Friday, October 11, 2013

God is in control - even when we can't see how

The subject of God being in control of our lives and circumstances - even when we don't understand what's going on - is a subject often preached about in Christian circles these days. Often, His control means an answer or an outcome that we often don't expect, but later turns out to be the right thing.

Recently, my heart was deeply impacted by someone I once considered to be a close friend who has taken a proud stance for something that God very clearly indicated for me to take a stand against. I'd spoken to this person on several occasions yet they chose to ignore me despite the fact that I was doing as I was clearly told by God. The final nail in the coffin for this situation came up when I was talking to this person and all of a sudden my heart burst into flames with an urgent message from God for this person - "Tell them what I've told you." I stopped the conversation and explained that God had put it on my heart to tell this person exactly what God had told me. I explained that the stance I had taken was because God had told me to and that God was actually opposed to what this person was standing for. And once again, I was ignored as they continued to verbally defend something God had clearly told me (and them) that He was opposed to. Though they openly admitted that they knew that I was doing as I was told by God - they still continued to support what I was standing against and therefore had chosen to act in deliberate defiance to the will of God.

I literally couldn't believe what I was hearing. I thought this person was a close friend and here they were, deliberately dishonoring the Rhema word of God because God's word didn't line up with what they wanted. It's one thing to do the wrong thing and dishonor the word of God because we don't know any better or think we are doing the right thing when we really aren't. However, to be clearly instructed by God's Rhema word that we are doing wrong or are supporting something that is wrong - yet continue to do it anyway - is another matter altogether. I've learned in my walk that the Rhema word is the most important word a Christian can possibly hear. To see someone I once considered a close friend deliberately dishonoring the word of God because it didn't line up with what they wanted indicated that their pride was more important than God's truth - which was heartbreaking.

After months of trying to figure all of this out and dealing with the heartbreak, God clearly spoke to me. He simply said - "I don't see why you are so surprised this has happened, Graham. I'm not taken by surprise through all of this. I orchestrated this whole thing right from the beginning because I wanted to show you that this person does not have a place in your life any longer. This all happened due to My will and My purposes. Your life and ministry from this point on needs to be built on a firm foundation and part of that foundation is having people around you that can be trusted and can be relied upon to honor My Word and put it above themselves and their own wants and desires. Those who don't fit this mould will be removed because it's for your greater good."

I realized that most of my worry and stress in this situation had been simply because I thought that God had actually wanted this person to be a part of my long-term future and that God was angry because things hadn't gone to His plan. However, this wasn't the case at all. God knew exactly what He was doing and knew that this person could be relied upon to do the wrong thing - which is why He put the test of character in place so that I would see that they would fail it. It hurt now - in fact, it hurt enormously and a big part of why it hurt so much was the disbelief in my own mind as to what had just taken place. But I realized that a bit of pain now when the truth is revealed is better than an enormous amount of pain years down the line when a foundation has been built and it collapses at one point due to the pride and dishonor of someone who has spent all of that time focusing on what they want instead of putting God's Word and His truth first. God knew exactly what He was doing right from the beginning.

I have found that these types of situations often seem to happen when people are called apart for ministry - such as myself. God seems to be very pedantic as to who He wants in their lives - and who He doesn't. Since going through burnout in 2011, God has done an enormous amount of pruning in my life. He has removed people out of my life that He doesn't want to be there, He's removed me out of situations that were no longer beneficial and He's removed a huge amount of the fear and desire to please people at any cost which has plagued me my entire life. This fear has been replaced by a boldness and a courage to take a stand and do the right thing regardless of what it costs - and who decides to walk out of my life as a result. All of this has happened because of the life and ministry that God has planned for me. He wants the right people around me and wants me to have the ability to do the right thing and stand by God's Word and His truth before anything else.

The main lesson I took from all of this is that God knows the beginning from the end and that when He puts certain circumstances in place within our lives which cause reactions from others that we don't expect (and sometimes even shock us to the core) we need not be surprised and think that God has been taken by surprise in all of this. He hasn't. He knows people's hearts better than we do and He knows who can be relied upon to do the right thing - and who can't. If you are struggling with unexpected changes in your circumstances at the moment and are perhaps facing something similar to what I've faced - remember that God knows the beginning from the end and that everything happens for a reason. The reason may not always be what you expect - but it's right nonetheless and although it may hurt temporarily, it will benefit you in the long run.

Take care.

No comments:

Post a Comment