I believe that first we ask God to search our hearts to reveal if our faith is strong. We are not able to stand on the premise that we have been a “believer” for a long time, thus our faith is strong. A baby believer can have a faith that will not falter, whereas a long saved person may be weak in faith. Honestly, we need to understand, through Christ, if we are continuously growing in faith or if we have become stagnant.
Salvation is wonderful, but Paul states the foundation of our faith beautifully in Romans 14:9, “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” So the real question is, is Christ our Savior or is He our Lord?
If we are struggling with making righteous decisions or questioning why to everything in our lives, I suggest we are asking the wrong question.
Why often implies we don’t believe we deserve what we are experiencing. While that may be true in our eyes, and even God’s, we filter everything through our filter, which is quite different than the Lord’s. We can continue to ask God why, but if our heart and mind are set in the mindset of our not deserving what we are going through, we will most likely not hear the answer the Lord wants to give us. Not everything we go through is caused by sin, but we are so busy justifying ourselves, we are not open to the truth of what God wants to do in our lives.
I believe the more accurate question is “What am I to learn through this, Lord?” I admit it is not easy to remember that God knows the end from the beginning and has a plan in the midst of the storm, but a lifeline He gave us is Romans 8:28, “ And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Paul continues in verses 29-31, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
Scripture refers to a strong foundation and God being the Solid Rock on which we stand, and a Strong Tower to run into, a Shield to protect us, our Armor, our Sword, etc. I think you get the picture. Why would we need those things if life was a beach party?
A soldier must be trained before he can go into battle. We are a soldier in the Lord’s army. We must learn to listen to the Master and to know His voice, His instructions, His ways. Acts 17:28 reminds us “for in Him we live and move and have our being…” We become one with the Lord.
The reason the children of Israel were in the desert for 40 years was that they didn’t want to change or be “one” with the Lord. They were never built up in the Lord. Is that the goal you really desire for your life? Or, would you rather be like Daniel who had such faith that he trusted God to keep him alive when he was thrown into the lions den? Would you like to be like Daniel’s three friends and trust God to save them when they were told to bow their knees before the the golden image or be thrown in the fiery furnace? If you actually read the entire passage, they did trust God to deliver them, but their eyes were on their eternal home because they also added to that statement in Daniel 3:18, “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
We need to understand the real calling on our life. I didn’t say the individual path we are to take, but the calling, the upward calling of Jesus Christ. In the above paragraph, Daniel and his friends were all taken captive into a foreign land to serve a foreign king. They chose to serve the living God through their everyday storms.
The wheat grain has to be crushed before it is turned into flour. The ground must be broken before seeds can be planted. Seeds must die before they can germinate and produce plants. We, too, must die to self to become like Christ.
Christ created us with character and strengths and abilities, but we chose to develop those things in our life according to our desires, but now that we are “reborn”, “new creatures” in Christ, He will take those gifts that He placed in us and begin to refine them in you and me. We are the clay upon the potter’s wheel and it is not our place to tell God (the potter) how we should be, but to allow Him to mold us as He intended us to be, a pleasing fragrance to Him and to the lost.
May we be like the bride in the Song of Solomon 1:7, “Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where do you pasture your flock, where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?”
Come into His presence with thanksgiving and praise, bowing down to the Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, the Lord of lords and the King of kings and sing praises to the One and Only, the One who paid the price for my sin, that I might be like Him. Amen.