As we look up to our Lord, He helps us look in three directions, taking us to a place of trust and hope in Him. We look back, remember what God has already helped us through, and how He moved in our lives in greater ways than expected. We see how we have grown in the Lord and the freedom He brought in various areas of our lives.
We look within. The spirit of Christ can bring light to areas that need healing. We humbly face ourselves, confront ourselves in order to conquer, and walk in freedom. He helps us examine what doesn’t match our divine identity. We increase in the knowledge of who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us: the hope of glory.
We look forward. What God has prepared for us is so much greater than what we could ask or think! We are being renewed inwardly day-by-day and rejoice in the glory that will manifest in our future. Our paths are shining brighter and brighter. Tempted to look down and feel hopeless, we look up, from glory to glory!
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Amid various afflictions, we may seem to wear out outwardly, but inwardly we are renewed day-by-day. This renewal is a continuous change for the better. While some expected changes have not come to pass, and other changes have not been encouraging, this change helps us not to lose heart. Paul was stoned, tortured, shipwrecked and much more, but he called these afflictions light compared to the weight of God’s glory.
There are many things we attempt to change in our lives: vocation, habits, looks, even relationships. We can pursue these through the strength of our spiritual renewal. Even when we are not aware of it, our transformation into the image of Christ is constantly at work. When we feel we are losing heart, we turn our attention to the regeneration we can trust the Holy Spirit is bringing about.
The increase of God’s glory is unending. Because of that, all things are subject to change. This renewal ignites our passion and fuels our vision. It changes our perception of what we see in the natural. It strengthens our faith. Instead of losing heart, we gain more of the strength of the Lord. We walk in newness of life, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day-by-day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
Our freedom in Christ enables us to flee when temptation comes. Instead of so easily running into a trap of the enemy, we can rush to the Lord. We discern the cunning of our adversary. Aware that the enemy can disguise himself as an angel of light, prepares us to watch and flee; not slowly, but quickly. Like a deer facing danger, we leap away from hindrances.
We trust the leading of the Holy Spirit with each step we take. When He says flee, we do. No time for questioning. Immediately we obey. In some situations, we must flee, taking no time to think it over; even a slight delay can hinder our escape. We become stronger, saying no when necessary as we reinforce our boundaries.
In Christ, we are free indeed! Jesus is our fortress, our refuge and our strength. We move rapidly and run to Him. We long to reach and keep our place of safety in Him. It’s not fleeing because of fear; it’s escaping to absorb the protection we have in Christ. We are free to flee, from glory to glory!
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Just like Isaiah, God has hidden us in the shadow of His hand. He places us as arrows in His quiver to prepare us for that perfect moment when He will propel us into the next phase of our destiny. During that time of preparation, God polishes the shaft so the arrow can’t miss hitting the mark with precision.
It cannot be warped or misaligned. If the shaft is crooked, the arrow is useless. First, God makes straightens the wood of the shaft and makes it smooth. Then He anoints it with oil to soften it. At that point it can receive the tip and is ready. God sharpens us as mighty weapons in His hands.
The quiver is the place of rest where we learn patience and trust. Right before God throws the arrow, it must be still with no disturbances. He hid Paul in His quiver for 14 years: Joseph 13, Moses 40, Joshua 40, David 30 and Jesus 30. When it’s time for God to launch the shaft, there is a shift. What He has purposed for us comes to pass. Let’s be still today and know that He is God, from glory to glory!
Isaiah 49:2 “And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me.”
When what we expect doesn’t come to pass, we question ourselves, is it because of something I have done, not done? Is my faith too small? Guilt and self-condemnation add to our doubts, along with discouragement and a hesitation to continue to hope.
Looking at ourselves and wondering whether or not we have enough faith, are deserving or worthy, is having faith in ourselves: faith in our ability, our righteousness, our faith. Faith in Jesus, who He is and what He has done, helps us stand in our afflictions and gain peace. Our faith in how great our God is gives us great faith in what He is doing, even when we do not see it. Because we believe in Him, not ourselves, we trust the outcome of any situation. Father knows best.
Our faith in Him leads us to rest in His care, in the assurance of what we do not see. With thanksgiving, we pray; and in peace, leave the results in His mighty hand. We do not look to gain more faith, but to know Him more. As we know Him, through His Word and His presence, He increases our faith, from glory to glory!
Luke 17:5-6 “And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.’”
God steps in and does what only He can do in situations where there are no solutions in sight. No possibilities. His divine intervention cannot be understood, only believed. We can expect it when we least expect it.
However, our journey to that breakthrough can be challenging. Situations where we feel stuck. When we have tried everything for a relationship to improve, but to no avail. Where our wait for a change in our job has made us weary. We pursued change, but none happened. Nothing is moving forward. like the wheels of a car trapped in a ditch on a muddy road. Spinning and spinning …going nowhere.
What helps is knowing that as a child of God we are never stuck in the spirit even though our outward man perishes, our inward man never does. When we sense a hindrance, we press through by moving forward. We pray to be strengthened by his Spirit in our inner man and stand in faith for His breakthrough, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”