As I have walked with God, I have come to learn many different things about God. I realized that walking with God is totally different than going to church. When it comes to church, as long as you dress the part, you can actually move up in church departments. Church gives you credit for the time you have been a member or how well you can dress yourself up on Sundays. Initially I thought God worked the same way as church, but I was in for a rude awakening. God doesn’t give you credit for time spent, nor how well you look in a suit or dress. He gives credit for GROWTH. There are many people who have been connected to a church for many years but haven’t GROWN. It’s possible to go to church, dress nice & become the president of one of the church auxiliaries & yet still be internally immature. However walking with God it’s clear that He doesn’t care as much about your outward appearance. He is more concerned with your inner capacity of character. God is not a “surface God”, He works to give you depth.
I have to let you know that while you’re walking with God He is periodically going to FORCE you to grow. This process of growth initially was a vex to my spirit. It was like I constantly found myself in unpredictable circumstances & situations. It was frustrating. I knew I was connected to God, but somehow my connection to God hadn’t yet translated to my life. I don’t know if you have ever experienced being connected to God on one side while your life is chaotic on the other side. The two ends of the spectrum don’t seem to go together at all. It was a very frustrating time in my life.
One day I was reading about the disciples in a boat while Jesus was sleep (some of you may know this story). As the story goes the disciples encounter a severe storm while they’re on the water & it seems to them like they are about to drown. As I read this part of the story it resonated with me because even though they knew Jesus was with them, their situation seemed to be in complete disarray! At this point I knew God was trying to tell me something. I continued to read. The disciples ended up waking up Jesus, & Jesus speaks His frustration with the disciples when He says “where is your faith?” Jesus then speaks the famous words “peace be still”. I got confused because why would Jesus be frustrated with the disciples? Who else were they supposed to call in a time like this? It was at that moment that it seemed like I got an epiphany! Jesus was expecting them to EXERCISE THEIR FAITH AS THEY WENT THROUGH THE STORM, not wake Him up to rescue them. It was an eye-opening moment for me. This entire sea experience was actually a place for their faith to grow but they missed it. They wanted to get out of the storm instead of trusting God as they went THROUGH the storm. God was teaching me something that I want to share with you.
I need you to understand that there are going to be times in your life that God doesn’t ask whether you’re ready to grow. He will thrust you into a situation that is designed to make you lean on your faith in Him as you go through it. As you’re reading this think of a situation that you may be facing & ask yourself could God be using this as your growing experience? Many people get upset about the things they go through, but I developed a saying when I find myself in difficult situations & it goes like this: If God has me here to go through this, it’s because He wants me to GROW through this.
Think about the wisdom of God from a parent’s perspective. Recognize that God is there to help you grow and mature internally as a person. He orchestrates the right circumstances at the right time in your life to make you improve your character. It is not God’s duty to be your cheerleader. He wants to develop you into a mature, balanced, well-rounded person. Sometimes He uses difficult circumstances to do it, but as I always say: “over time you will come to appreciate it.” I personally didn’t come to appreciate God’s wisdom until AFTER I matured. This is why I encourage you to pray that you grow as you go. The trials may not be fun or enjoyable, but at the end of it all you will realize you have matured. Be encouraged & know that trials don’t come to break you they come to build you.