God rules over what things? Everything! That’s what it says. It’s absolutely true. The word “rules” means, has dominion over. He is in charge. He runs things. He makes the decisions. Simply stated, God is in control! Oh that is so easy to say and so easy to write here. The truth is, sometimes it’s very hard to believe that.
What would cause a child of God to lose faith in His dominion? Circumstances that don’t change. Or you might find yourself in a situation where you really need God to take some action, maybe even drastic action. You might even need an absolute miracle. So after you have prayed about your issue and asked Him to intervene, you shift into “faith mode” and try to trust God to work it out. You might mentally acknowledge His control over your situation, but sometimes, as the days, weeks or months go by, it seems likes He’s not doing anything. You may even think He has forgotten about you completely and is not going to get involved in your need at all. That really hurts! It causes an abundance of frustration, maybe even fear and depression. That kind of response opens up a door to the enemy of your soul, the devil, to hit your heart with all kinds of faith destructive thoughts and feelings. If that is allowed to continue, you may lose all sense of God’s dominion and your relationship with Him could suffer serious damage.
I understand that process so well. I have experienced every part of it at different times in my life. I’m even going through it right now. I know the Bible declares He is in control of everything in my life, but in my heart I feel like Job.
Job 23:2-14 NLT “My complaint today is still a bitter one, and I try hard not to groan aloud. (3) If only I knew where to find God, I would go to His court. (4) I would lay out my case and present my arguments. (5) Then I would listen to His reply and understand what He says to me. (6) Would He use His great power to argue with me? No, He would give me a fair hearing. (7) Honest people can reason with Him, so I would be forever acquitted by my judge. (8) I go east, but He is not there. I go west, but I cannot find Him. (9) I do not see Him in the north, for He is hidden. I look to the south, but He is concealed.
Do you ever feel like this, too? Hey God!! Where are You? Does God play “Hide and Seek?” That’s a children’s game where you have to close your eyes and count to some predetermined number (like 100) while everyone else who is playing with you goes and hides. Then you have to go find them. I don’t want God to do that to me! This is not a game. This is my life. I need Him to respond. I need to see Him taking action. But He seems to be hidden and concealed.
So what’s going on? Well, I mentioned in the previous blog that my wife and I are going to move to South Dakota. We really need to make this move for financial and practical reasons. There is no reason for us to remain in New York. We came here in 1976 to serve Him and now the opportunities to serve have dried up. We are ready to return to be with our families and seek out other opportunities for service there. We are excited about the change. We are ready to go. But there is a big problem. We haven’t been connected with a buyer for our house. That is a real blow emotionally and financially. It’s also scary. My wife just retired from her teaching job in the public schools. Our income has been cut in half. We need to get out of here because we can’t afford to live in this house or in this state now because the cost of living and the taxes are so high.
We have committed the situation to God. We have prayed. We have believed. We hired an amazing realtor to help us. We purged our possessions, getting rid of things we don’t need any more so the house isn’t cluttered. We have worked so hard and made the house look so nice. Well, it has been on the market over two months now and nothing has happened, at least nothing we can see. My wife is doing better with it than I am, but I know she is concerned. I’m really struggling. I do feel most days like God is hiding and doesn’t hear me. I’ve tried presenting my case to Him. I know He is fair and understanding. But my soul cries out, “Where are You?”
You’ve been in situations like that too, right? Of course you have. You even know what you should say to me, to try and encourage me. I already know what you would say anyway, because I would say it to you! The truth is, it’s always easy to have an answer for someone else, but oh so hard to live it yourself when you’re in a hard place.
So what am I going to do about all this? I see a solution. Job found it and used it. After complaining about his bitter problem and the fact that he couldn’t find God he said:
(10) “But He knows where I am going. And when He tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.
Job acknowledged that God knows where we are and where we are going. So I can apply that to myself. He is very aware of my journey. I am not alone. Job also discovered that all this is just a test! So….Hey, Randy, this is a test!! Hey you, this is a test! And when God tests me, I come through and out of the fire of that test as pure as gold. So this is all about changing me. He’s burning off the junk in my heart and my life that hinders my relationship with Him: the sins, the distractions, the lack of faith. It’s to make my heart pure, free from spiritual defects.
Job knew this was all going to work out for him because he lived a lifestyle that honored God.
(11) For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed His ways and not turned aside. (12) I have not departed from His commands, but have treasured His words more than daily food.
I need to stay on God’s paths too, and not go wandering down some other road that will take me away from where He is leading me. I need to follow His ways and not turn away from them, doing my will instead of His. I need to actually do what He says, obeying His commands. They are all recorded for me in the Bible, the Word of God. I need to treasure His words more than daily food. I love food. I actually have some addiction issues with food (but that’s another blog). I always make sure I get to eat. That’s how I need to treat the Bible. I need to treasure what He has said to me in it more than I do food.
Doesn’t that sound like a good plan? If it worked for Job it will work for me. It will work for you, too. I know I’m not the only one experiencing spiritual “Hide and Seek” right now. I’m not the only one being tested. I feel alone, but there is a big difference between feelings and reality. Remember that! Feelings change, but truth is eternal! Let’s hang on to the truth of God’s word, regardless of how we feel.
So Job’s next statement puts everything into a proper perspective.
(13) But once He has made His decision, who can change His mind? Whatever He wants to do, He does. (14) So He will do to me whatever He has planned. He controls my destiny.
I know that He heard me when I prayed. I know that I am not alone. I don’t know what’s happening, but He does. He knows where I’m going and is using this to test me and make me pure like gold. He has made a decision regarding my journey. Nobody, including me, is going to change His mind. He will do to me whatever He has planned. Why? Because He is in control of my destiny. He has many plans for my life and He will fulfill them all. I gave Him that right when I gave my life to Jesus and was born again through faith in Christ. I surrendered all control of all of me to Him. So He is going to make it all happen His way, His time. Until then, I need to live in a way that honors God, staying on His path and obeying His Word.
Will you join me? We can do this! Let’s stop looking for proof God is doing something. Let’s just go through this test and enjoy being changed and purified. Like Joyce Meyer, an awesome woman of God, often says, “Learn to enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going!” God is in control. Act like it! I will too. Let’s pray for and encourage one another.
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