June 26, 2009
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
Isaiah 45:3 (NLT)
Secrets. Riches. Mysteries. Treasures. These words bring spine-tingling excitement. Around the world, Pirates of the Caribbean became an unexpected blockbuster movie. The Indiana Jones DVD series, after over twenty years, sells consistently as a top gift item. Adventure novels prevail in the bestselling book lists. The hope of finding treasure enthralls us.
This applies to followers of Christ as well. We read in Matthew 13:44, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field” (NLT). When I read this verse, it makes me ponder the last time I felt excitement over the kingdom of God. To be truthful, my excitement is usually based on the “performance” of God in answering my prayers.
However, the Lord doesn’t promise to answer every one of our prayers as we expect. But He does promise to reveal treasures hidden in darkness. Sometimes our seemingly unanswered prayers are the secret riches that God wants to reveal to us. It reminds me of lines from the old Garth Brooks’ song, Unanswered Prayers. “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers…Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”
Instead of acknowledging this truth about prayer, I find myself waiting and watching for the expected results of my prayers. What I should be doing is seeking God for who He is. God told the patriarch Abram, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward” (Genesis 15:1, NIV, emphasis added). So God, Himself, is the great treasure that I need to unearth. He has promised we will find Him when we search for him with an intentional attitude. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, NIV).
Today I desire to change my shallow-hearted expectations of God. I want to seek Him and His Kingdom as if I am an explorer on a treasure hunt. Right now, I choose to know God, seek Him, and treasure Him.
Dear Lord, teach me to search for the hidden riches of Your Kingdom. Help me to seek You with an excited heart. Remind me that the answers to my prayers are only the beginning of a relationship with You --You are the treasure! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Birds in My Mustard Tree by Susanne Scheppmann
The Character of God: Understanding His Heart for Us by Brian T. Anderson and Glynnis Whitwer
Today when you pray, intentionally ask God to reveal Himself to you in a new way. Ask Him to reveal to you “treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches.” Begin a journal of God’s revelations of Himself to you.
Am I disappointed when my prayers are not answered in the way I expect?
How can I better search for the secrets and treasures of God’s Kingdom?
Do I believe that the Lord is the greatest treasure?
Colossians, 2:2-3, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (NIV)
Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105