“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14
This verse has been really relevant to me lately. I’ve been struggling heavily with remembering to be still in times that feel completely overwhelming. I try so hard sometimes to understand what God is doing in my life, and I constantly feel the need to be doing something to speed the process along. This can come with a lot of anxiety, because I worry that if I do or say the wrong thing it could negatively affect what God has for me. I find myself wondering if I’ve said too much in certain situations, or not enough, or if I’ve done something that is going to mess up whatever God is trying to do. I legitimately think that I have the power to alter the outcome of a situation through my words or my actions. I constantly have to remind myself that this isn’t true. And while it kinda sucks knowing I don’t have the control I wish I did sometimes, it’s also very freeing to know that I don’t have the ability to affect what God’s plans are, even though the enemy often tries to tell me otherwise. I know I have to keep speaking truth to myself.
None of the things I do have the power to change what God’s ultimate plan is. << I have to literally pound that sentence into my brain on a daily basis. Praise God that I am not as powerful as I sometimes fear I am.
It is not my responsibility to do things to make sure God’s will is carried out. It is not my responsibility to teach people what I think they need to know in order for God’s will to prevail. It is not my responsibility to sit around and try to figure out what God is doing so that I can act accordingly.
The only responsibility I have is to be in communion with him on a daily basis and be obedient in the things I feel him calling me to do. That’s it. I know that if I am doing that, he is going to take care of the rest. I can pray for people and I can pray for his will, because I do have the power to do those things, but I know that it’s not my job to make God’s will happen. It’s so important to trust his process and his timing no matter how confusing or frustrating it can be, because that is literally all we can do.
I struggle with this a lot. Sometimes things seem so impossible and it feels like I literally have to do something in order for God to be able to work out what he wants to do.
“I see what God could be doing here, but I don’t know that they see it.”
I start to think things like, “maybe if I had said this, it would’ve made them realize,” or, “if I do this, maybe it will make an impact.” I fail to consider that what I try to control makes no difference when it comes to what God is planning. I am so guilty of putting God in a box and undermining what he is capable of just because my human brain can’t comprehend how the Lord can work in certain situations. I can’t see how God could possibly change someone’s heart when it seems so unlikely to be changed, or even how he could change my heart when it seems so unlikely to be changed. Sometimes feelings seem so powerful — like nothing could ever change them.
But something I’ve been learning lately is that God can do things that we think could never happen. And even if we can’t believe that, it is so true. Right now, it seems like the situation I am going through could never be reversed. It feels hopeless, and because I am human I can’t imagine how something that seems so hopeless could ever change. But the thing is, I’ve seen God take situations that seem hopeless and turn them completely around. He is beyond capable of taking a seemingly hopeless situation and restoring it to something even better than it was — despite what we think or what we feel. Nothing is too hard for him. Nothing is too far gone for him to restore.
On the other end of that, it’s hard for me to imagine sometimes that the Lord could possibly have something better in store for me if he doesn’t restore the situations I wish he would restore. Sometimes I worry that my desires will never change, or that I will never be able to appreciate a different blessing from God because it’s not the blessing I originally wanted. This is not true. Sometimes I have to take a step back and write it down or say it out loud to remind myself, but I know this is not true. God is beyond capable of taking feelings that seem unchangeable and blowing us away when he shows us he can change them. Right now, I can’t picture this at all — no matter which way I look at my situation. But I believe it.
God is more powerful than our feelings.
It doesn’t matter if we think we know what is going to happen because of what we are feeling or because of what a situation currently looks like, because the truth is, we just don’t have God’s power. Our feelings are feeble — they are too shallow to be an indication of what God is going to do, because we can’t imagine the things God is capable of.
That being said, I would encourage you to rely on the Lord more than you rely on your feelings. Realize that God’s will is not dependent on what you feel or on what you think you know. I’m preaching to myself here. Our feelings and our actions don’t have the power that God has. They can’t override what he has for us. If God’s will is for a situation to change, he will change it, regardless of what we currently feel or what we do. We can find peace in the fact that we won’t mess anything up.
When it comes to the fulfillment of the Lord’s will, our help is not needed. The only thing God needs from us is our obedience and our willingness to go where he wants us to go, even if it’s somewhere we don’t expect him to send us or necessarily want him to send us. When we are open to whatever God’s will could be, that’s when he is going to come in and exceed all of our expectations. We don’t know what he knows, and because of that we should be ready and willing to receive whatever God has for us — whether it be what we want but don’t think can happen, or something that we don’t even think we want — because he is able to do things that seem impossible. I don’t know about you, but that gives me a lot of hope.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21