Why is it that at times Christians get frustrated in life even after laboring in prayer, repentance, surrendering to God, engaging in an inductive Bible study, leading in a praise and worship? Well, this remains a mystery to us.
But let’s see what the Bible says concerning a Christian life in relation to these.
First, the natural thing is for us to think that the way of repentance, Bible study, devotions, humbling and surrender will lead us to being made powerful in God’s service. Being much used in winning souls. Having a church filled with an increasing number of seeking souls.
But still after realizing all these we experience frustrations of life. Maybe we have read the lives of outstanding men of God, and we have come to believe them.
We have read that there came a time in their experience when they were broken down for God. A time of full surrender and being filled with the spirit. And it seems that God was using them mightily.
So now we go the same way having in mind to have the same end. In many instances even after agonizing in prayer, God has not allowed us to reach those ends even if our motives are free from self-interest.
All these things should not be the end or the reason for which we get right with God. Our end is to be the Lord Jesus Himself.
In focusing at John 14, we see Jesus saying, “I am the Way.” Following the argument of this passage, Jesus had said a surprising thing to His disciples, “Where I go you know, and you know the way.” Then Thomas replied, “that is just what we don’t know. We don’t know where nor do we know the way.”
“Oh yes, you do know the way,” said the Lord Himself in effect, “for I am the way. Knowing me, you know the way,” but where did the way lead? – to the Father of course, for He went on, “No man comes to the Father but by Me.” And He continued, “if you had known Me, you should have known my Father also.” Then we see Philip joining the conversation at this point very puzzled and said, “Lord, show us the Father and we shall be satisfied.”
It was in reply to this that the Lord uttered these words, “He that has seen Me, has seen the Father.” Now it was then that the disciples discovered that they knew both the Way and the Where, for the Lord Jesus was both.
Even for us too, He is both the Way and the Where. In finding Him, men have not only found the Way, but the End too. And therefore we do not have to go beyond Him to something else to satisfy our needs. He is the End of all that we need, and also He is the simple, accessible Way to that End.
This explains to me something that used to puzzle me some few months ago. I began to devote the first hours of everyday dawn into prayer, devotion and Bible study and hymnal singing in seeking to find the solution to the situation.
The first month was very okay, and very often I saw God greatly working it out. In the second month, things were difficult, and there was no mighty working of God as there should have been.
The reason is now clear – my repenting, Bible study, devotions and hymnal singing and getting right with God was a means to an end, the end being that I could see ‘breakthrough’ in the situation – an end other than Jesus Himself.
Even right now as we labor in prayer against the pandemic of Corona virus and in repenting of our sins, may our focus be to see Jesus as the grand end of all these. And that even as we are ultimately driven to God in prayer, and at lasts He brings a pause to this pandemic, it will not be because we prayed or repented but because He was gracious.
And the wonderful thing is that when we are willing to be convicted of the sin of making these other things our ends, and to have the Lord Jesus as our only end, God delights to give us with Him many of these very things which we are now not seeking first.
Repent of your repentance. Repent of your prayers. ‘How shall He not with also give us all things?’ Romans 8:32. And who can tell what is not included of His generosity in ‘all things’? What wonderful things will He not do for those who are willing to walk with the Lord Jesus for His own sake!
Writing for the edification of the church