How many times have you agonized over “is this God”?
Some things are just easy to know … this is God … like beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico:
But sometimes it’s not so easy.
For starters we need to step away from our circumstances as our guide of “is this God”? I saw this in such a simple way recently. I was having a facial and the technician used a mask product that completely covered my eyes which made it impossible for me to see because I literally could not open my eyes. I was in complete darkness. As the darkness closed in she calmly reassured me “I’m here “. The choice was mine:
- to focus on what I could not do, the darkness, and panic OR
- to focus on the truth, regardless of what I could see, that I was not alone and I was safe
Then I read 2 Timothy 1:7 …
For God will never give you the spirit of cowardly fear,
but be gives the Holy Spirit
who gives you mighty power, love, and sound judgment!
2 Timothy 1:7 – The Passion Translation
I suddenly saw another “litmus test” to take some of the mystery out of what can be a haunting question.
At first I thought – I really need to blog about this to help others. Little did I know how much this would come into play in my own life within days.
Can I just say I’m so thankful for this letter of encouragement from Paul to Timothy? Paul – in prison with a death sentence impending – writes to encourage Timothy don’t let the circumstances you see in my life or your life fill you with fear and cause you to doubt God. Incredible!
First, Paul rules out what is NOT God.
Are you experiencing fear that is driven by concern of how those around you will think of you, receive you, or treat you? That is the fear referenced in this verse and Paul clearly tells us it is NOT from God. Do you know Jesus experienced that fear as well? How do I know that?
He suffered and endured every test and temptation,
so that he can help us every time we pass through the ordeals of life.
Hebrews 2:18 – The Passion Translation
Think about it. Jesus was constantly ridiculed and rejected by people around Him for his choices and actions to the point He was crucified. However, Jesus had seen who our Heavenly Father truly is — one who has literally moved heaven and earth for you, me and every life to spend eternity with Him. Armed with that truth Jesus was empowered to live free from such fear.
Then Paul defines what IS God.
The Holy Spirit gives you mighty power, love, and sound judgment = revelation light and instruction. THAT IS GOD.
How did this play out for me the past week?
It’s a brand new year after a very difficult year. I’m thinking fresh start, better year, here we go! That’s what “God with me” is going to look like.
I take one step up into a bus with my left foot and my right leg twists followed by sharp, shooting pain. The next morning every step hurts. Definitely NOT my idea of a good start to the new year and what God with me looks like.
For 4 days I’m trying to take care of myself and push through because my idea of what God’s provision should look like is divine healing. However – annoyingly “the instruction”, and as I type this I also hear “love”, I am receiving from everyone around me (at least a dozen people) is you need to go see a doctor and get this checked out.
Sometimes I’m a little slow, but the “revelation light” finally broke through. I was “afraid” of what others would think of me and how they would react if I needed help. The “instruction” I was receiving was “get help”. And, not only was I receiving instructions to get help, but provision for help as well. Hmmm … instruction, love, provision … that would all provide power to receive what I need. Imagine that, the person who needed to learn about this litmus test was me!!
I can now see clearly how my Heavenly Father has been very much with me literally every step 🙂 . I just had to remove the lense of circumstantial evidence to see clearly.
Where is this scenario transpiring in your life? Where has darkness closed in, you cannot see and panic is whispering to you?
Be still. Listen. Can you hear your Heavenly Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit reminding you “I’m here. You are not alone. You are safe. I am your provider.” How do I know that to be true? Here it is first-hand for you: Romans 8:38-39, Hebrews 13:5-6, Psalm 136 . Unconditional hope.