04 April, 2013
The Way of Permanent Faith
As I was reading Oswald Chambers today, I realized I would have been very excited if it was not for the fact that I have gone through the process of what he is talking about and know the inward pain that your soul has to endure to get through this process.
Indeed during this period of time, we are so scattered inside, so hollow, so depressed by the darkness that surround us. As you go through this process, you also understand why the word wilderness suits it so well. Your pain comes from the dryness, the sun, the win and everything that encompasses the wilderness. It is so desolate all around you, in your heart, your soul and your spirit that the only thing that makes sense to your senses is the depression that the whole process is calling you to.
But, if you can keep focusing on Him while you are there, even though there is no excitement and no joy during this period, you will get through it and joy will come back again when you see how much you have grown. Through this period there is a long waiting process in between that is very discouraging. Another major point of this process is that God needs to take you to a place where you learn to abide in Him and you learn to depend on Him moment by moment for your life.
As you learn to abide in Him, you realize, the reality of you abiding in Him is so that the next part of the verse (abide in me and I in you) could take shape in your life. The whole doctrine of abiding in Him is so that He can reveal Himself to you, Christ can be formed in you as you learn to possess His mind, His likeness and all those substances that we need to take from Him. There are ways for sure you know you have gone through the process exactly the way He wanted you to. First, you get out of it knowing full well what Paul meant when he said “for me to live is Christ”.
Another way you know you are pleasing to Him is that you realize you have become the protagonist of song of the Solomon 8:5 “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?” Because now, you not only have learned to get to know Him, you know you can depend on Him. So, your faith is solid and your understanding of Him is on a whole new dimension which is the spiritual one as you left behind the man made idea of Him. In fact, you look back to what you knew of Him and where you are now, and you are ashamed of what you made out Christianity to be. You also make a transition from knowing about Him to knowing Him. The thing is, you find you are now ready to look at this Christian life, His way. Another thing you will discover as well is that you are in the process of being made right with Him. This process takes you beyond spirituality into your way of right living in His sight. Righteousness is being restored. (Mathew 5:6)
So, if you are depressed and your life is upside down and you feel you are fenced in, look up to Him through the pain, the sadness, the emptiness, the scorching sun of the wilderness, the coldness that is eating your body, focus on Him and lift up your soul to Him. You do not have to make lengthy prayers because He knows already. Just the fact that you can remain focused on Him and in your heart letting Him know, no matter what you want to make it about Him and give Him glory for whatever is going on right now, then, He will be pleased. Don’t make it about your feelings because joy already escaped you, He is nowhere to be found and it is all messy and scattered inside you. – But, be patient however long it lasts, remain committed to seeing it through His ways and do not allow doubt to enter your mind.
When I went through my process, even though at times I could not pray, I would make it a point to pray in my heart. At times He was so absent I felt He was not hanging onto me at all. I did not let the enemy get the best of me. I did not confer with anyone that would discourage me or prescribe some sort of diversion. I resolved to make it about Him even if I had to die. Once in a while, He would show me that even though I could not feel His presence because of the state of my soul, but He was right there with me and actually never left me for a moment. Those tiny glimmers of hope helped me a great deal. – Be still and know that He is God!
Here is Oswald Chambers devotional for today!
Jesus was not rebuking the disciples in this passage. Their faith was real, but it was disordered and unfocused, and was not at work in the important realities of life. The disciples were scattered to their own concerns and they had interests apart from Jesus Christ. After we have the perfect relationship with God, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life. We will be scattered, not into service but into the emptiness of our lives where we will see ruin and barrenness, to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is certainly not of our own choosing, but God engineers our circumstances to take us there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is sustained only by feelings and by blessings. But once we get there, no matter where God may place us or what inner emptiness we experience, we can praise God that all is well. That is what is meant by faith being exercised in the realities of life.
“. . . you . . . will leave Me alone.” Have we been scattered and have we left Jesus alone by not seeing His providential care for us? Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent. And God is never in a hurry. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself. The sense of God’s blessings is fundamental
“. . . be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Unyielding spiritual fortitude is what we need.
Oswald's devotion for today is courtesy of: http://utmost.org/