Recently, I was interested in finding something that I’d originally connected with on the internet. I recall the process of my inquiry, but was unable to recall where I found the information. As I typed in a few words that would seemingly spring me into my search, I noticed that what I was looking for was beneath the search bar in the search history. Suddenly the perceived lengthy process that I anticipated was shortened because my history had captured the information. I was immediately able to access my desire. Now, on one hand, I’m sure there are those of you who are thinking that the search engine is a methodology and weaponry for conspiracy theorists, and others who are perhaps happy like I was to find it because my memory failed me, where technology did not. As I consider this from theory to practice, as I often do, I wondered how often and to what extent does God operate in our history?
When I search every experience in my life, those that I consider positive as well as those I consider challenging, God was and is present! He is the foundation upon which I choose to stand – and even when I’ve chosen not to, whether deliberately or without knowledge, He still shows up! In my brokenness, He is a very present help in the time of trouble (Psalm 46:1), and when I am strong in the Lord and the power of his might, I am blessed to have him fighting my battles (Exodus 14:14). When I operate in isolation, without seeking the Lord, it’s difficult to consider him as being a part of my history – but trust and believe he’s there. The Word of the Lord says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” (Deuteronomy 31:6). So, that tells me, that even when I feel as though he’s not in my history, it doesn’t mean that I’m not in his! My presence and yours was sealed in history at Calvary, for it was there, that Jesus gave his life for our sins and it was there, that his undeniable love for us and our well being was established.
As I write and reflect upon the sermon I heard today, I realize that sometimes we are so disconnected to our historical foundation that we can’t explain what we are experiencing until it’s called out. The reason we are able to respond to the “calling out,” is because the Christ that lives in us, connects with the Christ that moves outside of us. When one beckons to the other, there is a determined response. When I was young, my friends and I played down at the end of the alley. Our parents were so gifted in that there was no need for them to come downstairs from either their second or third floor apartment to see us and call to us. They simply shouted out the appropriate name, and accordingly, we answered aloud as we moved toward their direction. As we develop history with God, we will train our minds and ultimately our actions to follow the Christ within us to respond to the Word of the Lord occurring external to our internal. History develops patterns and patterns create the fabric of praise and ultimately worship!
Patterns don’t occur in a singular fashion. My settings are such on my laptop, that I can look up something one time, and the information is immediately captured, becoming a part of my history. However, with God, we need to be intentional about more than one encounter. Imagine when you’ve been interested in a job, or a vacation spot, something funny on Youtube or waiting for something to clear in your account. You continuously check, and recheck and check again to see if change has occurred. You visit the site often. Each time, your expectation is that something has or will happen in your favor. Now imagine if we approach God is a similar manner. Imagine going to him often, in fact, over and over again, with great expectation each time. When we search something often on our computers, we don’t have to type the entire word or phrase for what we desire to pop up, creating a shortcut. How might we make God our shortcut? Our go to? Imagine reminding the enemy immediately when he places doubts, before he even “typing out” his lies that God has already handled “it!”
How easy is it for us to be in God’s history? God expects us to do his work in the earth! As we become empowered and affirmed as a result of our relationship with God, we can walk out the responsibility of Isaiah 61:1-3 which reads, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” As we navigate this expectation, we are embedded in God’s history, building trust and confidence in God. Consider Job; he was suited to be trusted with trouble because of the history he’d established with God. We often desire the double for your trouble outcome as Job, minus the input of the historical underpinning. The two are not mutually exclusive. As we work toward building a history with God that will not only bless us, we actually plant the seeds for the him to not only be the God our our history, but also the God of our present and the God of our future.