During the past few weeks my sleep pattern has been irregular. I notice this happens when I feel various burdens, am keeping watch and interceding for others. Quite a few of my very close friends are weathering storms, enduring trials and fighting to believe that God is the same Father and Author of their previous seasons of rejoicing.
Each of us are in our own battle. Each of us are in need of a custom made breakthrough. Just lift your hands and say, “Do it Lord!!!” We all have an “it”. What I am in need of and desire God to do is likely completely different than yours, but we have a craving, a desire, a passion to see it done that is all the same. BUT, at THIS moment we are asking that He removes everything from us that is hindering us from being our BEST. DO IT LORD!!! Do or allow whatever is necessary to get me where I need to be in YOU! Lord, I want YOU to be pleased!
I want to encourage you today not to stop. Your suffering isn’t in vain. He is a God of purpose- nothing He allows is without purpose. We must cooperate so that He can get the glory in the end. We MUST!!! While you’re in this struggle waiting for things to “work out”, rejoice that this struggle (if you’re being faithful) is working some things out of you. Maybe this is where you have FINALLY come to the realization that after having all of the self-confidence in the world, you [now] understand that you don’t have the power, authority or skill set to get THIS done. If you did, it would be completed already. He wants you to know without a shadow of a doubt when it is all over, the victory belongs to Him. Too often we will brag about the bright idea we had, the talent, the “gift”, etc. when a goal is accomplished; when in fact, God is the inspiration for ANY GOOD thing we do! We just can’t help ourselves most of the time. The pride in us wants the glory! But THIS…. Well, we’re growing increasingly aware that our way isn’t working, and that it has to be God who gets THIS done! NOW He has your attention. In the end, you will know that had you relied solely on your education, reputation, intellect, work experience, husband, wife, mama, daddy, friend, sister or brother, you’d STILL be broke, unemployed, heart broken, in foreclosure, frustrated, lonely, sick, angry, homeless, disgusted, lost, …..and the list goes on.
The wonderful news is that He’s contending for you! Everything inside of you that would sabotage your blessing or contaminate your promise, is being worked out of you. Some stuff at work on the inside of you cannot come along to the next place, so it has to be WORKED OUT of you now.
You cannot earn what God has in store for you. It is a bi-product of your FAITH. What has been contaminating your faith??? Now, right here in what feels like an emotional, spiritual, mental or financial gutter, is where you get to prove that you in FACT, have the FAITH in God and the LOVE for God that you have bragged about all along. There is no prior script or journal entry to run to. What worked before isn’t working now, because you’ve never been through THIS before. You’ve never been this age before. This is your first time at this particular place. The only way out of THIS is UP! And the only script that can help is the Holy one!
In the first chapter of 2 Thessalonians, Paul (along with Silas and Timothy) expresses His appreciation and pleasure with the believers. The Amplified version reads that he was proud of their “unflinching endurance and patience” and “firm faith in the midst of their persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions”. That type of “unflinching endurance and patience” and “firm faith….” is said in the following verse to be positive proof of the just and right judgment of God that you are deserving of His kingdom. C’mon, you MUST endure this to PROVE your faith. Prove that it wasn’t all talk just because things were going the way you wanted! In the fifth chapter of Romans, it reads that endurance develops maturity in character (APPROVED FAITH and TRIED INTEGRITY). When we’re mature in CHARACTER, it is MOST important to us that we glorify God than satisfy the flesh. When the mature Christian feels like quitting, they don’t. When the mature Christian is tempted to stop believing, they won’t. The mature Christian will give when what they really want is to “receive”. The mature Christian will take the exit route BEFORE being overwhelmed by sexual temptation, and tell a bitter truth before lying (even what the world calls “a white lie”). A mature Christian yields to God (kicking and screaming if necessary), before succumbing to the dictates of the flesh.
In this trial, whether you have paid attention or not, some things about you have been revealed and brought to the surface. Under pressure, the REAL you has shown up. Use this time wisely and let your focus be to yield EVERYTHING within you that is not pleasing to Him. Get cleaned up on the inside so that he can polish you off and put you to use the way HE wants to.
He’s contending for you!!! He wants to show you off. He wants to reveal a person who has “APPROVED FAITH” and “TRIED INTEGRITY”. It is that character – (that brother, that sister), that is mature enough to handle the promise! Character/integrity is what you do, how you behave and what you succumb to when no one but God is looking!