If you have been a Christian for longer than a day you have either heard about or engaged in spiritual warfare. We have an enemy who is out to get us, this we know.
We have armor, we have weapons, we are in a battle.
Life is not easy. Just about the time we think we have it all figured out, something hard hits us and down we go. We get up, check our armer, sharpen our weapons, and stand. We have practiced this over and over. We have memorized important scriptures on spiritual warfare and we use them.
We study our place of position in Christ Jesus. We love, and we worship. We check all the boxes, and we wait. We fight from a place of victory knowing the battle is already ours. Knowing we have an enemy and knowing how to fight him is essential in our walk with God.
But what if there are events or situations in our life that the enemy did not orchestrate? What if a season of hardship is not of the enemy but of God? We know how to fight the enemy, but do we know how to submit to God?
You will get no argument from me that God is a good and gracious God whose love for us is beyond our comprehension. However as a loving father it is often very necessary for Him to orchestrate situations in our lives where we will have to struggle in order to gain strength.
Let me be very clear about one thing, God does not bring sickness or disease. God does not discipline with injury or devastation. For those of you out there who have this mindset and live with a deep sadness that you must submit to these events, please know that a loving God would, could never do this to you.
I am discussing something very different. When we know the enemy is attacking we have a long laundry list of things to check off, to do, but when God is orchestrating a difficult situation in our lives for growth, what do we do?
We submit and endure. And I am here to tell you that has proven much more difficult in my own life than fighting.
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I am currently going through a difficult season where I know it is orchestrated by God for a purpose. I don’t like it and I don’t want to rejoice about it. But I choose to persevere. I choose to submit to God in order that a perfect work will be done in my life.
Throughout my life I have encountered many situations where I knew the enemy was at play and so I fought, but now that I know God is in charge of this, fighting the source is not an option! I would be fighting against God.
So I submit. And I rest. Let me say that in this situation it has proven to be one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I am a doer. I want to work it out, fix it, and make things happen. But He quickly showed me that my fixes were short lived and powerless against what He was doing in my life.
The verses immediately following the ones above discuss asking for wisdom. When you feel you might be in a season where God is doing something uncomfortable in your life and you do not know what to do, ask for wisdom, then hold firm while submitting to this season.
5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
So I stop trying to fix it, ask for wisdom, and rest. Let me be so bold to say that this is much more difficult that fighting a battle, but is far more profitable and beneficial in our lives.
10For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. 11Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.
The above scripture is talking about how we cannot gain salvation by working to obtain it. We must rest in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
This is not however the only type of salvation there is. The word sozo which is the Greek word for saved also means ‘save from all manner of situations and calamities’. It is human nature to ‘work’ ourselves out of this fix we are in.
Often this is the right thing to do, especially if we have gotten our own selves there from disobedience, or bad choices. However if you are in a season where you feel salvation is necessary, but that God is the author of the situation, your best and only perfect option is to rest.
When the work He has desired to accomplish in that season has been completed, He will bring salvation from that event.
I should have put a disclaimer at the top of this blog post that this is not a feel good message, however if you want all that God has for you ‘perfect and complete wanting nothing’ then let me challenge you to submit, pray, and rest.
If you feel you may be going through a God orchestrated difficult season as well, please let me know in the comments.