Do You Feel Like God Has Isolated You?

boy-441843_1920Have you ever felt like God has picked you up, removed you from society and tucked you away somewhere, just to leave you there? Are you struggling with feeling isolated and it seems to be by God’s doing?

Well in 2013 I found myself ironically, with so much freedom that I actually felt isolated. I actually found myself living a life that perhaps many would envy, even a place that I always dreamed of but thought was only reserved for the wealthy, which wasn’t us! I found myself not having to work.

I was able to stay at home all day while Derek went off to work. Awesome right?  Well, I can’t believe how hard it was to come to terms with this lifestyle. I felt isolated. However, I got to know something different of how The Lord does things in His people, as a result and I would like to share that with you.

Background

I worked in real estate for 12 years and then studied full-time for qualifications as a counsellor and got my degree in Applied Social Science. I was pretty chuffed. 

Following this I found employment as a caseworker in a residential women’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre where I was later promoted to senior caseworker. This too, gave me a great sense personal achievement. I guess I’d always been looking for that means of having a purposeful life in God’s eyes and thought this must be it. After all these years. 

However, after a series of events such as the loss of my father, the loss of the family home, restructuring of my workplace and the ensuing upheaval of living and financial circumstances I suffered an  emotional breakdown in trying to cope with all of the above.

So in December 2013 my life changed completely.  After 6 months off work, with the support of my doctor, I was approved by the government system, to become a full-time carer for my mother, who was now living with us. This meant I was able to receive an income, albeit considerably less than a working wage, without going to work. I became a full-time carer, at home.

Wow. Staying at home, no stress and still earning money? After a good length of time, this emotional upheaval began to settle but then something quite unsavoury started setting in.  ‘Guilt’. Eech. 

I started to really feel guilty for not working. I struggled to come to terms with it really being okay for me to stay at home. I ‘felt’ like I was cheating the system, cheating God, cheating Derek and even cheating myself. And I could hear my late dad’s voice in my head ‘Donna, you’ve got to go to work’!

Man, I seriously wrestled with this for about 18 months. I had no peace or faith in the circumstances I was in. And this was in spite of Derek’s constant reassurance that he had complete peace about my being at home and that he actually preferred it as opposed to having a stressed out wife to come home to each night 🙂

Somewhere during those 18 months Derek and I sensed the Lord’s encouragement for us to each start reading the bible from front to back, something neither of us had ever done. Reading the word, whilst sitting out in the quiet and being able to meditate on what I was reading whilst gazing upon the hills filled with kangaroos and cattle, became a real meeting place for me and the Lord.  Soon, this became the larger part of how I spent my days.

Insight/Learning

I can’t even recall now but somehow it eventually became apparent to me that it was the Lord’s will for me to stay at home and use the time to commune with Him.  I suppose I was experiencing fruit as a result of spending so much time with Him. I began to see that this time of apparent isolation was more than just His permission or even a blessing from Him but that it was what HE wanted. God was isolating me for a season because He had some serious work to do and He had to stop me in my tracks in order to do it.

I just couldn’t tell you all the things that the Lord and I have walked through since I understood His intention. I can tell you however, that from the moment I realised it was the Lord’s intent for HIS purpose, and actually now a matter of obedience to that purpose, I received complete peace about being at home and not working. All the guilt left me, praise God! I had been given faith to believe there was a higher purpose for me being at home than just to have a so-called easy life. And this purpose was greater than any career could measure up to. 

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.  Romans 10:17

Sometimes when God speaks to us it is simply a knowing that rises in our spirit. But when it is Him, with it comes His faith to receive and believe what He has said. Then we have the faith to walk in what He has said, with complete confidence. He does the speaking. He is the message. And He gives the faith to believe.

As a result, my days became filled with rest and prayer and communing with God, going for walks, looking for Him and finding Him in nature and my surroundings, connecting with bloggers , reading and writing blogs. I read books that The Lord used to speak into my life and I discovered His life in the scriptures like never before. It became the richest part of my life in Him to date. God sure knew what He was doing, alright.

Being a Carer of someone living with me has really been used by God in a myriad of ways. He’s used my apparent isolation as a Carer to teach me about giving up so many preferences, my privacy and so much of my own space, which has always been so important to me. 

I’ve had to learn that sometimes a career is not what God’s after, but that He has something else in mind and a definite design for accomplishing it.  I can look back now over these last few years and see the value of what He’s done by keeping me hidden away and it’s still happening. It’s not over yet. He’s still got a lot to do.

God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

He pulled me out of that career path and job. It was Him who changed my location. He set me up as a Carer, He set me up at home to learn how to turn what I might see as isolation into communion. And He was right there waiting for me. 

I definitely feel that I know Him a lot better as a result of all the time He has given me this way but I sure need to know Him more! 

Dear brother or sister, my prayer today is that if The Lord has called you aside for a while and it seems it is Him who has isolated you –  perhaps you haven’t been able to work, or you’ve been single for a long time, or you’ve been placed in a job that seems hidden away and insignificant – that you will see that Christ is in it with you, for HIS purpose. He has a plan that He is working toward and it will involve every aspect of your life and certainly getting your attention so that He can reveal more of Himself to you and in you for His sake.

He needs you to know Him.

Wow. What a beautiful thing. The God of all creation needs and wants us to know Him. And He’ll do whatever it’s gonna take to get that done. We just need to be willing to get on board with HIS program.

So ask the Lord, is the purpose of this isolation to learn to commune with Him? What is He wanting from you in this season? What is He wanting to teach you at this time? 

