When the Holy Ghost Ghosts You

There’s a certain expectation we tend to have of God as His children.  Of course we know that life isn’t going to be perfect.  But we are promised that He is working all of the negatives into a tapestry of beauty in the end, that He will avenge us for what has been done wrong to us, that He will return what the enemy has stolen… We cling to His promises because the Word of God tells us to!  Where can our expectations reside concerning His promises towards us?  Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t give us a timeline.  He doesn’t say, “I will restore what the enemy has stolen” within two weeks of your submitted complaint.  He just promises to and we have to trust Him to honor His Word in HIS TIME.

A great example is when He promised Abraham and Sarah a son… that he would be the father of many nations.  Yet year after year after year, Sarah remained barren, even well past the traditional window of fertility.  In her mind, while facing the PHYSICAL REALITY, she was no longer physically able to carry a child, her dream died.  Can you imagine the grief she endured?  I mean, what a huge disappointment.  God promised her something.  He didn’t fulfill His promise.  He can’t be trusted.  Trust=Faith and a lack of it =unrighteousness.  It’s a precarious position to be in spiritually.

And then in classic God fashion, seconds before the midnight hour, Sarah bears that promised son.  She is OLD.  She has gone through menopause. I doubt she had the energy.  But there they were nonetheless, the promised babe was born and a long awaited promise was fulfilled.  Despite the mistakes made, the “let me just do this myself” actions of both Sarah and Abraham, the abusive behavior of Sarah… none of it had a bit of impact on the fact that God made a promise that He always intended to fulfill at the time He planned to fulfill it.  They just needed to TRUST and HAVE FAITH that the God Who made the promise would fulfill it when HE chose to.

Another great example is Joseph. Poor Joe… His dad gave him that coat of many colors, then God gave him this amazing dream where wheat, the stars, the sun and the moon all bowed to him.  But his big mouth and immature bragging made him the object of his brothers scorn and jealousy.  I bet as he sat at the bottom of the pit his brothers threw him down, he was hurt and confused.  I bet he prayed God would deliver him.  Joseph’s deliverance came in the form of slavery.  Can you imagine what went through his mind as the cart pulled away and he watched his family and homeland disappear in the distance?  How confusing!  These events were not lining up with the dreams God gave him.  The Bible doesn’t say how or when, but what developed in Joseph was humility instead of immature arrogance and a prophetic voice instead of immature bragging.  I am blown away and personally challenged by Joseph’s heart of humility no matter the circumstances.  Unlike our first example, Joseph remained steadfast in faith through his 40+ years of captivity.  He was forgotten, lied about, and alone.  It seemed every time he made progress, someone came along and did something that landed him right back where he started at.  But the interesting thing about Joseph is that it really didn’t matter if he was in the dungeon or the palace, he remained humble, worked hard and God blessed all that he did.  He didn’t try to manipulate events or people to force the unfolding of the promises of the dream.  He simply and humbly obeyed the Lord.

I want to encourage you today, God’s promises are not bound by our human constraints.  The space between the promise and the fulfillment of it can be brutal.  The stretching, refining, and testing, is the ground where our faith is built, but mostly, it’s where we make our biggest mistakes.  It’s okay!  Every success is built on mistakes.  And as I mentioned before, God is working all of it out for the good, according to His great plan and purpose.  We have to believe that.  We have to TRUST He is doing what He has promised us, even if we can’t see it with our physical eyes, even if our faith is the size of a mustard seed.  Make a choice, even if you don’t feel it, say these words, “God, my heart and my mind are having trouble believing Your Word and Your Promises.  I have questions and I have doubts.  But today I draw a line in the sand.  I don’t care what life throws at me.  I am making a choice to believe Your Word.  I choose to believe Your Promises are true.”  Declare it.  Believe it.  I promise you, you will see a change.  The Lord will open your eyes to see His goodness in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).  Just like Joseph, God will bless you even while you are in the middle of bondage and pain.  He will never leave you. He will never forsake you.  Just keep believing.  Cling onto faith as if your life depended on it.  Because it does!

There is a great cloud of witnesses in heaven cheering you on.  Keep running!  This is not the end.  It’s the beginning of a life where maybe circumstances don’t change, but you change.  Where you become the flower that grows in the middle of a desert.  The life where you throw off all of the baggage that has weighed you down for so long and crawl through the crowd in desperation to touch the hem of His garment.  The life where the Holy Spirit touches your blind eyes and opens them to see HIS GLORY in a world full of darkness.

“When God is in the midst of a kingdom or city He makes it as firm as Mount Zion, that cannot be removed.  When He is in the midst of a soul, though calamities throng about it on all hands, and roar like the billows of the sea, yet there is a constant calm within, such as peace as the world can neither give nor take away.” –Archbishop Leighton, Streams in the Desert