I Corinthians 10:12-13 (NLT)
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
One of our children has an acute neurological condition that from time to time causes some difficulty and limitations. There is a prescription given that will reduce the symptoms allowing the body to adjust and catch up metabolically. The condition is not life threatening. The kid is not even phased by the limitation and just moves along just fine without intervention. However, I had decided to revisit the physician and discuss potentially restarting the medication for an added boost. Our child did not want to this but as parents, we had decided this was in their best interest. So I began to pursue an appointment with the specialist. After three weeks of multiple phone calls and roadblocks with the insurance company including wait and hold times of over three hours total without resolution finally I had the information needed to obtain an authorization. When I called the specialist back in the two weeks since my original request for an appointment, we had passed the three-month mark now a recheck would become a whole new referral including a visit back to the primary and preliminary tests and a new authorization from the insurance as a “new” patient. As frustration boiled over, I called out to the Lord. “Why is this so frustrating? And why all the roadblocks for something so simple…” Then it occurred to me…maybe this was not the Will of God concerning our child. Whoa! With this thought, I slowly sank into a nearby chair as sudden revelation filled my body and disappointment eased. I never consulted the Lord concerning this issue but rather just added it to my list of priorities. Not only that, I had ignored the fact that even my child did not want to go. After all the wasted time, I finally understood this was not a matter of endure but rather temptation to go my own way! How did it happen so quickly? It is so important that we work to maintain a consistent relationship with God and consult Him on every matter. The Lord will direct our steps if we choose to follow Him. However, He is not going to pull you back on course. But I have decided that He will stand in the way until we can see Him again. Then He says, “Keep your eyes on me!”
Numbers 22:31-34 (NLT)
Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him. “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the LORD demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.” Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”
Balaam thought that he was walking in God’s Way when the donkey began acting up. (Numbers 22:20-38) Pride made him beat the poor animal on the road that day. “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall…” rings true in this passage as well. The donkey could see the angel of the Lord ready to strike his master and saved him three times. When the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, he could now see the danger in the road ahead. Every day we are tempted to move to the right or left off the path that God has clearly marked for our feet. This began in the Garden of Eden and worked so well that the enemy continues to use this method of temptation even today. I admit that “I didn’t realize You were standing in the road to block my way” Lord. Endurance is designed to stretch our faith and produce confident hope. But we must first discern if that which we are pressing in, reaching to or holding out for is of the Lord at all. Did you consult the Lord about the situation? Did you hear His Reply? What does the Word say about that which you are pursing? If met with constant opposition, it is time to ask the Lord to open our eyes and see what is standing in our way!
2 Timothy 2:3-7 (NLT)
Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.
As a believer, it is vitally important to one’s success to know who you are in Jesus Christ and what is expected. You must know and understand your rights and responsibilities as a Child of God to finish the race, claim the prize and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Our identity changed when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior including the outcomes in our life. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) We must be transformed into that new person. God has to change our mind through the Holy Spirit. Here is a tidbit for you and golden nugget of truth that will blow your mind. God’s Way always turns out better than our way. It is foolproof. If you are willing to do things God’s Way, everything will result in prosperity and blessing in your life. You have to be committed to walking in His Ways though which results in giving up your life and your way to follow Him. When you stop experiencing the Favor of God, it is time to re-evaluate your position because every detail of your life should be turning out good. (Romans 8:28) You should be successful in everything you do. (Deuteronomy 30:9) When you are perplexed or facing overwhelming opposition, ask the Lord to open your eyes to His Will and Plan for your life. Consider the path you are on and look up to see if the Lord is leading your way. The Lord will help you understand these things and His Spirit will confirm your position and allow you to relocate if you have strayed off course. Anything less than God’s Very Best IS NOT God but a compromise.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Our ability to endure is a Gift from God that allows us to wait while He works out every detail of our life for good. It is not a position of offense or defense but confidence. We do not have to fight for our rights as Children of God simply stand in line. We do not have to beg or plead but simply wait for the Lord to come. The only thing that the enemy can do to stop you from having God’s Best in your life is convince you that there is something better which there is not. The age old lie that has been pulling believers off course. God will never disappoint you. If you are experiencing disappointment, it is time to re-evaluate your position. If you are in line with God’s Word, Will and Way then yes, it is time to endure. But for some, it is because you are trying to have God’s Will your own way. This will never work. His Way is higher than our own. His Thoughts are too. We must stick to God’s Plan and walk in His Way. We must live to please God and not others or even ourselves. (Colossians 1:10-12) “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.” (Hebrews 10:35-37)
2 Timothy 2:10 (NLT)
So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.
If you are wondering why you are facing so much opposition in your current situation, ask yourself this question. “Is what I am going through going to bring salvation to others and (most importantly) Glory to Jesus Christ?” The truest test of the situation is in the outcome. Will it be worth it? Only if it adds the Kingdom of God or brings His Kingdom down to earth! The blessing of the Lord makes us rich AND adds NO SORROW with it. (Proverbs 10:22) When we step out of the Will and Way of God even blessings become burdensome. But to those who wait and patiently endure in confident hope when the blessing of God reaches them it will not be a burden but prosper their life.
Isaiah 35:5-8 (NLT)
And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there.
Ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes today to see that which He has for you and that which is a fool’s way. He will do it. When He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the death. His Spirit lives in you to do just that. Hearts hardened by sin are broken to be restored. God wants to restore and renew your life from the inside out. The only requirement is that you walk in His Way. Follow Jesus Christ. Live on the Highway to Holiness never leaving its path. You cannot seek God’s Best your own way. (Isaiah 66:3-4) God’s Justice and Righteousness will not allow Him to accept half-hearted commitment or constant compromise from His People. You must seek the Lord wholeheartedly to live without disappointment and frustration. You must recognize, know and understand God’s Way completely so you will not be distracted or detoured along the way producing painstaking delays in God’s Best reaching your life. (Romans 10:2-4) Sin is rampant and love has grown cold for God and His Way. Do not fall subject to worldly interpretations of grace and mercy but decide to live a devoted life to pursing God’s Will and Way for your life. (Matthew 24:12-13) I do believe the end is near but not near enough to abandon endurance but rather hold your position until He comes. Do not be tempted to do it your way. (Proverbs 1:30-32) Or you will indeed miss the Way – JESUS! (John 14:6) “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:2)
I Peter 1:5-7 (NLT)
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
So today, I have taken a step back from pushing to have my way and ask the Lord for His Way concerning our child. What would you have me to do concerning this matter, Lord? Now I will wait for His Answer. I know that God is not trying to hold us back or teach us a lesson in a punishing fashion, He is hoping that I will hold out for His Very Best which is exactly what I intend to do. Genuine faith is always God’s Greatest Goal in His Children. The power of such faith builds confident hope that allows us to wait until He comes into our situation or He comes to take His People home. Either one, I can peacefully wait because I know that my trust is safe with Jesus and my hope is secure. I just needed the Lord to open my eyes which He did. He will do the same for you. Ask the Lord to open your eyes in every situation of life to see His Will and Way. He will do it. In fact, Jesus has just been waiting for you to ask. Now we must focus as He says, “Keep your eyes on me…the Author and Finisher of your faith…the Beginning and the End…I will show you the way of blessing, prosperity and everlasting life today and forever!”
Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Helen H. Lemmel, 1922