“I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe.” — Smith Wigglesworth
1. We pray, and we break through.
2. We have obtained in the spiritual realm, and it is really ours.
3. But … it takes a while before we see it tangibly manifest in our earthly realm.
I know. You probably didn’t want to hear that. I don’t care for it, either, but an awful lot of the time, that’s the way it works.
By faith deep in our spirit, we receive the answer to our petition — a change for the better in a relationship, the salvation of a loved one, or perhaps financial relief. We’ve endured through the prayer process, and then at some point we suddenly have a feeling inside that a shift has taken place, that the answer is ours. But it doesn’t immediately drop out of the sky. It takes a few days or weeks for the relationship challenge to look any different. God assures us that our prayers have been heard for the prodigal loved one, and that he’s coming home to the Father — but all of a sudden he starts living more wildly out of control than he has at any time up until now. We know, that we know, that we know the finances are going to show up on time — but we still find ourselves barely hanging on by our fingernails until the very last moment of the eleventh hour.
The transition time between breaking through in prayer and receiving the tangible answer is the season of faith. As we mature in intercession and in our understanding of God’s utterly faithful nature, we get better at staying steady during this waiting season. Through years of walking out a life of prayer, we build up a storehouse of many experiences of seeing God come through for us, and when we’re in the middle of a tough time, we can deliberately encourage ourselves with remembrances of how He was always faithful in the past. But when you’re first getting some experience under your belt, the season of faith can be a rather wobbly time — even if you really did sense that you broke through. There is the temptation to do a lot of self questioning and second guessing: “I thought I heard God say it is done, but did He really say that, or did I make it up?”
Old-time prayer warriors used to say of that moment when they knew in their spirit-man that they had obtained, that they had “prayed through.” They could stop interceding and stand quietly in faith, because they just knew it was all over — even though they didn’t see it yet with their physical eyes.
Some people are supernaturally graced with great faith from the moment of their salvation. For those of us who are not, it is still possible to develop such deep faith that what we see with our spiritual eyes is far more real to us than what is presenting itself to our physical eyes. It usually takes much prayer and much time immersed in the Word of God to reach that level of maturity, but I do believe the Lord wants to take each of us there.
Next time I’m going to tell the story of my first experience of “praying through” and the season of faith that followed. If you’ve ever felt like you were not the brightest bulb when it comes to understanding how God works, that story is going to make you feel a whole lot better about yourself!