Don't put God in a box
I received this cute little but very powerful devotional a few days ago from My Utmost. It’s so apt that I had to share. Please enjoy. Little confession: Sometimes things happen and I feel like I have no right to share these devotionals and write this blog. Then I force myself to remember that a) God Himself runs this blog so my little emotions and feelings cannot stop His work, and b) God Himself runs this blog so if I don’t pull myself by the bootstraps and do what I have to do, He’ll very well find other people to do His work. It’s a privilege for me to even be considered.
Anyway, please enjoy.
Leave Room for God
As workers for God we have to learn to make room for God — to give God “elbow room.” We calculate and estimate, and say that this and that will happen, and we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never looked for Him to come?
This section reminded me of Elisha’s encounter with God in I Kings 19.
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
Sometimes we expect God to show up in big big ways, but He often wants us to learn the still small voice of His presence. He wants us to not get carried away with the razzmatazz of bright lights and anointing and miracles and signs and wonders. Those are great, but learning to hear the small voice in the quiet of our hearts, or learning to not put God in a box of how we expect Him to show up is probably the best way.
Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him. That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way. However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in. We are apt to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. All of a sudden God meets the life — “When it was the good pleasure of God…” (RV).
Something very important here about timing. All of a sudden God meets life. I once heard someone say that at every given point in time, God is probably working on 10,000 things in our lives, but we’re only able to see about 3 of them.
Point is this: when we expect God to show up for us in a certain way, He may not. That’s not because He has forsaken us, but because He comes in His own time. He likes the crowd to gather so that He truly is the undisputed star of the show. He wants to show forth and show out and show off. Let Him take His time. Only pray for grace to wait well.
Keep your life so constant in its contact with God that His surprising power may break out on the right hand and on the left. Always be in a state of expectancy, and see that you leave room for God to come in as He likes.
Finally, we shouldn’t lower of expectations of God because we’re trying to not put Him in a box and avoid disappointment. An unambitious life is a boring life. A life with no expectations from God is a life of little faith. Expect Him to show up because the expectations of the righteous will not be cut short. But don’t tell Him how or when or why to show up. You don’t know the full story. Just sit and ask and wait and pray that He shows up.
We even may have missed His showing because we were waiting for a large earthquake, a huge fire, or thunder and lightening. On the other hand, when we listen and He seems to be not speaking, it may be because the clouds are gathering for a large rainfall or because the earth is quaking already. Free yourself of every imagination of how God will show forth His power. You don't need to know. Only ask Him to grant you the privilege to witness the entire display.
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