THE SECRET PLACE
Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty
WHAT IS GOD SEARCHING FOR?
My wife Cheryl and I do not enjoy very many things on television but we do occasionally watch reality shows like “Mountain Men” and “Life below Zero”. As I was watching a recent episode, I was thinking about the specific path each one of these individuals has taken and all of the vision and hard work to make their dream happen. I am just using these few people as an example, but my question is this; whose vision are they living? When any of us comes up with an idea that we “want” to do – are we being inspired by God or did we just make an emotional decision simply based on seeing ourselves living that way? And on a broader scale, allow me to ask each of us – are we now living and following the path that God has called us to, or are we asking Him to bless our imagination? Mmmmm…
There are many things to consider when trying to understand what we are doing and where we are going. Allow me to ask a few more questions. Would you agree that most of us are confident and even proud to admit that we can hear from God in most of our decisions? Would you also concur that you are filled with God’s Holy Spirit and are sensitive to His voice? If this is true, then it can be noted that we are obedient to His commands, we have keen discernment and are walking in His “perfect” will. Right? What’s wrong? I thought we had established a firm foundation about our personal relationship with Christ. Oh, I see…walking in His Spirit is something you “desire” to do, but have not really mastered yet.
I think that most of us can relate (by experience) that being led by God and walking with Him is much more difficult than it seems. In the eyes of a child, the simplicity of believing and trusting is crucial to the development of love. All of the love that we soak into our heart from others is what builds and creates the image of how we think and react. The amount we learn about love is a direct influence on how we process all of the fruits and gifts related to love and ultimately how we give love to others. The highest priority in life is to allow our entire being to become saturated in God’s love so that we might become a vessel of honor for Him to pour His love through us. We cannot be led by God if we do not have the light of His love to illuminate our path.
There is a danger to becoming filled with knowledge of God’s Word without His wisdom to understand it. It would be better to know small amounts with His revelation – than to memorize large portions of scripture without comprehending what it means. Our Christian life is a process of development the same as anything else. The novice must grow into their relationship with Christ before they can lead the same as a six year old child is not ready to drive a car just because we hand them the keys. There must be experience to go along with knowledge because it is in the miracle of divine revelation we LEARN truth that empowers our faith. Knowing God personally is the only way anyone can live for Him or die for Him. There is a secret truth to meditating on God’s Word because He has designed our love relationship to be intimate and saturated with concentration. Prayer and worship are perfect examples of how we are given the opportunity to focus on God and the privilege to allow Him to “invade” our thoughts with His voice. When our will humbly submits to His authority it becomes possible to be intertwined and know the mind of God pertaining to a specific situation. However, anyone that has experienced this spiritual phenomenon can testify that it is not as easy as it sounds.
Have you ever believed in something very passionately only to find later that it did not happen? I am sure you were left with many questions and you searched your soul and God Himself for the answers. Of course there are several possible reasons that we fail to receive; sometimes it is our fault and other times God says no. On some occasions we do find answers after the fact that reveal how the Lord was actually working on our behalf by “saving” us from disaster. What we were so focused on many times (after all is said and done) is sometimes NOT what we thought it was. A good lesson to learn in life is that it’s possible to convince our mind and our emotions into believing a deception. Just because we “feel” a certain way (even very strongly) does not mean we are being led by God. Selah.
I was reminded by a good friend recently how that our life is similar to the mouse in the maze. God is looking down and from His divine perspective, He can observe the past, the present and the future all at the same time and in this “big picture” view, all of our twists and turns make perfect sense. However when we are only seeing the path we are on, it is more understandable how sometimes we can become confused. You see, each one of His children has a destiny (blueprint) that has been drawn by God. Sometimes we forget but when we were redeemed through the blood of Christ, we were “bought” with a price. Now, we no longer make our own decisions or lay out our own plans. He is the creator of the mouse (us) AND the maze (our destiny). In this light, He has a very specific path for our life and is constantly intervening to help keep us on HIS course. Every Christian has a mission to accomplish and one day will give an account of their life including all they did and should not have done and all they were going to do but never did.
When we are obedient to His voice by submitting our will to His voice, there is a very strong certainty that we will fulfill our calling. On the other hand, our freewill can interrupt and cause havoc within God’s “perfect” plan. Unlike the maze that the mouse follows, our path has no walls but rather an invisible line. We “choose” to follow God’s path – He does not force us to stay on His path. If we feel we have heard His voice and run off to Africa to do His work – He may allow it, but that does not necessarily mean He endorses it or will bless it. The reason why many fail is because they may have listened to their emotions instead of God – or they may have heard from God but did not wait for His perfect TIME. The story is told of a young man that wanted to be a missionary. He was a brand new Christian and was praying one day and He heard God say, “Go”. He immediately jumped up and headed to some third world country. He stayed for a couple of years and had such a terrible time that he came back home discouraged and defeated. In his prayer time he asked the Lord what happened and he finally listened long enough to hear God’s reply, “You did not wait to hear the rest of my instructions. I SAID, go sit down and learn of me – and in “due season” I will use you for my glory.”
How many times have we tried to make something happen? How many times have we completely missed God in our decisions? I believe in the Christians life there are two categories that we have the choice to abide in. One I call God’s “perfect” will and the other I call His “tolerant” will. Of course we want to stay in the perfect will column all the time but that would take “walking” in the Holy Spirit constantly. Hopefully in our spiritual development we will eventually come into that place. God’s tolerant will is where we find ourselves when we make crucial mistakes as a result of our disobedience. You see, when we sin by not listening to His voice, He is disappointed but is always ready to forgive us when we realize we have blown it. HOWEVER, listen carefully, this does not mean we do not endure the CONSEQUENCES of our trespass. For example, a Christian has the free-will to rob a bank and after it’s over they can sincerely ask forgiveness – but if they are captured they will still go to prison to pay the penalty of their crime.
It may be a surprise to know but Christians not only randomly make bad decisions but can actually be a habitual sinner. Of course God does intervene with discipline and chastisement to the extent that only He knows, but He is patient and filled with merciful love. Have you ever had an attraction that you knew was wrong but allowed your flesh to dictate your actions? God loves us more than anything but He hates sin – and because of His great love He “tolerates” our deeds. Sin in the believer’s life breaks the heart of God because it causes separation between Him and the one He adores. We rarely ever think about the way God feels toward us because our mind is so filled with the affairs of this world. We casually think He is working in heaven or busy trying to solve the problems of the universe. It may change our life if we really knew how strongly He wanted to rescue us from eternal disappointment. He gave His only precious Son to be tortured to death for those who would “abandon” their life for Him and we will never forsake our carnal will until we embrace the revelation of His righteousness and holiness. Selah.
Let’s think about His love a little more. Do you believe He is listening to every word you say? Do you really believe He knows every thought that crosses your mind? Is there any other reason He would pay that much attention to you than because He cares about you and is very interested in everything about you? Why do you think He is concerned enough to know how many hairs that are on your head? What would cause Him to mention in His Word how much He longs to spend time with you and shelter you under the shadow of His wings? It is simply because He loves you more than anything else! He creates all things and can have anything – but He longs for us to love Him. A covenant is a mutual exchange of trust and a love unto death. Everything God has is ours but everything we have must be given to him. What could He possibly want from us? Our hope, trust, energy, passion, zeal, our possessions, plans, visions, our dreams, gifts, talents, thoughts and deeds, but most of all He just wants someone to trust what He says. He is waiting for His children to grow stronger in faith that they might obey Him. Our will is the desire of our heart and that is what He is searching for. How have you done so far in your walk with Him? After all these years of learning how to live, are you finally ready to surrender your will and give Him all of your heart?