For we live by faith, not by sight. -2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
To be right wth God has often meant to be in trouble with men. -A.W. Tozer
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. -John 14:27 (NIV)
Remember when you needed training wheels to ride your bike?
Just as it was when we were kids, it’s a progression of skills, strengths, and lessons built on previous, more fundamental ones, to mature and take on more difficult but rewarding new challenges. We crawled, then walked, then learned how to ride tricycles, and then bicycles with training wheels.
And at some point, those training wheels had to come off, and our parents let go of our bikes…and we used everything we’d learned up to go farther than we ever have before.
Our Heavenly Father lovingly prepares us in a progression as well.
Everything God has carried you through so far, and where you are now, is possible through the lessons and trials He has seasoned and refined and strengthened you with in the past. And where you are now on your climb is right where God needs you to be: to learn new lessons built on your past lessons and growth, and to prepare you for even more amazing ascents and summits ahead.
And there will be paths that God needs you to traverse. Paths of intense heat, where God needs you to endure in His name and to be His soothing peace in the face of fiery hatred and condemnation. To break cycles of unhealthy habits, behaviors, and generational sin. To not let your flesh back down when you know this is not about you, but His glory!
The lessons I’ve learned so far are:
- Surrender all. God’s Word shows us that He takes surrendered dreams and lives and fulfills them manyfold according to His will and timing.
- Trust in His timing. Even lightning waits on His perfect command!
- He sees your true colors, not what others–or even your own conscience–will condemn you with.
- Walking and talking in God’s truth for how we should live, including in relation to others, will bring the heat. Take it as an indication that you’re on the right path.
- See God’s blessings even in the worst of times, as He showed with Joseph.
- Be steadfast in your faith walk, each step steadier than the last, and lift up your face, remembering how God has never let you down each time you’ve stepped out in faith.
- Pray persistently, believing that what you pray for will be done, as His Word instructs. Prayer connects His power from up above down into our lives below, laying tracks for His mighty locomotive!
- Trust in God’s higher thoughts and ways to weave His tapestry for the good of His children, though it may not make sense now.
- Do not fear. Do not be afraid. The God of angel armies is with you.
- Ask Him to continue to guide you, align your will to His, and to continue to show you the way. Thank Him for making a way where there seems to be none!
- Keep calm and trust in God. Remember that He is with you the entire way. You can carry His peace with you no matter what.
God has amazing plans in store for you, and is equipping you to handle them along the way. The training wheels are off. This is 2 Corinthians 5:7 in action. This is for real. Let’s ride.
Though I’ve posted it before, Casting Crown’s “The Voice of Truth” is too powerful not to repeat. It doesn’t matter what the world tells you. Trust in God and follow His guidance. This is for His glory!