Identity Network Oct. 22,2019
If there is one thing I have a bit of solid ground knowing about, it’s this. The brightest and most life changing insights have often come during my darkest and hardest of days. How about you? I have found this to be true in my life and have also seen it happen in the lives of others. The bright “light bulb moments” that help us navigate those very hard days (and yes some hard weeks, months, years) occur when we humbly listen to God in quiet trust. Those two words, “Humbly and Quiet,” they are real words, not metaphors or gooey spiritual blips!
If you’re listening to the TV and you’re listening to the radio and searching the Internet and you’re listening to everybody else, you’re not going to get those needed insights. Your brightest insights will come in your darkest days if you say, “God what do you want me to do, to learn, to release?” And then, humbly, YOU be QUIET and YOU listen. Fear will shout LOUDLY FIRST, “Hey! YOU aren’t going to hear anything. YOU ARE WRONG! YOU ARE STUCK! YOU need to grovel, rehash, second guess everything that you know and trust.” UH NO!
That my dear friends is the hammer of harshness and shame that comes to paralyze us, and to ridicule the work that God has done inside of the “real us.” YES…. We absolutely must fight hard to hold the ground of both Quietness and Confidence . Those two things are a mighty strength that the enemy of our souls is forever trying to ravage. “In quietness and in confidence SHALL be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
I want to focus on the word “IN!” I want to be IN Quietness!!! IN Confidence! Not just outside looking in!!! A great example of this is in 1 Kings 19. It’s the story of Elijah. Elijah was up on the mountain, nursing his deeply wounded and traumatized heart, having a bad time, and hiding in a cave. God needed to get him to refocus his attention. It says in verse 11,“Then the Lord passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks.”
But… the Lord was not in the wind…Then there was an earthquake.But… the Lord was not in the earthquake. After that there was a fire.But… the Lord was not in the fire. But… after the fire there was a soft whisper (quiet) of a voice. When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and he went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. [He knew this was God talking.] The voice said to him, ‘Elijah, what are you doing here?'” God speaks in the still and often the smallest (quietest) of voices. (There’s that “IN” word again! IN a whisper! HE IS IN…. Quietness.
Slow Our Minds
Dear friend, what we need to do (well I sure do), when we are going through change or a trauma that shakes us or upsets everything, is to slow down our minds. We just need to sit and we just choose quiet. Get “IN-to” Quiet mode. We get quiet and we let our busy, accusing, hurting minds slow down. We read the Word of God or listen to it in an audio form (I like this option!) and we talk to God in honest prayer, as if a dear friend was hearing our every word. We stop….and just be…IN the quiet. Look for God IN the time of change, ask God for wisdom, listen for God’s whisper. You know what our problem is? Ummm…….????
When change comes knocking at our door, we often look for everything else except the Lord! OUCH AND DOUBLE O U C H! We look for a quick fix. We look for an easy solution. We look for a way out. We look for comfort. We look for relief. What we truly need to look for, is the Lord. We need to look for God! Him ALONE! IN Him. ALONE….our hope is found……that’s the reality right there. When you’re in the middle of a problem you sure don’t want to start in saying, “What’s the quick fix? How do I get out of this? How do I save my reputation and image!? How do I turn things around? How can I possibly make someone understand how their words have wounded or broken me? How Can I fix this or explain things? HOW OH GOD?!!! HOW?”
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:5
Look for the Lord
That is where I think we miss a huge point. You and I MUST look for the Lord! He sees all of the very tiniest of details. HIS understanding is BEYOND our way of measuring things. Seek the Comforter. Seek the Advocate. Seek the Lord and you’ll get all these other things — the solution, the answer, the relief, the comfort, the strength and all that you need. You look for God IN the change. And hey… He does send wise counsel to help us navigate this sometimes! Don’t resist that help and try to figure it all out when your in a tornado of sorrow, pain or grief. Look for the compassionate and skilled helpers.
They can point the way to some open windows of hope and often help to reframe how we are seeing things. One of the greatest promises God makes to us in the bible is that God says, “I’m not going to give up on you. I’m not finished with you.”
Paul describes this in Philippians 1:6. He says, “I am sure of this: that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished until the Day Christ Returns for His People.”
What God Starts He Finishes in Our Life.
If others fight us or mock us as we transition, learn, grow, struggle, He will still be there to get us back on our wobbly feet and walk with us. OR, if we fight Him, He will still pursue the course He desires for us and won’t bend the plan, no matter how we humans like to re-shape our God concepts! God did not bring you this far just to leave you weary, shattered or maybe disillusioned, in denial or in the worst place of all, bitter.
The story is not finished. He says what I’ve started in your life I’m going to complete. “You can throw the whole weight of your anxiety on him for you are his personal concern.” 1 Peter 5:7
WHAT? The WHOLE WEIGHT?!!!!!! God is looking at that place inside of us where our mind is constantly weighing its various options. This means He is looking at more than just our behavior. He is looking at why we do what we do. That goes deep, to the level of the heart. Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. Psalm 44:21
Seek secret places near the heart of God. Openheartedly, fully allowing Him to prune away the deadness of those things that rob you of intimacy and vulnerability in dialog. Seek hiddenness in Christ. It’s safe there and honoring. Seek and practice silence. It helps with the rumination (over thinking) of those situations where God is at work in others, those you can’t fix, rescue, reconcile, warn or peace-make with. Live all of your life “IN.”
IN the presence of God. Lay your heart wide open to His eye alone. He won’t snipe, withhold love or roll out a list of every wrong held against you. Seek to have the praise and tender, ever fair understanding of God. Let’s endeavor, to labor without wearying fears dogging us, to receive our reward (his presence and comfort) for simply laying all before him with true raw and honest abandonment. He truly is the only ONE who sees everything in secret!
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13