And hang in there saint, look and listen, He is with you, He is for you, and holds you in the palm of His hand, and is leading you always deeper into Him. In Christ, we are never, ever truly isolated. That’s impossible. He is in it  with us.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Why does God want to be worshipped?

praise-1154566_1920

Is God a man, that He is so self-absorbed that He demands to be worshipped just as the likes of Nero, portrayed in the old movies, demanding the adoration and worship from the people?

Does God seek flattery to puff Himself up with His own sense of self importance?

No, God wants to be worshipped not for flattery but because He desires to be known.

We worship God because we know Him. When we worship God with proclamations and declarations as in songs, psalms and scripture, we are stating who He is. When we cry out “All praise belongs to You God” it is because we see who He is and that in actual fact, all praise really does belong to Him! When we sing “How great Thou art” its because we have seen that He is so great! This is why true worship must be in  Spirit and in Truth.

He is not looking for people who can sing. He’s not looking for people who can write worship ‘songs’. He is looking for a people who know Him! This is the place that real worship songs are written from. And this is why we are told in Romans 12:1 that our TRUE act of worship is to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice – that is to give up our lives so that He lives through us instead, since we see that He is so beautiful and glorious. If we worship in Spirit and in Truth it is because we are responding to what we see and know of our Lord.

So next time you think about worship, the next time you join in with the saints in singing to and about our God, the next time you cry out proclamations of praise to God, the next time you tell Him how beautiful He is in your intimate time with Him, remember you speak these words from your heart to your God because you have seen that what you are speaking of Him is true.

God wants us to know Him. We worship Him because we know Him.

Who Is God?

god-594709_1280

Recently I was having a conversation with somebody who has walked with the Lord for over 70 years. He shared how he had recently been asked by a fellow in Albania, one of the greatest and most important questions of all time…”Who is God?”

It got me thinking of how would I answer that question? And what would my response say of me and my relationship with Him?

Well, I believe I would say something like this …

God is the air that you breathe.

God is the reason you have breath in your lungs, it is His breath.

God is the purpose of existence.

God is your purpose.

God is the Creator of everything that has been created.

God is revealed in creation, His hidden qualities are seen in nature.

God is love.

God is a community, a community of three – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

God is the Father of Compassion.

God is the God of all comfort.

God is a father to the fatherless.

God is holiness.

God is justice.

God is Spirit.

God is good.

God is sovereign over all realms.

God is eternal.

God is outside and inside of time, time is held in His hands.

God is always.

God is the “I Am”.

God is the beginning and the end.

great i am Jesus unashamed ofjesus

This exercise reminded me that I’d recently heard a brother say that God had been revealing to him, what is not God. So I got to thinking…..

God is not religious.

God is not a feeling.

God is not a concept.

God is not an ideal.

God is not a crutch.

God is not limited to man’s imagination.

God is not without mercy.

God is not a cranky old man.

God is not a man.

God is not for only a few.

God is not moody.

God is not easily angered.

God is not unkind.

God is not impatient.

God is not nostalgic.

God is not sentimental.

God is not weak.

God is not limited.

God is not hatred.

God is not dead.

So, how would you describe who God is and who God is not?

Knowing Him ( knowing me, knowing you)

No, this post is not about an Abba song (though I am a big fan).

Have you ever heard the expression ‘walk-a-while‘? This is an expression used by the Australian aboriginal people to describe how to get to know one another and I think it is a most excellent image of how we get to know our Lord!

You see, you can tell me anything and everything you want to about yourself, (even leaving out the bits you don’t want me to know) and this will help me to know about you, but it won’t make me know you. However, if I share life with you, walk-a-while with you, I observe you in all sorts of  circumstances and I get to know your character, the essence of who you are. I can rightly weigh up what I know to be true of you in various situations. If someone speaks something contrary to what I know of you, I can say with full confidence “No, that’s not Susan, I know her and that’s not her heart.” (That’s if your name is Susan, of-course 🙂 ).

In the same way, we might read the bible cover to cover, listen to sermons and conversations about Jesus, even attend bible/theological college, read book after book, study commentaries and languages to interpret scripture, and talk about Jesus as much as we possibly can.  Does this however, mean we really know the Person of Jesus Christ?

How many of us have trekked through years of traditional church life and have thought we had a real relationship with Jesus, only to later be confronted with the reality that we hardly know this Lord of ours at all? Oh, we know about Him, but do we know Him!

Jesus walked-a-while with His disciples for 3 years on earth, so they could get to know Him. Clearly, this walk-a-while experience of getting to know one another, takes a lot longer than a few weeks, months, even years. And these guys lived in each others’ pockets! They didn’t just meet once or twice a week for a couple of hours and think that’s how you get to know someone. They lived, ate, worked, slept and traveled together.

Jesus certainly wants us to know Him and the Father, too. It is in fact so important to Him that He prayed about it when He said……..

I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and that I myself may be in them. (John 17:26)

This next verse of scripture seems to really capture just how important it is to God, that we know Him….

“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he has understanding, and knoweth me” (Jeremiah 4:23,24 ARV).

If you’re really taking the time to ‘walk-a-while’ with Christ (which of-course has no end) this has most likely come about through a revelation of Christ being your All, in your personal pursuit of Him.  In addition, perhaps you have set out on a journey to detox from all the old spiritual and religious programming and are now getting to ‘really’ know Jesus, the Person.

It’s possibly come about through your corporate pursuit of Him by living body-life with other believers who share the same vision of letting Jesus Christ take His position as Head of His Church. In doing this, Christ has allowed Himself to be known among you, as you walk-a-while together.

Ah, the richest of all! A corporate pursuit of Christ! Christ being made known among us corporately as we walk-a-while together with Him! In Him! How glorious! How we long for this Lord Jesus! Teach us Your ways!