Not every situation is as it appears to the naked eye. Not every issue is “the issue.” Not everything the Lord does in our lives is apparent. In fact, most to what He is doing behind the scenes is undiscernible. It is foolish to be quick to draw conclusions without knowing all the facts. As the Bible says, “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). Have you ever had partial information, and came to certain conclusions based on that information, then changed your mind about the issue when you heard the rest of the story?
Many say they trust God beyond a shadow of doubt. Why then, do some become disappointed with Him when things don’t go their way, especially if it was their decisions that sabotaged the results? Sometimes, God will do thing things we don’t expect, and in other moments, He will not do what we expect. We simply cannot dictate to Him our every whim, nor can we put Him in a box. Likewise, He will never crawl into our box with us, and thankfully so! Yep, God does tend bust up our boxes.
Before going further, let’s get something straight. We were all created by Him, and for Him. It was for His pleasure, not ours, that we were born (see Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11). The bottom line is He is God and we are not.
That means you could experience no pleasure without His consent.
He could make you suffer far beyond your worst nightmare if He chose to do so. To be clear, we serve a good God Who is a good Father. Everything we suffer on earth is not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us (see Romans 8:18). Revelation tells us that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and there will no longer be any death, mourning, crying, or pain (see Revelation 7:17; 21:4). In short, we’re not home yet. What the Lord has for you far surpasses any disappointments you may ever experience.
Understand the Father wants to lavish you with blessings untold. He’s a good Father, remember? You can actually stand in the way of what He wants to do for you. What if a person’s shortsightedness prevents him from obtaining eternal jewels because he’s more interested in worldly things? Even a setback can wake someone out of their slumber, who doesn’t realize he is being carnal, and is being led by a lust instead of the Holy Spirit. Some things people desire will actually choke faith out of their life (see Matthew 13:22). 1John 5:14-15This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. When the Father gives us something good from heaven, it is the result of His loving will.
Sometimes His “yes” looks differently than ours. What the Father pictures and what we picture in our mind may not look the same. Other times, they are identical. The same applies to His timing, and yes, His timing is everything. We simply don’t know everything He is doing, and more often than not, we don’t know why He’s doing them. However, why is not the question we should ask: rather, it should be what. “What do You want me to see?” “What do You want me to do?” A proper response to Him brings better results than murmuring. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18Rejoice always; 17. pray without ceasing; 18. in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Disappointment with God serves as a heart check. Is Jesus enough for us or not? If He’s not, something is wrong with our relationship with Him, and it’s not on His side. If one only loves Him for what He can do for him, perhaps his love isn’t as pure as he professes it to be. Sure, we all have desires for a variety of things, but none of them should come between God and us. Whatever happened to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? If you fall deep in love with Him, and cultivate the relationship, you’ll find every earthly desire pales in comparison.
You will never know true contentment without knowing Him!
Love is not divided. It’s single in focus, and is a respecter of none. Why then, is there division in churches and families? Some would say it’s the devil. He’s the one who caused it. To be sure he does seek to divide, but he only has as much power to do that as we allow him to have. He is crafty, and a major way he tricks people into building barriers is getting them to believe there are sides in which to be on.
Because people have varying points of view, discussions sometimes turn into debates which become feuds, which lead to division. Even friendly discussions about the Bible have turned into heated debates. Obviously, pride is often involved in such moments; however, there’s a bigger issue. People have taken their eyes off the Lord, and removed themselves from love.
Instead of being on the One true side that counts, they’ve created two unworthy sides.
As long as love is missing, both sides are wrong. It doesn’t really matter if one is “theologically correct” if there’s no love. In fact, apart from love, it is very much incorrect. Joshua 5:13-15Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" 14. He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?" 15. The captain of the LORD'S host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.
Here’s a take away from Joshua: the captain of the host was only concerned about God. It wasn’t a question of who was on Joshua’s side; rather, who was on God’s side. If the people of Jericho were in the Lord’s camp, there would have been no fight between them and the Israelites. Has it occurred to you that by being strictly concerned with God’s point of view, you could be heading off a possible fight? God’s point of view is entrenched in love, and love is more concerned about benefitting someone else than being “right.” One’s “rightness” can be a stumbling block to another if it’s not presented in love. Consider this: God is always right; yet, He doesn’t insist on people accepting His perspective. This way, they can freely receive His truth without coercion.
If God is not in the center of your theology, you will wind up with false doctrine!
Regardless of where we interact with others, by keeping with God’s agenda, much division can be headed off. Granted, not everyone will embrace this concept; however, Scripture clearly says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18). Matthew 5:9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. How many family fights would come to an end if everyone involved went to the Father?
