Have you heard someone say this: “You know you are doing God’s will if things are going smoothly, otherwise if you experience hardship then it is a sure indicator that you are going against His will.”
I have always been a believer of this; until the time when God allowed me to go through events in my life that were never smooth, yet I still felt his loving arms around me as I went through that painful sharpening – an event He himself orchestrated. That event led me to an encounter with an unpredictable God. It opened my eyes to the truth that humans cannot predict or explain all his ways and actions — it points to a humbling realization that He is God, and we can not fully understand the depth of His wisdom unless He chooses to reveal them.
The Bible is full of examples that reinforce this truth. The Book of Job is my personal favorite.
His friends, matured and deep in spiritual foundations, theorized that the events in Job’s life are consequences of sin. In good faith, they had argued that suffering is basically punishment for sin and prosperity is reward for righteousness (4:7–8).1 They must have thought: surely God will never allow these things if Job is living a life of righteousness.
But who would have thought that God is actually and actively behind all of these?
In our own personal lives, we will have experiences that will change our paradigms. And as Os Hillman said “each of these new paradigms [is] a stepping-stone of an encounter with God so that the individual would experience God in a new way. God used these times to enforce the principle that His ways are not our ways. Whenever we try to predict that God will act in a certain way, He changes the paradigm to keep us from becoming our own little gods. “
Also in life, we might encounter well-meaning Christians who would tell us, “God doesn’t work that way, He would never do that.” As long as you know the Lord speaks to you, and His Spirit guards your heart in peace, then do not be troubled. Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. (Romans 14:22, NIV)
In the same token, should we hear someone claiming an experience they have had that we’ve never had, let us try not to dismiss it as extreme or something not of God, as if we knew God too well–the Pharisees acted like this and Jesus rebuked them harshly.
For we cannot put God in a box; there’s no assurance He would ALWAYS act in ways we expect or predict. Just because it happened to us, doesn’t mean it will also happen to them. God deals with us personally, individually and uniquely. And there are times when God chooses to confound the foolish in order to change our paradigm of experience.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
– Isaiah 55:8-9
Thoughts to Ponder:
Have you encountered the Unpredictable God?
- Desiring God — Job: Rebuked in Suffering
- Prime Time with God – Os Hillman