“What now, Oh Lord?” This is a question that rises up from a heart of discouragement.
What causes discouragement? When things go a different way than we envisioned.
When Jesus was about to lay Himself down to serve as the perfect sacrifice for all sin, so that we would no longer be separated from Him. He told His disciples that even in that dark time they would be scattered and He would be left alone, but the Father would be with him. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He has overcome the world and we are to rejoice for in Him we too can overcome. Let us stand through whatever trials of faith we encounter – rejection, insecurities, misunderstandings, aloneness, stands of faith for things that have yet to come to pass, or other plights that cause us to lose heart in the waiting for overcoming.
We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to lead and guide and connect us to God through Jesus Christ; hence, we have the privilege of walking on the heights with God above the circumstances, political underpinnings, or mindsets of man, for we are in Christ and all that He did while on earth. He said we would do greater things than these – the power He demonstrated and the love He poured out are how we get to operate. As we ask God to expand our minds and hearts to believe for more, let us hold tight our confession of faith that all things are possible through Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how small we feel or how large or small our circle of influence, all that matters is Christ pours His heart out to the world through us, His vessels. What now, Lord? When there is a need for love – let us pour it out. When there is a need for healing – let us pray and believe. When there is a need for provision – let us ask our Great Provider to make a way.
Let us not limit what God can do through us based on what we have experienced thus far in our lives.
For those who have been afraid to step out or who have stepped out and find themselves discouraged, take heart for the Lord God has called each of us and is faithful to bring to pass that which He created us to do and be. In the book of Exodus we read how Moses went through a time of having things go a different way than He expected. He sympathized with His Hebrew brothers who were enslaved by the Egyptians. During one conflict in which an Egyptian was beating a Hebrew, Moses intervened in his own way and ended up killing the Egyptian. He didn’t think anyone saw this but the next day a Hebrew slave asked if Moses would kill them too. Moses became afraid and fled to a land called Midian. Years later Moses was tending sheep and God spoke to Him through a burning bush. Even in hearing God and seeing this miracle, Moses still voiced concerns over whether God had the right person to accomplish such a task of freeing large number of people from the political leaders in Egypt. God detailed the plan and even explained the resistance he would face, but the Lord assured Moses that He would overcome these blocks.
We will face times when the evil we are up against or the seemingly insurmountable wall that blocks our path will cause our hearts to melt. We cannot accomplish such a great task as is set before us. This is the best place to be, for here we will look to God – the author and finisher of our faith and really understand that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We can love in light of great evil, we can pour out even in lack, we can bring hope to situations where there is none, we can face rejection and know we’ve done the right thing when we do what God says.
Moses offered several reasons why he was not the man for God’s call and purpose for him:
- His Low Self-Worth: Moses had fallen from a leader in Egypt to tending another man’s sheep. He reasoned he was nothing in the eyes of man, so therefore could not be used by God.
- The Disbelief of Others: Moses considered the incomprehensible feat that was this task and through no one would listen to him when he declared, “Thus saith the Lord…”
- His Flawed Delivery: Moses recognized he was not the most eloquent of speakers, but God wanted to use him anyway.
The Lord knew all of these factors before Moses call at the burning bush, but He called him anyway. When God calls us to walk higher in Him, to really believe for what He says and walk in His ways even in this day and age, we may become discouraged for we will see our inadequacy for the task at hand. However, when we know the Lord and who we are in Christ we can rest in our identity as a children of God and be assured that He will strengthen us and make our arms strong for their tasks.
Beloved, do not be discouraged if you also feel like God chose the wrong person, that nothing can change with your small efforts, or that you are not perfect in delivering God’s message of love, forgiveness, and hope that He desires to pour through you. He is unmoved by our weaknesses, but His power can be made perfect when we have no strength or skill in certain areas. He can overcome our weaknesses and flow through us mightily so that mankind will ask, “Is this the same person?” Even if you have stepped out and the reaction or results were not what you expected and we walked away saying with every ounce of determination with you, “I’ll never do that again, I will just believe in God and never step out in faith or boldness again!” It’s okay, you are not alone.Many a man or woman of God has gone through such feelings, but His power is at work in us and He is unmoved by our inadequacies. He fills up that which lack and brings forth abundance through willing vessels.
