Step Back

Saying yes to Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior does not preclude us going through some very rough and tough patches along the road. Our responses to these tough and rough patches actually prove the faith that we profess. Severally in the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible, we see God telling us not to be afraid of whatever may come our way because He cares for us. This shows that there will be lots of scenarios along the way that will terrify us and may ignite doubt in our minds about Him. From a simplistic point of view, we may wonder why God will let us go through the fears and dangers in the first place. If He was going to be with us every step of the way, carnally we think we don’t really have to go through them in the first place. However, we have not been called to be carnal, infantile or immature Christians. The price of maturity in Christ Jesus is gotten not by our tittles or how long we have been serving but to the degree we have allowed God’s word to train our senses to distinguish between good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). It then follows that when we or people we know are going through a rough patch, we should not be too quick to pass judgment on them, ourselves or shift our responsibilities. One of the lessons we must learn of the lives of the children of Israel in the Bible is that when they go to battle and are defeated, they in most cases, realize that they were beaten by the enemy not because they had superior weapons but because they (Israel) have left their place with God (1Samuel 4). Once they do the right thing, they record supernatural victory after victory. Same principle still operates today.
When God takes us through such patches, before we start laying blames, we need to step back and get our perspectives in order. Friend, we must understand that there are two particular ways of entering into trouble: By Sin and By the Spirit of God! When faced with trouble as a result of sin, our genuine repentance and godly sorrow will take us out of it. If the trouble is ignited by the Spirit of God, our complete obedience will lead us out. A typical example of the first is when David willfully chose to count the number of his soldiers (1Chronicles 21). Example of the second is Jesus Christ, when He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil for 40 days and 40 nights (Luke 4:1-13). When going through these troubles, we can get a clearer perspective when we look to God and not to man. So many at this point fix their gaze on ‘what should have been’ and miss ‘what is’. They are like the proverbial driver that is stuck looking at his rear view mirror and wondering why he keeps having accidents. To guard us against the ‘rear view rut’, God encouraged us to: “Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old” (Isaiah 43:18). But for us to focus solely ahead of us: “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). Friend, if you are in such a rut right now, don’t despair. Have the appropriate response and God will fulfill His own end of the bargain: “Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and I love you, I will give human beings in your place, and peoples in place of your life. Do not fear, for I am with you…” (Isaiah 43:4-5a). Be encouraged and strengthened in Jesus Christ name. God bless you.


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