As believers, many times we live under the subconscious expectation that God will keep us from the difficult things or from the battle. If we live honestly, we can acknowledge the battle and acknowledge the brick walls we hit in our lives as places where we learn to draw close to The Lord and where the Lord refines us, but sometimes they seem to come a little too close together. Somedays there is a desire for a truce flag. There has to be a pause button on life somewhere, right?
While I don’t have all the answers for those feeling overwhelmed by their situation, God does. He knows exactly why you are in your situation. He knows your heart. He knows what is coming against you in the physical or emotional realm. All of these things he will work out for the good of those who love him.
Recently, I have been praying and asking God about situations that seem beyond my control. “Why, God? Why?” Actually, I have been coming to him praying, “Why, Father? Why?” He is a good father and he knows why. Some things are more complicated than I can know or understand. This is similar to when my youngest asks me why about something and I know there is no way he can actually understand the answer, if I gave him the real answer. Other things, he has shown me, are a result of his great work to expose and eliminate the power of sin in my life. I am very stubborn and I know there are sins that I do not even consider to be sin that keeps him from working in my life and giving me freedom.
Other times, there are sins he is dealing with in the lives of people I love. Not to crush them in judgement, but to draw them to himself, he needs to allow circumstances to expose the things that he wants them to deal with. Because they are close to me, I will walk through those valleys with them. So, I get to walk through my valleys and the valleys of those close to me.
Other times, I am facing the obvious fact that I live in a fallen world with sickness, and heartache. Instead of these things being futile in my life, God will allow the trials to bring glory. That does not mean that the trials feel like rainbows and unicorns. It means that the trials are pregnant with life, instead of death.
When praying through this last night, God showed me that even Moses, who spoke to God face to face and who worked wonders like bringing the plagues on Egypt, leading an entire nation from slavery and parting the Red Sea faced terrible things. He was hunted as a baby by the Pharaoh of Egypt, he was separated from his family in childhood, he jumped the gun and killed a man in his attempt to prematurely accomplish what God ordained for his life, he ran into the wilderness where he lived for 40 years as a shepherd, he was almost stoned by God’s people when there wasn’t an immediate yes by pharaoh to his “Let my people go…”. In fact, God’s people regularly blamed Moses for trying to kill them. They had to endure several of the judgements of God that were brought on the Egyptians. They didn’t understand The Lord or their situation.
Yet, we are not done with Moses’s trials…..(and we are just scratching the surface in what he faced.) Every time the children of Israel faced a trial or difficult time, they blamed Moses and God. Very short-sighted, they couldn’t remember which end was up and which was down.
It’s easy to want everything to be happy all the time. Boy, wouldn’t that be amazing? But, God knew that delivering the children of Israel from Egypt with a mighty hand would require fighting against an enemy that desired to keep them in bondage. The enemy would constantly try to get them back. Then, once they were free from Egypt, they would need to journey to the promised land. During this time, Moses again faced trials from within and without, but God’s provision was just enough every time.
There was a promised land in sight, but when they were brought right to it, they discovered that the promised land needed conquered, too. Oh. Woe. Is. Me.
Does anyone see a pattern here?
Moses himself never saw the promised land. He just was a pioneer. He paved the way for God’s people to leave Egypt, come out of bondage, and make it to the promised land. However, he never saw the fruit of his labors. That would be for the next generation. This is difficult for us to grasp.
We live in a generation that wants everything right now. I sure do. I would love to have everything right now. It’s easy to look at someone else’s life and see their progress in life and think, “It worked for them.” Probably not. They are most likely reaping the spiritual fruit of another’s work. Someone else pouring into their life, breaking the fallow ground, planting and watering.
If you are a ground breaker, if you are a first generation Christian, God is doing a new work in you. It may feel a bit like the children of Israel coming out of Egypt, faced with trials and set-backs. If you are breathing on this earth, you will have trials. Jesus promised that. But, in Christ, we go from glory to glory. With each trial comes an opportunity for seeing a miracle.
This is different from the world’s philosophies that say if we work hard and pull ourselves up from our own bootstraps, we will overcome. This is battling in the spirit-realm, where we command our will to follow the will of God. This is where we take our marching orders from Jesus, even when it means go into the promised land and face the giants. This is an opportunity to receive mana in the wilderness and to see the bitter streams turned sweet when God touches them.
Each bitter trial can be turned sweet and be an opportunity to see and know the love of God in our difficulties. So, when you look around and see a desert and wonder where your provision is coming from, remember that God provides everything that we need and he is all we need.
Prayer and Praise for Deliverance from Enemies
A Meditation of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite.
O Lord my God, in You I put my trust;
Save me from all those who persecute me;
And deliver me,
Lest they tear me like a lion,
Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
O Lord my God, if I have done this:
If there is iniquity in my hands,
If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or have plundered my enemy without cause,
Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
Yes, let him trample my life to the earth,
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah
Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies;
Rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded!
So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You;
For their sakes, therefore, return on high.
The Lord shall judge the peoples;
Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness,
And according to my integrity within me.
Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
My defense is of God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.
If he does not turn back,
He will sharpen His sword;
He bends His bow and makes it ready.
He also prepares for Himself instruments of death;
He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.
Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
His trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.