by Pastor Tim Burt
As a Pastor, I am often exposed to people who have entered into a sudden crisis and seeing how it affects their spiritual walk. The man who suddenly hears his wife utter those words that paralyze his heart, I’m leaving you—I just can’t do this anymore. The person who has just had his boss say I am so sorry but the company has to lay off fifty people and I have to let you go. The person that is sitting with their doctor to find out what those unusual symptoms have been about and hears the dreaded words, I am sorry to tell you this but you have cancer. The person who gets the phone call about their loved one just having a serious car accident and tries not to panic as they hear You need to get down to the hospital immediately!
All these horrible crisis occurrences can grip the heart and attempt to send one’s mind into a tailspin. And they are seldom over in a moment. Difficult times and seasons like this often lead to pain, confusion, condemnation, blame, and for some, backsliding from God because God becomes the target of blame. I believe that today, God is trying to warn some of you who are reading this, about needed changes that will help you avoid crisis and to others—this will be a call to quit wandering from God and come back to Him.
When sincere Christians experience these kinds of painful, heart-gripping events, most at some point, begin to process through a spiritual inventory. What did I do to bring this on? Even though they may have done absolutely nothing, the devil uses these occasions to take advantage of pointing out our sinful weaknesses and beats us over our head with condemnation. That is his wicked nature that will never change. He is an accuser and is called the accuser of the brethren. Rev. 12:10 “…the accuser of the brethren, who accuses them before our God day and night…” In these crisis times, many Christians believe that the accusations they hear are from God and that God is mad at them. They don’t have the discernment to know it’s the voice of Satan. Consequently, some run from God in these times of crisis. Others get mad at God. They think God has let them down.
When people are guilty of sin and won’t own up to it, and it has led to pain or crisis, they often blame God. Since they can’t actually see God, they choose to blame someone they can see and who represents God. They blame their Pastor, or religion, or someone who preaches the gospel on television that they can take cheap shots at, or maybe even their Christian friends. Suddenly every Christian looks like a hypocrite because of their imperfection, and Satan amplifies that. Blaming someone else feels better than looking inside through self-examination and repenting for sin.
If disobedience has led to or contributed to the crisis they are facing, the Lord’s goal is always an assurance of His love and willingness to forgive where there is repentance of sin. His goal is always reconciliation—the restoring of relationship and right behavior with Him and help and deliverance from the crisis. Examine Jesus’ walk and you will see this is true. It is always about Him bringing correction and instruction on how to get it right. It’s all about leading people into change—supernatural change. It’s never about beating someone up and leaving them in the dust. It's never about condemnation and blaming. The devil will do that. People do that to each other, but that is not God’s character. God is about love, help, restoration and healing!
Crisis almost always drives self-examination. It is always the right time to examine your life. It is also always the right time to purge ungodly thoughts, attitudes, unforgiveness, immoral behavior, and anything that we would mark unpleasing to God. Crisis might drive us to our knees. But it would be better to hit our knees before crisis came. It would be better to delight ourselves and reverence God, and move as far away from ungodly attitudes and behavior out of our love for God, as possible. If we did, we’d have greater confidence that God would protect us and help and deliver us when crisis rears its ugly head. It would help us be better prepared to thwart the false condemnation that always comes in crisis.
The Lord will supernaturally strengthen us to make needed changes and that often helps us avoid the crisis’s that could derail us. That is why He calls out to us and says: “Now therefore thus says the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1:5 NKJV)
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt