Finding God

Let us be determined to look for God in all things at all times.” –Joyce

Sometimes the evidence that God is at work isn’t the blessings that fill life, but the struggles.

Sometimes the evidence that we are making progress, spiritually breaking ground and acquiring the victory, is the hours of turmoil; financial stress, emotional heaviness, mental battles and physical calamities that fall at exactly {what we perceive to be} the wrong times, or in those “random” moments.

The Lord said to me, “When I move into action, you will see your enemy’s reaction.

He spoke this to me too, “I tell you this so that you will not be taken by surprise, but be aware and be alert.  For what I AM doing will at first be unseen, before your eyes will be able to grasp all I have accomplished for you.

So often when turmoil stirs up the dust in life, it is easy to only see discomfort and unrest.  It is so easy to focus on how the enemy is reacting that we often forget to look for God.  To look At God.  

There are times when the blessing is that God is at work in such ways as to cause our enemy so much fear that he reacts – seeking to get us so caught up in his ways that we forget Who deserves our attention.

The blessing in these times is that we have an opportunity to express faith.  It isn’t what God is doing for us, but Who God is {what motivates Him to do on our behalf} that is critical.  His greatest desire being that He is known by us, in relationship with us; intimately engaging in knowing us.

As with any relationship on earth, there has to be a willingness to risk faith that a person is who they say they are as we get to know them in all kinds of circumstances.

 

Knowing the God who Created us intimately, being known by Him, will change this world.  It is this that our enemy fears.  He fears this because he knows the truth of who God is.  And, it is this truth that motivates him to manipulate, disguise, disrupt, even destroy, as much as he is allowed to  touch.

My prayer for myself, my family and for you, is that we take every opportunity, every circumstance, every challenge and hour of turmoil to risk faith in God being Who He says He is.  That in this way, as our enemy reacts to His actions on our behalf, we engage in relating with, knowing and being known by the God who created us and then loves us.  That the blessings that fill this life fill every moment, whether in calm or storm.

Chaos, Faith & Rejoicing

“Surly the Lord has done great things!  Don’t be afraid, my people. Be glad now, and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things.” Joel 2:21

There are a lot of things going right in my life at the moment. I have a few questions, and a couple pretty big decisions that have to be made.  And, of course there are things that could be easier.  However, today I can easily agree that the Lord has done great things!

But there were times in my life when things haven’t gone well – in fact, a lot worse than now.  Times when we lost a close family member, had to say good-bye to soon to an unborn babe, watched hopes die slowly before our eyes, spent months unemployed and then months under-employed. Days when we feared for the life of yet another unborn child… days of total and utter chaos, fear and even anger.  And, in those days I saw as far as ahead as my fear would let me; what next impending disaster awaits us?

This call in Joel 2:21, to remember that the Lord has done great things, to be glad “now” and to rejoice, came on the heals of a prophecy of devastation and a call to repentance from the Lord’s people.  It seems to be an instruction on how His people should respond to His promise of restoration, after He explained what would take place as a result of their evil.  The Lord’s people sinned, stubbornly refused to acknowledge their sin, hurt each other and caused natural consequences to follow in the wake of their choices.  The Lord called to them, begged them to return to Him and to stop the evil that ran rampant among them.  They refused, and He had to respond.  One final attempt to get their attention; a prophecy of impending disaster, another invitation to choose Him, and a reminder that He has already done great things.

Isn’t this how He still works today?  In the midst of all that goes on – every stress, disaster, chaos, and evil deed done to us or by us, He calls to us, still speaking through prophecies, through the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit, through events and people… every way possible.  And He still says, “Surely I have done great things!  Don’t be afraid. Be glad now.”

And, honestly, what better way to get my head out of the fear and the muck of life in the moments of dispare than to remember, and in remembering to be glad, to rejoice? To take my eyes off of my circumstances, off of myself, and set them on the One who has already accomplished great things on my behalf.

It seems that it is in the midst of the worst moments in life that it is the best time to hear, “Surely the Lord has done great things! Don’t be afraid. Be glad now and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things.”  Not only for us to remember all He has already done, but for us to anticipate the things He has set in motion on our behalf which we have yet to see.  It is only when we can take our eyes off the pain and trouble that we begin to see Him, to see His love.

The only reason things are going so well now in my life, is because of things He set in motion for us long before we were ever in our moments of utter chaos.  I can see that now.  But had I been glad then, for these things, before I’d seen them, I would have been living out of faith.  (Heb. 11:1)

And isn’t that the very mark of those who love Him?