You find yourself in a difficult place. Thrown smack dab (as we say in the South) in the middle of a situation you hadn’t planned and is painfully uncomfortable. Maybe you even wonder how you got into this spot in the first place. What comfort is there in times like this?
The Lord’s hold on me was strong…
The prophet Ezekiel found himself in this spot many times. One time though, his devoted heart to God conflicted with his attitude.
The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong. Ezekiel 3:14
God’s Spirit was continually lifting the prophet Ezekiel up and taking him to see different places. Wherever he was taken, God had a revelation or vision to show him. The passage implies that Ezekiel was willing to go and do whatever the Spirit asked him to do.
I love God and determine to grow in loving him with all my heart, soul and strength. And I depend on Him to help with my struggle to love my neighbor as myself. without prejudice or judgment.
But what about those times when I feel as if I’ve been thrown into a lion’s den?
Thoughts from a recent devotion helped me to understand why God allows my comfort bubble to burst.
The Spirit cannot take us to places we are not willing to go. He cannot show us revelation we are unwilling to see.
Though Ezekiel was willing to go, he found this journey filled with sorrow.
Not every journey the Lord takes us on will be pleasant or comfortable, but His strength and inner joy will uphold us.
Saying “Yes” to God
When we say “yes” to God’s Spirit, we never know what waits on the other side of obedience.
When we say “yes” to the Spirit’s leading, it usually comes at a cost. The very act of obedience is a war between what God wants and what WE want. We want comfort and avoid being uncomfortable as much as possible.
God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. ~ Rick Warren
We hear testimonies of those who’ve answered God’s call that involved great sacrifice. Like Ezekiel, by answering the Spirit’s call, they said “yes”, but went in discouragement and turmoil.
Last year, dear family friends faced a closed-door that they’ve waited years to see opened. Just when there seemed a glimmer of hope that circumstances would change, the door abruptly slammed. Devastated, they fell on their knees seeking God’s wisdom.
The Spirit led this young couple to move with their children to another country, leaving behind family, friends and the comfort of an American lifestyle. While they are surrounded in God’s peace, the transition has still been difficult.
But the Lord’s hold on them is strong.
The prophet Daniel was actually thrown into a real lion’s den. This man served and loved God with all his heart, soul and strength. His journey included being deported to Babylon at the age of 16, picked to work a government job for the country and king responsible for his deportation. Daniel honored God first, and no decree of the two kings he served under would distract him.
Even if it meant being thrown into a den full of hungry lions.
Read this encouraging story in Daniel 6.
You love the Lord your God with all your heart, yet you too, feel you’ve been thrown into a lion’s den. Questions about why such hard things have happened to you. Why God didn’t stop it?
I don’t know the answer to questions like this.
But I do know that just as God delivered Daniel by shutting the mouth of the lions– so that not even a scratch could be found on his body–so will He deliver you and me!
Dear one, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, the Lord’s hold on you is strong. HE WILL NOT LET YOU GO. You are held firm in His grip.
Where does the Spirit of God want to take you?
Are you willing to go even if the journey is unpleasant physically, mentally, or emotionally?
O Rock of Ages, I cry to you for help. When my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety—Your arms. May I feel your strong grip holding me together in this difficult time.