You say, ‘I am in the right, not God.’ …(Job 35:2).
When I was a child I argued often with my parents over their rules for me. One of them was that I was not allowed to watch many of the movies that my friends did, because of the inappropriate content. I hated it that my parents wouldn’t let me watch certain movies when it seemed like many of my friends got to.
I would tell my parents, “it’s not that bad, I can handle it, it just like one scene, it’s not going to hurt!” Of course, they knew arguing with a twelve-year-old over the content of movies was quite futile. They always stood their ground. Today, I’m thankful they did. Of course, I wasn’t at the time. My immaturity and limited vision kept me from seeing the purpose of their protection.
Many of us act the very same way with God. God has a vision for our lives. We love to sing about it and talk about how great God is, except for when He doesn’t give us what we want. As the proclamation of our mouths meets the rubber of the road of our hearts, our true beliefs about who God is come rushing to the surface. God already knows what lies deep within. That’s why sometimes He has to take us to some lie about Him deep within our hearts. Sometimes our immaturity keeps us from seeing and trusting God’s vision because it feels unfair and painful. We cannot see how He can be good when a health, financial, relational, or job issue comes our way.
I imagine there were times when Joseph felt this way when he was wrongfully accused, sold into slavery by his brothers and forgotten in prison. Yet, God did not forget Joseph. The prison cell was part of the preparation. Sometimes God has to lead us to the place at the table of least significance before He can raise us up to be a true leader for Him.
A.W. Tozer says, ““It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” Could it be that our painful circumstances are for the renovation of our own hearts? Just as clay is refined in the fire, so are our hearts.
There is something beautiful God is working out in your heart. Do not fight Him. Trust the potter’s hands. He’s molding you into something new. Sometimes we want to take our idols with us into the refiner’s fire, but they will only melt away there. The problem arises when we dash from the fire to preserve them. Then we wonder why we feel as though we’re living in half-hearted devotion to God.
Maybe its because we didn’t like the hand God dealt us. Maybe its because we spend so much time arguing with Him about it. Maybe its because we think we know better than God. Maybe it’s because we have found comfort in our idols, keeping us from true devotion to the Lord Jesus. The renovation of the heart will never fully happen with one hand raised to God and another clinging to our comforts. Only when we let go can the maker take both of our hands and lift us up into His arms. It’s there, in His embrace that His love meets us in the midst of our struggling and striving. He is a good and loving Father. He offers peace in the midst of tragedy and blessing in seemingly unfair circumstances. We must learn to trust Him, in Jesus name.
Oh Lord, I long to lift up both of my hands to you daily! I long to sit in your embrace. My heart so desperately needs it! When Satan tempts me to stray I want to stay with you, close to your heart. I long for you to renovate my heart. I trust you, in Jesus name, Amen!