I recently listened to a pod cast from Chuck Swidoll titled “A Crack In the Rock” dated Aug 16-20/2018. You can listen to it for yourself by going to “Insight for Living” broadcast library. I really enjoyed it because it spoke to me in relation to the struggles of the last few months.
To summaries it, Chuck Swindoll said that there are key indicators that your Christian walk is slipping; one is that you react to opposition in the flesh, two is that you are reluctant to stand alone and apart when in the wrong company, three is that you are resistant to being indentified with Christ when threatened by the outcome, and lastly is that you reject the truth regardless of the consequences.
Now, I have not personally noticed that my Christian walk has been slipping. However, I have noticed that standing firm in my beliefs, and convictions relating to the promises of God, has been increasingly more difficult in the fact that others around me have been challenging me about them.
Let me explain. When I first was off sick, those around me were for the most part fairly supportive as they could clearly see I was ill and had been so for quite some time. They encouraged me to get well and assured me that God had a plan in all this, and that everything would work out. I decided to pray, and seek Gods guidance and then wait for him to provide, and answer my prayers.
As the months have passed by and more strife came my way, those same people (most professing Christians), still tried to encourage and support, but some seemed to start to doubt that I should be waiting on God as much as I have been. These people started saying things like “well, you could just work in a place that is less busy” or “maybe you need to just work at a place for a little while and if you start to get stressed, leave”. These comments, though they were well meaning, undermined my belief that God can provide me with THE perfect job if I pray, seek his guidance and wait for him to answer me. This decline in support has continued to the point that some around me are advising me to work just about anywhere.
This is not really new to me. I had people telling me before I went off sick, that I should just put my head down and “fly under the radar” of management. The belief was that I had already upset management by not being willing to say I was wrong and that they were right, and therefore management was looking for any issue to cause me grief. I was advised that what management wanted me to say and do was not worth losing my job over. Well, I disagreed; I felt that if I compromised my stance on this situation, then the compromising would never stop. Not to mention I felt I acted in the best way possible both for myself and those I was caring for. But, where does it stop?, who are we trying to please so bad?
This broadcast by Chuck Swindoll reminded me of how those around me reacted to my standing for my beliefs and convictions. They reacted with surprise, concern, confusion, and fear. This is what is now occurring as I am entering a time when I have no income past my husbands and that means before the month even starts we are behind. Well, on paper at least, in reality I believe that God will come through and provide, and he has been, somehow all bills got paid but the income wasn’t there. I can’t explain it, but bills ended up smaller, groceries were less needed etc.
I believe that these last months have been to make me reprioritize, reassess, and come to the reality that the path I was on was not going to end well, and wasn’t one where I was really trusting God or relying on him. I believe that he has been using this time and situations to bring me to my knees so that I would stop worrying and being anxious about everything. Since anxiety, depression and stress are basically the reason all the rest of my health went crazy, it makes sense he is working on getting those issues dealt with so I can be healthy.
I am finding, sadly, that many of the “Christians” I know, don’t get this, some have suggested I work in a company that produces medical marijuana. I am very much opposed to this as I have both medical issues and moral issues with promoting marijuana as a medical treatment (but that’s not the point). The point is that they see nothing wrong with me setting aside my beliefs and advocating me to “assimilate” or not “stand out” to make a buck. Well it seems to me that this is what Chuck Swidoll was talking about. If you start thinking the only way to get by is to act non-Christian or do things because you are worried about what will happen, then your reliance and concern are not focused on God and that’s the slippery slope to non-belief, which truthfully scares the crap out of me.
My question is where will it end? how can compromising your convictions not end in compromise in your faith? Why do we want to fit in with the world so much? Why do we trust ourselves more than God (that’s my big lesson)? why do we ignore scripture and do as we please only to come back and weep in prayer because we messed things up so bad? Why does it make Christians nervous and anxious to see another Christian decide to follow scripture, pray to God, and wait on him to guide their path? Is it that we feel convicted that we are not doing the same, if so, why are we more concerned about getting the other person to waiver rather than being concerned that we need to adjust our actions, beliefs and reliance on God? Why are we as a Christian community not more concerned with the reality that most Christians are more concerned about upsetting a friend or neighbor than the Lord?
Think about that…many Christians are more worried about offending a person here on earth than the Lord of their eternity. Sounds kind of messed up doesn’t it? When I read Exodus in the bible I think many times “why are they so dumb?! God parted the Sea right in front of their eyes and they are concerned about everything else and not him? Yeesh! They could have been out of the desert if they just stopped being so worried about everything else and focused on God and trusted him” Well, I am starting to believe that many Christians are wandering the desert and don’t even know it. They could be in the Promised Land (whatever that looks like to them), but are just on the border. I am very concerned about being on the border and never actually getting to my Promised Land (which for me is the other side of the strife I am going through). So, I am choosing to gently inform others that I am waiting on God even though it seems to them he isn’t doing anything, and that I need to do something more than just Job seek and pray, and I will pray for those that seem unsure God will come through, because I think that there is a deeper issue at hand that needs God.
I have decided to continue to pray, seek Gods guidance, wait for him to direct my path, and actively trust that he will provide as he has said he will. Because I believe that it’s the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do, because he is the God of miracles, if I can’t expect great things from him who can I expect them from? I want out of this stinking desert!
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.