I’m Not Staying There…. I Am Resting on God’s Word

I heard God tell me what his purpose was for my life.  So naturally, I want to be about his business and move towards it . However, I recently encountered yet another setback on the journey toward God’s purpose for my life.  This is not exactly new territory for me. I have been in this place before. When this latest roadblock appeared, I felt the despair seeping in. Then I thought “wait, you know what he can do. You know what he has already done  for you. You also know what he told you. You know what he gave you to do. ” 

No matter what rocks, boulders, or stones the enemy throws on my path; I know that God has mapped out a  plan for my life. Ultimately, he is in control. I know what he has given me to do and I am determined to live and walk in his purpose for my life. I have to rest in the fact that God has infinite wisdom and he knows how to orchestrate time and events for a given purpose. 

I have to be reminded to move out of the way and let him lead. I cannot move ahead of him. I must also be reminded that there is a purification and refining process that has to take place in order to get to my purpose in God. I have to rest in the knowledge that he knows best about everything, including time. Not right now does not mean not ever. Especially when he told me what his purpose was for me.  

It becomes a matter of gaining the wisdom to see the difference between God’s truths and Satan’s lies. Satan knows the word as well and he is so subtle that  it can be easy to fall into his trap. So I am purposely seeking God through this. I can’t allow Satan to pull me away into the darkness of despair. My focus has to be about staying in Christ. My focus has to be on praising his name, in spite of my circumstances. These roadblocks are devices that Satan uses to try to knock me off of the path that God has laid for me . It will get harder and hotter along the way, but I am choosing to trust in what I know for sure. I hear Satan trying to call me to despair and discouragement. I’m not staying there. I am going to rest on God’s word instead.

I Know I’m Not The Only One

 As I stated in an earlier post , I have not arrived but I am ever becoming.  I know that I will not arrive until I hear those infamous heavenly words ” well done thy good and faithful servant.” Until that time, I will be stretched, pulled, bent, and twisted on this journey. With that said, at times I have “unique feelings” about the Christian journey. I often wonder about some Christians who appear to have it all together to the point of looking down their nose on others. Allow me to expound on that.

There are times I encounter certain Christians and it is always “praise God” or quoting scriptures after every other word. What’s  ironic is that those same individuals could never reach me where I was. It seemed they could never identify with what I was going through at the time. Whenever I turned to them for advice or direction, I felt a coldness. It felt as if they were too lofty for little old me. I often left feeling even more alone than before I met with them.

I often said within myself, surely they weren’t always “this together”. Have they ever felt empty sitting in church? Have they ever felt indifferent? How did they overcome complacency? Have they ever felt angry at the seemingly unfair judgments of God?  How did they get their confidence in God’s promises? But when I would try to ask for a personal testimony of how they felt inside while going through, they always seem to avoid that part and expound on typical Christian cliches.

I started seeing things in the body of Christ that were contrary to what it said in the bible. I read in the bible in Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith”. I also read in Romans 12:16 “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”

I also read the various accounts of Christ’s ministry when he came to earth in the flesh. He always had the ability to reach people where they were. He associated with people that were not exactly the “choice” people of the day. He could also identify because he was met with all the things we face such as temptation, sorrow, weariness, etc.

Here is my personal testimony for getting through these “sour feelings”. I am honest with God about the less than favorable feelings I feel. He already knows so why pretend? I also tell him how I don’t want to feel that way whether it is anger towards someone, using profanity, acting ugly, overcoming addictions, feeling complacent or indifferent on the Christian journey,etc. I ask him to take it away from me or give me the grace that is needed to go through it. I ask him for the grace to accept his will.

 I go deep with God because I desire a  deep and meaningful relationship with him. I don’t want pretense. It is not a bed of roses.  What I am learning is that when you decide that you want to go deeper in your relationship with Christ, attacks of every kind intensifies. I am also learning  that when I truly seek answers from him he shows himself in a mighty way.

He started sending fellow Christians my way that were unlike the ones I spoke of earlier. They could identify with what I was experiencing. They could reach me where I was because they had been there and did not mind sharing their experiences, raw emotions and all. I saw such rich lights  illuminating from them. There was so much substance in the words they spoke.

