Let’s admit, many of us are enthusiastic and hungry for God to move in our lives. In fact, take a moment right now to answer this question:
How do I define or determine that God is “moving” in my life?
Jot down about 3 different answers (do more if you’d like). Now, as you reflect on your answers, is there a common theme among them? Do you define God “moving” in your life as a benefit or service to you (i.e: your dreams coming true, achieving all your goals, new opportunities, victory over all personal obstacles, etc.)? Or, do you define God “moving” as being available for His assignments and use, understanding Him more, adding and removing certain things from your life as He leads you, etc.?
I very recently learned that how God moves in your life benefits you only because of His nature and sovereignty – not because you are special and He wants to just grant all your requests and wishes. Think about glitter. My toddler recently got into a bag of red glitter I had stored away in my activity closet. As I tried to clean it up (truly a nightmare) no matter how hard I tried not to become a victim of the glitter, I did. Why? Because I was in its presence. It was inevitable. There was glitter on me, even when I didn’t realize it. There is still, 4 days later, glitter showing up in random places in my home (and body), and on everyone who comes here! When you meet God’s conditions, when you are His child, when you are in His will and on His terms, blessings are inevitable because He flows in abundance – it is His nature. What I should also be clear on here is that, this DOES NOT mean that there is no suffering when you are in full obedience to God. In fact, we are molded and matured in trials and may even face more trials the closer we get to God – but He will never just leave you out to dry. That my sister, is for another post.
Part of my former error was somehow believing that God would show compassion toward or be willing to bless my mess (My mess being defined as being a lukewarm Christian, and having a lot of areas that were in total rebellion to God’s word). I wanted the “move” of God, without meeting all His conditions. One part of me sincerely wanted to know Him more, but there was a part of me that was ignorant on just what needed to happen in my heart. I was okay (to a degree) with reading the Bible a few times a week. I was allowing myself to hold pain and grudges toward certain people that I didn’t like. I allowed the same mouth that would sing praises, to curse when I became angry enough. I relied on depression and self-pity as a coping mechanism and ran so low and dry that I couldn’t call on God effectively if I wanted to. I was partly blind to the contradiction in my life, and the other part of me was complacent in thinking, “I’ll get it right”, or “I’ll ask God to forgive me”, or “It can’t be that bad, I’ll surrender some day”. I was fooled in believing that God was moving anywhere near me.
Another important understanding to have is that God’s moving is always to fulfill His purpose and Kingdom. We risk error in thinking that God is moving due the opportunities and good things that are coming our way to accomplish our personal agendas and goals. In scripture, God moved in very tangible ways through various people and the intention was always to further His plan. The key credential that made someone a “candidate” for God’s use was their heart. Their willingness to lay down. In other words, their willingness to get out of the way. Even when Jesus died on the cross, He got out of the way, it wasn’t His will, but the will of the Father. Look at Esther. In modern day, Esther could have easily chosen to celebrate her “come up”. She was now a Queen! Who wouldn’t want new found royalty, especially coming from nothing? But you see, God didn’t just open the door of wealth and fame so she could simply be wealthy and famous and enjoy her new luxuries. It was for a purpose – to save the Jews from being slaughtered. What was beautiful was that in her doing God’s will, she was blessed in the process materially. She had to be obedient, she had to rid herself of all selfish motives of wanting to protect her own life (She too was a Jew) and throne, and she had to activate major faith (read her story in the Bible, it’s amazing!).
What can be deceiving is that, when you don’t know God’s conditions or nature (this is learned through the Word and the Holy Spirit), you may mistakenly think He is moving in your life, in the midst of your own personal mess. What I failed to realize was that, while I experienced accomplishments and blessings, they were in vain and didn’t have God’s true stamp on them. How would you define God’s stamp? I personally define it as:
Provision, protection, assurance, approval, and gained territory.
There is a confidence as I approach anything for God’s kingdom now because I know without question that:
- It will succeed.
- Something major will be birthed from it, something that I may not even see in this lifetime.
- It is backed by the Creator of life itself and cannot fail.
- I am safe.
- God is pleased with me.
- I’ll have no need for anything because I am taken care of by God.
- Satan could never interfere and damage.
“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” James 3:9-10
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it.” Psalms 127:1 (KJV)
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16 (KJV)
“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” John 6: 38-39 (KJV)
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 (KJV)
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