Approaching the Thick Darkness… Where God Is.

If you watch the video above, I think you’ll agree that we all have days or seasons in life where we feel like this ship. Well, I’m in one of those seasons right now… it’s one of those times where I am completely aware of the sovereignty of God and my utter inability to do anything. Just like this ship, I am completely dependent on Him to carry me safely through the storm.

In recent days, I have been trying to be like Jesus and “rest” during the storm. However, I have been acting more like the disciples than Jesus:

Matt 8:23-27  Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Such is the life when you’re following Jesus. Why is there such a misconception in the church and world today that if you follow Jesus everything will be smooth sailing? Au contraire! In fact, just like with the disciples…Jesus Himself will lead us to the boat, and WITHOUT WARNING, ferocious storms can come up on us in the blink of an eye.

Many of you know the story of the brand new condominium God had me purchase in 2006. Though I resisted this entire idea, God confirmed his will through many ways. During this process , the Lord told me three things: 

  • Do not move in when it is completed.
  • You are going to sell it at a profit and it will pay off all the debt from your past.
  • Do not sell it below a certain dollar amount.

Ok… great! So when construction was complete, I listed it on For Sale by Owner fully expecting a quick turnaround of this property.  After all, God said not to move in, so that MUST be His plan! However, it didn’t sell. For several months I walked completely by faith, trusting that God would pay for what He authored. And He faithfully did! The mortgage payment has been paid every month since.  Finally I listed it with an agent at the price God gave me…but still no sale.

At one point a friend moved into the condo. The condo by-laws do not allow for leasing without approval from the board. So I explained that I didn’t live in Alpharetta anymore and that I was trying to sell it, therefore they approved my friend to live there until it sold. Well…. two years later, and a downed economy, it still has not sold.

So that brings me to today. The board notified me last week that they can no longer extend my hardship leasing status. Therefore my tenant must move out by Dec 31. Additionally, I had just spoken with a real estate agent and found out that several units in our complex had foreclosed and were sold by the bank for next to nothing. Therefore, current appraisals on units being sold are coming in below what I paid for the unit (therefore well below the price God told me to sell for) OK LORD! So now what??

Interestingly enough, God knows me so well that He already put some things in place to help me through this storm. In September I received a random prophetic word about my condo. The person said “God told me to tell you not to sell it for less than the price He gave you. You will get that price or more.” Now keep in mind that this person had no idea God had given me a price to stand on. So I know this was a direct word from God. And had I not had that word, I’ll admit that I probably would have dropped the price this time around. After all, God told me that back in 2006 and I NEVER thought I would still own this condo in 2009. I was beginning to doubt that I heard God correctly and was considering dropping the price because of “what I can see.” But since God was gracious enough to give me that word just prior to this situation, I now must choose obedience and trust Him in the midst of this storm.

There are so many lessons I have learned simply from owning this condo. They are:

  • When we hear God, sometimes we add things onto it and assume too much. We need to listen carefully and tryto carry today’s instruction all the way out but try not to determine future outcomes. For example: When God told me not to move in there in 2006, I realize now that my translation of that was “You will never live there.” Where did I get that from? Well, in my mind I was going to put it on the market as soon as it was built, it would sell immediately and I would be debt free. 1…2…3…done. Therefore there would not be a chance for me to ever live there. Boy was I wrong. Here I am three years later still owning this condo. I totally assumed it would sell right away. So when my tenant moves out on Dec 31, if the condo is not sold, am I to move back to Alpharetta and live there?? Hmmm. On this I need clarity from God.
  • I have also learned that God uses AND ORCHESTRATES (or CHOREOGRAPHS) situations like this to kill my flesh over and over. He used (and is using) it as a way of keeping me dependent on Him so that I’ll remain dependent on Him even during smooth sailing.
  • Since I believe God is going to use the sale of this condo to pay off debt from my past, I have come to realize that He is PREPARING me to be delivered. I’ve learned that if deliverance comes instantly or too soon, we may not be mature enough in certain areas to MAINTAIN that deliverance. So God will delay things to do a deep INWARD work in us so we can stay delivered in the end!
  • Obedience to God will often defy logic and reasoning by the world’s standards.

So the question is: What are you going to do when the dark clouds come? Are you going to run away from them, or recognize that God is in them, divinely working out your destiny?

 Ex 20:18-23  When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.

Today I am repenting for allowing fear to grip me the last few days. I have been unintentionally distancing myself from God by trying to figure out my own solutions. I have been making other gods alongside Him… gods I can see, worldly solutions, plans I wrongly believe I can rely on.

Instead I am choosing to be like Moses and approach the thick darkness where God is… smack dab in the middle of my storm. I am going to trust and rely on my God who can calm the winds and the waves at His command. I am trusting and submitting to the inward work that He is doing in me to prepare me for my deliverance and destiny. I am trusting for Him to divinely show me my next step and I will obey no matter now unreasonable it appears.

Today I am thanking God for the Perfect Storm and rejoicing with gratitude in the midst of it.

Blessings to all!

Mary

 cristo clouds

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About Mary L'Esperance Held
http://www.maryloveslife.org

2 Responses to Approaching the Thick Darkness… Where God Is.

  1. Lynn Mosher says:

    Mary, I’m so glad I got to read this. What a great post! Your stance may be a little wobbly but it sounds like you are on solid ground! Hang in there. I love the photo at the end. Awesome! May the Lord bring His Word to fruition…soon! Be blessed…Lynn

  2. JoAnna says:

    Thank you Mary. The visual is the kick I needed. Even though we are in different but similar situations I am struggling to with the distancing myself to figure it out. This is where child-like faith comes in. God said it, I believe it, that’s the end of it. Somewhere along the way it seems that the longer I have been saved the more I think I need to figure it out. When the opposite is what we should be doing. Leaning on God more!! If Abraham could wait 20 years for what seemed impossible we can do it! It is hard not to want to “get there” where ever that is. Life is our journey not a destination. Love you!

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