When I am not getting guidance from God, what do I do? What do I have that will keep me going?
Well Dr. Willard says you get something “greater than a word from God.”
What does he mean?
What could be greater than a word of guidance from God?
Well folks, what you get when you become a solid believer is the fact that you don’t need to have God guide your every move. God has trained you under His hand.
So many people in Christian circles talk about the elusive idea of Christian maturity and I know I have written about it numerous times in 2015. But what is it? Is it something that comes about as you live a certain number of years on this earth?
Of course your age has nothing to do with it.
Is it something that you can force yourself to have?
No, I don’t think so. You can’t make it happen. It can happen over a lifetime of dedication to God but it is brought about by the response that you have to your circumstances. Let me be specific with some examples.
You have a health problem and the news is not good. You have financial hardship…you lose your job and you can’t pay all your bills. You have a death in your family or your good friend dies.
The big question is, how do you respond?
Do you crumble? Do you go into a panic? Do you do “out of character” things?
No, no and no…
You have been trained under the hand of God and instead of crumbling, going into a panic or doing “out of character” things, you stand firm.
You have what God has given you on a regular basis to sustain you in times of trouble.
You have faith, hope and love. If you know your Bible, these three words sound familiar. Of course they come from 1 Corinthians 13. In this chapter of the Bible, Paul talks about faith, hope and love being the greatest gifts that the Lord has given us.
At times when we need a word from God [and many of those times are times of trouble], faith will sustain us. Faith is used so much that it has a vague meaning but it means trusting God, having assurance that God is with us, having confidence in the Lord. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” You can have more faith by regular prayer and the study of God’s word. You can exercise your faith by obeying God and doing service for others.
Hope is the second gift of God that is there to sustain us.
I have so many people in my family who are going through hard times and many of them have lost hope. They are being buffeted by poor health, poor working conditions and relationship problems. They have given up.
But the Christian who has hope anticipates that something good is going to happen to help their situation soon. They have hope that things are going to turn around. They see a brighter future ahead.
Anticipation of a brighter future will keep you holding on when times are tough. That can lead to a stable response in times of trouble. Stability is a definite sign that a person is a true believer; they can project positivity in the face of problems. They can look forward to the future when the present is dark.
Love is the the last gift that will sustain us when we need guidance or we need a word from God. If God is not fulfilling our needs, love allows us to concentrate on others. Turning our thoughts to others takes our minds off of our needs and that can be so theraputic.
Of course Paul says the “greatest of these is love.” The act of meeting the needs of others in a time of personal trial is a powerful message that is not lost on others.
When you are not getting guidance from God, what do you do? What do you have that will keep you going?
You have a lot to keep you going if you have spiritual maturity. If you don’t have that, you don’t have enough.
In Galatians 5:13, it says “The one who sent Me is with Me.” You know you are not alone just because you are not getting a word, getting guidance, getting answers to your prayers.
A spiritually mature person who has been trained under the hand of God has faith, hope and love.
And they know that those three are enough.