If you were to ask what God is teaching me of late in The School of Prayer, I would have to share with you the following individualized course of study.
School of Prayer
HOW TO BE HAPPY
Post Grad Cerficate Program
1. FORGIVENESS 101:
Set yourself free from the prison of unforgiveness. You are really no better than anyone else. Your sin nature is capable of every bit as much evil as anyone else's sin nature. We have all fallen short of God's glory. Short of his glory is short of his glory. A little short is of just as much consequence as a great deal short. Forgive because whatever has been done to you (just like everything you have done to others) has been fully paid for. God, the Father exacted the price of full justice for the sin perpetrated against you (and by you) on the back of his own Son. Isaiah 53 says, "He was pleased to crush him..." Pleased. To crush his own son. For what was done to you, and for what was done by you... Forgive. It's not that hard when you take an honest look at yourself and acknowledge how much God and others have needed to forgive you.
2. GRATITUDE 101:
Be grateful. In Christ Jesus we are lacking in nothing. Remember this: "...The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..." and tell your heart to get in line with that fact. Whatever your circumstances, you can choose to focus on what you have, and leave off thinking about what you think you don't have. No matter how bad things get, my mother used to say, there is always someone worse off than you. Gratitude is an attitude that frees your heart to sing - even in the rain. Especially in the rain. "Rejoice! I will say it again, rejoice!" Phil. 4:4
3. TRUST AND OBEY 101:
Trust the Lord to direct your paths - every minute of every hour; every hour of every day. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths..." Prov 3:5,6. When there's more to do than is humanly possible, if the task is God-sized, then trust that he will guide your steps to accomplish and complete whatever is most important to him. You can't do it all, but you can do what is pleasing to the Father in this good day, this week, this year. Trust him to show you which stepping stones to land on to get you safely through the river of pressing needs. Trust him and just do it. He will direct your steps and get you where he wants you to be, accomplishing what he wants you to get done.
4. DELIVERANCE 101
Claim your deliverance. "Whom the son has set free is free indeed". John 8:36 It's done. It's accomplished. Don't wait for deliverance to come to you as though it is something that hasn't happened yet or as though it is something you have to 'feel' first in order to be able to act upon. You can choose the right thing, the righteous thing, right now, in this moment, in this situation, because Christ has set you free to be able to do so. Deliverance isn't something that happens so much instantaneously, as something that needs to be walked out choice by choice, decision by decision, moment by moment. Deliverance is something you choose to do. I'm choosing this because I am delivered. I'm not doing that because I am delivered. It's not something you do because you necessarily want to, or because you feel like it right now, but because Christ has set you free to do it.
5. DYING TO SELF 101:
Get over yourself. It's really not about "you". Drop worrying about what you are or are not getting out of any given situation and/or relationship. Instead pick up on what God has placed you here to give. Listen for the beating of his heart, and think on what He has brought you here to deliver to the person whose face you're looking into right now... And then give it with all your heart. Live for God's pleasure - for the affirmation and approval that comes only from him; and forget about trying to acquire it from others.
There's no happiness like that which comes from knowing your obedience has brought some tiny little measure of joy to your Father. Want to be happy in your heart? Live to please him; his joy will overtake you. And it's the very best kind - the only kind - of joy to have.