Stepping out in God can be scary and uncomfortable to our flesh, and is often uncomfortable to others for we go against the status quo. How uncomfortable was it for the Hebrews when all the plagues began to fall upon the Egyptians at God’s works through Moses? Some probably complained or murmured or talked about him and said something like, “We were better off just being slaves before Moses came back to town.” How easy it is for man to talk about others trying to stand in faith or walk higher with God, how easy they find fault in our attempts. It’s okay, the Lord will perfect that which He began in us. Do not beat yourself up, just let God work through you and take you on with Him. Man’s opinion will change, so do not gain your worth upon this wavering factor.
Let us look back to all the great moves of God throughout history. The Lord called some to believe Him and and people thought or said they were crazy. Those who walk higher and trust God for more often encounter the voice of discouragement that says, “Who do you think you are? Would God do such a mighty work through you? Miracles and God’s manifest power is not for our day and age.” Oh, how we need to see the manifest works of God in our day and all He needs is one willing vessel! God knows what He is doing and who and why He called each of us, just let Him flow and pour out in whatever gift He gives. Let’s look again at those same people after the move of God had its perfect work.
Before the great move of God, man calls the person crazy.
After the great move of God, man calls these same vessels brilliant, mighty men and women of faith.
Do not be discouraged at the look of things around you on a small or large scale. Be encouraged and seek God only for what He would do in and through your life. Let God continue to pour through you, no matter what it looks like. The Lord can take the little we offer and orchestrate mighty moves that we cannot even comprehend, for He is God who works in abundance. When we ask, “What now, Lord?” Let us be excited at His answer knowing that He can move mightily and bring forth His light through us in this dark world.
You’ve asked Me with fear and trembling in the pit of discouragement, “What now, Lord?” Now you ask Me on a firm foundation of faith with excitement and expectation, knowing that it is I who strengthens you and makes your way. You have seen that nothing good or lasting can you accomplish on your own, but in Me the works we do are eternal. My love, fear not the taunts of man, fear not hate or rejections of various kinds. Find your delight in Me. I Am your great reward. Earnestly seek Me and be not discouraged, for I Am bigger than your delivery, I Am bigger than your failings. All these areas of concern of your own skills or talents or weaknesses do not bother Me, for I Am. I can make you into more than you can imagine. I can do more through you than you can understand.
Let it all go to Me. Every worry, every ounce of self-loathing, every guilt, all despair, and let Me fashion you into My useful vessel drawing your strength and inspiration from Me. Delight in Me and let Me work with you in your daily tasks and you will rise higher even in the common tasks when done in fellowship with Me than even in the loftiest assignment from kings or queens. Do not judge the tasks at hand as common or lofty – only seek to do each task with Me then all tasks will be the same between Me and thee, all will be a blessing and a sweet fellowship between us. My love, I do not judge your ability, but I make you able. I do not wring my hands that you were imperfect in this or that, for I make you perfect. It delights My heart that you even step out with Me. Be willing more and more to just flow in My presence and follow My promptings. The results are up to Me, just operate in love and put your confidence in Me.
If the thing looks different than you expected or hoped for, it’s okay, for I saw it already. I will make complete that which is imperfect. I will guide you with My peace, so when it is removed seek Me and let go of that which has placed a wedge between our fellowship. Always operate in Me, for here I can do great and mighty and needful things through you. When you misstep just walk on with Me, for we have higher places to go than where you are now. Journey on with Me and be amazed at what I will do. Believe for more, ask Me to enlarge your faith and ability to reason in faith. Take on My perspective and let us move on, My purposeful and willing vessel.
“By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”