One of the caveats of God answering the prayers of being used by Him was that there was a price to be paid. The “more” of God always has a price tag. God will always give you the grace and empowerment needed to pay the price, but it does not change the fact that it is still costly.
That cost is always the same. It is suffering. We might not suffer the same thing or in the same way. Suffering will come in many different forms and waves, but pain is still pain regardless. There was something about the pains I have faced that has allowed God to do His deepest and finest work in me and then through me. It was messy at times and brutal at others. Yet His mercy carried me forth each and every time.
When I prayed those prayers as a new Christian, I never knew that it would cost as much as it did. Just as olives are crushed for oil to flow, it was the suffering that released the anointing in my life. When I saw how God used my pains to bring healing to others, there was no denying that suffering was part of the cost.
Yet suffering without the cross reduces God to an evil dictator rather than a loving Redeemer. But there were times when, through the lens of my experiences, I thought that in order to reach a new level of anointing, it meant I had to suffer more pain. That wrong thinking made me believe that I had to suffer even more loss if I wanted to be used powerfully by God. It made me feel that God was so unfair, that He has used me enough. This was as far as I was willing to go because I didn’t know if I could endure any more suffering than I already had.
That’s when at a conference God met me powerfully and broke off that lie. It was fear that kept me from wanting more of God and more of His anointing and to be used more powerfully. I was afraid of what it would cost me. I was afraid of what “God might put me through”. Yet He reminded me that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). I no longer had to be afraid because He loved me perfectly and was a good Father.
Apart from that revelation and truth, we are stuck fending for ourselves. We set a parameter of how far God can take us because there is a cost. It makes us cling to comfort rather than a Comforter. I remember in those moments that my spirit wanted to be used by God more powerfully than ever before, but my heart and flesh was afraid of what I might have to face for that to happen. That fear will make you camp around what you know God can do rather than venture forth to the more He has.
God, I choose this day to say “yes” to perfect love and “no” to fear. There is a cost, but because You paid the greatest cost, Your Spirit is empowering and partnering with me. The rewards always outweigh the cost. So I say boldly once again, “God, use me. Whatever the cost. Whatever the price. Use me powerfully for Your name.”