And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. —Ephesians 1:9

Are you seeking God? How hard are you trying? Are you requiring that He meets your expectation? You say, "If God turned up, believe me, I would recognize Him." That is exactly the point I want to make: when we feel we know God so well, we are in danger of becoming too familiar with Him. The way we must love the glory of the Lord is not that we affirm Him because we see that which makes us feel comfortable, but that we know He is God and can manifest Himself in unusual ways.

Sometimes God puts us in a place where we can't give the reason we affirm Him. He continues to work in this way, so there are times when we have to take a stand, where we know the truth, but we are not allowed to explain ourselves. Are you prepared to be committed to Jesus Christ to the extent that you just affirm Him, even though you know you are not allowed to explain yourself except to say, "Jesus is my Savior; I am unashamed of Him"?

When we see God working in an unexpected way, we may fail to recognize Him. Sometimes theologians describe the "otherness" of God. He is different. He may turn up in a strange way. God may come with silence or by hiding His face and seeming not to answer. Sometimes the way in which He turns up seems silly. But God chooses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

Our reaction is, "How can God do this to me—if that's really God?" Then explain this: Jesus, dying on a cross, how can that be God? Why does God seem so detached from the way with which we are comfortable? The answer is lest we feel too familiar with Him and become presumptuous. The proof we love God is that we recognize He may appear in a way that feels strange, and we are prepared to affirm Him no matter how much it hurts and no matter how strange it seems.

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

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