How do the events and circumstances of our lives relate to God and His movement within?
Oswald Chambers in his December 18 “Test of Faithfulness” gives us some practical and valuable insights! All quotations are from this powerful devotional.
Are the events of our lives random? Do you recognize the “hands” of God upon your life as you experience daily life? The testimony of the Living Words of God reminds us that God is always at work moving and shaping us into being more Christlike. Things don’t just happen randomly! The challenge comes when we don’t understand and can’t perceive what’s going on in our lives. Yet, we can trust and depend on God to finish the work that He has begun in us! Philippians 1:6 . This is especially important when we are facing times of brokenness and disappointment. Quick explanation of Philippians 1:6:
I believe with good reason that God brings or allows failures, trials, and disappointment(s) into our lives to cause us to seek Him first. I use the terms “brings or allows” because as humans, we don’t fully comprehend the bigger picture nor can we completely understand an Infinite God. Even in my own life, I don’t understand what God brings about or necessarily what He allows. I’ve learned to be especially cautious when presuming to understand God’s Hidden Ways. Yet, we can trust even what we don’t understand because we know that God is Good and His Ways perfect! Romans chapter 8 is a good read for this topic!
Jesus warns the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:4 about losing their “first love.” We too must hear and heed Christ’s Words! Here’s a concise read about what Jesus means in Rev. 2:4:
How easy and quick it is to love our comfort, earthly treasures, and dreams more than our Savior! It is truly an act of mercy when our disappointments and failures turn our eyes heavenward!
Insight 1: We must believe God is in Control and Be Loyal to Him first!
“It is only a faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls his circumstances. We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. We act as if the things that happen were completely controlled by people. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith— the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our ultimate loyalty must be to Christ alone–not our family, friends, work, etc. We would be wise to consider what God might be working to bring about in us! We need to view our lives through faith knowing that God has a plan and is at work!
Insight 2: Events test our faithfulness
“God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be repeated in our life. This is where the test of our faithfulness comes.”
God’s Word particularly in the Old Testament books of Ruth and Esther reveal that God works through history. The term ordain means to “set aside something for a specific use.” This means specifically that God has a plan and a way to accomplish the plan. God works behind the scenes through tragic deaths, famine, and heart-ache (Ruth) to bring about King David and later Jesus. God works through Esther to save her people. Daniel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah also teaches that God works through foreign nations, national tragedies(invasions, military defeats, etc) to accomplish His purposes. The Christmas Account in Luke chapter two reveals how God uses a Roman census to fulfill prophecy! There are numerous other accounts I could mention here concerning how God works through the lives of individuals and nations to accomplish His plans.
I write this to encourage you: specifically stating that you don’t have to have a complete understanding of the events and what each particular event might mean. This is where faith comes into play! We choose to trust God even when we can’t understand. We demonstrate faithfulness when we trust and reach out to God! We continue to trust and seek even when things are uncertain and perplexing.
Insight 3: The Ultimate Goal of Faithfulness
“The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son.”
The end game is for us to become like Jesus and for God to work in our lives just as His Son! God’s plan is bigger than our dreams, hopes, and shattered expectations for a comfortable life! God is showing mercy when He wakes us up from our soul slumber and selfish ways.
We would be wise to pray for God to give us dreams of His plans! Holy Spirit and God’s Word will mold and shape us into the wonderful works of art that please Him most!
May God touch your life and dreams in a manner that will forever change you for His Glory,