God will bring the blind by a way that they know not;
He will lead them in paths that they have not known:
He will make darkness light before them,
and crooked things straight. (Isaiah 42:16)
I find that when I start to believe I have everything figured out and place it in the little filing cabinet in my brain, God shakes the cabinet and rearranges the files! I believe He does this so I depend solely upon Him in all things; not just things pertaining to holiness, but all things.
Most days I just go through the motions; wake up, three pots of coffee to start the day, do a few things in the yard or run errands then off to work I go...then bedtime for a little rest and start the process over the next sunrise.
Is this the way a Believer is to live in these last of the last days? Have I become so busy trying to make ends meet that I have no time for intercession for others? Have I become so self centered that I do not think of Believers in Islamic countries having their heads chopped off for belief in Christ the Messiah or those languishing in prison and their families not knowing where they are held captive?
I find myself going to the mailbox and seeing the latest mailing of Voice Of The Martyrs...sometimes I do not even open the envelope because I do not want to have a tinge of guilt come over me because I have forgotten them in prayer or support this month, not even to mention this week or day. Has the enemy of my soul so captivated me that I am resisting the leading of the Holy Spirit to pray for others in need; because I have problems and issues of my own?
Guilty as charged.
Yes I do have issues; great, pressing issues and they increase daily. But, if I am not praying for strength for my Brother's and Sister's in the LORD, who is praying for me? Do I lift up holy hands on behalf of others, even when I am in need? Is this not a type the "sacrifice" of praise is all about? It is easy to pray and intercede when things are going well; this upsets the Devil a little; but what really sets this evil being into fits of rage is when I intercede for others when I, myself, am i n the midst of great need and trial.
Like King David, who proclaims that God has taught his hands to war, so that he can, after that teaching, bend a bow of iron, my spiritual authority and muscle is developed throughout great trial, tribulation and warfare. It can be no other way.
Isaiah 43:16-19 gives a vivid picture of the processes and ways of God; it says ~
" Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;
Which bringeth forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power;
they shall lie down together,
they shall not rise;
they are extinct,
they are quenched as a wick. "
* the forces mentioned are brought by God is the way I read this passage;
what we see as opposition are created by Him, or He allows the enemy to form these forces! For what reason? To teach us to war? To make us strong? To reveal that we are truly helpless without Him? To keep our pride and feelings of self sufficiency in check?
I believe it is a combination of these things. Included in this equation is judgment upon His children for disobedience also. When judged, we run to Him for forgiveness, learn to not do wickedly or foolishly again, and we learn of the true love of our Father; that even though we were born in iniquity, He so loved us that He gave His only Son as a perfect sacrifice on our behalf.
Verse 18 says ~
" Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing ( pay attention! I will do a new thing!)
now it shall spring forth;
shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert. "
For us to notice, we have to be in the wilderness and in the desert experiences of life. These are seasons we must go through. Like Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, there are seasons of learning, seasons of dying, seasons of new growth and seasons of dryness. He is behind it all.
All sunshine would bring no rain. All winter would bring no growth. All Spring would bring no maturity, strength and reproduction. Every season, every wilderness and desert experience serves a purpose; not our purpose as we see fit; but His purpose, as He sees fit.
It is all about Him!
Verse 20 says that " even the beast of the field shall honour Me,
the dragons and the owls;
because I give waters in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert,
to give drink to My people,
His deliverance of His people, His chosen even has to be acknowledged by the beasts, the dragons and the owls; night creatures, evil beings even know who He is, how He delivers and cares for His children.
Take heart! Even when the darkness is so thick that we cannot see our hand in front of our face, when the heat is so intense that we feel faint, when the waters seem to be coming over our head and the fires rage around us, Christ is in the midst with His hands on the controls. Run to Him!
Our prayers, petitions and praise in the midst of the battles we face glorify God. Oh how the enemy hates this! When this thing finally wraps up for me and I arrive to my final destination; which only by His grace will be heaven where He dwells, I do not want to be as soft as the Pillsbury Dough Boy with no muscle. To not be thus, I must go through what He sees fit to send my way. He is there every step of the way.
Great is our God!
Great are His ways!
He will be found by those who search with all of their heart.