“The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.”
~Deuteronomy 2:7 (NIV).
Much like the famous refrain in Psalm 23:1—“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want”—this statement of Moses’ above shatters a thousand myths that God ever vacates the Suzerainty arrangement. God never utterly forsakes us. He disciplines but never forsakes.
Everything we do is eternally significant and significance is eternal. Whilst God might appear silent, distant and disinterested, he is actually watching very intently and pulling for us to act as he knows we can act—in the trust and obedience of faith.
God, I believe, seeks to be inspired by us. And we, if we’re aligned, want the same thing—to inspire God; to show him that we’re steadfastly aligned with his agenda, particularly as we’re pushed and squeezed by life.
We can only hope to do this—inspire God—if we’re totally and irrevocably confident in his providential Presence, right here, right now. And that’s a process—to act that out in daily life. And still we’ll have our seasons—all of us—where, for the life of us, we just cannot “feel” him!
The practical science and “magic” of faith is to know that whilst God seems silent he is indeed in our midst all the time! When we’re ‘keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:2) we can only for the better part be acting as if he were directly there beside us (indeed, inside us) all the time.
He watches and gently affirms us, in our faithful obedience. As we obey, we know by his Word and by faith that this is so. When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit into virtuosity we then sense his satisfaction as a direct product, even whilst we feel we might be missing out from the worldly perspective in our sacrificing and contending. And still both the sacrificing and contending totally undermine the shallow ‘worldly blessing’ we might get in disobedience, making our obedience to God wholly worthwhile.
Nothing satisfies quite like the gentle, visceral reassurance of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord watches over those who love him—and in our right dealing (Psalms 1:6; 145:20), he is the ‘shade at our right hand’ and he’ll ‘watch over our coming and going’ (Psalm 121:5, 8). Indeed, he watches both the wicked and the just—his ‘eyes are everywhere’ (Proverbs 15:3).
We act in faith and he will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24). God, both in nature and reality, is faithful. We will look back and see his mighty hand that was for us; never against.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.