When You Don’t Know What God Is Doing

In Inspiration by Kristen Dalton Wolfe2 Comments

One cool thing about having a baby is you get to talk through things with him or her. And you won’t experience interruptions (aside from coos). I’m leading my women’s group tonight and working on preparing a message. I decided to process my thoughts with Aurora. She did a great job listening and totally inspired me.

I’ve been in what feels like a dry season in the areas of inspiration, guidance and provision. I’ve wondered, Why does God dangle an answer to our prayer in front of us and then pull it away? 

It’s a strange time for God to close doors to my usual sources of provision. I just had a baby. Wouldn’t that be a good time for him to open the floodgates?

I’ve been praying and asking God for clarity, guidance and direction in this new season. Does he want us to stay in LA? Am I supposed to hustle and work or let Kris be the sole provider? Am I a stay at home mom now? Is my calling still the same? Has it changed? Why don’t I feel inspired? Where is my passion? What am I supposed to do in this season?

What do I do when I don’t know what God is doing? Have you ever asked yourself that question?

So here’s where my processing session with Aurora led me:

The phrase, “dry bones” came to my heart. This comes from Ezekiel 37:

Then, I remembered a dream where I heard the Lord say, “rotting on a hilltop, rising from the valley. See, I am doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it? I am making a way for you in the wilderness.” 

I woke up and had no clue what “rotting on a hilltop.” I certainly didn’t feel like I was on a hilltop. I did feel super rotten though.

I decided to look up verses about rotting. Isaiah 5:24 stood out:

Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will be as rottenness,
and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

Then it dawned on me that two of the Bible’s greatest men of faith, David and Joseph, were each given promises: they would rule and lead a nation. Soon after David was anointed to be king he slayed a giant with a rock and a slingshot…and then eventually into hiding. Soon after Joseph’s dream that his brothers would bow down to him, he was sold into slavery…by his brothers. In years to come, David hid in caves from his enemies and Joseph ministered to fellow prisoners in a dungeon. These moments didn’t resemble the royal palace dreams.

Back to my dream about “rising from the valley.” Their time in the “valley” wasn’t for a week or two. It was for many years.

The only thing Joseph had to cling onto was the promise God had spoken to him…and possibly only just twice…in dreams. For David, his promise was spoken by a prophet named Samuel who came by his dad’s house one day.

Could David and Joseph be sure these words about their future were really true? Could they know without a doubt they had heard correctly? No. How could they? But both decided to believe the promises anyway. They relied on God’s goodness.

Esther never heard from the Lord that she would be queen one day. From what we know, she didn’t have a promise, a dream, or an anointing to believe. She just had wisdom and humility to listen to the advice of her uncle Mordecai. The hand of God was on her as she simply took one step in front of the others. How could she have known what the outcome would be? She had faith.

I realized something. Kings and queens are made in the caves, in the dungeons and the harems. Kings and queens also rot on the hilltops…when they are comfortably on top of their game.

How do kings rot on hilltops? When they turn away from God and his wonderful commands.

…so their root will be as rottenness,
and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Once David was literally on a hilltop of safety and wealth (I had the privilege to see it in Israel). He had an affair and committed murder to cover his sin. It was when his son Solomon realized the favor his Godly wisdom gave him, he turned against the Lord and began to worship other gods.

Do you see the pattern? Once we get too comfortable in God’s blessings, we can turn away from him. Our characters begin to rot when something or someone takes God’s place on the throne of our lives.

Maybe this is what God wanted to tell me in my dream. Maybe he’s bringing me back down to the valley to see what I’m really made of. Maybe I was rotting in complacency and taking God’s blessings for granted.

There is one defining factor in David, Joseph and Esther that rose up during their periods in the valley: faith. They couldn’t rely on “pollyanna faith.” It was faith made of grit and tenacity.

I guess I got a little wrapped up in that skimpy, fair weather kind of faith. It’s faith that’s only good when prayers are being answered the way you want them to. God needs someone stronger and more steadfast than that. He needs someone who can weather the storm.

Here’s the takeaway. We need to refocus our prayers from simply asking for deliverance and provision. Instead, we need to pray God strengthens our faith in His goodness whether we feel it or not. We need to act like we believe God is good regardless of the pit fallen into.

Is our faith built on what God will do for us?  The blessings, favor and provision we enjoy from him? The booking, the closed deal, the acceptance letter or the positive pregnancy test? If our faith is built on that, we will burn up into dust by the refining fire.

Check out this verse: 

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,  their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

Right now is a dry season for me. I have felt abandoned by God in the NO answers to many prayers. It feels quiet on this side. It feels like He’s withdrawn His presence from me. Maybe this is because I built my foundation with the things God could do for me. The gold, silver and jewels. Translation: His provision, favor and comforts.

I’m sure Esther felt like God was quiet as she waited in the king’s harem day in and day out, year after year as girl after girl went into the king’s quarters a virgin and came out a concubine. I’m sure she wondered what her verdict would be. What hope would she have to become queen? Her faith and character withstood the refining fire. God promoted Esther to queen because her foundation was built on faith.

I’m digging my heels in. I will win this test no matter how long it takes. Because when the fire comes to test the quality of my work, I want it to reveal my foundation in Christ. Christ for who He is, not what He can do for me.

There will be no rotting on the hilltop for me. I will stay faithful in the valley and rise.

Comments

  1. Emily

    Amazing. God bless you and thank you so much for this post. I also am in a dry season and you have inspired me to dig my heels in as well.

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