No resting place

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It’s hard to describe and harder to forget. Chances are you’ve felt it more than once. It might be a stirring call to action, your heart drumming with a military beat. Or maybe you’ve been trying to hold it all together, like an overstretched water balloon, and all of a sudden it feels safe to burst—tears shimmering, rivers of relief rolling down your cheeks. Some people describe it as being broken by the Holy Spirit. It’s a surrendering of self, a moment of raw repentance and revival. 

Dark times do come. I’m not trying to minimise hurt and pain. But where my focus is before and during storms determines how I emerge from the other side.

It may be a still small voice, calling you back home or a huge warm hug.

Conviction, the Holy Spirit’s call, the Father running unashamedly, wrapping you in His arms, to fill you, calm you or convert you. Remember that feeling?

Elijah felt the same awe as the fire fell from heaven. He knew in that moment that God was real, that He cared and that He was in control. He knew God was great and mighty. He felt the power of God propelling him as he outran Ahab’s chariot, carrying him along with breathless abandon. Yet he found himself wandering the desert, alone, hunted, his feet dragging, his world closing in around him, depression slowing him down, dogging his steps. 

Life happens. Like Elijah we drift away from connection, coming down from the mountaintop of God’s presence into the valley of doubt and complacency. 

Some of my friends are currently struggling; tempted by things they had left behind years in the past and suffering from disconnection from God.

Why? Why do I find myself drifting back, struggling to maintain my faith at the same energised, dynamic level? I think it boils down to two things: being self-focused and forgetting what God has done.

In our consumer culture, we expect certain rights. We covet and strive, upholding individualism and putting ourselves first. It’s the natural state, ever since Adam and Eve first wished to be like God. 

Elijah expected. He expected God to act in a certain way, expected people to react in a certain way, expected his lot would change, that the future would be rosy. Instead, things stayed the same. In fact, they got worse. But Elijah’s focus was firmly on himself. He forgot what God had done. 

Dark times do come. I’m not trying to minimise hurt and pain. But where my focus is before and during storms determines how I emerge from the other side. 

I’ve heard it said we are either moving toward God or away from Him. There is no middle ground, no resting place. We sit comfortably, knowing God and everything about Him. Before you know it we’re sliding backwards.

But by seeking God in His Word (reminding me what God has done for others and getting to know Him better) and sharing the testimony of what He has done in my life (reminding me of what He has done for me), my focus is removed from myself and I am daily revived.
 


Jarrod Stackelroth is associate editor of RECORD.