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When God Hides

Just Remember, You Are Succeeding

By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer

CBN.comIt’s so much easier to see how far you have gone when you get a bird’s eye view of your life. When you are a bird, you can soar above your circumstances, seeing the landscape for what it is. You see the connections and how you can easily go from Point A to Point B.

But, typically, we only see our lives from down here on the ground, where we are still in the thick of things. And if we aren’t careful, we will let those unsettled things, those disappointments and fears and unfulfilled longings, pull us down and prevent us from seeing the truth: Just how pleased our God truly is with how we are progressing in following Him.

Discover the Truth About You

I say this because I recently had this revelation while in prayer. When the Holy Spirit quickened my spirit, I suddenly realized that I was seeing my life all wrong. I was stuck in what I like to call the “slog”. It’s that miry state where all you can see is the muck that keeps you stuck. I had been spiritually flailing myself for those things I had not accomplished yet, for those things I had yet to obtain – everything from not having a husband and children to not owning a house to not enjoying a bigger paycheck to not having enough in my savings account to not having written a book yet, which God had called me to do. Ugh.

I felt guilty and depressed and overwhelmed. I chalked up my life to some monstrous failure that I would have to earn my way out of it or somehow pay penance for, which of course isn’t a biblical worldview at all. Still, I felt like God must have been terribly disappointed in me. I had put such high expectations on myself that I couldn’t possibly see how I was doing anything really good.

What made me stay in this sloggy state is the fact that I had “evidence” that I wasn’t succeeding – doctor bills that were threatening my finances, a dirth of romantic prospects, dubious health issues, lack of discipline that was keeping me from overcoming temptations and moving ahead, and on and on it went. And so I kept focusing on these blocked goals. And that’s just where the devil wanted me, feeling defeated and blind to where I was, in fact, making major progress.

When you are in that place where you are sensing God is getting you prepared for a major breakthrough but you can’t quite see it yet, you can be vulnerable to this thing called doubt – that age-old “Did God really say…?” The enemy will do everything in his power to keep you from rising above your current circumstances to grasp the incredible destiny that the Lord has for you right around the corner. And discouragement is one of the big ones.

That’s why I am here to tell you today that you are not the sum total of your lack or what was done to you or what you did wrong. You are not abandoned, stupid, ugly, unable, unacceptable, weak, broken – or anything else that the enemy is trying to tell your soul. I have thought the same things about myself and have had to have my slew of God-believing friends pull me out of that pit, so don’t think I don’t know how you feel. But I also know that isn’t the truth.

You are forgiven, armed with everything you need to accomplish what God has for you, completely loved, and able because He is able. When you are in Christ, seeking His face, you are on the right path – and He delights in you!

He is so excited when we take those small baby steps toward that humongous goal. Transformation is not an overnight thing – and, frankly, that is absolutely OK with God, even if it isn’t always OK with you and me. God is not upset when we trip up and fall backward while trying to progress on this road of destiny. He is not waiting for us to fail, Saints; He is waiting for us to succeed. He is rooting for us, yelling, “Come on, you can do it!” from the sidelines with a big grin on His face. When we can’t run fast, He runs beside us, encouraging us to continue. And when we can’t run at all, He runs for us so we can accomplish all He has for us.

I know the fact that you aren’t a failure might take some time to sink in. Honestly, it did and still does for me. But I am working on it through God’s grace.

And for some of you, who haven’t realized that you really truly deep down thought that way about yourself, that revelation might make you feel guilty because you failed to see God and yourself correctly. Don’t get all down on yourself all over again.

Don’t focus on where you might have failed. Keep your eyes on what you have done right. If you don’t know what you have done right, then sit down with a friend and ask him or her how you have grown. A good friend who really cares about you will tell you. Also ask the Lord Himself to show you where you are winning His heart. He will. You will be surprised and richly blessed by what He has to say about you. The greatest motivator isn’t guilt or fear: it is love and truth. You will be inspired.

