There are so many places in the Bible where the Providence of God is shown over and over again. For me personally it is in the 3 chapters of and Old Testament Book of Habakkuk that has enabled and encouraged me the most unlike any other book. Especially when I loose sight of the plan I am clearly aware of and re-focus my attention on "things above" then off of myself and my circumstances. Thank God my resource bag is full and I know what and when to pull from it at a moments notice.
With out faith in the God of Father Abraham, an unseen God, whom no one can touch or physically see there would be no salvation. For it is with that same faith I find the strongest of desires to surrender, obey and to repent of whatever sin separates me from him. There is a freedom and willingness to do what ever I have to do, to have him in my life. With time and the Gift, Jesus left us here on earth-the Holy Spirit-it enables me with a strength that can not be explained by any man; to have the faith to trust and believe in this unseen God especially in the gray times.
When we learn or are willing to learn of this amazing God and can fully understand what sin is, what it does, the innocent people it impacts; then and only then we can begin our journey to a brokenness of self focus and re-focus as it was in the beginning; then perhaps we will be ready for revival! True revival not a one day thing.
To go from a highly favored Noah, Moses to a Paul who saw such unspeakable Glory and Splendor it would take a thorn to keep him humble as to be sure the Praise and Glory in any and all circumstances; good or bad would be given to God and God alone. There are some who pray and dream to have such a deep, insightful relationship with this unseen God as did they; perhaps especially Paul; yet the moment things go astray for so many today, so do they. A child they can not remain, there is work involved. Hard sometimes intense work and it is not easy! You can be sure there is sacrifice as well, of all kinds. There is no "drive thru" growth to be found. For in the hard times it is so much easier to run away or give up. Many start out, few arrive. All of these highly favored Saint's worked hard, mastered self control, sacrificed so much, had very hard discouraging times, were imprisoned, beaten and so much more....yet it is clearly documented that this painful molding process and transformation made them into the men of God they eventually became.
Habakkuk was the watchman on the wall of his people of Judah. He loved them so much, but they were corrupt and continued to sin against God. He prayed three times in this book. I think it is possible that Habakkuk at first may have been happy with the answer to his reasonable prayer request. It would not be so. How do we respond when God answers our prayers in the opposite of what we prayed for?
1:5 ...Watch and be UTTERLY AMAZED for I will do a work in your day that even if I were to tell you, you would not believe" Later on I'll explain the rest of Gods response. So far this sounds good rite? You could in all honesty take this answer two ways. Gods going to do something really good or really not so good. I think we all could say if God told me where I’d be today I would be like no way man!
Well, I'm sad to say God did the opposite of what he expected in his prayer. Many of us pray for many things and we may never know or fully understand the answer let alone God plan. Often times we pray thinking we know what is best and how God should respond. Many of those prayers are reasonable. A spouse? A child? A certain job or income? Healing? We forget sometimes God has a better plan, that even if told to us, we would not believe. Well, for Habakkuk it was gut wrenching words no one ever wants to hear. How could this be so? I'm not so sure he could fully wrap his brain around this one. But the story does not end here and thank God for that!!!
Again, I imagine he must of been perplexed and confused but in the end, using his resources, standing in faith on his sure footed-foundation I think he remembered the TRUTH hidden and seared in his heart. I venture to assume even dismayed with a broken spirit. The Bible says he "trembled" as he experienced the portrait painted masterpiece of Gods mighty PLAN as painful as it was and he eventually submitted to what he did not fully understand. What resource do we have that are hidden in our heart that we can call on in a moments notice?
God spoke in like a spectacular poem that is kind of funny 3:6 "He stood, and shook the earth he LOOKED, and made the nations tremble". I envision this look must have been like the look only a mother gives to her disobedient child. It's kinda like God saying "Hello I am the Holy God who created the heavens and the earth who do you people think you’re dealing with?" LOL
In vs 3:16 it say "I heard (HE HEARD GOD and recognized it was GOD) and my heart pounded my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones and my legs trembled YET I wait patiently for the day of calamity to the come on the nation invading us." God was using the Babylonians the darkest and most wicked of the time as part of God's plan. My God what a bitter pill to swallow, God's Sovereignty sometimes. Again, God has a plan bigger than our minds can ever imagine.
I think Habakkuk showed a little REGRET in the One he was so mad or confused at perhaps. I wonder if he wet his pants too? Silly but I really do. Perhaps, we need a bit more trembling today? For lest we forget or forbid the man that forgets we are dealing with a Holy God creator of heaven and earth.
God displayed himself to Habakkuk and he fell in humility. That’s revival! For it is the very same God who still does this today!!
In understanding the big picture, God does indeed preserve and protects his anointed ones, now doesn't he?
In 3:17 "the fig tree doesn't bud, no grapes, vines, olive crop fails, no food, no sheep, or cattle" (sounds like a bad economy or loss off everything to me) Habakkuk goes and say" YET" (do you see that) "YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."
I have done that more times than I care to remember. I have felt the Awe like Habakkuk many times, I had the quivering legs fallen to my knees. Elijah had to cover his face for the Glory of the lord was too much. Moses could only see the back of God for no man could see the face of God and live. Oh to be in Awe or presence of the Holy God even if in a whisper or a shadow.
God whispered to me when I was 4 years old like Elijah. He called me Princess and told me that he would be with me though out my life and one day I would know who he was. I am highly favored too. Not many people can say God revealed himself like that, he knew I was in such a bad place that he had to show up and encourage me.
My fav 3:18 "The Sovereign Lord is my strength, he makes my FEET like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights." He was sure footed confident in his Sovereign God.
Habakkuk had Air Nike's to fly up the mountains now!! LOL. Get it perfectly created feel like a deer?
I blogged about this verse called the ENABLER during a very painful day not to long ago. That was a tough day, but God gave me Nike's too in the end. LOL
God finally REACTED or responded in chapter 3 and there was nothing Habakkuk could do. I will admit this part was hard for me in 3:2 "Renew them in our day, in our time make them known in WRATH REMEMBER MERCY." That's a mother’s prayer too. God in your wrath remember, show mercy to my beloved children, for they are your children Oh God...
So then what does Faith require?
1. Faith Requires Presence - Seeking God's voice of counsel - you then will recognize it when you hear it. Humanity/people with and present in our pain. We can not avoid the pain. WE are NOT sopsto be alone.
2. Faith Requires Verbs aka ACTIONS-Where are you getting your resources from? Word of God, Godly people? Prayer? Serving God right were you are. Home, work, school etc.... Accountability with mentors for discernment and direction also from the Word.
3. Faith Requires REPENTANCE - Choosing to do what is right not just being right. Asking for forgiveness and doing something about it. Ways of old are no more-Binding as Abraham and Issac and leaving our sins on the alter of forgiveness at the feet of the cross walking away and not looking back. Going forward.
4. FAITH Requires THE REVEALING OF GOD - Himself. That can only be by spending time with him and no one else. He will carve out that time if you let him. He will take away the desires of TV, fb, things that separate you from him. And Christology – is a term used where if you search through the Word of God you will SEE a picture of the Plan from Genesis to Revelation of the coming of Salvation. Hope of eternity with no more pain or tears. A place spent in Splendor and Majesty with Jesus Christ Himself. Revival!!