This time last year, a group of us, inspired by the seemingly significant number of the new year, prayed that during the coming year we’d grow in spiritual vision, in wisdom and understanding. Jesus had perfect 20-20 vision in spiritual matters, and we were praying that we might be more like Him, to see more clearly what God was doing. Our desire was revelation and understanding about our own lives and also those around us and to recognise more clearly the signs of the times. As it has turned out, we have had unexpected extra time to seek God and His wisdom, time to ponder on our spiritual state and how God is working in the world around us. I wonder what God has been revealing to you during this time. A couple of things became clearer to me.
Firstly, I think many of us will have noticed how prone to rebellion and disobedience we still are. Maybe we didn’t exactly ignore the Covid rules, but we may well have just stretched them a bit here or there. Probably we moaned that the regulations weren’t fair or sensible and we would organise it better. What we have had to recognise is that we are still people with an active carnal nature, people in whom the rebellious streak is still alive, people who want to be in control of their own lives. This isn’t new, but it does serve to remind us to keep humbly submitting to the Lordship of Jesus and asking the Holy Spirit to daily transform and sanctify us.
Secondly, and in a much more positive vein, many of us have also come to a renewed understanding of how completely God is in control at all times, even when we can’t see what He is doing. He goes on blessing His people, in, through, and despite what appear to be extremely disruptive circumstances. God always has a way for His plans to be accomplished. ‘No purpose of Yours can be withheld from You’, Job says.
This made me think of times mentioned in Scripture when God’s people had circumstances loaded against them, people like Jochebed (Exodus 6:20). I wonder how she felt when she realised she was pregnant for the third time. She already had two children, a girl, Miriam, and a boy, Aaron, and now was definitely not a time to be having another baby. Pharaoh had just issued a murderous decree, which he would surely reinforce with military might. All baby boys born to Hebrew slaves had to be cast into the river. I can’t help thinking that poor Jochebed would have been extremely anxious in those waiting months. What would happen to this child? It was bad enough to be born into slavery, but what if it was a boy? Perhaps she prayed, “God, why did you bless me with another child in these horrendous times?” The circumstances looked so bleak, but God had a plan. God is above the circumstances.
God’s plans prosper, despite the power of earthly rulers and the works of evil which appear to make the future bleak. With hindsight (which is always perfect vision), we know how God worked His plan for Moses, this beautiful child born to Jochebed. The truth is that God is always in control, however out of control things may seem. Throughout this last year, God has blessed and extended His Kingdom in many, perhaps unexpected, ways; on-line Church services, drive-through Church, podcasts and Zoom prayer meetings. I have seen personal blessings of a new home, kindness of neighbours, and revelations of His truth. God’s plans are prospering.
So, as I start this new year, I am reminding myself that what lies ahead is unknown to me, and almost certainly out of my control, but God has it in hand and His plans for me are always for my good, despite the circumstances, and how difficult they might seem.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are always ruling and reigning over Your creation. You are my sovereign Lord, and I reaffirm my trust in You and place this coming year and all it might bring into Your hands In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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