Recently God tapped me on the shoulder and asked a simple question, similar to the same one Jesus asked Peter on that one morning on the beach recorded in John 14. The disciples had just feasted on some fish and swapped stories about their latest catch. Jesus was among them, not fully known just yet. He asked Peter if he was ready to move from a waiting season to a season of purpose.
“Do you love me more than these?” Oh those words must have fallen with surprise on Peter’s heart, like it did mine. “Of course, Lord, I do love you”, I said the appropriate answer. He asked it again, “No, do you love ME more than the things of Mine.”
I too paused before responding. Was I willing to wait for the purpose of what God Himself has put inside of me? Was I willing to wait even if the understood promise never came?
Ps. 119:123-124, “My eyes strain to see your deliverance, to see the truth of your promise fulfilled. I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love, and teach me your principles.”
“Deal with me in your unfailing love Lord.” That was my response…eventually.
Now I know that kind of unfailing love of God and know that He also knows my purpose. Often though God takes us to one place and has His purpose poised in another place. First we have to go there so that we can move to here. First we have to get to the end of ourselves before we can go to where God wants to send us, the place of our true purpose.
How often we want to know God’s plan before we obey God’s plan? How often God catches us unaware when we look to the gift instead of the gift Giver. God wants our obedience in love towards Him first and foremost, and contentment in the fact that there could or could not be an explanation to the purpose or His plans for us. Furthermore, we have to go through situations to discover His purpose.
For years I thought doubt was the enemy of my faith but here recently I now know that it’s the doorway to a stronger faith. Often doubt comes dressed as a test to increase your faith. Many verses are challenging when praying and encourage us to “test” the Lord.
When praying those prayers know that tests will come. What I know about teachers when they give a test, if you pass, teachers hand out affirmations and promotions. Those positive statements affirm your confidence. So it is with God, if you test Him in the ways of faith, you will be promoted to a place where more faith is needed.
There’s something about the Lord testing His love that is also challenging. In this disposable world we live in, to find a love that lasts through tests is unique and rare. God’s unfailing love is certainly a kind of love that has been tested and approved. And His unfailing love affirms my faith and confidence. It never, ever fails!
Sometimes we need a refresher course about confidence, tests, and putting doubts to rest. So that when our unfailing God says to go there and then go here, you know that it’s His love that is leading you to a deeper faith. And His love never fails! It’s endless and ever leading!