Obedience in the Midst of Obscurity
Have you ever been asked a question and you couldn’t think of an answer? But the second the answer was revealed you immediately said, “Ooh! I knew that.”
I think we’ve all been there.
Some might immediately contort that if you knew it, you would have said that. But I’d also say that some of us deal with not trusting ourselves fully; not fully listening to that internal voice because “What if it’s the wrong answer?”
What if it isn’t right? What if I’m making the wrong decision? What if I look foolish? What if people talk about me?
We could deal with these “what ifs?” or we could learn to trust that internal voice. That voice is the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is trying to guide all of us, but of course, the enemy comes and feeds on that small seed of doubt, and now you are completely disobedient to what you were purposed to do.
And I know some might say that it’s not that deep. But trust me when I say—it most surely is!
Just like with Eve, satan started with what was seemingly small: eating an apple.
Most of us eat an apple a day (Kudos to you for following doctor’s orders by the way), and we don’t have to worry about the fall of humanity. As a matter of fact, we stand to gain from it by making a healthier choice while picking a snack. So, thinking of it this way, this seemingly small decision to eat an apple from a tree shouldn’t have had a huge impact.
Oh, but it did!
And this is exactly how our small choices—what doesn’t seem like a big deal—by choosing not to follow the heeding of the Holy Spirit can impact us in our lives!
So, how does this lead to my title?
Well, I know how hard it can be to trust God’s plan for your life when everything around you is saying that it won’t come to be. I know how hard it is to believe that there is life left when all you can see is brown grass, wilted flowers, and dusty sand in the garden of your life. I know how hard it is to listen to the Holy Spirit when he says, “Stay” when everything in your heart and mind is screaming, “LEAVE!”
I also know how difficult it is to move when your fear is holding you back and you begin to wonder if maybe this isn’t God speaking. But that moment of fear or doubt is the enemy trying to get you to second guess yourself so that you will not move forward in your purpose!
It’s hard to listen and trust the Holy Spirit when the enemy is telling you that you’ve made a mistake and by looking at your outer circumstances, he might be right.
It’s hard to move when you begin to question if it truly is God that you are hearing.
It’s hard to trust God when life is life-ing and everything is far from beautiful rainbows and sunshine.
But, listen: if the Holy Spirit is saying, “I know what it looks like, just trust me.” Then, baby, you better trust him. Because eating that apple may seem harmless now—not moving when God told you to may not seem that big of a deal—but trust me, the fallout will prove otherwise.
So, how do we trust in the midst of obscurity?
Do you guys remember Elijah? He was a prophet called by God. He had just given an amazing and powerful prophecy. He declared it wouldn’t rain until he said so. But, immediately after that, God instructs him to wait. Whew! Now if that isn’t obscure!
God tells Elijah to wait by the brook and Elijah literally has to depend on God and God alone. He has nothing by man’s standards. No home to sleep in. No clothes. No food. No water, except for the brook. And yet, somehow God kept him. (That’s a message for another day.)
But then, even as God is keeping him, the brook dries up.
The obscurity this man faced was intense!
Imagine God tells you something—He promises you something—and then the brook dries up. Imagine how Elijah must have felt at that moment. He moved according to God’s word and then the brook dried up!
I know what that is like! Waiting for God’s promise to manifest and then when it doesn’t, or “the brook” dries up, that’s when doubt creeps in.
“Maybe this wasn’t what God told me.”
“Maybe I heard wrong.”
“God…are you sure this is what you want me to do?”
“How could God’s promise lead to this? Surely His promise should be a one-way, smooth-paved, easy road. Surely God’s promise wouldn’t take me through this heartache, this struggle, this failure, this ugliness, this hardness. Surely God’s promise meant more for me than this dried-up place. “
But let this be a reminder that a dry season does not equal a misstep! Even in the midst of obscurity, you MUST wait on GOD’S word to move.
Because in the very next verse, God tells Elijah to go!
What would have happened if Elijah started to doubt God at that moment? What if he had started to crawl into a ball and waited to die? (This sounds like the encounter he had with the widow woman and her son!)
But Elijah didn’t get discouraged. The brook dried up and he yet waited on the word from God. And—watch this—God gave it!
Trusting in obscurity is not an easy task. I promise I wouldn’t be writing this if I believed it to be so. But I’m writing you this now in the most obscure season of my life letting you know that even though I don’t see how God is going to do it, I still know that He is going to do it!
Because even though the enemy is trying to get me to believe that I heard God’s word wrong or that I’ve made too many mistakes up to this point to even receive his promise, I can call him out on the liar he is. Satan is a liar above all, and we know what God despises above all!
So, I’m going to tell satan exactly where he should go and so should you!
So let me remind you and encourage you—AGAIN:
A dry season does not equal a misstep!
It could be that God is pushing you to MOVE from where you are to where He wants you to be.
You’ve gotten too comfortable, friend. You’ve gotten too bitter, love. You’ve become stuck!
And now God has dried the brook up to get you to move!
So, instead of looking at the dried-up brook, look to the source: GOD!
And I promise you that His promise to you will not return void because He is not a man that He should lie. If He said it, He meant it. So, no matter what the enemy says, God will never renege on His promises. I know it looks obscure now, but if you really wait and listen you will hear God speaking to you to move. So, the choice is yours. You can stay where you are and if you’re anything like me, you truly don’t like where you are now. So why stay there? Make the decision today to take a second to see what God is speaking to you and go!
Because this isn’t where it ends for you. The brook didn’t dry up for you to die. It dried up for you to move and prosper!! It dried up for you to take a step into your “Elijah Season”. So, it’s time to stop that pity party.
Listen for God’s word. Then MOVE!