Life’s storms can be overwhelming. Seeing them from a new perspective, a higher point of view, through the eyes of God, can afford peace in the midst of them and give great hope for a time when they’re nothing more than a mere memory.
The cold had settled in. The icicle that had developed off the eave represented winter well. It grew larger and stronger with each rise and fall of the sun. The false heat of day, touching the snow upon the asphalt shingles, fed its stature but offered little respite to me. The larger the icicle became, the more dangerous it seemed. It, just as this particular winter, threatened menacingly that it was here for the long haul. But it had a purpose and a time, regardless of appearances, and it would one day be nothing more than a mere memory.
Such are the storms of life, the events that feel like their grip is oppressive and only growing. To everything there is a season. You see, God is mighty and created us now, for this time and place. It was not we ourselves who brought our existence into being, nor is our stature in this world self-made. We are His people, crafted by His will, and used for His purposes. While in the midst of winter with storms still ahead, know that God allows such seasons but curtails them into an appointed time, also for His purposes. Settle in to a trust of Him, and the storm will not be able to disrupt your peace-producing faith.
Today, though the cold will not release its grip for some time, I’ve gleaned a new perspective on that mighty icicle hanging from the eave outside my window. An angle from above, rather than that seen by most, shows evidence of its weakened state. It hangs now precariously by a tiny spot yet left to melt. By all other appearances, it is strong and menacing. Though oddly beautiful in its imposing presence, a dangerous decent is all that lay ahead, after which it will no longer pose a risk. It strikes me, its frailty. Where once might was its sole impression and still is from others’ points of view, things are shifting.
Though the storm may be strong in your life and the bitterness seems settled in for the long haul, God is in control. Come close to Him. See through His eyes. Get a new perspective and know that wickedness is losing its stability. It may suddenly appear dangerous, but such is the way of evil when it loses its foothold. Darkness always appears most ominous just before the Light dispels it.
For more encouragement, check out my short video message “Come Close-Spiritual Intimacy”.
God Is Working Behind the Scenes in Your Life!
The Christmas story illustrates wonderfully so many elements God had in the works behind the scenes in order to fulfill prophecy. When we hear a word from Him, a prophecy on our own lives, a simple thought back to the birth of our King can encourage us to trust. Embrace His peace in the process, and wait in confidence.
When will His promises be seen?
When God speaks His promises to our hearts, prophesies on our lives, He’s working behind the scenes to achieve the goal. What then, when we’ve not seen results? When will they come to pass?
Though you’ve heard confirmation and have been waiting, the answer you expected has not yet occurred. In fact, things seem far from in God’s control. Did you hear Him wrong? Wasn’t it God’s voice you heard? Doubt has begun its dark march into your heart, tainting the hope you’d once joyfully held.
Be Encouraged by the Christmas Story
Have faith. Whether you think He’s paying attention or not, God’s will is still being done, on earth as it is in heaven. In many ways, the story of Christmas offers great encouragement that God is working behind the scenes on things not yet seen in our personal lives today.
God Influenced Many as He Worked Behind the Scenes
It was a decree, an order that all return to their places of birth. The decision was made by one person, one man in authority. Without his realization, he’d been influenced by God. You see, it was necessary. In order for prophecy to be fulfilled, movement had to take place. It was announced and executed. Many people had to be involved to bring such an order into fruition. Shifts in location of multitudes of people were in the works long before the moment of Jesus’ birth.
Before God prophesied to you, He’d already set into motion the elements required to fulfill His intent. He’s working on things behind the scenes, just as He had in Bethlehem. His power is so far reaching, it includes even the decisions, mindset, and movement of others.
When Needed, God Reveals the Unseen Spiritual World
In addition to the logistics of Jesus’ birth location, many details were necessary to accomplish God’s will in the Christmas story. He needed particular people to believe, trust, and be obedient to His direction. God sent angels to make visits, clearly revealing to Mary and certain shepherds the unseen Spiritual world that surrounds us.
Have you entertained angels unaware? Have you sensed the wisdom within someone’s suggestion? Are you open to see the Spiritual realm around you?
Don’t Be Limited By the Picture in Your Mind
Mary had been told she would deliver the King. A promise on her life had been given. What picture in her mind was being challenged as she settled onto a bed of straw? What difficulty are you enduring right now that seems so distant from the image of God’s will in your mind? Take heart. What God brings about is often not what we envision in our limited thinking.
Dreams were used to direct Joseph and the wise men, but to keep God’s plan on track and protect Jesus, these people needed to trust His prodding and act on it. Jesus’ appointed time to save His people hadn’t yet come, and God gave instruction that would keep Him safe for the time being.
However, their obedience led to horrific events for many families all across the land. It was God who’d spoken to them, but did they question that at any time?