God also starting revealing himself to me personally through his word. He revealed that his chosen prophets had doubts, did not obey, lost their way, etc. He revealed that Jesus himself could identify with my trials. That always blows my mind. It is then that I know his word is true. It is then that I know that I’m not the only one.

The Empty Christian Life, Who Knew of Such A Thing?

When I first decided to live for Christ, the spiritual high I felt was nothing short of sheer ecstasy.  I was so enthusiastic about living and working for the Lord. Things were going pretty well. As usual, there were a few trials that came along the way.

I sought the only solution I knew, which was Jesus. He worked it out. I said thank you and life moved on. Wow! I thought what a wonderful formula. Then the trials started coming more frequently and more heavily. They also stayed a lot longer. The assurance and confidence I felt inside slipped away from me. I fought to hold on through “surface”faith and will power.

The fire I had within was suddenly extinguished. I could no longer feel the warmth that flooded my soul. It was replaced by a cold and numb feeling. I knew where to turn to make this feeling go away. But I was so empty and listless that I could not pray. I could not talk to HIM or read the Word. I simply could not move beyond the despair.

Even while sitting in church services, I felt empty. I saw the spirit moving and wished I could grab hold to just a little. But it passed right over me. So I did the only thing I knew to do. I asked God to come back to me. I asked him to help me. I wanted to feel him again. I leaned on him while I felt empty. Revelations came strong as he started speaking to me.

He told me that he never left me. I just took my focus away from him and onto my circumstances. I allowed life to block my view of him. He also planted in my spirit the scripture where Peter momentarily walked on the water (Matthew 14:28-31). When he focused on Jesus he walked on the water. When he saw the boisterous winds he was afraid and began to sink.

Another revelation was given to me while sitting in a church service. While sitting through a sermon that was drowned by the emptiness I felt inside, the preacher said something that hit me like a freight train.

He stated “God is not always in the sensational, but he is in the still small voice”. I knew then that God was calling me to another level of maturity on this Christian journey. Growth is usually not a walk in the park. There is a lot of twisting, stretching and pulling. But it is a necessary component to bring me to the purpose that God has for my life. I have not arrived, I am ever becoming.

 I have to  remain plugged into the power source that is Jesus. He tells us in his word that he wants us to abide in him (Matthew 15: 4-10). Whenever I remember the feeling of emptiness,  I see the importance of abiding in him. It will overcome emptiness every single time.

Moving and Growing Through Disappointment

Life can create a series of blows to our character and spirit. We encounter many issues on the journey. Some of which can be devastating to our inner person. We experience loss, grief, rejection, and many other negative responses. These seemingly earth shattering events can take us out; if we allow it.

There are things that we can do to overcome the despair. The following suggestions can be used to move and grow through the disappointment.

1. Have awareness- We should be in tuned with ourselves and our emotions. We must take full ownership of them.

2. Process properly-Processing our emotions should be done  in stages.

  • We should allow ourselves to grieve, feel hurt, feel displaced, feel rejected, etc.  We must be honest with ourselves about our true feelings. However, we shouldn’t remain in that place.
  • Be objective while participating in self assessment. We should give ourselves a hard and honest talk but shouldn’t embrace the “woe is me” approach. Now is not the time to have a pity party.
  • Embrace optimism and positivity with passion and purpose.

3. Deposit- Despite what we feel we have lost or don’t receive, we should sow into the lives of others.

  • Pray  for ourselves. Pray that God remove resentment and bitterness from our spirit.
  • Pray for those that have hurt us with the love of Christ. It is especially helpful to pray at the onset of a disappointment to keep bitterness from setting in.
  • Don’t expect reciprocation. This may prove a very difficult principle. However, by learning to give without expecting anything in return we can love freely without conditions. Thus, enlarging our investment in love and joy.
  • Give of ourselves with joy. When our spirits get low we should immerse ourselves in God’s word, which will produce his love and positivity within us. This will also silence the lies that Satan can plant in our spirit.

Disappointment can prove to be uncomfortable. If we choose to use God’s tools and fight through with determination we’ll see the bright side of life. We will also be the better for it.