One of the greatest secrets to intimacy with God is to come to Him as your only source of help and hope. “Lord, in this situation I have no Plan B—no other options to default to if You don’t come through. You are the only one who can help me!” He loves it when you look to Him alone for deliverance. And the inverse is also true: His jealousy is kindled when we entertain other saviors.
The Lord scoffed at the idolatry of the children of Israel by pointing to the vain hope that a block of wood offered:
He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak; he secures it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it. Then it shall be for a man to burn, for he will take some of it and warm himself; yes, he kindles it and bakes bread; indeed he makes a god and worships it; he makes it a carved image, and falls down to it. He burns half of it in the fire; with this half he eats meat; he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” They do not know nor understand; for He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. And no one considers in his heart, nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it; and shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside; and he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” (Isaiah 44:14-20).
As I was meditating in this passage, the Lord gave me a definition of a false god. This definition helps me because even though in our westernized culture there are very few people who actually worship figures of wood or stone, we too have our own false gods. In the passage, the Lord describes the idolaters as saying to their block of wood, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” So a god is defined as this: anything to which we ascribe the power to deliver us.
Westerners have their own set of false gods—sources to which they turn for deliverance when in times of crisis or need (let the reader understand):
•Retirement plans and IRA’s
•Credit cards/consolidation loans
•Friends (to deliver us from loneliness)
These other saviors campaign for our allegiance. Everywhere we turn, the gods of our culture are promoting their powers. Television commercials promote the many alternatives for relief: “Try me! Let me heal your pain. I am your answer. Look no further. Come to me, and I will deliver you.”
Something dynamic happens in your spirit when you look at some of those sources of deliverance and say, “No! God, You alone are my Deliverer!” Not only is your own spirit tenderized through such singular affection, but the response of the Father in the way He moves upon your heart is quite without parallel.
God-worshipers are those who come to God first in their time of need. They seek God’s face and wait on Him to receive directives for the course to take. The secret place becomes the threshold where we wait upon God, seeking His powerful intervention, and crying out to Him for wisdom and revelation.
Occasionally, the Spirit will say to you, “In this instance, I want you to wait on Me only and stand in faith until I intervene sovereignly in your situation.” When God gives you this word, then fasten your seatbelt! You are in for the ride of your life. You are stepping into the God zone. Here we find the stuff of miracles. This is the dimension where God rises up in His wrath and vengeance and wreaks havoc upon your enemies. Your role is to gaze upon Him, love Him, and grow in patience and faith; His role is to loose resurrection power in His time and way. Not every crisis you face falls into this category, but when it does…get excited! You’re taking the high road of the greatest saints of history, the pathway where God reveals the power of His arm, the splendor of His majestic beauty, and the awesomeness of His eternal purposes.
It is toward this glorious dimension that David pointed:
My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:5-8).
As I write this chapter, I am personally in great need of divine intervention in regard to a physical infirmity. I have been tempted to consider some other avenues of relief, such as those listed above. But instead, I have said to the Lord, “You only are my Helper. If You don’t save me, I am not saved. If You don’t heal me, I am not healed. If You don’t deliver me, I am not delivered. I have no other recourse, no Plan B, no alternative plan. I am not entertaining other options. It’s You and You alone. I worship You. You are my God!”
This is the “single eye” to which Jesus pointed. Jesus said, “‘If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light’” (Matthew 6:22). The old King James Version says, “If therefore thine eye be single.” Whether translated “good” or “single,” the original Greek word means to be void of duplicity, to have singularity of focus. When your eye is focused on God alone as your Savior and Deliverer, you open to the fullness of light He destines to fill your entire being.
This singular focus is what David prayed for: “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11). By praying, “Unite my heart,” David was saying, “Lord, give me an undivided heart, a single focus that sees only You as the sovereign power to be feared and worshiped.”
In my experience, I have found that the Lord will test us to see if we truly own this reality. He will allow a great storm to descend upon our lives for a strategic purpose. Our natural reflex will be to find a source of immediate relief. We tend to explore all our options.
Is it possible, though, that this storm has come to guide you into a higher dimension of kingdom living? Oh, I hope you can learn the secret: When the storm hits, run into the secret place, establish your spirit, and say to Him with unwavering resolve, “You alone are my expectation.” Our God loves to prove Himself strong on behalf of those who have no other gods before Him.