God in a box
How we continue to enjoy intimacy with God even in a place of trial and disappointment?
There are two vital keys to maintaining connection with God when your heart hurts. Firstly its a decision to approach the trial, and the situation with a sense of expectancy. Expecting God’s greatness, goodness and vastness, His sovereignty and wisdom to work, to show up and produce something good. You don’t need to understand why the situation happened, you don’t need to like the current outcome, yet in the midst of the mystery choose to trust that throughout history God has always worked things out. Look back on your own short story, consider a time when you thought “nothing good can come out of this” and then consider how His wisdom made things bigger, better, more amazing than you could of ever thought or imaged. God has the infinite capacity and the kind disposition to work all things together for good, He’s always looking to bring increase, redemption and promotion.
The second key is to not distort this wonderful expectancy into a list of how He has to work things out. Our expectancy mustn’t be accompanied by dictating to God our plan and our pace. It is vitally important that we don’t try to shove an infinite God into a tiny box. You cannot control God and tell Him how to work it out, when to work it out, what the outcomes has to look like. “God this is what I can do, this is what I can imagine, this is what I can anticipate, these are my plans, this is what my resources can accomplish, now you do it just like that” This is foolishness, when we attempt to control God we discover ourself in a dark and hopeless place, and when we look for God in the box we created, we find He’s not there. He simply cannot be contained like that.
When we discover He won’t be limited by our imagination and requests we often become disappointed and discouraged, “why won’t you work within the parameters and the design that I made for you to work in?” This is a very dangerous trap for the believer. Trying to put God in a box is a recipe for disaster, entitlement can all too easily lead to falling away. This disposition leads to judging God, “I would be a better God than you are” When we find ourselves reasoning like this we need to repent, take one step backwards and get a fresh glimpse of how wise, loving and all powerful He really is. To be in awe afresh “wow you are God, I don’t know what you are going to do in this situation, but what would you like me to do?” Don’t remain with an offended heart that asks Why? Why? Why? instead declare I yield and I surrender to your greatness and majesty. It’s in this place that hope, joy and peace replaces frustration.
(Based on and inspired by Bethel TV Revival Chat with Danny Silk, September 30, 2015)
Jamie Lee, 03/03/2019