The Lord Will Be Gracious
18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.
20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Is 30:18-21 ESV)
Briefly speaking, when we really want to hear God’s voice in all adverse circumstances, we must wait for Him, even though He seems to be silent at times. Not easy, I know…
Yesterday in the late evening I felt nudged to write an article on discerning the spirits, an issue that has been on my mind since Thursday last week. However, the Lord gave me no guidance as to WHAT I could have written about it. So I had to wait, and wait, and wait. You can imagine that I was relieved on Sunday – though it was already past 11 pm – when I felt some spiritual flow inside me so that I could begin with writing that post.
Oh boy, I had really written a lot until I went to bed long after 1:00 am today! But the article was not complete and I felt rather uneasy about it all the time. Today in the morning our daughter raised me out of my sleep because she felt sick and could not go to school. Everything I felt at that very moment was God’s deep, enfolding peace although I was simultaneously rather tired, still.
Later, when I had time to pray, I was still wondering why God was so silent as to that blog post-to-be. The only thing I could sense when I looked at Him in my mind was His peaceful and comforting love that chased away all uncomfortable feelings about anything. Nonetheless, as I was sitting at the computer again after my prayer time, I did a strange thing. Completely unawares, actually! As silly as it may sound, when I was trying to go on with writing that article, I accidentally deleted the whole file in less than one second. Without me knowing what I did and without the possibility to restore the deleted file which had only been saved on my USB flash drive, but not yet on my computer. Checking the trash folder of my computer, I saw that the file was clearly not there. 😛
After a few minutes of searching here and there, trying this and trying that, I gave up on it, though with a feeling of uneasiness again. Asking the Lord about it – no answer, either.
Incidentally, I just found an interesting quote from Martin Luther which reads,
“But whatever he [i.e. God] does not want to tell you, you should not desire to know, and give him the honor to believe that he knows what is not necessary, profitable nor good for you to know. “
(Martin Luther’s Postil – Volume 1, p. 172)
In fact, now the whole thing begins to make sense to me. It appears to me that God wants to warn us about listening to any spirit that willingly answers our questions and offers much information about the topics we want to see explored. God’s guidance was and is always unpredictable and it takes a whole lot of surrendering of our own thoughts and plans over to Him, and loads of time to wait on Him until He eventually clearly says,
“This is the way, walk in it.”
Satan instead is the one who wants to keep our minds always occupied and busy. He loves to attack our God-given peace with urging us to listen to his permanent suggestions that feed our natural reason and understanding. The devil wants to see us restless, running around like a lunatic – even if, perhaps, only in our minds – and rambling on thoughts which are not suitable for building and edifying the hearer or reader (cf. Eph 4:29-32).
Indeed, God’s overwhelming peace makes all the difference. Hence, we ought to be careful as soon as we sense an increasing restlessness in our hearts and minds, the awareness of having lost clear direction, and an accumulation of confusing and unsettling thoughts. Satan is a clever guy, an expert regarding struggle and strife, and the pronounced opponent of all people in whom he perceives the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit, as it is described here,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Gal 5:22-23 ESV)
Even though is it not always that easy, let us try to keep waiting on Him, on these specific moments in His time when all things can happen naturally, peacefully, without rushing and compulsion. God never forces us to do anything, nor to do more than we are able to. He is a gentle giver, not a subtle seducer. And God, finally, makes us love all people. Satan instead wants to see no unity between human beings. Actually, all negativity and all those thoughts that make us feel bad or think bad about others indeed have their origin in Satan’s deceitful tricks he so often plays on us.
So, the lesson learned for me today is simply TRUST. Or in other words,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prv 3:5-6 ESV)