There are those who seem to live in constant struggle. They’re confident of the coming victory God has in store for them, so they keep fighting, pushing, and struggling toward it. There are others who quietly wait for God to move. They surrender themselves fully to His will and purpose for their lives, seeming to continually wait in quietness and trust.
As I survey my life, I see both quietness and confidence existing. Usually, though, I live in one or the other. I believe I can do both: I can live in confidence of the victory Christ has won and at the same time be journeying to full surrender.
Bob Sorge in The Fire of Delayed Answers expresses this idea as he questions those who seem to exist at both extremes. He explains that there are those who stress that “God is more interested in your character than in your miracle” and at the same time others who say, “He’s my Savior, my healer, my deliverer, my provider, my protector, my supply, my, my, my…. [producing] a self-absorbed focus.”
Instead, Sorge says, both can exist together, that we can “become more Christlike in our attitudes and also experience the power of His resurrection.”
Surviving Times of War
The development and also true test of this balance comes both through the trials we experience as we live out life this side of Heaven and the more severe times of testing through crisis. Sorge expresses the sentiment this way:
“It’s one thing to have faith in times of peace; it’s altogether another thing to have faith that survives times of war.”
Times of war are the proving ground for faith. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers deepens this idea of our faith being proven in battle along with truly understanding that our battle is ultimately our own.
“Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds. Faith being worked out into reality must experience times of unbroken isolation. Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life because a great deal of what we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts him—a faith that says, ‘I will remain true to God’s character whatever he may do.’ The highest and the greatest expression of faith in the whole Bible is—”Though he slay me, yet will I trust him’ (Job 13:15).”
War and Relationships
Our goal is to live lives that remain true to God’s character no matter what. Since the majority of our struggles and victories involve other people, relationships provide the ultimate proving ground for our faith.
Yes, our quiet confidence comes from our individual relationship with God. And yes, we are responsible for our own activity and not that of anyone else. At the same time, we struggle together even while we struggle alone. We gain victory together while we gain individual victory.