If you’re asked to mediate a disagreement, do not be tricked into choosing sides. While it may seem you are siding with one over another when you come with the wisdom of God, you’ll have the correct solution. As you mediate in love, you will be more apt to be successful in resolving a conflict. “Whose side are you on, anyway?” “I’m on God’s side, what about you?” Your primary concern when mediating is getting both sides to love well. Apart from love, it’s futile. That means if you’re not walking in love, steer clear. Only yielded vessels can effectively mediate and thereby, tear down barriers.
Jude 1:24Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.
In a number of Christian circles, people are taught that they will stumble and fall, but God's grace is there to pick them up. They teach it as if this is supposed to be normal for the believer. To be sure God has made provision for a stumble or fall (i.e., 1 John 1:9; 2:1), but this is supposed to be the exception, and not the rule! Even still, people constantly contradict the Word of God to rationalize their shortcomings. Some have turned grace into lasciviousness. They've embraced a false grace doctrine. Ironically, those who have embraced the truth concerning grace, get persecuted by other so called believers. The sad thing is some are taught to plan on stumbling. "When you fall, Jesus will be there to pick you up." Whatever happened to, "But if"?
Every minute of everyday, the Lord upholds the faithful. They do not stumble, nor do they fall. How? The secret is found in 2 Peter 1:3-11,Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom.
Again, stumbling or falling should be the exception; not the rule. Even 1 John 2:1 says, " My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous," Galatians 5:14 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. The Cross and Resurrection dis-empowered sin and the devil from running our lives; nevertheless, it did not take away our will. We can still decide whether to yield to righteousness or sin. While grace empowers us to make the right decisions, it does not choose for us. Believers are not designed to be robots; they're designed to have a relationship with God who is their Father. Please understand that this is not talking about trying to be perfect. That leads to striving and dead works, while leaning on your own strength and understanding. It's about abiding in Him Who is perfect!
It's important to examine what you believe and why you believe that way. You absolutely need to compare it with the Bible. When you do, be willing to change the way you think. Ask the Lord to change the areas that are out of sync with the way He thinks. When God said, " For My thoughts are not your thoughts," and "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9), He was inviting us to embrace His ways and thoughts. Proverbs 3:5-9 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.
By resisting the will of God, one is also resisting the Word of God. To truly know the Doctrine of Christ, one has to be willing to do the Father’s will. The reason some struggle to understand Scripture is they are not open to receive His will, let alone the truth of His Word. Those who refuse to know the truth are more interested in their own brand of truth because it conforms to their desires. Hello religion! John 7:16-17So Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17. "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself(NASB).
If you are going to understand the Bible, you have to be honest about where you are in relation to the will of God. You cannot hide behind the mask of not being a theologian. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to be a theologian to understand it. You need the Holy Spirit and a willing heart to learn.
If you’re not the least bit interested in the will of God, you might as well keep your Bible closed, and write your own version of it.
While God freely gives us His Word, we still have to be submissive to receive it.
Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Him (see John 14:6). His words are spirit and life (see John 6:63). They conform to the will of the Father, and we are supposed to conform to the image of Jesus. If one keeps inserting his will and tries to conform Jesus to his own image, he will never know the truth. If you want to be truly free, you’ll continue in His Word, and as His disciple you will know the truth, and it will make you free (see John 8:31-32). You cannot be a true disciple of Jesus Christ apart from the truth.
We cannot define truth; only God can do that. After all, He is God and we are not. Since we cannot create and define truth, we need it revealed to us. In order to gain that revelation, we must submit to Him first. Without submission, truth will evade us.
Proverbs 1:7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Those who don’t fear God will embrace error and falsehood. They will never come to the knowledge of the truth, unless they repent. They do not respect His Word because they do not have a healthy respect for Him. Keep in mind the Word of God belongs to God. We have no authority to alter it. We can either accept it or reject it, but we’ll never be able to change it. Those who try, curse themselves.
Some ask for a word from God without being willing to hear anything that could be contrary to their desires. What good is it, if someone hears His Word, but rejects it? Seed sown on stony ground produces nothing (Matthew 13:19-20). An honest, soft heart receives the Word as good soil receives seed and produces fruit.
If you find yourself struggling to understand the Bible, ask yourself if you are resisting the will of God. Obviously, resisting His will is not the sole reason for the struggle; but, a good place to start in gaining revelation of the truth is examining where you are in relation to it. Ask the Lord to reveal any area of His will you might be resisting. To be clear, it’s not necessarily a case of outright rebellion. Some things, such as fear, hinder the desire to follow His will. Of course, that’s another lesson in itself. In the meantime, let our hearts cry, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”