Working in the church world, the question often posed in conversation is What is God teaching you right now?
It’s a hefty question if you haven’t given yourself the margin to be taught anything. I’m finding the more I surrender, the more I learn. Yet what continually blows me away are the times when God confirms what He’s teaching to me over, and over, and over, and over……you get the picture.
Right now, the buzz word of my life continues to be trust. I’m beginning to see how detailed God is and how intricately He seems to weave situations together. I don’t believe in coincidence, and I surely don’t believe in fate. I believe in authority and know that our lives are specific and yet, to us, so beautifully random.
In my internship with NewSpring Church I’ve nearly read the Bible two times through in the matter of seven months. I don’t say that to sound awesome. It’s a challenge. Honestly, I’m two weeks off the pace, but I needed to read what I’m now visually digesting for this specific moment. With taking in so much information, it’s often difficult to really form any depth of understanding. Now in the gospels, I’m hit with this revelation: Jesus gets what I’m dealing with.
Before Jesus even began his official “ministry” he was tempted. Last week, I read through Matthew 4 and couldn’t get away from the idea that all of the things offered to Jesus by satan would have been appealing…or else why would they have been called temptations? We are daily presented with opportunities that look good, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for me. It was Jesus’ reaction that reminded me I have to submit how I feel to the truth of the Word of God.
When I don’t believe, when I’m impatient, when I doubt, when I want to fall off the path, I HAVE to submit those things to what God says about my situation. It’s what Jesus did, and if I am to be like Him, I must do the same.
Secondly, reading through Mark and Luke, I saw something very interesting. Jesus is baptized by John right before He goes into the wilderness. When He comes up out of the water, God opens heaven and speaks saying, “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased.”
The first thing satan says to Jesus in the desert is, “if you are the Son of God…”
Satan is challenging Jesus’ identity. Even just this morning, I felt overwhelmed by lies and fear and shame. I totally felt like the enemy was questioning me the same way: if you are the daughter of God…
Again, there is no coincidence here: God speaks the truth of Jesus’ identity over Him right before He faces trial. I have to hang on to this. Isaiah 43 rocks my life and this morning immediately came to mind,
Do not fear! I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
God has defined my identity in Him. I am redeemed. He has called me by my name. I am His. That is truth. And my emotions and how I feel must submit to that truth. No matter what we face, this is our promise. And as we’ve been talking about the last six weeks with our students at Fuse, God is not just a Promise Maker, He is also a Promise Keeper.
He may call us to go through trials, but He prepares us for them and walks with us through them. I can trust that because I’ve seen it play out more and more. What I must fully grasp is that, more often than not, the issue is my choice to acknowledge He is with me, not the feeling that I have Him with me in situations. My boss, Lee McDerment, encouraged us to change how we pray. It needs to be less of “God be with me today” and more “God help me to be with You today.”
What I’m learning requires a shift in my perspective. It takes time, but I’m so thankful for this season to adjust it.