Being a young adult attempting to live this Christian life is a constant cycle of worship & response. God is great, I recognize a blessing, I vow to be a living sacrifice, I sin, I repent, God forgives & forgets…and the journey continues until the NEXT hiccup in my walk of faith.
From time to time, I get overwhelmed with emotions and begin to question my faith. Why me God? Why can’t I just STOP sinning? When will my struggle be over? How do I serve better, witness more effectively?
All these questions are asked on an ongoing basis…but this one – I don’t think I will fully understand its power or potential solution until I sit at His feet in the midst of His angels, completely detached from my flesh and able to experience His glory face-to-face.
Lord, why do I hafta wait on you to move when you know the urgency of my circumstance?
The title of this blog reads “God promised me the abundant life – so why am I struggling? Have you EVER asked this before? I think in every believer’s life, there comes a time when we STRUGGLE to WAIT on God to MOVE in our lives for a number of reasons (this is not an all-inclusive list):
1. We do not understand the purpose of our delay.
Because we do not UNDERSTAND God’s timing, we question it. Because we do not UNDERSTAND our role in God’s will, we question our faith. Because life appears harder than it is ‘supposed’ to be, we question the very presence of God. I’m not sure what book, chapter or verse we have to back this thought process up, but GOD NEVER SAID THAT HE WILL WAIT ON YOU TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE MOVING IN YOUR LIFE!
I remember sitting in “Experiencing God” and hearing the first principle: GOD IS ALWAYS AT WORK. I had already been a church-goer for years so this was well overdue but nevertheless profound. God is ALWAYS working on us and the world around us. Please receive this into your spirit. Although the seasons in your faith walk change, phase-out and transform, God’s purpose in your life DOES NOT CHANGE.
So instead of wondering WHY, allow the PEACE which surpasses all understanding to guide your thoughts and emotions. Alternatively, you can continue to set this DOUBLE-MINDED, ANXIETY-driven and HEAVY-burdened example to ALL of the believers AND non-believers watching you.
2. We confuse the Lord’s timing with our stopwatch.
Read Ecclesiastes 3:
Everything Has Its Time
1 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.
3. We have allowed the circumstances in our lives to determine our faith instead of vice versa.
On the flip side, let’s be real about it. It’s VERY hard (nearly impossible) to explain to the IRS, your boss, your landlord, your children, your mate, and more importantly God on why you missed the deadlines set before you. However, we are not perfect and are constantly apologizing for unexcused absences in our daily relationships and responsibilities.
YET, God extends NEW mercies every day. We keep apologizing for our sins, always EXPECTING God to give us another chance to get it right, but how many chances do WE give God before we give up on Him altogether? Seriously, sit down and make a list of all the times GOD didn’t come through. On the other side of the paper, write down all the times we didn’t come through for God. Do NOT write down your logical or spiritual reasons for disappointing God, rebelling against His word, yielding to temptation and causing others to fall. I like to call this NO EXCUSES area of faith. So the next time you say, “God what’s taking so long?” think about how often God wonders the same about you. Like when will we UTILIZE our measure of faith? How much longer does He have to be with us before we trust Him? How many more goof-ups will it take before we understand that God expects for us to live a holy life, acceptable in His sight?
Sometimes we ask God for patience, but never mentally or spiritually condition our heart and mind to WAIT on Him. Before you pray, make sure that you are FIT for his response. Our petitions do not change God’s will – we shouldn’t want them to. Instead prayer changes our hearts and focus on God’s way vs. our way.
4. We are unable to discern between an unconditional and conditional promise of God.
I have been waiting to talk about this the whole BLOG…here goes!
HERE ARE SOME OF THE BLESSINGS OF GOD THAT WE CLAIM…
A. 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matt 7 Amplified Bible
B. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10 NLT
C. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8 NKJV
D. 14-17Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? James 2 The Message
We often confuse all-inclusive promises available to the WORLD and the exclusive privileges related to the believers of Christ and doers of the Word. Let’s take a more in-depth look, shall we?
A. C H Spurgeon writes, Faith asks, hope seeks, and love knocks.
Tam says: To ask (pray) is to acknowledge that this is the only way to CHANGE the situation; this shows your faith in God. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). Love knocks on the door of God’s heart. Unless we have GOOGLED the Lord’s address, mustered up enough strength to get out of the car and walk to Him, how will we know if He is at home (present)? If you don’t trust God, it will show in how often you acknowledge that He is in control and has the FINAL SAY!
B. This passage of scripture is describing the kind of ABUNDANT LIFE that only the Lord’s sheep encounter. I was talking the other day with my sis Keena about the QUALIFICATIONs of a Christian. Spiritually, we know that salvation is free. Tithes, offering, membership dues, etc. are not required to gain salvation. No works or any action can ever EARN salvation; it is a gift from God that Jesus paid for with His life. Does that mean there aren’t any RULES to bear the name of a Christian, no! As mere humans, we foolishly attach a particular VALUE to objects and people based upon how much it COSTS us. So we take grace & mercy for granted because we didn’t WORK for it and certainly haven’t PAID for it.
Let’s flip it. Consider your car. You paid for it or someone else had to pay for it. Even if you didn’t pay for it, you more than likely are paying insurance, maintenance and licensing fees on it. Therefore, when someone asks, “Can I borrow your car” – we immediately begin to calculate the costs of the potential damage this individual could cause in the worst-case scenario. This cost-benefit analysis normally does not take long and almost always leads to the following response: NO!
Here’s the part that hurts my heart to consider. When someone asks us “Hey, do you want to sin with me” or “Can you step out on God just this ONE time” – we don’t hesitate. Most of the time it’s our flesh asking our spirit to STEP ASIDE, I GOT THIS! So we commit adultery with our sin and leave God hanging out to dry. We lack self-discipline and control, but always are the FIRST ones in line for God’s next blessing because “there’s gotta be one with MY name on it!”
C. Um…yeah. I love this scripture, don’t you? This tells me that no matter what HELL I go through, all my scars and bruises will be worth it in the end. The problem is that we often confuse the OUR stress with God’s struggles. God gave you a behaviorally-challenged child. You have allowed that child to worry you so much that you’ve picked up a habit of smoking. You get lung cancer, are able to fight it and BECAUSE God spared your life, you begin to minister to Smokers Anonymous groups across the world. Great job! But what if, instead of being a cancer survivor, you were supposed to be a Family Counselor or Youth Minister? So of course, God is gonna get His glory, but look at all the chaos you created once you decided that God was NOT the solution to your problem. Lord, I pray that we would seek you first GOD and consider you the ONLY option to “cope” with our circumstances and situations while we live on this Earth.
D. Enough said!
“The Pursuit of Purpose” Myles Munroe
“What Is God Waiting For?” Marlinda Ireland
“Healing for Damaged Emotions” David A Seamands
“Balance: Living with Life’s Demands” Tracey L Henderson
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4 NLT
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. Romans 8 NLT
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
Yes, I praise the LORD for what he has promised Psalms 56 NLT
AMEN & GOD BLESS!