Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Psalm 37:3
Many have prayed for the will of God, followed His voice, and experienced complete disillusionment when they found themselves in hostile surroundings. They blame God for being unloving or they blame themselves for being poor listeners. Hostility within the will of God is common and should not surprise God’s children. (Though I am not speaking of physical hostility where safety at home is threatened.)
Abram, the father of our faith, entered the land of the Canaanites, hostile company epitomized, and settled there. Though he was the only Yahweh worshipper, He built an altar for everyone to see. With far less revelation of God than I have, he was strong enough in his faith to stand out and be different from everyone else.
Some years back, our family lived in a hostile environment. We begged, daily, for release. We were willing to move anywhere and do anything to escape our surroundings. Surely, we reasoned, God wouldn’t want for us to endure such a place. Weren’t we promised blessing? (We didn’t have a firm theology about the meaning of spiritual prosperity.) Yet, every request for a move away was met by the silence of God.
One morning in prayer, the Spirit of God spoke to me through today’s verse in Psalms. “Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3 We had to learn how to make our little home a place where the glory of God rested. It was necessary for us to understand how to eat the sumptuous spiritual meal God provided daily while in the midst of our enemies. We stayed three more years before God moved us out and that time proved to be one of the most formational times, spiritually, in our family’s history.
Many live in the midst of hostility. You might be one of the ‘many’. Unfortunately, the place of hostility can be with a husband, wife, child, or aging parent. It can even be in a place of ministry where flesh rules and Spirit-led leadership is lacking. Scorn and ridicule are the backdrops of your daily life. Instinct says to escape and to do anything to run from such discomfort. But God’s way is for His child to learn how to make Him their home. The glory of Christ can descend on the darkest environment when one lone person is faithful to allow the candle of the Lord to shine through them. It takes grace and grit – but both both are promised via the wind of God’s Spirit.
Give your children spiritual grit today and the courage to stay in a tormenting place. Grant them peace in submission. In Jesus’ name, Amen