In any circumstance, the two best questions that we can ask are: “What does this mean?” and “What shall we do?” They were both asked at Pentecost (Acts 2:12, 37), when people were faced with events that were way beyond the norm.
The first question always relates to relationship. What does this mean for us? How will this affect our fellowship? Everything that God does is relational — everything. There is therefore a relational basis to everything that God allows into our life. Our first response then must be to inquire of the Lord concerning how our relationship must develop next. This is crucial for us, absolutely vital. If faith works by love (Galatians 5:6) then it works best and easiest in the context of relationship. What we do at the beginning of any new situation is vital to the outcome.
The enemy would like us to connect with the difficulty first. That way it is easier for him to deny us the outcome that he does not want us to enjoy. If we focus on the event, we become susceptible to a series of unhelpful thoughts and emotions that at this point may not be connected to the fruit of the Spirit. It is the Nature of God that guarantees Presence and produces the love, joy and peace that makes moving in faith much more simple.
“What does this mean for our relationship Lord” is a fabulous question at the start of something. We know that He loves to initiate everything, so this question easily translates into the thought: “He has plans to upgrade our relationship and fellowship and will use this situation to achieve that purpose.”
Now, at the very least, we are madly curious or really excited. Any negative impact from the situation is denied an effect as we contemplate God’s heart toward us. We rejoice, give thanks and move into the prayers that God loves to answer. “Lord, what is it that you want to be for me now? How do you want to use this situation? What do I do to support your purpose?”
“What shall we do” opens us up to a great response to divine purpose. How do we position ourselves, what is our primary focus and what is the correct mindset? These are great supplementary questions that allow us to ensure that our thinking is moving in the same purpose as the Lord’s. If our first response is to engage with the circumstance then the outcome begins to fade.
When we focus on relationship, both Presence and purpose are highlighted and we are empowered by the outcome. We see the end from the beginning and our hearts become fixed. When we focus on the situation first, the problems overwhelm our vision and our emotions contend against right thinking. We become unstable, tossed around like the surf of the sea ( James 1:6–7). It is harder to receive anything positive from this place of unrest.
If we have been taken out of fellowship by events, there is only one thing to do that will guarantee a brilliant recovery: we must repent wholeheartedly. Repentance takes all the work of the enemy and sets it to zero effect. Repentance restores us to the wonderful experience of grace.
Grace is the empowering Presence of God that gives us all the confidence we need to come before God, recharged in His love. Grace both restores us to Presence and Purpose and also maintains the passion in our hearts to work with the Lord.
God loves us too much to leave us where we are ( Jeremiah 29:11).
–Excerpt taken from Radical Perceptions, which is available here, at Brilliant Book House.
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