your works of grace in my life for I long to be a part of Your glorious destiny. Let my prayer still be "let me decrease and You increase". Amen.