You ever had a cloudy day? I’ve had a few in the last days. I felt “bottled up”, little nagging questions, fears, complaints or other kinds of nuisances just stacked up behind each other at the edge of my thoughts and mind. They seemed to come from the general direction of doubts.
So it’s all caused me to pray all the more. Victories are won in prayer almost more than any other way. Jesus, at the beginning of His ministry, went out into the desert to pray for 40 days. He had to defeat the Devil first. And it sounds like it was quiet a battle. But He won. (See Luke 4:1-13)
Sometimes when you’re surrounded by clouds, the best thing is to pull over. Kind of like, “wait till the fog clears.” Sometimes that’s the thing to do. If you’re not sure what you should do and you can’t see the road ahead of you, then it could be time to pull over till you can see clearly again.
But I think at other times, that’s not really God’s highest and best. Like the old song says, “Up there, the sun is always shinning.” I’ve been beset by clouds for a few days. But I know where the sun is. I know pretty much what my vision is and what I believe the Lord wants me to be doing. Maybe it’s time to “walk by faith, not by sight.” (II Corinthians 5:7) I believe the Lord was wanting me to let His sunshine within me burn away the clouds of uncertainty and the many other things that have been assailing me the past few days.
Sometimes you just have to go on “automatic pilot”, like airplanes do. The pilots often just fly by their instruments, not looking out the window. It’s like Solomon said, “He that observes the wind shall not sow and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4) Like I wrote about Nehemiah in “Cannot Come Down”, sometimes we just have to say no to the folks who want to have us come down from the wall of God’s will into “the plain of Ono”. (Nehemiah 6:2) It’s actually says that, the plain of “Ono”.
It’s the Devil sometimes who brings the clouds, the temptations, the negative emotions, everything he can find in his bag of tricks to get us out of God’s Will. If he can’t dissuade us from doing God’s will, he tries to delay us, to get us tripped off on sidetracks and anything rather than using our precious time for God’s highest and best.
Paul on one of his missionary journeys seemed to be in a fog for a while. He and his helpers were out on the mission field in Acts 16, going from city to city and then it says “they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia.” (Acts 16:6). So they kept going forward and it says they were planning to go to Bithynia, the modern southeast coastal area of the Black Sea, “but the Spirit did not allow them.” (Acts 16:7)
I don’t know about you but I might have been tempted to get agitated around that time. “Well, Lord, here we are out serving you and you keep telling me “no” every time I turn around! I’m in a fog Lord!” It’s not recorded Paul said that but he might have been tempted. But I’m guessing it really got them in a stronger sense of prayer. And then came the answer, “A vision appeared in the night to Paul, a man of Macedonia saying, come over and help us!” (Acts 16:9) They were in a fog. But then it lifted and they got a clear answer from the Lord.
But if you look closely at the verses there, it doesn’t say they just stopped all activity. Sometimes you have to really read closely to see a hidden point. In Acts 16:8, even after they had been stopped twice by the Holy Ghost in going a direction they were thinking about, it says “Then passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.”
They didn’t let the clouds of uncertainty and what could have even been a temptation to doubt get to them. They kept the light of the sun inside of them keep them going when in some ways they didn’t know what they fully were to do. They went on the instructions they already had. They kept going by faith, even if everything was not totally clear.
And, like the men Jesus healed, “as they went, they were healed.” (Luke 17:14) Sometimes we have to do the “wenting”, the obeying. In this case, Paul and his companions kept the faith and kept obeying, even when they seemed to maybe be getting their signals wrong. Eventually the fog cleared and they went on to the light of a brighter day. In this case, it involved the first works of the evangelization of Europe when they went into Macedonia and established what became one of the strongest of the Early Church communities.
If you’re in a fog, it may be necessary to pull over for it to clear. On the other hand, don’t let any doubts of gloom or confusion cause you to be deterred in your journey of faith. “We don’t look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. The things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (II Corinthians 4:18)