Just in case you happen to have noticed, I’ve been off the air here at A Bold and Daring Spirit for a few months now. I did publish a post about two weeks ago but… I don’t consider that a true come back. Instead I call it “squeezing one in.”
I would like to blame it entirely on a big order I’ve been working on.
A customer requested 6 of my polymer clay Japanese Kokeshi-inspired dolls, all of which were still merely sketches. Since my clay creations are a recent addition to my business I was delighted for such an opportunity. However, as with all creative processes, it took a good amount of trial and error, which took TIME. I am so happy to say that the order is finished now! But, long story short, I had to cram.
My point? At the end of the day it was impossible for me to switch mental gears from hands-on creative to mental creative, so my blog suffered.
And yet, if I were completely honest, work was only a small portion of that.
More accurately, I had fallen into an emotional slump which was entirely unrelated to work.
A couple of times lately I had acted in faith in a difficult relationship-oriented situation and then received an unexpected response, causing me to question whether my conclusion to act was actually God’s will.
I can’t remember everything, and I wouldn’t go into detail anyway, but after a while I began to feel detached. At the time I couldn’t have been sure myself how to describe what I was feeling but in truth, I lacked inspiration in every part of my life. When I turned my thoughts to blogging I would come up with a great big nothing. I knew this was wrong and prayed for God to enliven me but I still fell deeper into despair.
My recurring question became, how could I interpret God’s will and get it right? And from there I doubted whether I could be confident I was right about anything.
Though I felt quite hopeless and devoid of feeling, God was in the process of showing me the key to my struggle.
At one point, when I was at my lowest, and in an attempt to get to the bottom of it, I finally was able to put what I was feeling into words and that’s when God began to open the gates of my heart.
The first part of the answer came just moments after in a tweet by Lysa TerKeurst. She said,
“What my heart needs more than answers is truth. God’s truth directs me, protects me, and equips me to know the right ways and the right timing. He knows me. He knows my future. He knows what’s best.”
I suddenly felt challenged – didn’t I believe this?
The next day Dr. Charles Stanley was delivering part 3 of a message series on knowing God’s will and he identified some of the many obstacles we face as we try to discover His will. One of them was doubt.
He said one of the ways we get hung up trying to know God’s will is by doubting that the Lord will make His will known to us, or doubting that what we are hearing is from God, period
I knew God was speaking directly to me.
I never would have accused myself of “doubting” God. I would have readily and exuberantly admitted my belief that He has all power to do whatever He wishes, in His time, for our ultimate good. If you had told me that I was doubting God’s ability I would have denied it.
And yet, wasn’t I? My inability to believe that He could also do something so small as to make His will known to me was just that – doubting His ability.
The apostle Paul says,
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh,” (Galations 5:16).
In the same way we have to trust Him to empower us to live a Spirit-filled life, we have to trust Him to show us His will, in spite of our weaknesses.
John MacArthur says in regard to the passage in Galations, “All believers have the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit as the personal power for living to please God,” (emphasis mine).
According to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, as Christians our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, meaning He lives in us and we belong to Him.
Why wouldn’t He then guide us, even in the small, day-to-day decisions? He is, as scripture says time and again, our Helper (John 14:26)! I can trust Him to show me what needs to be changed, what I can do better, and empower me to do it.
I don’t have to live in doubt, constantly daunted by my inadequacy to “measure up” or “be enough,” which ends up causing me to doubt my ability to hear God or know His will. Because it’s not about me! It never has been.
I will never be good enough to hear God or know His will. I will never measure up. But I can still know God’s will. It is God’s gift to me – the Holy Spirit bridging the gap between us – that allows me to hear God and know His will.
My mistake was forgetting that it has been He all along and never me.
So my conclusion is this. Living a godly life day to day has never been in our power to accomplish. It is the responsibility, and blessing, of the Holy Spirit within us. I can trust that and rest in God to show me in His time what He will.
How about you? Perhaps you are overwhelmed by your own inadequacy and can see how it is desensitizing you from experiencing joy in all of your life. Put away doubt by reminding yourself that God has promised to empower you and trust that He will reveal His will to those who sincerely seek Him.