Still on the #LifeInYourValley revelation and exposition, I’m most especially glad that God is indeed speaking to a lot of us as we go through a ‘withdrawn’ season in our lives. I was speaking to a very dear friend the other day and we were sharing on how God is speaking to us these days and how if one is not quick to catch His voice even with the minutest detail, one may be forced to join the wagon that asks “where is God in all of these”. Just in case you are asking, I’ll like to encourage you… God is with us!
I shared a few days ago on the features of the valley and how it relates to us knowing that There’s LIFE In Our Valley. I also got to share a few words on Twitter.
As I keep searching for life in my valley, I heard Prophetess Juanita Bynum speak and she said that God draws us into a valley, or a place of refrain so we can get prepared for what next He is about to do with us. She also shares from I Corinthians 1:19 but I read further to verse 20:
For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?…
This scripture gives me an understanding that sometimes we know too much of what we think that we know that we know. The same scripture in chapter 8 says:
Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him
So, sometimes we think we have it all together by what we know. Our skills – whether acquired or in-born, paid for or inherited, but our ideas and our strategies, and even our gifts can deceive us. Only God knows ALL things. We need to give Him the room to express it!
Yes! these things may come from God, but if God gives, why do we not give Him the liberty to take? That’s what makes Him God!
Do we not recognize that when we allow God to seize us from the ‘mountain’ where the crowd resides, it is so that we can un-know, in order to re-know the fraction that we boast in that we know?
In my devotion this morning, the Lord took me to Proverbs 16:1:
To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.
I began to meditate and ask what the scripture was all about. We may – of which we always do – have plans. In all our knowing, we may have plotted our graphs so right that the X and Y axis meet at an equilibrium and everything looks perfect as we rub our palms into each other in deep satisfaction. But I ask you, and even myself, do we give room for God to even at least respond or react to what He thinks of our plans?
In Isaiah 29 from verses 13, the Lord laments on the style of worship of His people. They decide to bring Him into matters when they feel they need Him and that their hearts are not totally surrendered to Him. Like these people, we tend to forget that everything we do – including the plans that we have – are all a part of our worship to God. In the MSG translation it says:
The Master said:
“These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
but their hearts aren’t in it.
Because they act like they’re worshiping me
but don’t mean it…
We wanna live for God, but we don’t wanna let Him work through us? There is no balance in that. We wanna proclaim our born-againism but we don’t wanna be freely led by His Spirit into the valley? That is us being far from Him.
Vs 14 is where He decides to forcefully take His people through the valley. Here he chooses to shake them up by seizing them from the mountain of knowledge:
I’m going to step in and shock them awake,
astonish them, stand them on their ears.
The wise ones who had it all figured out
will be exposed as fools.
The smart people who thought they knew everything
will turn out to know nothing.”
Doom to you! You pretend to have the inside track.
You shut God out and work behind the scenes,
Plotting the future as if you knew everything,
acting mysterious, never showing your hand.
You have everything backward!
You treat the potter as a lump of clay.
Does a book say to its author,
“He didn’t write a word of me”?
Does a meal say to the woman who cooked it,
“She had nothing to do with this”? (MSG)
Sometimes, we need the shaking up method. The shaking that makes us realize that ‘God’s got to be in this game with me else, it would be a disaster.’ The shaking that is capable of bringing us back to our senses in Him.
In being in our valleys, we are awakened to grace and truth. In being in our valleys, we are reassured of His presence and power. We see His wonders and once again as before we can truly worship Him in awe. We can truly be grateful to Him for ALL that He has given us and made us into.
I lean over to verse 16 and see that when God takes us through the valley, it ends up being for our good. But do we really trust Him enough? We are so carried away with the knowledge and goodies of being on the mountain that what we have left in the valley is a heart that fears if God can still do much more than we can ever ask, think or imagine. Can we trust God to give us more? Can we trust His rod and staff to show us the way of comfort through His discipline? Or would we rather hide our plans from Him.
How do we hide our plans from God you ask. We hide it when we have our stuff all planned out, without asking Him to take a good look at it. We hide our plans from Him when we lean on our frail understanding without acknowledging Him as we go along our ways.
When He then chooses to restrain our steps saying ‘Don’t go this way’ but we feel better when we go that way because it is the way the world recognizes or the way we have prior envisioned, we not only hide our plans in this case, but we also take a long stroll away from ease, grace and providence. We have a comfort however:
17 Soon—and it will not be very long—the wilderness of Lebanon will be a fruitful field again, a lush and fertile forest. 18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the blind will see my plans. 19 The meek will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord, and the poor shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.20 Bullies will vanish and scoffers will cease, and all those plotting evil will be killed—21 the violent man who fights at the drop of a hat, the man who waits in hiding to beat up the judge who sentenced him, and the men who use any excuse to be unfair. (TLB)
In all honesty, God ALWAYS has our interests at heart even when our valleys don’t look like it. We need to keep reiterating it in our minds and spirit till our body knows it.
Right where you are, God is with you, hoping that you will cast these cares on Him and commune with Him as friend and father. Only then can you know His plan and how it fits into your purpose.
In communing with Him, the grace to be obedient is given so that we can walk in His love and then in the fulfilment of what has been written of us – Our Purpose in Him.
There is LIFE In Your Valley… Embrace It.
Image Credit: AdesewaInc