So presently I am re-learning a lesson I learned last fall. Spring break allowed me to have much needed relaxation time. It was such a blessing to be with my family, friends, and back at work. The Lord also blessed me with deep spiritual conversations with both dear Christian friends and skeptics. But seemingly as always, there were still hurts and heartaches that I dealt with. Through those conversations and dealing with struggles I thought back over the lessons and trials the Lord has brought me through at Tech.
More than anything in my past 5 years as a Christian I have prayed for discernment. To have the God given ability, through grace, to follow Him no matter what temptations and false opportunities lie waiting for me. To run after Him even when my flesh and heart were telling me to do something different. And to be honest, I have constantly failed in this area more than any other. But it has been in those failings that the Lord has been able to pick me up and remind me time and time again that I cannot do life on my own, no matter how discerning I may be.
Arriving at Tech discernment again became a constant prayer: what people I would meet, what classes to take, what ministries to serve with, which friends to open up to, decisions about boys (of course), which people to seek to serve, and the list goes on. And in asking the Lord all these things and being open with Him about my fears and concerns He has taught me so much. Over Spring break I was faced with several new situations that brought this issue back to life in such a real way. I was able to talk through those situations and to reflect on what the Lord had already told me. In this past week He has used old truths in new ways to refine me.
It has been the Lords precious and perfect will to continuously put me in situations or relationships where things tend to be confusing. In finding myself faced with confusion the Lord has taught me the importance of choosing: choosing between the drama of confusion or the sovereignty of peace. And I hardly ever choose the peace, but He continues refining me. Early in September the Lord revealed two scriptures that have been sticking with me.
The first I came across as I read through the Old Testament.
“The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies…The Lord will strike you with confusion of mind, and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you.” Deuteronomy 28:25, 28-29
I know some read this and get nothing but when I read this, the Holy Spirit just jumped inside of me and made these words burn like fire on the page. They hit my heart with a thud and filled my ears with screams. These verses follow the heading “curses for disobedience” in the ESV. I had read this scripture before, but I had missed this new truth. The Lord was telling me that confusion of mind, and all these other emotions I was feeling, were direct results of my disobedience.
Later that same day, the Lord brought me to the words of 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
Wow. It is not always common that I hear the Lord so clearly, but after 5 years of praying for discernment, His voice was clear as the sunlight. So confusion is a result of disobedience and God is NOT a God of confusion…but of peace. What does that mean for my life? Through these verses the Lord showed me that by choosing to avoid confusion I can find assurance and hope that I am following Him. Or in other words by choosing peace I am assured I am avoiding sin, in a given circumstance.
The Lord just blew me away with that fact that the reason I have been put constantly in so many situations and friendships that have made me yank my hair, scream, cry, and complain, is so that I can LEARN how to find Him, His peace, instead of being overwhelmed and overcome with emotions, in order to bring glory to HIM.
Man do I never ever want to forget this lesson! It is so evident and so crucial in my everyday walk. When there is lack of clarity in decisions, the Lord is speaking, just in that. And yes sometimes He asks us to wait longer, to pray harder, to seek further, but in that He always provides His perfect peace to those whose mind are stayed on him (Isaiah 26:3) and protects us from confusion and chaos.
And I can be sure as soon as I open my eyes tomorrow there may be yet another issues or circumstance that makes me choose, but just as I choose to deny myself, pick up my cross, and follow Christ, I choose to kill the confusion of my flesh and to rest in His perfect peace. And by His grace I pray I continue to run hard after Him.