Jot That Truth Down

Then the LORD answered me and said, “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run” (Habakkuk 2:2, NASB).

Once you begin to see those areas of success, write them down! Habakkuk talks about writing down the vision and making it plain. Same goes for your victories, however small.

After years of living, I am a big believer in journaling. It’s worth overcoming laziness to spend a few minutes seeing your progress in ink, because when circumstances threaten your faith or negative feelings are trying to steal your joy, you will be able to go back to your journal and locate those words of truth again. Half the battle is remembering. And you will be able to stand courageously in the face of your foe. I have done it time and time again, and will continue to do so in this season.

So, what exactly do you pen in that journal of yours? If you need some starter ideas, let me share several thoughts I wrote down. I scribbled these very quickly before I forgot them:

  • I am succeeding because I am seeking the Lord.
  • I am succeeding because I am trying new things.
  • I am succeeding because I am trying to hear and implement what I hear and see You showing me, Lord.

The above three thoughts are not especially earth shattering, but they are still very true. Big oak trees come from very small acorns. Big successes come from lots of small victories. Don’t look at Goliath; look at the stones and sling shot that are in your hand. Don’t look at the whole 26-mile marathon race; look at that first mile.

Remember that we are living stones being built into a house for the Lord (1 Peter 2:5). Houses are built one brick at a time. Therefore, each brick is very important. Don’t forget to pinpoint those bricks!

OK, with some confidence under your belt, you might want to get a little more specific. Here are four ways I have really seen God work in my life since the beginning of the year. Now, this list isn’t word for word, but it’s the same concepts as what I have penned in my journal:

  1. Proclaiming God’s promise to heal me and seeing God answer my prayer
  2. Realigning my budget – becoming more aware of how I spend my money and how I should spend my money
  3. Getting friend support instead of trying to do all these new challenges alone
  4. Rebuilding relational bridges that had been shaky

Celebrate the Small Stuff
Now, after writing it all down, however general or specific you wish to be, here’s the next step: celebrate those small victories.

In fact, we should always stop and praise God for how He brought us through a difficulty or a new thing right when we start seeing success. Usually, however, we don’t stop and thank Him then because we don’t see the blessing right away. Busyness can lead us into the next challenge before we have properly stopped and sent up a prayer of thanks to the all-powerful God. But if we make a practice of taking note of our progress, then seeing the small victories will become easier.

Whether you thank Him right then or you thank Him months later for how He brought you through, be sure to do a little victory dance before the Lord. Let out that whoop. Speak out that Hallelujah! It’s good for our souls to marvel in how God is working in our lives. He loves it when we give Him the glory. We are created to do that.

So let’s do that right now. You with me?

Dear Lord,

I just come before You today with a heart that is thankful. Despite some of those lingering questions and concerns and gaps that haven’t yet been filled in the pathways of my life, I choose to trust You and I choose to pinpoint all those victories, however small, that Your Holy Spirit has enabled me to see so that I can thank You for each of them.

And no matter how many successes I have listed, I know that ultimately my success rests in knowing You, not in what I do or what I have. Remind me continually that there is nothing that I could do or that could have been done to me that would cause You to turn away from me. Nothing can separate me from Your love, Abba, as You say in Your Word. God, help me to see myself the way that You see me – fully loved, fully able, on the road to success. From glory to glory is what You promised. I praise You for that glorious road ahead!

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Comments? E-mail me.


How to Give Your Life to Christ:

1. Admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness.

2. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.

3. Through prayer, confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your life.

What to Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God so now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, please send us an e-mail to let us know. Or you can call our CBN Prayer Counseling Center at (800) 759-0700. We would love to talk with you and send you some resources to help you begin your walk with the Lord.


Laura J. BagbyLaura J. Bagby produces the Health and Finance channels. She writes inspirational, humor, singles, and health articles.

 


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