It has also been great to be challenged weekly through my local church (http://www.torchchurch.tv/) with our latest series on accelerating our spiritual growth. I have discovered one truth about growth lately and that is that I have been forced to do a lot of it lately. I recognize that there are still years and years, God willing, of growth left to be done until I am perfected into the image of Christ. What I also realize is that one instrumental piece of all of my growth is an understanding of what God is calling me to do from situation to situation.
The knowledge of God’s will leading my changes has made times of life stretching circumstance bearable. It has made it possible to make sacrifices in areas that my selfish desires had a firm stronghold.
The times when life isn’t so black and white. The times when everything seems gray and not just the gloomy skies. The times when you feel halfway into the desert. These are the times that test a man’s patience and persistence.
This is when desperation sets in, which is honestly the heart position we should always be in no matter what. The ugly truth is: many of us get halfway into the desert and desperation leads us seeking worldly waters. We backslide into doubt. We compromise. We run to the world’s mirage of quick fixes and end up choking on sand.
We stopped hearing HIS voice. We stopped encountering HIS will and following.Then before we know it we are miles into a barren wasteland and feeling alone and drained of lifeblood. How did we get there? One day’s obedience does not carry over to the next. The Lord’s mercies are new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23) and so are our opportunities. Opportunities to obey or disobey. One day’s mission and calling can be the next day’s memory from a regret filled and desolate life.
Look at King Saul. One day an anointed King of Israel and the next the Kingdom is stripped from him. He stopped listening and God stopped blessing Him. He slowly became a man enraged with jealousy and we find him hunting down his successor.
Look at some of today’s ministry giants that have fallen in recent years. These tragedies don’t happen overnight. It is a slow fade of a day by day disobedience to the Lord.
I have experienced this already a few times personally in my short Christian life. I feel that it happens not so much by us hearing God’s voice and refusing to follow.
I know that my issue has been more with not really hearing God’s voice.
Otherwise we find that one day His voice is clear and the next foggy. It turns out that it has not been random. There are other times when I just get off track. After each victory in Jesus’ name there was a celebratory period followed by a feeling of almost invincibility. Pride always comes before the fall. (Prov. 16:18) Well here comes the fall. Less desperate when on top of the world equals a mighty long roll to the bottom of the mountain.
Stay desparate for God and keep your ears open.
He is either speaking to you right now or waiting for you to follow his last instruction. Sometimes when my five year old, Leila, has been told to do something she struggles to answer right away. She might even, rather than respond to my request, make a request of her own. It would be silly of me as her father to allow her to disrespect me and my authority in her life by ignoring my question and moving on to the next item on her agenda. I make it a point to act as though she didn’t even ask me a question until she has responded to my request. I might simply say, “I’m waiting…I’m waiting.”
In many regards I feel that God is waiting for us to respond to his last request. He might repeat it more times than a father should, and might even reword it.
However, His will for us won’t change.
Either way the ball is in your court. Get busy thirsting after him or drown in the sand of false waters. Seek his voice in the desert or stay lost in the drought.