Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it, because it shall surely come, it will not tarry.”
An encouraging word for the New Year! What is the vision, the promise, the word our Heavenly Father has given each of us for our individual life? When we receive the word God gives us, there is an excitement as our spirit witnesses. Very often there is a time lapse between the promise given and the fulfillment of it. This is called “the journey” to the goal, when the promise is fulfilled. Only the one who has given the promise can fulfill it. In the waiting period we may try to help God out, (as Abraham and Sarah did), or get frustrated in the waiting. We have to adjust our perspective to God’s view. In God’s eyes, the journey is as important as the goal of fulfillment. The waiting is not a period of spiritual inactivity, it is the period where we learn to work through our frustration, disappointment and impatience. As we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us to yield in humility to the God of our circumstances, we put the gift of faith into His word promised to us and believe God will fulfill it at His appointed time. When He has worked His will in me, when I have exchanged wrestling for nestling, fighting for my rights for humbling before God and man, then the “journey” becomes sweeter as I learn to rest in Him.
I need to get over the thought that God is wanting to give me what I term a perfect life. What God is wanting is for me to have a “perfect” heart in any situation. In the natural, flat tyres, breakdowns and hold-ups can be part of the journey, so it is in our spiritual journey. Jesus taught us, Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Heart purity is seeing God in all things. When I am confronted with what I term an adverse situation, God has not fallen off His throne. I have to choose to let God’s peace continue to rule and reign in my heart in the storms of life. Colossians 3:15 encourages us to, “LET the peace of God rule in your hearts to which you are called, and be thankful.” Thus we have a choice to trust God in a situation and not lean on our own understanding of it. We can allow His peace to rule and control us, or to believe the worst from the circumstance, our screaming heart and the devil. This is all part of the journey as God is teaching us His ways through the guidance of His Holy Spirit.
Our journey can be challenging at times to our faith. If we walk in humility the Lord will give us strength and courage for the journey. Failure comes from self-effort, but in humility, Jesus encourages us. God is so faithful, even when we work through doubt and unbelief. A good earthly father knows how to encourage his child, not punish him, when he doubts his father’s word – how much more so our Heavenly Father!
In the world, bravado, grit and sheer determination can be displayed, but determination is not strong faith in God. It is faith in self effort which can produce pride, arrogance and self glory. There is no place for self-glory in a Believer’s life. God will not give His glory to another.
John 16:12, Jesus said to His disciples, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”
What did Jesus mean? Consider this: In a building, if the builder is planning to remove a wall to make changes, something has to be put in position to bear the surrounding weight of the supporting walls remaining, otherwise collapse will result. God, in His wisdom, will give us what we can bear to His glory, so we don’t collapse. Some people can bear more than others because, along their earthly journey, they have learnt how to handle what God has given them to His glory. They have learnt, (mostly through their mistakes and failures how not to do it), through humility to access the power and strength of the Living, Indwelling Christ and the life of “Another”, has performed the work through them. They have learnt that, “Of Him, through Him and to Him are ALL things.” They proved the words of Jesus for themselves: Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing. It is the Father in me, He doeth the works.” Jesus declared that of Himself He could do nothing and yet did everything through the power of His Father. He gave all the glory to God and took no credit for Himself. God’s glory was safe in the hands of His Son, He could bear it all to His Father’s glory. He was the Father’s ambassador on earth, we are the ambassadors of Jesus, learning to bear the circumstances of our earthly journey to Him.
The journey is to be enjoyed, not endured. We have a wonderful Guide and Teacher as we travel along. He is the great Comforter, who promised not to leave us comfortless. As we learn of Him, learn to trust and rest in His faithfulness, our days will be filled with the peace of His presence, the courage of His strength and the smile of His approval. Trials will come, but we can take His hand and find joy for the journey!……till we reach the “expected end.”