I just go along my merry day, skipping and jumping and hiking through life, until. . . BANG! I hit a roadblock, a stumbling point or a detour to everything that I had thought, planned and willed.
This just happened to me recently. My husband and I were convinced of what our family needed to do. We investigated, we prayed, we hoped, we looked, but no matter how hard we pushed, God wasn’t opening up a single door for us to move through.
We were stuck, children, without a way.
Isolated, kept in a barren land.
Roaming, unsure of our next step.
It’s normally just about this point when things get ugly.
When we start whispering things under our breath, when we get that under-the-skin-feeling of annoyance, when our good god and his powers seem to have taken the next flight to Siberia.
Ever felt this way?
There are five defenses that push a child of God away,
faster than you can say, “orphan”, they are:
1. Believing God doesn’t care about your meaningless situation and that the grand scheme of the world takes precedence.
Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Notice that God does not say, “Only cast God-worthy anxiety on me,” instead he says cast all anxiety on me.
2. Telling yourself, “Pull it together and act better.”
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Ps. 62:8
Let your heart’s pain pour out at the foot of the cross so that his love can co-mingle and release you from their overwhelming power.
3. Uncertainty that God will really answer you. This means you pray a little, worry much and then give up.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mt. 7:7
God hears and he delights in giving his children good gifts. He hears every prayer.
4. Walking distracted rather than engaged.
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Ps. 119:15
If you are thinking about world things, you will be ruled by it’s ways, not God’s all rescuing truths.
5. Wrapping your arms around worries and your detailed plans that go with them.
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. Ps. 37:4-5
Delight beats up worry then walks you over to your deepest desires.
Will we fortify our lives with man-made defenses
or will we fortify our lives with God’s truth
and move arms open into his great purposes,
believing he is commanding the war?
It is a choice. But, the direction we choose, determines the fullness of our calmness, satisfaction, peace and wellbeing.
The truth is God doesn’t hate us and berate us. He doesn’t restrict us, to inhibit us. He doesn’t withhold pleasure to displeasure us. He guides us to revive us, to indwell us and to compel us. He brings us from the barrenness of apprehensive and ineffective, to plains of impressive and courageous.
As we learn to take down our defenses, we end up remaining where God is. We dwell in his camp, which means we dwell in a place of complete love.
Here, he calls us to more. He beckons us to greater. He pulls us to insight. And relieves us in truth. He approves of our heart to know him. He delights in our will to rethink things. He enjoys our journey of discovery. He receives our heart to move differently. He answers our call to change. He throws out the crutches of condemnation and removes the splinters of failure. He stands arms wide open, ready to receive our changed heart. He longs that we fear not, and we don’t, instead we draw near.