Don’t you wish this whole “following Jesus and living fully in God’s will” thing could be easier? Why can’t it be easy? Why does it all have to be so hard, so impossible, and such a struggle? You would think if God is for you, then everything would just magically fall into place and you would have instant success. Instead, we seem to fight and claw our way for every inch of progress on this journey of life, and that leaves us to question, exactly what is God doing here?
Maybe you had a good plan, and it was all ruined. Maybe you were making progress, then you fell in a hole and can’t seem to find your way out. Maybe how you thought things should be at this point in your life is a totally different story than how things really are.
And all of this causes you to question. You question if God hears you. You question if you’re really chosen. You question his good plans for you. You question his power and providence over your life. And guess what happens as you question … the enemy just swoops right in that open door and pokes at you.
Has the enemy been poking on you? Has he been taunting you with reminders of the past and proposed worst case scenarios of the future? Has he been overwhelming you with the little things and rendering you incapable of doing anything?
Stupid Satan, get on up out of here, and don’t let the door hit you on your way out!
How do you close that door? How do you slam the door the enemy creeped in through? What opened it in the first place? It was your doubt. All those questions on if God hears you, if he still has good plans for you, is his power over your life. But really, with the struggle you’ve been in, no one can blame you for doubting. This has been some hard stuff, Sis.
Understand Jesus isn’t guilting you for your doubt. Remember the father who comes to Jesus and begs for healing of his son in Mark 9: 17-26. He says to Jesus, “heal him if you can.” And Jesus says “If you can? All things are possible for those who believe.” The father honestly replies, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.” Did Jesus rebuke this man? Did he reprimand him for his doubt? No, scripture says he healed the man’s son right then and there. He did the impossible for the one who wasn’t sure it would ever be possible.
Don’t allow your doubts and questions to keep you from running straight to Jesus. You don’t have to understand why he does what he does, or how or when he will do it, you just have to come to him! This door of doubt and questioning can be shut now. The enemy’s access to your mind can be sealed shut.
Satan doesn’t get to poke at you any more. Today we slam the door that doubt has opened.
To help us slam the door, God led me to a story that I’ve read many times, but today, it jumped out and grabbed me. It’s really something simple I’ve never noticed before, but today God showed me this is how he works, and this is how we can stand in the middle of disappointment and stalled progress and KNOW HE IS WORKING!
Isn’t that what you need today? You need to know even though things seem to only be getting worse, God is working. You need to know while the enemy has been poking at you telling you this will never work, God is indeed working and you have the power to tell the enemy to leave. You need to know although things just got harder, and it now looks impossible, the God of the impossible will still make it possible.
Yes, that’s what God says to you today, my sister. And here’s the simple story we’ve been overlooking.
1 Kings 18, we read about Elijah. Elijah was a prophet of the Lord. He knew the power of the one and only real God. Now, he would defend and prove God is who he says he is.
Elijah had seen the undeniable miraculous power of God himself. Just 1 chapter before this, God had used Elijah to show the widow her little bit of flour and oil would feed her and her son through the drought. Indeed, that jar of flour and jug of oil did not not run out. It was a miracle and Elijah spoke it and saw it fulfilled. Then, just a few verses later, that same widow’s son grew ill and died, and God used Elijah to bring the boy back to life.
Elijah was just one prophet of the Lord our God, and he was up against 450 prophets of the false god Baal. The people were divided on who to follow. Doubt and question had entered their mind. What was real? Where was there power? Who would bring rain to their dry land?
Led by God, Elijah presents a plan. 1 Kings 18: 21-39 “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”
The prophets of Baal took the bull and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
“Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
God proved through fire he was the one true God to follow. But notice how he did it. Did you catch what Elijah did before he asked God for fire? He made it harder. In fact, he made it impossible. Three times he poured water all over the wood. He poured so much water that it soaked the ground and filled the trench. Now, how many of us know wet wood won’t burn? You can’t soak your wood, then expect fire. But that’s exactly what God led Elijah to do.
Why? To close all doors of doubt the enemy had creeped through. He made it harder so there would be absolutely no doubt it was GOD ALMIGHTY’S power that brought the fire.
When God brought his power down, not only did the wood burn, but even the water in the trenches burned. And this is when the people fell down and cried, “The Lord, he is God!”
Honey, this is why things can’t just be easier in your life. If they were easy, you would totally miss it was God who made it possible. If it had worked the first time, you would think maybe it was because you’re just so good at making things work.
This is why water was just dumped all over your wood. Not to discourage you. Not so that you give up and quit. Only so that when it eventually works and the fire burns, you know it was God! I know it looks like everything was just ruined, but actually it was just prepared for God’s power to be on full display.
What will he do here? He will bring fire where all odds of fire were eliminated! He will bring growth and change where you felt like nothing would ever grow or ever change. He will revive what was entirely too far gone. He will give you beauty for your ashes. He will make a way straight through the most ridiculous obstacles, and your feet will be steady. He will lift you up and cause you to rise to new levels and soar over that which once held you down.
God’s desire is to bring you back to belief. An unshakable belief in the face of impossible odds, that he CAN and he WILL. A belief that closes the door on the enemy and puts an end to his poking around in your life!
Jesus can handle your unbelief. He isn’t insulted by your questions. He’s just in the process of showing you what his power can do when everyone else believes it’s impossible.
So, your fire wood just got soaked and you think there’s no way this is ever going to work? Honey, you call on God and remember, he is the Lord your God, and he can bring fire where water stands!
If you have a whole lot of soaked wood, just know this is exactly where God loves to show off his power, and when he does, you will never question if it was him! You will know, only God could have done this in your life!
It looks and feels like everything was just ruined, but actually it was just prepared for God’s miraculous show of power to fall!