Each one of us has an opportunity to make a difference here in this world while we have breath. It seems to be God’s design that we go through several preparation seasons before He sovereignly moves us into our destiny, like in the story of Joseph (Genesis chapters 37- 41.)
If we are truly surrendered at Jesus feet to be shaped and used how he wishes instead of our own plans then we will go through certain processes. It is through these processes our character is formed and our ability to trust God is developed.
I don’t know about you, but I seem to need a regular check in with God to see if I have fallen into striving, or whether I am in a place of surrender. There are a few ways I can check because surrender seems to give me more joy and more freedom. Surrender is letting go, finding joy in the now and trusting in the goodness of God.
I do not want to always be fighting God and his processes for my life! How tiring and unfruitful would that be. So there comes a time to agree with God and what he wants to do in your life and how he wants to do it. I have found that embracing his way leads to more peace. When I realise that it’s not on my shoulders to make things happen I am more free to wait with joy and anticipation and see the good things unfold which God has for me.
After lots of waiting, I have just had a door open for me to work in one of my dream settings, a small family-like early learning centre. This breakthrough is teaching me a great lesson about waiting on God and that his best for us can be amazing! I can literally see the ocean from the playground of my work and know that only God could have known what joy that would bring me!
The Holy Spirit recently spoke a word into my heart while I was praying and asking God for understanding over His ways. As I quietened myself before the Lord I heard God speak this; ‘My prophets must go through My fire. My people want instant, but I need lasting, because I see the future generations’.
This was a sobering word that made me realise some of why God seems to allow so many hard processes in our lives. Maybe he allows these because what comes forth from the testing is more precious to him than anything else.
He needs a people who can stand; stand for Him and stand against the enemy who prowls like a lion seeking to devour and destroy us and any mustard seeds of our faith which God planted in us (1 Peter chapter 5 verse 8.) Through the testing we become strong; like a fortified city with good foundations, or like a warrior with well-trained muscles who knows how to fight.
Without the trials where would we be? How could God create an army through us if we were just happy, clappy Christians who never got tested? How could our faith be tested and come forth as real and refined as gold?
Is the testing worth it?
So often we need perspective in our lives. We only get one life. One chance to live for Jesus and show Him our hearts for Him. He wants maturity in us His bride, and part of maturity is seeing his ways as best and valuing what Jesus values. His testing produces gold, and through it we develop strength, muscles and the ability to stand.
The Amplified Bible version of James chapter 1 says it like this: 3 ‘Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.’
Liana Monaghan lives in Port Willunga, South Australia with her husband Justin of nine years. Liana is a passionate early childhood educator, songwriter and lover of Jesus.