God did not create us for the American dream. He created us for His purpose and He has a dream for our lives that we were created to fulfill. Sadly many of us, even Christians, never get there.
Often we seek to change through changing our behavior which is a short term fix. But in God’s plan and in His word we find it starts and ends with long term change which involves changing our minds. How we view God is ultimately how we live our lives. In order to fulfill His purpose, we have to KNOW God…to have a relationship with Him, not a monologue.
No relationship that is REAL and Authentic exists unless communication is two-way…speaking and listening. Often…very often…I hear people say…”I never hear from God.” Or they say, “How do you know His voice?” Or, “How does He speak to you?”
I love the small book of Habakkuk found in the Old Testament. It has taught me much about developing my relationship with the Lord and hearing Him speak to me. At the time of the writing of Habakkuk, Israel was in a state of turmoil, experiencing economic recession. People were starving. There was conflict and chaos and terrorist attacks.
This gives you the setting for the book of Habakkuk but what we learn from this book is very important: “How to get God’s vision for your life!”
To get that vision we have to have a relationship with God so that we hear Him clearly. We can all learn from Habakkuk’s life. Just think …that is how the book of Habakkuk was written. He recorded what God told him. There is much God wanted us to learn from such a small book. In chapter one of Habakkuk we see his sincere DESIRE to know and hear from God.
That is exactly where it starts with any of us. We have to DESIRE to know God’s plan…His purpose and His vision for our lives! I love to look at David’s desires to know God found in the book of Psalms. After all, David was said to be a man after God’s own heart. David’s prayer journal in Psalm 40:8 says, “I DESIRE to do your will, my God; your law is written within my heart.” And Psalm 119:20, “My soul is CONSUMED with longing for your laws at all times.” In Psalm 119:10 we find, “I seek you will ALL my heart…” [emphasis added on all verses]. So we see it starts with DESIRE.
Second, we learn in Chapter 2, verse 1 that Habakkuk says, “I will stand at my watch…” In order to have a relationship…one between God and you/me…we have to WITHDRAW. We must get ALONE with God. Matthew 6:6, “…Find a quiet place, SECLUDED place, so you won’t be tempted to role play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God and you will begin to sense his grace” (The MSG, emphasis added).
Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things THAT YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT” [emphasis added]. We don’t know ZIP about our future…but God does! HE has the helicopter view. It is in a growing relationship full of DESIRE to know God that we see Him, that we hear Him! God knows the details of our lives.
He knows the delights of our lives and He knows the disasters of our lives.
In the past one of the main reasons I did not hear from God was this: I was on my time frame of “hurry”. Hurry is the death of prayer. If we are going to hear God…truly desire Him and withdraw to be with Him….we have to WAIT! Hurry can’t be in our minds…or in our actions. Habakkuk talks about “stationing himself” to WAIT in the first verse of chapter 2.
We must Wait quietly, Wait patiently and Wait expectantly. Again we can look at David’s prayer journal, Psalm 37:7, “Be still BEFORE the Lord and wait patiently for him to act.” Psalm 5:3, “In the morning Lord, you hear my voice, in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait EXPECTANTLY” [emphasis added for both].
TWO amazing things here that I have applied in the last six years. I GET UP EARLY. I started EXPECTING GOD TO SHOW up in my life and SHOW OUT…and HE DID!!! I realized I was not believing the truth and entirety of God’s word. I DESIRED Him. I starting withdrawing early in the morning…to BE with HIM…but I learned to EXPECT HIM TO SHOW UP!
Which brings me to my next point…with the expecting part. I WATCHED! Habakkuk 2:1 goes on to say ,”…I will LOOK to SEE what he will say to me.” Psalm 73:16, “When I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I SAW the whole picture” (The MSG). James 1:5, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask HIM, and HE will gladly tell you, for HE is ALWAYS ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask HIM, but when you ask him be sure that you really expect him to tell you.” I asked God like David did in Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes that I may SEE the wonderful truths of your word” [emphasis added on all]. I prayed this and waited and watched.
…then I started to WRITE…Yes …WRITE. The Lord told Habakkuk in chapter 2:2, “Then the Lord replied, ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.'” Writing your prayers is a great thing. In one column I wrote my prayers and later I would add His answers in another column and date them.
If you want to SEE and KNOW God…try it. There are some things I am still praying about…and listening and waiting and expecting. I have discovered that sometimes the “silence,” or “lack of answer,” is from God. At that point I couldn’t handle His answer or His view. I needed to grow…or my trust needed to deepen…or the timing was not right. It could also depend on the “growth and change” of another person.
I have learned to trust His WAYS are really higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts…and HE does work ALL things for GOOD for all those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
That’s it…that’s it …that’s it…HIS PURPOSE…our lives are not about our “American dream.” We were created by HIM…for HIS PURPOSE…and until we DESIRE His PURPOSE for our lives… and SEEK it with all of our heart…WE will miss it.
The last thing I do is worship. God is to be praised…adored. There is something about adoration and praise that strengthens our relationship with Jesus and it can only be experienced by doing it.
This post may be long…but I so desire that NO one miss their significance…His purpose for their lives. Our purpose is so specific to each of us just like the specific DNA that we all possess. It starts with DESIRING HIS will and not our own.
As passionately as my fingers will type…I encourage you with this simple statement: “Learning to wait on God…desiring His will instead of yours…is never a waste. In fact…your life is wasted if you don’t!”