Friday, September 20, 2013

The God of SUDDENLY


This is part two of “Out of Sorts but in God’s Plan”… last time I shared how I have grown and continue to do so through seasons of transition.   As I was writing the post last time, I realized it really needed to be a two part thing.  SO… enjoy part two “The God of SUDDENLY.”
Yes, No, or God’s waiting room
We have experienced a lot of transition in our lives.  I’m sure not unlike others.  Some may ask… How did we arrive to where we are today?  We pray for God’s direction and He opens doors, closes them, or says nothing.  When we are pursuing His will for an area of urgency to us and hear nothing, we simply wait and do what He told us last until He says otherwise.  I will not say this is easy… in fact it is down right tortuous at times, but we don’t want anything, but God’s best!  Our very best plan in strategizing our future doesn’t even come close to what God could do with a heart and life radically committed to Him!

Many times we have sat in God’s waiting room, doing that last thing He told us to do faithfully, but frustrated.  It is in those moments that God shows up when we least expect it and SUDDENLY He throws us a game changer.  Sometimes it feels like a good thing while other times it feels like a bad thing.  Just to name a few of ours… I get sick and can’t work full-time anymore, the car breaks down, the house we are renting sells while we are in it (two different houses two different times), jobs open up or close, and the list goes on.  In those moments of SUDDENLY we need to go straight to God.  It is a faith-growing moment.  Trust is built as God sets us up for the next chapter He has ahead.

The Great Adventure
Living for God is definitely an adventure.  I don’t know how anybody can just “go through the motions” when it comes to God.  When we take the time to draw closer to God, really listen, and yield to His promptings… amazing things can happen!  It’s called radical obedience!  Sometimes it plain doesn’t make sense until you follow through… and sometimes it is awhile later before all the pieces come together.  BUT… when we learn to hear God, sense His promptings, and trust Him by radically obeying, the adventure begins. 

God has done some awesome things as I have learned to obey Him radically.  You don’t have to be outgoing or even radical to obey God.  He is just looking for someone who is WILLING to be used by Him.  He uses all personalities to touch and impact lives.  YOU qualify my friend.  I think possibly it is in the acts of radical obedience that may bring about those SUDDENLY’S in our lives.

Radical obedience grows fearless faith in our lives to believe God for the impossible’s life may throw at us.  Many times those mountains that seem to consume us are actually just little mole hills that the devil has magnified.  Feed your faith and wait for the SUDDENLY.  It is coming.
  
Suddenly What?
God moves suddenly.  He moves unexpectedly. He'll move when you are unaware that He is moving, and then it's happened.

Suddenly, you'll get saved. Suddenly, you'll get healed. Suddenly, you'll get delivered. Suddenly, God will provide what you needed when you needed it. Suddenly, you'll be called by God, because suddenly is how God moves.  He moves instantly, He moves unexpectedly.  We see it all over the Bible...

Instantly her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed from her disease.” Mark 5:29 (NCV)

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.   Matthew 8:3 (NLT)



Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!  The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself.  But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”

The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  Acts 16:26-30 (NLT)



Immediately the fire of God fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench.  All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, “God is the true God! God is the true God!” 1 Kings 18:38-39 (MSG)

SUDDENLY lives were changed!  Healed, delivered, set free, and amazed by God’s presence showing up and showing off… suddenly.

Suddenly good or suddenly bad?
All of God’s suddenly’s may not seem good to us.  Consider a story found in Luke.  It tells of a time where some typical, every day believers in God faced what seemed to be an overwhelming storm in their lives.  Let’s look at what they did…


Luke 8:22-25 says…
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out.  As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.  Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” (NLT)

Some times our SUDDENLY might be an unwanted storm in our lives or circumstances that hit beyond our control.  Life is unpredictable and storms will come!  Some things jumped out to me as I read this scripture…
~God’s “suddenly” could be a storm that blows into our lives unexpectedly.
~FEAR was the first reaction of the everyday believer at this church event (they stated “we’re going to drown!”)
~They went to Jesus LAST after they exhausted all other options (the boat was FILLING with water)
~The storm didn’t rattle Jesus… He says…“Where is your faith?”
~His very words brought peace to the storm

My Suddenly
All of this makes me ask myself some important questions.  When I face the storms of life, am I rattled?  Do these circumstances that hit my life out of no where fill me with fear? Do they paralyze my faith?  Do they keep me from going to Jesus except as a LAST resort?  Jesus is the ultimate “Storm Chaser.”  The storm “HIT” in the story above… life is unpredictable.  Will I continue to live for God even when storms HIT in my life?  Jesus knows how to calm the storms of my life and those in my heart.  Sometimes this kind of “Suddenly” can change us on the INSIDE as well as the outside!!!

The SUDDENLY of Jesus changes things…
SUDDENLY Jesus can heal YOU!  Grief can be turned to JOY!  SUDDENLY all can be calm!  SUDDENLY you can be promoted.  SUDDENLY God can bring your special someone to share a life time with…. He can make a way where there seems to be NO way!  He can deliver, reconcile, restore, and provide above and beyond what you could ever imagine.
One touch of God and SUDDENLY there is supernatural breakthrough for YOU… your MARRIAGE, or your FAMILY!  Are you in need of a SUDDENLY in your life?  Winds of change are blowing….
Prepare for YOUR “suddenly” or moment of change.   Draw closer to God.  Learn to recognize His voice and promptings.  Obey radically when He asks you to move outside of your comfort zone.  Be open, available, and ready for whatever God has NEXT for YOU.  It will be worth the wait!
Living to leave a legacy,
Julie