I would never be surprised if God answered an outright prayer in a positive way. For instance, his call to go into the world and seek souls lays heavy on my heart sometimes. Knowing that Christ provides the increase, if we plant the seeds in the hearts of seeking individuals, makes me aware of two things:
1. God bids us to plant the seeds by putting his Word out there. It is up to the Spirit to produce the harvest. But if I pray, "Lord, help me keep your commandment to go into the world," and someone comes knocking on my door, asking questions about getting to know God, to me, that is proof that he heard and answered my prayer.
2. If in due time, someone I am praying for confesses that they have accepted Christ, that is proof to me that the Holy Spirit is doing his job.
No one need know but myself and God that I have prayed or planted the seed, but if they do, it is a witness to God when there are results, so God sometimes wants people to know you are working according to his calling on your life - as a witness of His power on your life.
But, if there are things about which I do not pray, which remain the desires of my heart...and God provides those things - that is truly proof to me not only of God's existance, but his indwelling presence, and love.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:3-5.
Lately, I was missing my teenage grandson. He spent a lot of time in our home in his early years, but as with all teen boys, he is busy becoming a man. So lately it had remained a desire of my heart to see him a more often.
He needs money to go to his prom, and getting a part time job has not worked out, so my husband ,who knows nothing of my heartfelt longing, offered to pay him for work we desparately needed help getting done. And so, I have been able to see him several days and spend quality time with him as we enjoyed some hard work together. And cook a meal and sit down to eat a time or two as well. God made a way to meet the desire of my heart.
I can't begin to tell you how often lately, God has done something that was just to give me pleasure. A gift, that met some hidden desire. Never spoken, just kept inside me. A gift from the Spirit who often proves he knows the depths of my heart.
If you look closely above at the picture, you will see a demonstration of just one more of those special things. One of the most difficult pictures to take sometimes, is a photo of the layer upon layer of mountains that you can see with your eyes. The camera always darkens the close hills into shadows, or lightens the distant sky to almost white. There are things you can do to make adjustments, like focusing far away and pressing the shutter halfway, then move the camera center to something nearer in the shot, and you can get some moderation. There are other things, like adjusting the source and angle of light, choosing specific times of day, etc. But one of my heart's desires was to discover a way to get those layers and layers of mountain hues of color, while keeping a nice shy and a clear foreground. Well, last week, one of God's rich blessings was to give me a circumstance that really showed off those ridges and kept the foreground light. It was snow on the mountains. Picture after picture showed every ridge, and valley distinctly outlined, with lovely distant skies and beautiful light foregrounds. And all I had to do was take the picture. There was one more thing that enhanced even that. How we found this place and the time we arrived were also God's blessing. Arriving there at optimum afternoon light, enriched not only the depth in the pictures, but my personal experience of the beauty. Like the nearly magical changing of colors, as the sun got lower along the ridgelines. The deepness of the shadows, made the glistening snow, on the tips of the tree branches, simply glow.
The gifts that bring so much joy to me, will not be the same for someone else. Recognizing those gifts will however bring you closer to God each and every time. Like the precious hours I was gifted to spend with my grandson, the unique times when the spirit comes bringing gifts are precious too. Much more than proof he exists, they are proof he interacts. His presence is made real in his promise to give:
1: The fruit of the Spirit ~ When love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are awakened in me, I rest assured the Spirit is at work in my heart. Galations 5:22-23.
2:The Gifts of the Spirit ~ When I am given wisdom, knowlege, faith, healing, miracles, discernment, or any ablility to serve, I know that the Spirit is working through me, and that the gift I am given is especially for me, that I may do God's bidding. Not someone elses. I Corinthians 12
3: The desires of my heart ~ When I recieve something so unique to me, I know the Spirit is present and listening and loves me...and that he cares about the tiniest things in my life.
God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will. Hebrews 2:4
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: I Corinthians 12:4.
Thank you, Dear Savoir, for the Spiritual Gifts, that I may know you are working in my life and that you care enough to surprise me now and then with even the desires of my heart. You grow more real to me, every time you come bringing your precious gift. In Jesus Name, AMEN