What to do when it feels like God is ignoring you. . . we’ve all had those times where we know what the Scripture says, that God will never leave you or forsake you, that nothing can separate us from His love, that He answers when we call but sometimes we have a trial and we just can’t seem to hear a straight answer from God.
We know what the Word says and yet it can feel like we are being ignored? I’m just being real here. The answers that I’ve received in times like these, seem to be answers that require me to stretch.
When I want a right now breakthrough; to feel different whether spiritually, physically or emotionally; they seem to be answers like – Fill your mind with my truth, don’t pull up your sprouts of hope, what does it look like to rewrite your situation from the point of view of victory, as you eat My promises, they begin to manifest, remind your body of where My Word is already working.
They are answers that lead me to a place where my expectation is up, and as the Word is strengthened in my life, sometimes I realise I don’t have that problem anymore, it’s slowly vapourised or I have built up the faith muscles to see the axe finally bust through that log.
I heard Bill Johnson say ‘that you can obey your way into great faith’, because God knows better than even we do what the next step is for us to see the breakthrough that we need.
And I remember one of the first pieces of Christian advice I was given at age 15, was that if God wasn’t saying anything further to you, than to go back to the last thing He said.
And if you’re not sure what that is, what I wish someone had told me was to go and write out over and over and over who you are in Christ.
You might feel like it’s just writing out words but it’s building neural pathways and putting in Scripture that one when a lie comes you can recognise it and 2 you can fight it effectively.
Philemon 6-8 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
I’m currently teaching 2 of my children how to read. Of course we started with the alphabet and then cvc words, cat, hat, mat, sat . . . and then sight words and then more complex words. Nearly every day I set worksheets at their level before them and I have them read to me. It feels frustrating to them, but instead of letting them stop, I encourage them everyday to read it to me again, and I turn up the difficulty the tiniest little 100th of a percent, until one day they pick up a book and they read it and there is no effort involved.
And I wonder if it’s similar in our Christian walk sometimes. We say we know something, eg how much God loves us, that we are healed by the stripes of Jesus, and yet we haven’t seen it manifest yet, or we’ve seen the beginning of a manifestation but not the full thing.
There’s a difference between knowing it and being fluent in it.
But just like if our children are struggling to read, we don’t just require them not to read, we go over and over and over it again, breaking down concepts, cementing the learning, line by line, precept by precept.
And there are some things in the Bible that God actually doesn’t promise to do for us. He tells us to do. Being transformed by the renewing of our mind is one of them, that then we can prove what is His acceptable, good and perfect will. Romans 12:2
He also tells us to study to show ourselves approved. 2 Tim 2:15
I remember complaining to God one time, ‘I’m so tired of all these lies,’ that kept swirling around my head. His response was stunningly simple. “Fill your mind with My truth.”
But He wasn’t going to do it. I had to.
Scripture writing, Bible reading, listening to good simple teaching and testimonies.
I knew that they were lies, I knew enough to identify them as lies but obviously not enough for them to actually leave.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
As we renew our minds to truth by constantly immersing ourselves in those truths, our identity becomes so strong we don’t even pay attention to whatever lie it is coming against us.
A quote by Lisa Bevere I found this week, ‘We cannot become who we were created to be until we remember who we are.’
Nothing should or could replace our time with God, our prayer time, our worship, our Bible reading, but we are also called to be a body, because iron sharpens iron and in the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom. But sometimes the way we grow up, or the denomination we grow up in interprets God’s character and Scripture differently.
One time our pastor preached about how he was learning to replace lies he was believing with truth following neuro scientist, Caroline Leaf’s 21 day cycle, of writing down the lie, crossing it out and writing out the truth in Scripture. And there were certain major shifts that took place in his life, including physical healing at the end of that time. I needed a very similar gut healing, but I’m afraid I got rather focused on the lies and getting to the ‘root’ of them rather than just getting into the truth.
I’ve heard that when bank tellers want to teach new employees how to spot counterfeit money they show them a lot of the real thing and then occasionally slip one in rather than having them focus on the varying counterfeits.
