As Christians we are on a life-time journey of constantly learning and being changed into the image of our Saviour. This can be an exciting process, but sometimes we can be wearied by long periods of staying faithful to what God is telling us to do and persevering through difficult times, and yet seeing little in the way of change in our lives.
This can be a trying experience and we can be tempted to give up if we don’t see progress after years of pressing in and obedience to the Word of God in our lives. This can be more difficult if we see other people who have what we want but don’t seem to have gone through anything difficult to get there. We all know people in life who appear to coast along and everything comes easily to them. In the meantime we can be thinking, “What am I doing wrong? How come they get all these things that I’m trusting God for with no effort at all. God, if you’re working in my life, why can’t I see anything?”
If you are in a situation where you have heard clearly from God for things that He wants to do in and through you but you seem to be in a “holding pattern” where nothing is happening, even though you are doing all you know to do, then remember that even though you’re not making progress, God is still at work.
Before He can do something through us and give us success in the Kingdom, he has to do something in us to prepare us for what is ahead. He wants to build maturity and strength and steadfastness into us as a foundation so that we can handle the bigger stuff when it comes along.
Recently I came across a video on YouTube which demonstrated this fact. The clip below shows a time-lapse sequence of the construction of the new World Trade Centre building between 2004 and 2012. In the clip, for a while there seems to be a lot of activity, but no building. A lot of work is happening on the ground but it appears that nothing of any significance is going on. This, of course, is when the foundations are laid and preparation work is being done, so that when the building starts going up, it will have a solid foundation and be strong.
When God works in us, he needs to build a foundation in us so that we won’t fall at the first sign of trouble or imagine that our success came from ourselves. Neither of these will enable us to last very long and God needs to do this preparation work in us before He can build something substantial through us.
One thing I have learned to say during dry periods is to repeatedly confess “I believe that God is working”. This has inspired faith where I have been tempted to doubt and give up and it has helped get my perspective on the long-term picture, rather than focussing on the present set of circumstances.
God is always working, so look up, not down