While God Works Behind the Scenes, Things May Seem Worse Before They Get Better
Often, in our lives, when we release control to God, things seem to get far worse before they get better. Hold onto Him. Trust Him as He works to manipulate the things out of our lives that aren’t necessary and draws that in which He desires. God’s reigning presence brings a shift that may initially appear wrong.
In the Christmas story, God influenced the authorities of the land so that Mary and Joseph would travel. He influenced the multitudes to fill Bethlehem, arriving before them and filling the rooms, leading to Jesus’ birth taking place in a stable, His first bed a manger. Those called to worship the newborn King were inspired by God as well. Not one detail was delayed or missed.
In fact, the heaven’s themselves were manipulated to participate. A star, whose light took years to travel to earth, gave direction, clearly showing that God had been at work in far reaching ways long before the trek to Bethlehem.
God’s Promises Will Be Fulfilled at His Appointed Time
Rest assured, long before God spoke to you, He’d set His plans in motion. Though it may be behind the scenes, the work He’s doing is powerful and will culminate at the appropriate time. Don’t lose hope. Keep your attention on Him and let His peace fill you while you wait.
We are that river
There’s a river that God’s in the midst of. It’s so influential that even the streams coming from it refresh the distant lands they touch. It’s a holy place, that river. It houses the most High. We, the children of God, are that river. He is in the midst of us, living through us, and imparting His strength so that we can rest in Him and not live broken.
When we flow freely, unencumbered by life’s debris, when God pulses through our very being, His light shines from us like streams branching off from a river. Even the seemingly small things we do prompted by God encourage others to believe. They’re touched by Him through us, often without us even being aware.
Let God guide your journey
Entrusting our lives to God and His will allows Him to guide us through riverbanks He’s already carved. Some appear good, some appear bad. Following through on His nudges often leads to witnessing things that could only have come from One who knows all. For these experiences we praise and worship Him. However, sometimes that revelation comes later. Hold tight.
Difficulties place us where God needs us
When we endure difficulties of which others judge and condemn us, rather than lash out, stand confident. God is in control still. He positions us where He needs us to be. There’s no need to defend. Don’t allow these seemingly bad situations to hinder His work. Fight the urge to complain or attack in response. Wait in quiet trust. Keep your eyes on Him, and watch God reveal His purposes. In this way we’re able to offer an example of the pure power of God.
Resist angrily giving back what is being done to you. Restrain from seeking vengeance. God does so in His time and to a degree that serves His purposes, furthering His will. Let Him repay evil for what evil has done. It’s not your job. Let that freedom penetrate and enjoy the weight lifted.
Relax in the flow of God’s will.
Rest, relax in the flow of His will. Sink in, and don’t worry about what you may or may not accomplish. He provides abundantly what’s needed. Resting in Him renews our Spirit as we continue to grow closer and more in love with Him. Allow fully His Spirit to fill and flow through you. Relationship with Him is the most important thing of life.
There’s a river that God’s in the midst of. Be that river, trusting and filled so much that streams of His presence branch off from you, offering refreshment to others.
We’re creatures of habit, change is hard, and our minds are powerful. These three thoughts influence us negatively when old haunts taunt.
Being indwelled by God’s Holy Spirit lifts us beyond our temptations. An intimate connection with God offers fellowship with One who’s in control. It allows us strength from One who’s almighty. Living through the Spirit frees us from the weight of our guilt and shame.
Creature of Habit
What can we do when old familiar haunts of days past taunt until they become our focus again? Though perhaps not seen outwardly, their presence is felt. This was conduct of a life thought to be traded in for robes of white. The creature of habit, whispering lies of comfort, no matter the cost, rises up once more.
Change is Hard
A great weight was lifted when you gave God your life. You sensed the difference. The freedom was amazing. The joy He brought was immeasurable. Now, you sit thinking of such change. Was it real? How could it have been if temptation has risen so strongly once more? Ultimately, you admit in defeat that change is hard.
Our Minds Are Powerful
When old haunts rise, thinking consumes. It morphs to disbelief in the truth of who we are as children of God. Frustration overwhelms, and soon we find ourselves giving in to the old nature. After all, our minds are powerful. The more we think on something, the more controlling it becomes.
Haunts that taunt hold tight. Don’t let them get a grip!
What influences you? You may feel that the old haunts taunt you and lead you to fail, returning you to old ways you’d turned from when God became your focus, but you’re wrong. It’s not really the old haunts that are to blame, it’s what you do with them.
You’re Worth It!
Stop thinking about them! Be aware. The more you think on them, the more power they have. Turn your thinking instead to God. Whenever temptation rises, consciously turn your thoughts to God. Talk to Him, aloud if you must. Put on music that honors Him and sing along. Read something that points to Him. Whatever it takes for you to focus on God instead, do it. Taking the time to refocus is worth it! You are worth it! God is the answer. He is what will break the spell when old haunts taunt!