God will do whatever it takes to get your eyes on Him – to get your focus, desire, trust and hope in Him; in that way, He is relentless and can go to extremes (as Scripture, myself and countless others can attest to) to get our attention.
In light of our recent economic situation, it occurred to me that God may be at work all around. I travel the country speaking on innovation. One of the ways that I teach innovation is birthed is by desperation, but I go on to say that â€œitâ€™s a desperation that leads to a dependence upon the Holy Spirit.â€
When you hit the bottom in your own way: maybe lose your job, your retirement, your house, your savings, your stock portfolio, your (you fill in the blank)â€¦ Could it be that itâ€™s by design by our Creator to bring us back to trusting in Him alone?
To quote two spiritual giants and long distance mentors: â€œGod is most satisfied in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.â€ â€“ John Piper. In The Problem of Pain, CS Lewis says, â€œGod whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Deaf world are we listening? Because I believe God is shouting. Please understand Iâ€™m not a gloom and doom person. I donâ€™t believe this is the end of the world and I donâ€™t believe this is like the Great Depression. I got to hear Dave Ramsey live at his Town Hall for Hope and appreciate his sound wisdom and advice. I appreciate his perspective and the truth that he spoke that night.
However, though it may have been worse in times past, this is rough on our generation and this is a reality that we have to deal with. On my blog a while back, I spoke of Godâ€™s â€œpruningâ€. I talked about a situation that was extremely difficult, humiliating, humbling and really put me in my place. At the same time, it was wonderful, Spirit-filled, God-ordained and edifying. Our God takes the tough times and makes something beautiful out of it. Scripture is full of exhortations like this.
Now please know Iâ€™m writing this after having lost my job due to the economy; so I donâ€™t write from theory, but from my heart. I sincerely believe that itâ€™s in these hard times that God wants us to run to Him and run to Him first. Not to our banker, our broker, our real estate agent or even friends. First and foremost, He wants His children to call on His name and fall to their knees in worship. The Bible teaches us to â€œseek Him first. (Matt. 6:33)â€
Also from personal experience, I know that God pursues us. He is very jealous of our idols and He, as I said before, will be relentless in getting our focus on Him. Heâ€™s constantly molding, shaping, pruning and refining us. The good news is that He has promised to draw close to us when we draw close to Him (James 4:8).
So in these days of trials, allow God to complete His work IN you. Seek Him first, draw close to Him and place your hope squarely on Him. These are days for us to truly be men and women of faith, trusting in the One who is sovereign and unshaken. God, if you let Him, will make something beautiful of the mess youâ€™re going through. Trust Him. Listen to Him. Worship Him.