Several years ago, I had a friend in my life who couldn’t understand why I believed in God. It was the first time I’d been around someone who constantly questioned my faith. When something bad would happen, she would always ask me, “Where’s your God? Couldn’t He have stopped that?” When I would read my Bible, she would begin listing the reasons the scriptures couldn’t be true. When I would pray in front of her, she would ask me if that was really helping the people living in poverty every day. Usually I was able to respond to her, but sometimes I would get frustrated, or even angry. One time, when I was at my breaking point, I turned to give her a harsh response, and God stopped me. “Look at her passion and tenacity. When I change her heart, imagine what she’s going to do for my Kingdom.”
The words reminded me of Paul. When people looked at Paul, they saw a persecutor, but God saw an apostle. Man does not see the way that God sees. We focus on the natural instead of the supernatural. We focus on what we can see instead of what we believe about God. We focus on the lack instead of the supply.
Take the five loaves. We look at the bread in front of us and we know it’s not enough to feed the multitude. We look at our circumstance and lose sight of God’s vision.
In 2018, I challenge you to seek God’s vision. In Psalm 1:3, it says this about those that delight in the Lord:
They are like trees, planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in season and whose leaves do not wither. Whatever they do, they prosper.
Let’s break down this verse:
We are like trees. Note that the verse says that we are planted, not grown. We are chosen, prepared, nourished, and secured. We are here intentionally, and we have purpose.
We are planted by streams of water. Not a stream, but multiple streams, which means we are always surrounded by a super-abundant supply: of grace, and promise, and cleansing, and eternal life.
We bring forth fruit in our season. We bring patience in a season of frustration, faith in a season of doubt, hope in a season of disappointment, and joy in a season of sorrow.
And our leaves do not wither. We don’t grow weary. We are strong and refreshed through all of our seasons. We serve through an overflow of the grace God pours into us.
Whatever we do, we shall prosper. How amazing is that promise to us, as those who delight in the Lord? This is the time of year when we are making resolutions, and it’s so important to remember that whether we hit our goal or miss the mark, WHATEVER we do shall prosper when we delight in Him.
This year, let’s return to God’s view: when it seems like everything is against us; when it seems like we just can’t hit our goals; when it seems like we are hitting walls at every turn, remember that our works are prospered. Just because we don’t see our purpose doesn’t mean we don’t have one. Just because we don’t see our fruit doesn’t mean we aren’t producing any. Just because we don’t see the supply doesn’t mean it’s not abundant. We have to adopt God’s vision instead of our own.