Pt. 1 of 3
I’ve heard this question a million times, as I’m sure you have. I would venture to say few have adequately explained it. In this blog, I would like, as respectfully and intelligently as possible, to give my answer.
Initially, my intention was to stand up for the Almighty, who is always being blamed for what mankind considers mishaps in the world. After thinking it over, I’m not quite sure He needs defending.
I pondered this pertinent question, If God is God, then why do bad things happen? I sought the Lord for wisdom as to a correct biblical approach. He reminded me of the time the Spirit spoke a “Rhema” word to me while I was in my prayer closet. He said, “I have a burden for Tucson…”
God had expressed this same message to the Old Testament prophets concerning Israel. They carried this heavy prophetic utterance which weighed upon the heart until it was delivered.
In retrospect, I’d heard the many concerns about the widespread disunity among local churches and their leaders. After receiving this unction from the Lord, I felt a deep urgency to relay what the Spirit revealed. The same urgency followed in calling for corporate prayer among spiritual leadership. This was the first step in ending the divisions within the body.
The Spirit cannot work through fleshly vices; personalities or influence will never suffice. Only fervent prayer can and will prevail against spiritual enemies and bring about God’s perfect will. However, seeking His face would require prerequisites—humility and meekness. They are as essential as air, food, and water to the physical body.
I say with love that the struggle with humility is also widespread, especially among leadership. And for this reason, few are open to the resolution, because it would entail dying to the flesh and put one’s ego aside.
I began approaching different ones via phone calls about this spiritual matter. One particular brother I spoke with couldn’t have been any less pleasant. It goes without saying—with such an assignment there would, indeed, be opposition.
Arrangements were made to meet with this brother in his church office at a time convenient for his schedule. And so we met. A sister and I sat down across from his desk as he chomped down his lunch.
I proceeded with the message. It was apparent that he wasn’t the least bit interested in what was being communicated. There were no expressions of cordiality or eye contact and only a few brief questions here and there. It was as though I was summoned by a judge who found fault the moment I walked in.
Nevertheless, I delivered the message. “I have a burden for Tucson…come and gather for prayer and seek God’s face for His mind concerning the city.” I ended my speech. He then looked at me and began his statement with “If you are a pastor…?”
The devil darted this same question toward Christ while in the wilderness, stating: “If you are the Son of God…” (Matthew 4:6). What was his aim? To plant doubt about His deity by directly attacking His identity. The plan failed.
As did Christ, I perceived that the negative connotation assailed as a razor-sharp insult was sent by the adversary against my calling. Immediately, I discerned a rival spirit. Therefore, I refused to engage. Analyzing the situation, there was no question that I was in the presence of a foolish man. So, standing firm in who called me, the attack rolled off me like water off a duck’s back. The Holy Ghost instructs not to tolerate such folly, as mentioned in Proverbs (see Proverbs 14:7).
As I contemplated the incident, the Spirit impressed upon me that throughout history, the majority of humankind arbitrarily rejects God’s answers. Why? Because it will always require a change of heart and obedience to the answer given. Even though many of God’s people possess such knowledge, He continually deals with this very thing, even today.
We insist that God give solutions suited for us, or else… This posture is displayed particularly during times of adversity. Although it’s not merely the question itself that poses a problem, it’s the attitude in which it is asked. As if God is intimidated into proving Himself based on our opinion of Him. Or perhaps we think He needs to guard His reputation.
Often, what men are actually displaying with this statement is pure disrespect. Behind their words is manipulation: God, if you’re really who you say you are…then you’d better do something! The Lord will not be manipulated by anyone.
To add to this, we are not always open to accepting the answers to our questions. With conviction, I would earnestly petition all to be careful about how we approach a holy God, remembering that heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool (see Isaiah 66:1). to be continued…
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel… -Luke 4:18
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