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Where Do You Want To Be?

By Watchman | May 7, 2010

“Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!  Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.         

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God;

For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”  (Psalm 43: 3-5)

     Brothers and sisters, this last month has indeed been a rocky ride for many people who are believers.  As I have mentioned many times before, “the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.” (Rev. 12:12)  I have spoken to people in the last weeks who have suffered horrendous financial setbacks, sudden and unexpected illnesses, relationship break-ups and emotional/mental/spiritual darkness.  My own situation has been appalling: so many overwhelming attacks against me that I feel it as I would a physical beating–except a beating would probably be easier to handle.  And we have all asked the same question of God: “Why?”   I hope you’re not expecting me to give you the answer here, because God has not yet answered this question for me.   He may never do so.  But He did ask me a question in return that made no sense at all in my mind until I had listened and prayed for some time–“Where do you want to be?” 

     I want to be in a place where I am not afraid.  I want to be in a position to continue in ministry.  I want to be in a life that doesn’t hinge on my dwindling bank account, on people who seem determined to ruin me or try to push me back a yard for every step I try to take forward.  I want to be somewhere peaceful.  Wow!  Tall order there.  Thinking over my answers, I figured they weren’t quite what God wanted to hear from me.  It actually took me a few days to realize what I was saying–I want to be with Him.  And God–because He is a loving and awesome God–told me, “You are.”

     Scripture tells us that we as believers should be in the world, but not of the world.  We all sort of understand the need to not go along with the sinful excesses our society has accepted, but it only recently occured to me that one of the main reasons we are not to be “of the world” is so that we can keep our hope and our focus where they should be–away from ourselves and on the One who gives us our very being.  God’s love is so great that He wants us to know that we can be in His kingdom, safe in His loving arms, despite illness, despite poverty, despite earthquakes, floods or famines.  We are a materialistic people, and we tend to cling so tenaciously to temporal things that have no meaning in eternity.  When I stand before God, He will not ask me whether I rented or owned my own home.  He will not ask what kind of clothes I wore or what kind of furniture I amassed or what kind of car I drove.  The only thing that will matter at all is that I tried to live in His Son. 

     There you have it, beloved.  When all the STUFF is stripped away; when our possessions, egos and pride of life  are taken out of the equation–then there is God.  He never leaves our sides even for a second.  Sometimes, though, we are unable to see or hear Him for the accumulation of stuff, or for the worry of having our stuff taken away.   We get sick and fear that God has left us.  Never!  He loves us sick or well.  He loves us whether we live in a mansion or the backseat of a car.  He loves us when we can hear Him, and even when we cannot.  He loves us during those wonderful moments in our lives when everything is going well and prosperously, and He loves us when we are under the attack of the enemy.  He does not forsake us. 

     Why are so many believers under such overwhelming attack?  Why doesn’t God deliver us now from the furnace?  I don’t know.  Maybe, just as satan’s minions are attacking in order to take as many of us down with them as possible, God is allowing us to be tried in the fire so that we may come out victorious–that our righteousness in Christ will shine forth in the end and bring others into the kingdom.  I believe that Jesus is coming soon.  Surely our hearts and minds should be firmly entrenched in doing all we can to please God, regardless of what our personal circumstances may be telling us.  Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  What could be the desire of the heart of any Christian but to see the face of Jesus!  To help bring others into His presence;  to, after all He has done for us, bow down before Him and give Him praise and worship:  to be with Him.

     I found, after reviewing my recent days carefully, that the worse things got, the less I studied my Bible.  I talked to God a lot but, looking back, it seemed more like a constant harangue than the prayers of a loving daughter.  That is changing immediately.   As soon as I recognized the pattern I returned to a regular time of Scripture study and prayer.  To anyone reading this who may be undergoing the same sort of problems, I would suggest that now is the time to take the Bible off the shelf and immerse yourself in the love of God.  Bending our wills to become the will of God for us can be difficult, but “I delight to do Your will, O my God: yes, Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8).   May He grant that it will ever be so!

Forever, Lord, will I praise Your Name!  You, who are the author of all life and love and creativity; beauty and truth and passion!

Forever, Lord, will I worship Your Name!  You, who have called me from death into life; from hell to heaven and from sin into righteousness!

 

Maranatha!

 

 

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