I’ve been on a journey with God that has been hopeful at best and strenuous and tiresome at worst. A good analogy, used millions of times by writers, is that of hiking a long and arduous trail.
With moments of glory as one reaches the top and gets to experience the view, giving hope of another mountain top in the distance. But most of that trail leads into a valley or a steep climb. That describes the last couple years of my life.
Moments of hope, followed by many more moments of strenuous wrestling with God.
Recently I have been thinking about the impact of the devil in our world. More specifically the impact of the devil in my personal life. Sometimes it seems that the devil is winning and no matter how hard I pray, it won’t change that fact. Of course, there are hundreds of examples of this in the Bible. Where it seems the devil is in control and then God shows up and changes the situation. Or at the very least God makes a promise to change the situation eventually.
There are times that I hate that word. God gives a promise for the future or He answers my prayer with “not yet”. So I’m stuck waiting, trying to trust that God will come through.
But there is a nugget of truth I believe God has given me in my “not yet” life I am leading. And that truth is: “Waiting doesn’t mean being passive”.
To be passive or not to be passive, that is the question.
Passivity is something I usually tend towards. It’s a lot easier for me to sit back and wait or to retreat from a situation until it figures itself out. And I tend to take the answer that God gives, that “not yet” answer, and think that I need to sit on my hands until God does something.
I tell myself that it’s all up to God. I mean, He IS God after all. He can do whatever He wants, so I’ll just wait and eventually God will do something.
How much is the devil involved in my wrestling?
Maybe, just maybe, that’s what the devil wants. The more I read Scripture, the more I see the devil at work trying to undermine God and His people. The devil wants to beat us down to a point where we don’t do anything. Where passivity becomes our normal. Where our comfort zones and our selfishness becomes our “waiting on God”.
Maybe I’m waiting on a clear signal from God or for Him to write something in the sky before I start acting. And maybe that’s what the devil wants. If we (as Christians) aren’t doing anything, then in a way, the devil might have gotten what he wanted.
Perhaps passivity shouldn’t be my answer to my wrestling with God. Yes, I don’t have all the answers and yes I still struggle with prayer and how to live a life with God. But I certainly don’t want the devil to play a bigger role in my wrestling than God does. I don’t want the devils ideas and thoughts to overtake God’s truth and who I know God to be.
My challenge to myself and the readers: Let’s try to be less passive when God says “Not yet” to our prayers. If God is still working in this world, then so should we.
Jason LaLone was on staff at YWAM Brisbane and is currently in America working with Truro Anglican Church located in Fairfax, Virginia. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus’ command to make disciples a practical reality that he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and used to dislike Monday's, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone’s previous articles might be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Jason-LaLone.html