This will be a great part of our testing in these last days: to overcome the lies of the enemy against God and His goodness.
We are entering times when mans own choices have lifted the restraining hand of God against evil in our nations. In some cases those choices are bringing His righteous and holy judgment as His Word said. Some things will be very clear. When a nation is being judged or disciplined to bring it back to God, everyone in that nation will be affected in some way.
Other things will be far less easy to understand. Why does disaster strike? Why do our friends and loved ones die or experience such hard things when we have prayed and believed? Once when I was questioning the Lord about many of these things He said to me,
“My bride will have to be so in love with Me that she trusts Me even when she does not understand.”
Of course He loves us individually and has our best interest at heart. But this is not just about us as individuals. It’s much bigger than that. It’s about His eternal plan, of which we have a part.
Fundamentally, at heart level, we must believe that God is good and just and righteous at ALL times in ALL He does. We must stop blaming God for the works of the enemy! To misunderstand this could be fatal. Since we are finite creatures, this will require an ever increasing depth of relationship with Him to bond us so closely that we cannot be separated. (Rom.8:38,39) This will require much more love than we now possess. We must ask Him for His love which cannot be shaken. ( Rom.8:35-37 )
Once in a vision the Lord encountered me on a seashore. He pointed toward a beautiful ship and said to me “That’s my ship and I’m the Captain. I make the decisions. The question is, can you sail under My command?”
If this sounds hard and contrary to the nature of a loving God, we have only seen a part of the many facets of His character. He is the lamb and He also is the lion. In the midst of the battle you’ll want the lion on your side. All of those blog posts under “Intimacy with the Lord” are true. In fact, it is that very depth of intimacy that will cause us to keep on holding tightly to Him no matter what happens. You learn to trust the One you love and love the One you trust. Because of His deep love for us and ours for Him, we know that we can trust Him and His leadership. Incidentally, in the last part of the vision I spoke of, Jesus looked deeply into my eyes and opened His hand to reveal my name tattooed on His palm! ( Isa.49:16 ) I was undone once again by His love.
There were times in my life many years ago when I was just beginning to learn these lessons. When things went from difficult to impossible I fell back into immaturity and began to blame God. I had prayed and fasted and declared and believed but still He did not answer my prayers. One day when I was literally yelling at Him He stopped me. I could hear the pain in His voice as He said to me,
“It hurts me when you publicly disgrace and dishonor Me in this way.”
Silence and shock! What did He mean by that? Quietly now He began to explain what I had absolutely no concept of.
“When you rail against Me and blame Me for your trouble it dishonors and disgraces Me. And yes, it is very public. You think you are alone here in your room. But all those in Heaven and the realms below hear what you say. You disgrace Me before the enemy and all of his hosts. And you dishonor and accuse Me before all of Heaven, the angels and the great cloud of witnesses.”
That understanding solved something for me and I repented deeply. When it hits us personally as it has so many times before, when our needs are not met or disaster strikes, the thing of absolute importance is our response to Him. Will we trust that He loves us and His will is best even when we are hurting, even when we don’t understand? There are only 2 choices here. The middle ground is running out.
Obviously I am not suggesting that we sit back and receive everything the enemy throws at us, presuming it is God’s will. We do have authority given to us from the Lord over the evil one. But what about the delays we don’t understand or the circumstances that we just cannot line up with God’s Word no matter how we try? We need wisdom to separate these things properly. However, when it comes down to the bottom line question of “Is God good or has He failed you?” our response must always be in allegiance to Him alone. Otherwise we find ourselves on very dangerous ground and create much more trouble than we already had.
Help us God! Give us Your grace to make it! Strengthen us Oh God!
By the way, there are times when He does just give us strength that we did not possess before … His strength. However, the #1 way that we gain strength is through testing and training! Paul talks about exercising to strengthen our mortal bodies to run the race and then compares that to our spiritual life. (1 Cor.9:24-27, Phil. 2:16 ) He also refers to our being soldiers in the army of God. ( 2 Tim.2:3,4, 2 Thess,1:4, Heb. 12:7 ) A General in the Army started out as a Private. He became a General through rigorous, hard training and also the battles he fought in.
These last day battles will require God’s people to be high impact and low maintenance. If we search our hearts and find that is not the case then let us run to the Lord and not away from Him. Let us repent for our weakness and submit ourselves to Him for His training. He is the only source of our strength. He is the goal and He is the reward for those who overcome.