At this point I said to God, I’m so tired of these lies, and He said back, ‘Fill your mind with MY truth.’ So simple, yet so profound. And I only wanted simple, I was tired of the message of the Gospel being complicated.
Sometimes we just don’t have all the pieces, we need to go read the Word again and again… and hear testimonies of other people who have had breakthrough. I was building a lego house and I got to a point where I couldn’t build anymore, I actually had to go get more pieces…from His Word. I discovered that I also had some lenses to replace about how I saw God, and because we are body, He led me to read books by teachers who are gift to the body. How we see God directly impacts how we receive from God. One day God told me ‘to rewrite the situation from the point of view of victory’. My immediate interpretation of that was that God was telling me to stop whingeing because of the lens I had.
What He was actually saying was I needed to bring my imagination into line with the healing Scriptures I was reading. And we can’t spend so much time listening to only other people teach and preach that we leave our Bible on the shelf. We do need to study to show ourselves approved so that we don’t take truth out of context.
We may think we know something in Scripture, but by reading it over and over even in different versions and hearing it taught with people’s testimonies of breakthrough, it strengthens our brain connections and literally replaces lies with truth. It’s allowing the seed of God’s Word to take root and begin to sprout and grow into something big in our lives that can provide shade to others.
For many of us a milestone is something physical that we can see, going to school, a job, a car, a relationship or an event in a situation where God has shown Himself to us in a certain way. A moment He spoke to us, a breakthrough, a healing, an experience, a baptism.
And God told the Israelites to write those kind of things down, to record them so that they could look back on them and see His faithfulness in their lives, to be encouraged that it could happen again.
Writing things down helps us remember the details.
I think there are other milestones in our lives that we sometimes don’t even recognise til we look back. The different ways we think about ourselves and others. And these milestones of how we think can be just as big of a turning point as a physical event in our lives because they will shape our lives.
As a man thinketh, so is he.
I also think they can be called lenses. Lenses of how we see life. Maybe you were brought up in a church that always taught Scripture in a certain context and with a certain theme, and it shaped your view of God. Maybe to believe you always needed to do to receive from Him.
I’ve had always interpreted the Scripture in James about the mirror along the lines of, if you look into God’s Word and then you forget what you should be doing, you are like a man who looks into the mirror and forgets what he looks like. I’ve since heard it taught, if you look into the mirror and forget what you look like you’ve actually forgotten the many amazing elements of who you are in Christ, and who you are called to be. I’ve often seen the doing fall in a heap if we aren’t rooted in who God says we are.
So if you feel God is ignoring you, dig deep into His Word, write it out, meditate on it and you will begin to see things shift.
This week my very old vintage game boy that I have had up in my top cupboard in perfect new condition has come to mind a few times and I have wondered if there was any spiritual revelation attached to it. I kept thinking it’s probably actually worth money because it is now a collectable and I feel like God is saying, my Word and wisdom is worth more than gold! How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is rather to be chosen than silver! Proverbs 16:16
Just as we used to play tetris on our old gameboys in the car and they were very simple, God’s Word is simple and yet profound and as you keep pressing into His Word and being transformed by the renewing of your mind, that word transform is metamorphoo it’s that supernatural transformation that takes place when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.
A transformation beyond what the caterpillar could even comprehend for itself. God’s Word as it is laid line by line and precept upon precept builds a solid house and we are able to spot things that don’t align with His character. BUT also I saw that just like when you play tetris and you are just building block upon block, even turning the blocks over in your mind, eg Biblical meditation like a cow chewing a cud, all of a sudden those blocks are going to come together in a line and there are going to be big breakthroughs of Scripture aligning in your heart and shifting things in your world, whether that is healing, your perception of things, wisdom for business, realtionships etc, things will actually shift.
When a line shifts in tetris, sometimes it’s not just one thing, one revelation shifts multiple lines in the game, eg scenarios/ situations and you get a big score! I feel like God is saying that as you keep putting that Word in you are going to score big, time after time, line after line.