Historically, revival activity always dies down. This happened in my church after about ten weeks of revival-like activity. Despite the amazing things the Lord did this “move of God” seemed to have little lasting impact. The church, as a whole, seemed to return to the same spiritual state that it was in beforehand and most of the people who had been profoundly impacted by God’s visitation struggled to maintain the spiritual progress they had made.
This was most disturbing to me and to my family. In fact, it was among the most confounding turn of events in my lifetime. It made no sense to me that God would reveal His glory as He did for so many weeks only to result in so little lasting impact. I asked myself and God why He would do such a thing. The answer I received: “Trust me.”
God is worthy to be trusted whether His actions (or lack of actions) make sense to us or not. He is God and we are not. He has a right to do as He pleases. We will not always be able to understand the why of what He chooses to do and not do.
As He says through the prophet Isaiah:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”
Our responsibility is to put our confidence in Him and not to try to figure Him out. As Paul wrote:
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out. Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay Him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen”
Many of us have a misunderstanding of what serving the Lord really means. We get mixed up about who is serving who in this relationship. Our reasoning goes something like this: “I am doing what I am supposed to therefore God should bless me in such and such a way.” In other words, the Lord owes me things like good health, a fulfilling marriage, a well-paying job because of my service to Him. At the very least I deserve an explanation when things don’t turn out the way I expected them to.
When our faith is based on this kind of thinking, it gets shaken to the core when God does not deliver as expected. Often what He does or does not do makes no sense to us. We must have a faith that is solidly based on the character of God not on circumstances. We must be enamored with who He is and believe that what the Scripture reveals about Him is true even when our experiences seem to say otherwise.
Drawing near to God brings no guarantee that circumstances will work out as we think they should. In fact, Christians experience the same kinds of tragedies that others experience. Nonetheless God is faithful and good. It’s just that that faithfulness and goodness are not always expressed in the way we would expect. This requires us to live by faith and not by sight.
This was one of the problems some of the revived people in our church ran into. God did not come through for them in the way they expected Him to and it caused them to lose heart. They were thrown off course because their view of the Lord was too small and too human.
Is your confidence in God strong enough that your faith is unshaken when He greatly disappoints you? This is the kind of trust that He wants to build in us through confounding circumstances.
Copyright Ed Skipper 2013