How easy it is to miss the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to dismiss them because we have set an agenda for the day. In all our plans we should be flexible before the Lord if He permits them to be interrupted. Proverbs 3:6 instructs: “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths”.
The line of a song comes to mind: “In the multitude of your plans, where am I?, says the Lord. For your plans are not complete, till surrendered at My feet. In the multitude of your plans, where am I?”
When we make our plans, we should sincerely add the words, “God willing”. Arthur used to say, “We serve an inconvenient God”. When circumstances don’t go our way our initial human reaction should immediately be followed by having a ready and listening ear to hear what the Lord is saying through it. Run to the Father! If I am full of complaining, I am not listening to the Holy Spirit’s directions.
Revelation 2:7 “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says….To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the Tree of Life….”. We all have ears, but do we hear? In order to listen, there is a necessity to surrender one’s own thoughts and opinions. Listen, learn, grow.
God does not need our limited understanding, our intellect………and He can do without our ignorance! The last three chapters in the book of Job record the dialogue between God and Job at the end of Job’s trial. Job repents and declares his ignorance before the Lord’s greatness, speaking of himself he acknowledges: “Who is he that darkens counsel without knowledge? I have uttered that which I have not understood, things too wonderful for me that I did not know”. All my self righteousness and self justification has to go. John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must increase, I must decrease”, John 3:30. The only righteousness the Father wants to see in us is the righteousness of His Son, (2 Corinthians 5:21). All self belongs to the old, unregenerate nature.
Sometimes we can be dismissive of things we are familiar with. Let us remind ourselves of the words, “Wherefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall”, 1 Corinthians 10:12. Romans 8:28 is a well known verse: “And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. This can be one of the most challenging verses in scripture. When we apply our intellect to the first part of the verse, the old man nature questions, “ALL THINGS? Impossible!”…….but our spirit man submits to God’s word, “Yes, ALL THINGS”. In the economy of God, we discover that God uses ALL things to drive us, or lead us, closer to Him, to discover His purpose through it all. What is that purpose? The second part of verse 28 refers to us: “to those who are the called according to His purpose”. Verse 29 reveals the mystery of this divine purpose: “…….to be conformed to the image of His Son”. The Holy Spirit reveals to me that all these trials, difficulties, failures, joys and victories, indeed ALL things, are working towards God’s divine purpose in me to be conformed to the image of His Son, (Ephesians 4: 13). We can discover that God is there in the cloud with us. He is the silver lining in the cloud! When will the Church of Jesus Christ stop complaining and start praising? To see God in ALL things takes away the pain of resistance and glorifies the name of Jesus. We can thank God IN a negative situation, (not FOR it, but IN it), that Father is in full control, not the devil. He will bring us through the trial. Our attitude in it determines the fruit, wood, hay and stubble, or gold to His glory.
Bloom where you are planted. You can be scent where you are….(the fragrance of Christ).
Romans 8: 31 -39 continues to instruct and encourage us that absoloutely nothing in life can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Dimly we begin to discern the purpose of our trials and the joyous victories that are already won for us by Christ Jesus. These victories are awaiting us to prove Him, in faith, and enter into them as we discover another dimension of our birthright, our inheritance in Him. His word declares that nothing can separate us from His love. Our responibility is not to allow our circumstances of sorrow or triumph to dictate to us and separate us from God’s plan for our lives: to be conformed to the image of His Son. Let us live in daily surrender and allow our circumstances to direct us to the heart of God. As we refuse to live in our past history, we will be living in His story in us…….Christ in me, the hope of glory to the Father.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Prayer: Spirit of the Living God, please fall afresh on me. Amen.