It is with exuberant joy that I write this post. Today things I have battled all my life have been touched by God. In my living room this morning as I spent time in study I felt Him come over me like a flood.
Do you know the verse:
"Simon Simon Satan has asked to sift you as wheat But I have prayed for you Simon that your faith may not fail..."
In my Beth Moore bible study this week one of the lessons talked about this verse. She said God does not give permission for something to be sifted unless something needs sifting. Lately I have felt crushed by God. It has brought me so much frustration and constant seeking of Him. Today I know why. I know what has needed to be sifted in me. I know God has places to go with me and this particular thing can not go with us.
Let me introduce you to my new favorite life verse. I must admit when I first read it I was not to impressed but bear with me it gets good!
"Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me."
Matthew 11:6 KJV
Jesus spoke those words to the disciples of John the Baptist. John was in prison and sent his disciples to ask him are you the one who was to come or should we expect someone else?
Can you see how John must have been confused. He had given his whole life to "prepare the way." Now he was in prison while Jesus was out performing miracles. Let me quote from my study John's predicament.
"If he had been wrong he had either sacrificed all for nothing or missed the real Messiah. And if he had been right? Then Jesus had the power to free Him from prison and death. He simply wasn't using it."
WOW! Have any of you been there? Boy I sure have. Not necessarily a prison cell but an emotional prison. Frustrated in God's ways. I just have to share some more from the study:
"All of us called to faith will have this knife sharp experience in some form at some point. The deeper we have loved God, the deeper the potential for devastation when he doesn't intervene AS WE KNOW HE CAN."
" You (talking about John) are but one in a long train of humankind stretching across all the centuries of man who have called out to me with questions and doubts, you are but one voice among so many who wonder, and who agonize over my ways."
This brought me so much comfort this morning. You see all my questions and doubts lately have made me feel like a faith failure. What a relief to see a biblical account. John, (whom Jesus said "is greater than any other person born." Matt 11:11) yet he wondered.
a temptation that was discussed in the study is one I have battled way more than I even want to admit.
"If Christ is who he says he is, and can do what he says he can do, and I am His beloveds, why isn't he coming through for me? The study asked "Will we not ask because we are afraid of being offended? Embarrassed? Disappointed? At that point I became overwhelmed. I am guilty. I have been offended, embarrassed, and disappointed. Thankfully being offended is not terminal or unforgivable. Thankfully when I ask "Are you God or Not? If you are, why aren't you acting like it? that God reads my heart and knows my confusion, disappointment and devastation.
I am going to ask and keep asking for him to intervene. I am going to know He is able. More importantly I am going to trust that God is good if he doesn't act. I want a faith that trusts and I want to be blessed because I am not offended with Christ.
"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace the God we serve IS ABLE to save us from it and he will rescue us from your hand o king. BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, we want you to know, o king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3: 16-18
Thats what he has been working in my life. That I can believe he is able but if he does not intervene as I know he can then I will trust He is good and it is for a greater yes even if I can not even fathom how that is so and for me not to be offended at His ways."
This brings me freedom. Freedom from shame and guilt. Freedom to believe. Freedom to trust. The Lord has been so faithful to me. To complete a work he has begun in me. He has prayed for me that my faith would not fail. He is so sweet and I just wanted to share part of my journey to victory with you.