Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)
Trials, temptations, adversary attacks, conflicts, disappointments, and life strains pull and tug at our heart, mind, and soul. The stretch often has us pleading for reprieve and begging for escape. Our appeal is for the test to be terminated instantaneously. If the pressure would lessen then we could better tolerate and cope is normally our generalization and mindset. Rarely do we ask-what is the purpose of this hardship?
God reminds us that when tests and trials enter, growth can occur. He even allows us to be stretched beyond our comfort zone because He loves us. (He is a Father-and discipline comes with the role.) However, the level of reverence and maturity varies for each of us. I stayed in the teenage zone for way too long. (Go ahead and ask God-He will agree with me!) I wanted everything to go my way and I had convinced myself I knew best. There may be a thousand reasons for this lack of trust and stubbornness but it is still no excuse. It took me being on the verge of life to realize my need to let God in the driver’s seat. Friends, I wasted a lot of God’s time. I was far from teachable and willing to be refined for a lifetime.
One thing I learned-spiritual growth begins with allowing God to lead. The Father is our assurance-the promise of survival and deliverance. Reigning victoriously starts way before the struggle. It originates with our understanding that we have not been promised sunshine 24/7. Life brings storms and raging winds. We have to decide ahead of time how we are going to fight our battles and if we are going to be compliant and dedicated enough to embrace the stretch. A choice to allow the valleys to strengthen our defenses and intensify our coping mechanisms.
Think about the power of the stretch under God’s authority:
Broadening our understanding of who God is
Extending the level of our faith
Enlarging our wisdom
Widening our eyes to the schemes of the enemy
Now ponder the results when trying to obtain victory on our own:
Broadening our thoughts of being incapable (possibly leading to depression)
Extending our level of anxiety
Enlarging our focus on ourselves (selfishness)
Widening our relationship gap with God
We can have the triumphant life when we preserve ourselves through walking in obedient faith daily. God is our way of escape. He can and will supply the support and elasticity. In Him, we can reign victorious and the words “Oh snap!” will only be for the enemy. It will be the sound of the adversary’s plan failing and slapping him in the face. Can I get an AMEN?
What are you committed to doing in advance?
Can you accept your current stretch?
Reach out-let us pray for you.
We have been there!!
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 2:18 (NIV)