Are you in a ‘taking-away’ season?
This season, the enemy attempted to ‘take away’ some much hoped-for stuff from me, for sure. . . It feels like a season of stripping. Hopes of doing big things with people Ioved slowly evaporated from my eyes. Dreams of aligning with certain people to see love come forth in powerful ways got halted. A project I worked so hard on, just went kaputz in the natural.
The enemy takes away, but so does God.
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. (Job. 1:21)
We cannot completely blame on the enemy, what praise is due to God.
Are you in a stripping season? One where you feel like you are losing material items, dreams, things, relationships you counted on, more of what you wanted, expectations, your plans?
Listen, I get it. But, what I also get is that when you have nothing left to rely on, you still have everything.
Stripping-seasons remove so much flesh, we’re left blazing Holy Spirit.
We begin to speak things like:
I expect nothing, but trust God for everything.
There is nothing I want, but Him.
There is no other rescuer, than my King.
I have no plan anymore, but His.
Nothing can restrict me when everything has been removed.
Nothing now can lure me, more than ‘My God’.
Nothing controls me, but the Holy Spirit.
Every opportunity is available to me, as I rely on Him, and Him alone.
Stripping-periods are humbling, no doubt, but they’re also giving periods. When a parent takes something away from a child, they almost undoubtedly do it with the hopes of giving them back something better. Take away the candy — to give better health. Say no to the toy — so they appreciate the plenty they’re about to get on their birthday. Say no to TV — so their mind can grow smarter through play-time learning.
When God says no, He also has a better yes.
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job. 1:21)
Blessed be His name.
I wanted __, He gives character.
I demanded __, He comes back and delivers wisdom.
I thought __, He has increase — given in a way that I carry with humility.
I expected ___, He brings me a strengthening that helps me run my race to the end.
I thought ___, He offers me fresh gratitude.
I believed ___, He gives me eyes to see past the great thing to His greater thing.
Prayer: I resolve, today, to trust you, God. You have the best plan for me, Daddy. I don’t have to see to believe that your end is good for me. I lay down ‘what was’ for ‘what will be’ in accordance with your heart’s desire. You know what you’re doing. My feelings may send me left and right, but your love endures forever. I can rest in that place and you work out good. I love you, God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Jeremiah Burroughs wrote The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment way back in the 16’s, and his Puritan pastor style is a bit cumbersome, but he had this to say about subtraction and contentment, and it has stuck like a burr in my soul:
“Contentment comes, not so much by way of addition, as by way of subtraction.”
Rather than adding to our possessions in hope that the pile will one day satisfy, biblical contentment carves down our desires until they equal what our loving heavenly Father chooses to provide. This, to me, seems to be the most difficult and yet most indispensable understanding of what it means to delight in the Lord without making an idol of his gifts.
Oh, those seasons can feel so hard. I am grateful for His grace along the way. And for people who remind me that taking away can be a gift.
Thank you. I seem to forget, at times, that God knows what He’s doing.
This was so timely. I have been in this season for almost two years. It’s so lonely and difficult to try to explain to other believers who have never experienced this. But it’s true that I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. Just would love to hear from those who have been recently in this and are now out of it. It’s hard to know how to pray because I don’t want to lose this closeness with God but I still want to regain relationships and ministry that I used to have.
My family is in a striping season, it is humbling. And yet I will gladly let go of “what is” for God’s greater “what will be” I have seen in previous seasons that His plan is always the best plan and that He truly does work all things out for good. Many Thanks for such encouragement. 8)
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord. This is the verse I was looking for; the thought that was dormant in my brain. Thanks.
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I agree Kelly, I know He amens our prayers and is not just a life take like people think, John 10:10 is plain. He just wants us to have better.
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Yes, when God takes away he give me back so much more. The pain is still there and I have to go through it. Over time I have learned to say, Okay, God I don’t understand but I trust you.