Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, because the Lord will do wonders among you tomorrow.” Joshua 3:5
2014 started with God impressing this scripture upon my heart. I entered the year with eager anticipation of what God would do this year. My heart was full of expectation. I was constantly reminded of God’s faithfulness, knowing that I was in the final stages of this long journey, that I would soon enter the Promised Land.
And, I enjoyed the gentle whispers of my Savior almost every day. Whether it was in my daily Bible readings, as I drove down the road, or just a word spoken to my heart in response to a whispered prayer to my Savior, his voice was clear. The words of encouragement pierced my heart. The words of promises inspired my soul. The words of direction guided my steps. His presence was strong, close, unmistakable.
I walked forward certain that God would fulfill his promises to me in several areas, including finances, writing, relationships. I anticipated seeing God’s mighty hand move in ways that would declare his glory. I eagerly waited to see God step in and show himself as the God of the impossible.
To review what this year has brought
- My dad was diagnosed with cancer (he is now clear, by the grace of God)
- My oldest son had an unexpected surgery
- A very important relationship ended
- Finances have gone from tight to much tighter with no relief in sight
- I’m no closer to having a publisher or book than I was this time last year
It seems, in human eyes, as if every promise has simply vanished, become impossible. Hope is fading quickly as I watch it all slip into the realm of the unknown.
But the worst part is that God has gone silent. No more sweet whispers throughout my day. No more precious guidance day-by-day. No more sweet words of encouragement to get me through the moment.
I’ve struggled with why I can’t hear God any more, why he has gone silent. Am I walking in sin somewhere? Have I wandered away from God in some way? What am I doing wrong?
And I think I finally stumbled upon a key.
The last words God so clearly spoke to me were, “Trust me with your heart.” Those words were so strongly impressed upon my heart…just days before everything began to unravel, just a short time before God went silent. I didn’t understand what God meant at the time, but it seems it is finally beginning to make sense.
You see, God has spent several years building my faith, reassuring me that He is in control and has great plans for me. He has given me promises—that he would meet all my financial needs, that he has a special person in my future, that he has a future with me writing and speaking. My faith, my vision, are firm based on years of him building and perfecting my faith. I believe! I long to see God do what only he can do in my life. I long to see miracles, to walk in a supernatural realm that allows God to show himself strong and mighty. I long for my life to be a living example of someone living in all the power of the God who raised Jesus from the dead. I long to be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to my master, prepared for every good work.
God has built a mighty faith in my life. Now, he’s working on trust.
Faith and trust. Many believe the two words should be used interchangeably. I’m beginning to understand there’s a vast difference. You see, I can have faith that a chair will hold me if I sit on it. However, I don’t truly trust that the chair will hold me until I actually sit in it. At that point, at the point that I actually act on my belief, I suddenly trust the chair.
That’s where I am with God. He has spent years convincing me that he is trustworthy, giving me glimpses of the amazing future he has for me. He has told me that my finances will improve. He has told me that I will write and speak. He has told me that he is preparing that special man for me. He has spent years giving me that amazing ability to discern his voice.
And now, when it all looks bleak, he wants me to continue to walk forward, trusting the God who is faithful to keep his promises. He wants me to continue even when I don’t feel his sweet presence, his daily words of encouragement. He wants to test my heart, to see if I will continue in his ways even when it seems impossible to see his promises fulfilled.
Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.
You see, even though Abraham was “as good as dead,” he believed that God was able to fulfill his promise. Now, we can’t forget that Abraham and Sarah laughed at the messenger that told them they would have a son (Genesis 18). Let’s not neglect to mention that they tried to take matters into their own hands by having a child by Sarah’s maidservant (Genesis 16). And don’t forget that they lied on multiple occasions to protect Abraham because of Sarah’s beauty (Genesis 12). And yet, scripture tells us that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.
What a relief! Despite the fact that Abraham was far from perfect in clinging to the promises of God, his belief in God’s promises, his trust that God would still be faithful to his word even when it seemed impossible, he was still considered a mighty man of faith. His faith was credited to him as righteousness.
And, God fulfilled his promises to Abraham who became the father of Isaac and the nation of Israel.
God has not changed, and he will be faithful to fulfill his promises to me—the very statement he impressed upon my heart before the year began. I simply have to trust him, trust his timing, trust that even in his silence he is working circumstances for my benefit. I have to trust him with my heart.
I will continue walking forward in faith, believing God to step in at just the right time. I will continue to immerse myself in his word and in prayer. I will continue to seek him with my whole heart, desiring to walk in perfect communion with him. I will fight the urge to take matters into my own hands, to try to make things happen through my own power. I will wait patiently, quietly, expectantly believing that he is still in control.
And, I pray that God will credit it to me as righteousness.