“You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.”
You know after sending a message yesterday about believing and living the gospel. Prioritizing Jesus in our lives an the truth in who He says we are and the victory He has won for us. When I wrote it out and when I read over it, I know it’s the truth that will turn my life upside down in the best ways imaginable. God has told us and showed us the difference it makes when we keep our hearts and minds upward on Him, eternity and walking freely and victoriously in His abundance. He turns our world upside down the more we continue to believe the truth but what’s really hard once you get back into the mundane, busy lifestyle, being influenced and tempted with everything the world has to offer. It’s sounds real easy to just believe and you’re good to go but actually believing and putting your faith in the Lord is much harder than what it sounds like in a nice pretty little God Gold. I sound upset because I took this truth to heart, I took it with me to work this morning, I took it with me most of the day but as soon as life in all it’s nastiness really hit, I this truth behind. It was a lesson for me to dig deeper in my faith and see that when we have those moments where God opens up our eyes to see His truth, the mountain top moments when we’re all jacked up, His truth can’t be left in those moments but we’re going to have to pack it up and take it with us on this journey of life. At any moment just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, BOOM!! Maybe it’s just one thought that’s lurking around the corner sneaking in to your heart and once it gets to where it needs to be, that thought of doubt and fear begins to multiply and before long if we let it stay there without putting our eyes upward. It will explode and believing in the truth feels nearly impossible when it’s fought with all the lies.
I had a quote today that fit like a glove, “faith isn’t exercised in a vacuum. Faith is exercised in the hard-core circumstances of life.” God had showed me the truth, I was on fire and felt invincible then life hit, hit a few more times and before I knew it I was on the verge of being knocked out with no memory of the truth God had laid before me. So we see how Paul says, “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”(Colossians 3:2) Yeah that makes a lot more sense to why God put that Word there. If our faith was exercised and truly grown in the confines of a perfect world then would it really grow? Nope. In these verses from Psalms, the mentioning of being tested, going through fire and flood, then they came to a place of God’s abundance. It’s easy to believe God’s truth that you’re a victorious freedom fighter and a child of His but when you start becoming tested and hit by all the world can throw at ya. Having faith becomes extremely difficult. Why should we keep our eyes upward? Because the moment we lower them to the surrounding circumstances of our lives, the lies and temptations thrown in our path, that’s when having faith becomes difficult.
I want to believe God’s truth, live in light of the gospel and eternity, keep my eyes directed upward and my thoughts on Christ, I want my faith to be stronger, I want to truly experience God’s abundance. What Christian wouldn’t want that? Faith comes at a cost and faith has to be exercised by floods, fires and storms. We may want those things but at the end of the day in our fast food, comfortable little lives, are we willing to count the cost of walking through the fire. Majority of the time the fire comes in my life and faith is left far behind, I immediately run back to the pleasures of this world to comfort me.
Experiencing the abundance of God and having an enormous amount of faith sounds pretty ideal right? We can experience the building of our faith and His abundance everyday but to experience them in His fullness, it takes time. It takes time of constantly, day by day taking the hits, taking the moments of failure when we let the lies run wild in our minds and not sitting and sulking. Not running back to our old life to the buffet of pleasures that used to fill us up, maybe temporarily if that. God produces faith in us by “refining us like silver”, where He melts us down, brings us through circumstances that we aren’t strong enough to get through on our own and teaches us how to learn from our failure. He takes us to nothing, what looks like to us a messy liquid form then He begins to apply flames to our mess. Keep your thoughts upward, it may burn and hurt for a little bit but we can trust in the fact that God is growing our faith and bringing us into His abundance. God is renewing our thoughts daily, molding us to where we look a little more like that finished piece of expensive silver, in the image of Christ. Keep looking upward, the more it looks messy in our horizontal vision, keep your thoughts on God’s truth. Look vertical and He’ll show you the goodness and amazing work He is doing.
God refined me today by showing me His awesome truth, helping me live it for a little bit but the fire came and when I began to crumble, He showed me how we have to walk through the fire with His truth also even when it hurts. It’s a constant battle of fighting off the lies and distractions with God’s truth and faith in His truth. You may see a mess but God sees the beginning of His masterpiece. See life in His eyes, pour in His Word and no matter how hot and painful the fire gets continue to seek Him even harder and trust that He is in full control. Trust that He is bringing you closer to the life of abundance, where walking in His freedom and victory becomes your first instinct. It’s such a long, painful and hard process but He’s so more than worth it!
To be real with you, I’ve been going through a season of hopping to whatever job will have me, taking some hits that has brought me living paycheck to paycheck. I’m getting married in a little over five months, I’ll have a bigger responsibility to provide, I’ll have way more bills to pay than I have now. The hits have hurt along with the progress of my employment, as much as I trust in Him to provide its gotten extremely hard to believe when I take a look around. It may look like I’m way out of my league and cause some worry from others who see this but looking to others opinions and the surrounding mess only causes more mess. I almost didn’t type these facts of my situation for that very reason but what God is doing in my struggle is too good not to give you the messy part because if it can help one person see His goodness in our weakness then it’s well worth it. God is taking me lower than I’ve ever gone and through pain I’ve never experienced but I tell you this to show you that I too struggle to believe at times. I want to see abundance but it seems impossible. I also tell you this because the lower God has taken me and the more I’m melting by the fire, He’s allowed me to experience His abundance in ways I’ve never imagined. He has taught me how to lean not on my understanding or the worlds but lean on Him. I may not be where I want to be or where I thought I’d be but thank God for all He’s taught me in this time, He’s teaching me how to keep my eyes more upward everyday, He’s teaching me how to carry His truth as a constant reminder in good times and bad. Sometimes you have to become a complete mess and take a lot of hits to see just how much you have with God. I pray for me and you, whatever process of being refined you’re going through or if you think everything is hunky dory, I pray that God will teach you of life in His abundance, life lived with void of fear and worry. His refining may be different for each of us but when the pain comes I pray that God continues to teach us and renew us everyday to trust in Him, trust that He is in full control and that He teaches us daily to keep our eyes upward so we can see our circumstances that look bad and impossible through our eyes and see them though His eyes, with peace, patience, and joy for the masterpiece God is creating us to be.