There is no formula for following God – pt. 2

I wrote an article on this subject about a year ago. The struggle to follow a God that doesn’t abide by formulas can be maddening, confusing and exhilarating all at the same time. Though, in my quest to know God, what I have found is when I don’t understand what He is doing in the moment, I can trust that His heart and intentions are far kinder than I expect.

If you’ve been in the church for any length of time, you’ll notice people tend to separate themselves into different “camps” of belief systems. While we all may agree Jesus is the only way to heaven, we spend an awful lot of time arguing about everything else on the way up there.

Is it God’s will to heal?

Does God heal at all anymore?

Is prophecy a real thing?

Is Jesus a God of mercy… or justice?

What we fail to realize in many of our debates is no one side is 100% right, often, both sides are. For example: Jesus is a supernatural God, always has been and will be, He still wants to heal people, but sometimes, He chooses not to.

Sometimes our faith can be what causes a missed miraculous moment and other times, God simply said no. Yet, we argue scripture back and forth as if there is a black and white solution to every problem.

Either God heals or He doesn’t.

Either God is justice, or He is mercy.

We often miss out on the fullness of who God is because He is much larger than our minds can comprehend, and we want to control the tiny bit we understand. So, we fight with each other, and ourselves, in an effort to bring some sense of clarity to the complicated mess of life and relationship.

There is no formula for walking with God. He calls us to relationship, not a training manual with a list of bullet-pointed expectations we should have of Him.

God wants our love. That is His highest goal. He wants our hearts. So, naturally, what He gives us in return is His heart. Not a recipe for life or 5 steps to financial freedom. That’s Dave Ramsey’s job, not Yahweh’s.

By reading His word, we come to understand His heart. That is what guides us through the messy, confusing situations in life. Not a rule book. Not a clear cut expectation for God to do the same thing, the same way, every time. Each person is different. Each situation is different. God always responds in ways true to who He is but each situation requires a different facet of His heart to be on display.

We often cry out for answers to life’s greatest “why’s”. But really what we need most is Him. We dont always need to know the answer. We don’t always need to why He did what He did. But we can learn to trust His character and His nature. That is what we can count on.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb 13:8) He is slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness. (Ex 34:6-7) We can trust that He leads with grace, even though He is a God that hates sin and the damage it brings to earth. I may look at a situation where I see someone “getting away with” perceived evil. I may scream out for justice and assume God doesn’t care because He doesn’t deal with the person like I would expect. In reality, it is God being exactly who He said He is. He is not slow towards keeping His promise (for justice) as some count slowness, but patient, wishing for none to perish but all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

You see, we may cry out for God to “do something” because He hasn’t intervened in a situation for a while. It may seem cruel. But even though He doesn’t tell us the “when” of when He will act, we can trust that He sees the full situation and knows exactly what to do and the right moment to do it.

His character is unchanging, though His methods vary wildly. God rarely gives us the why of “Why didn’t you do xyz for me?” but He does give us Himself. His presence.

I often envision God like a kaleidoscope. He is so multi-faceted, every time you encounter a new situation, it opens you up to a totally new dimension of who He is.

We can’t expect God to do the exact same thing, the exact same way, every time. I’m sure there were people who thought Jonah was nuts for saying God used a whale to rescue him & bring revival to Nineveh. While God’s method was new, His standard of grace was exactly as it always had been.

That’s what we can rely on.

When we know He is faithful, but don’t know why He hasn’t acted in the way we want Him to yet, we can trust that whatever He does, whenever He does it, it will be the most loving, helpful response possible.

When someone steps out in faith and we aren’t sure if what they are doing is “godly” because we haven’t seen it done before, we can go back to God’s word. We can always look to see if God’s character through a person is on display even if their methodology is wildly different than what we are used to.  

The reason you may not have seen a miracle and someone else has is you may not have the faith to pray for it and believe it will happen. So, instead of saying someone is crazy for praying for a blind eye to be opened, ask God to show you how He wants to heal. Ask Him to show you another facet of who He is that you may not have encountered yet.

While having formulas and clear cut expectations may seem like the better route, there is something exciting about walking with a God who is full of surprises. When you know He heart is good and He can be trusted, all that’s left is to see new & exciting ways He wants to show up. That is the grand adventure of our lives friends. Instead of trying to get our every question answered, why don’t we see what kind of adventure God wants to take us on?

Where can go?

What can we do?

How can we change the world?

Only time will tell. Only God knows.

🕊❤ Beloved Rejoice

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