Posted 18 Mar 2011
UCB “Word 4 Today” – 16th Mar 2011 How God Reveals His Will to Us
‘…“Did not our heart burn within us”…’ Luke 24:32
Look at the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and you’ll discover how God speaks to us and gives us direction. They thought they’d seen the death of Jesus and His movement. Fearful and disillusioned, they packed their bags and headed for home, when suddenly Jesus appeared to them. How does the Lord reveal His will to us? The simplicity of the process may surprise you.
First, through others. The travellers’ first mistake was to disregard the words of their fellow disciples. ‘…Today some women among us amazed us. Early this morning they went to the tomb, but they did not find his body there. They came and told us… Jesus was alive!’ (Luke 24:22-23 NCV). God still works that way. He still speaks to us through others. That’s why you need to attend church regularly and build relationships that strengthen you.
Second, through Scripture. ‘…Starting with what Moses and all the prophets had said about him, Jesus began to explain everything that had been written about himself in the Scriptures’ (v. 27 NCV). Their second mistake was disregarding the Word of God and listening to their fears. Are you doing that? God still speaks through His Word; the answers you need are in your Bible.
Third, through our heart’s desire. ‘They said to each other, “It felt like a fire burning in us when Jesus talked to us.”…’ God reveals His will to us by giving us a burning desire. What fuels and focuses you? Singles? The inner city? Untouched nations? Forgotten orphans? Whatever it is – heed the fire within you!
But back to the story:
The very next day (17/03/2011) was a day of utter desperation! I was trying to make the “Search by Famous Bible Cartoons” web page work, & it frustrated me utterly. I prayed & asked the Lord to help me, but He didn’t (then & there!) & I got SO frustrated! I had to leave & go to the Olive Branch (our church’s coffee shop) for my weekly volunteer stint, with a head cold in full swing too! I came back & spent the afternoon trying to make the wretched “Search by Famous Bible Cartoons” web page work, but couldn’t. I was at my wits end! I was very cross with the Lord, for not helping me. “Isn’t this a noble task that I am engaged in? Isn’t the Bible Cartoons website directly related to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How come the Lord isn’t helping me with this great work?!” these where my questions… through gritted teeth. I just couldn’t understand Him, where was my help in time of need?!
Then, at the “eleventh hour” (well, OK, it was about 5.30pm, but that is my “eleventh hour”!) I created a very bludgeoning, inelegant solution to the problem of how to get the “Search by Famous Bible Cartoons” web page working. It is operating on the website now. If you visit the page, you won’t notice how it works… the solution is invisible to the page viewer… but I know what a hack I’ve been, what a simple, unrefined, inelegant solution I have cobbled together!
So why didn’t the Lord help me to create the web page… well, I guess He did, in the end. It is up & running, after all.
Today I read an e-mail from a friend, reminding me of the UCB “Word 4 Today” quote from 16th Mar 2011 (see above)… & then I’ve joined the dots!
1) On 16/03/2011, my wife & I read the “Word 4 Today” quote ourselves. On that day we prayed about what I am doing (in terms of the cartooning & website) & dedicated our efforts to the Lord & the task of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a needy nation & world.
2) On 17/03/2011, I struggle with the website, to the point of anger, frustration & telling the Lord what I think of His (apparent) lack of help!
3) I wake up that night with the words, “I want to be loyal to the Lord” in my head. That word “Loyal” really struck me. It was exactly what I needed to “hear” & I know it is right for me. I was being tempted (by the enemy) to reject the Lord. Satan was effectively saying to me, “God doesn’t care about you” & “God won’t help you, so why bother with your website.”
My Bible readings over the past few days have all been about the Hebrew people turning away from the Lord, to worship pagan (Canaanite) “gods.”
4) Today, on 18th March, I am reminded of the “Word 4 Today” quote again, & suddenly the past few days all link together to show me what has been happening. Now my assessment is that I was opposed by spiritual forces yesterday, as a direct result of our prayers & heart-felt desires to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ via the Bible Cartoons website the day before. I should have expected a “spiritual backlash” from Satan, but didn’t! Oh deary me!
How come I couldn’t see the connection between dedicating our efforts to the Lord, & the enemies’ spiritual back-lash? It seems so obvious to me now! The Lord has revealed to me the truth: that we are all in a constant battle with the spiritual forces of evil in this world. I suppose that the enemy temporarily “blinded” me to the connection between our dedication of our efforts & the BC website to the Lord, & the frustrations of the next day’s activities, which resulted in my frustration with God, as I inadvertently listened to, & agreed with the enemies temptation to me: to think of the Lord as being unhelpful & not interested in what we are doing. Truly Satan is the “accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10)!
It should come as no surprise to me that in seeking to put the Lord first in our lives, & in seeking to honour Him via the BC website, I/we will come under spiritual attack. That shouldn’t surprise me, but it did!
However, I am also delighted by this turn of events! Why? Because a spiritual attack of this nature reveals that Satan & his demonic forces must be worried about what we & the BC website can achieve, for the Lord, in advancing the Kingdom of God & defeating the Kingdom of darkness. A spiritual attack can only mean that we are heading in the right direction… so we shall keep going! I need to remember to put on the full armour of God (Ephesians chapter 5) & to pray to the Lord & dedicate my time & efforts to His glory. The Lord is infinitely stronger than Satan & his kingdom, & in the end, come what may, The kingdom of Heaven will win this titanic, spiritual battle of history.
And if I can play my part (via the cartoon artwork & BC website) then I will be very happy indeed! So, I say “Sorry!” to the Lord for my spiritual immaturity. And “Thank you” to the Lord for the BC website & the Facebook ad campaign. I sincerely hope & pray that we will see lots of good things come out of both.
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