Most of us seekers look for God in the big, extra-ordinary, ‘get out of your wheel chair’ kind of ways. We struggle to believe unless we have seen something impossible. But God often acts quietly over time.
In 1740 Samuel Blair, an American Christian, was so disillusioned by the church in America and her leaders that he wrote: “Religion lay as it were a-dying and ready to expire its last breath of life in this part of the visible church” Guess what happened later on that year? God brought revival across the whole of America and what we call The Great Awakening happened. It’s as if the history books go; bad paragraph, bad leaders, despair, camera shifts its focus to the background, God comes to the rescue again.
At about the same time in the 1700 François Voltaire, French born Philosopher wrote: “Every sensible man, every honorable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror…Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.” “In twenty years Christianity will be no more..” But a hundred years later guess what happened? Voltaire is dead and his house is being used by the Geneva Bible Society to print and distribute Bibles.
In twenty years Christianity will be no more
1 Samuel 2:12-17 is a paragraph about Eli and his sons. At first glance it paints a bleak picture of the hypocrisy within Israel. Like a rotten dying tree, ready to give way at any moment Israel seems spiritually dead and about to collapse. But then all of a sudden it’s as if the camera shifts its focus to the background. In the distant background we get a brief glimpse of hope growing in Israel verse 18. 18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. At first it seems that these two paragraphs have no connection. But look again. The one is about Eli’s bad sons, the other about Samuel. You can smell rotten leadership in the first paragraph and you can sense hope in the next. “Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord”. God’s grace is not only persistent, but it’s also quiet. He doesn’t attract allot of attention, it’s a quiet persistent process. A plant grows quietly. You loose weight gradually. You get fitter when train very slowly. Spiritual growth is similar.
Have you learned to look for God’s work in quiet ways or are you always looking for the dramatic or the noisy?
You might not actually notice your growth because it’s persistent, slow, steady and quiet. But God is growing you. Have you learned to look for God’s work in quiet ways or are you always looking for the dramatic or the noisy? Waiting for someone to give you a prophetic word or some other sign? You are growing because God has promised to grow you (Philippians 1:6). Even in the darkness God’s light shines (Psalm 112:4). And even when you run from him, his love pursues you (Psalm 23:6) and his hand will guide you (Psalm 139:7-12). Praise God for persistently and quietly growing us. Don’t let the lack of hype, or praise of people, even unanswered prayer or the lack of big showy events in your life distract you from the quiet persistent grace of God on you!