Why Can’t I See God At Work?
Many times when we fast or set some time apart to seek God, it doesn’t feel as though a reward comes right away. In fact, it may even feel harder to seek Him during a fast than on the days when you don’t. But I want to encourage you that God sees when you show up.
He sees when you purpose in your heart to fast or to set certain things aside to follow after Him.
But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.Matthew 6:17-18
And, if that’s not encouraging enough, this chapter says that He doesn’t just see when we fast or when we pray, but He rewards it. Meaning that the act of choosing to fast or separating yourself to be with God alone will reap a reward from God.
Fasting is one of the areas that many Christians do not understand. To put it like this, it’s one thing for man to promote you, bless you, and lavish you with rewards, but your life changes when you understand that God sees what you are doing and it’s Him that promises to reward you.
God Sees When You Are Submitted
A major aspect that I want to highlight in regards to seeing God is best demonstrated in the life of Hagar. Hagar was running away from her mistress, Sarah. At the time, she had slept with Abraham and was carrying his child. She and Sarah begin to have friction because Hagar felt superior as a result of her fertility, so she leaves.
In verse 9 we see that the Angel of the Lord finds Hagar and tells her,
“Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”Genesis 16:9-10
Hagar is running from her authority. And instead of God encouraging Hagar to expose Sarah or comforting her, the Angel of the Lord tells Hagar to return and submit.
Notice that the angel said to go and submit not because of her well being or heart but because of what Hagar carried. She needed to be in a place where she was planted.
Hagar needed to return and submit for the sake of what was in her womb. What God wanted to do through her required her to be more submitted to God’s plan than to her emotions.
So many people get hurt feelings and they end up miscarrying God’s promise because they get offended easily, distance themselves from the church–where God has planted them–and no longer submit themselves to authority. Don’t run away from places that challenge your ego and your pride.
You ego and your pride are like fingernails. They grow with time and they need to be trimmed. When your ego is wounded it doesn’t mean your identity is broken. If you really want to birth God’s promise we must walk in brokenness. When you are confronted, corrected, or even offended, don’t just leave. Deal with it, process it and grow from it. If you’re always gossiping and always fighting, it makes me question if you’re jeopardizing what you’re carrying.
When Hagar makes the conscious decision to return and submit, notice what begins to happen in her.
Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”Genesis 16:13
Her destiny begins to be uncovered. When you don’t address the wall of offense, you are at risk for miscarrying what God wants to do through you. Your wounded feelings will always build a wall. And that will be created between you and God. God will still see you, but you’ll struggle’s to see Him. If you are struggling to see the hand of God at work in your life, one good thing to do is to examine your heart. Is there an area that the Lord is asking you to deal with that you are reluctant to?
Don’t let any feelings of negativity, bitterness foster up. Don’t stockpile your pain, deal with it.
Hagar believed that she was better than Sarah but it wasn’t until she was in the wilderness that she realized God could use her to birth a nation.
In the wilderness Hagar learns that what she’s carrying is more important than how she is feeling. If you’ve left the church or broken off godly relationships because of hurt or offense, I want to remind you that you need to be planted in a house not the wilderness. Don’t go off and isolate, in that repentance and acceptance Hagar saw God.
We as Christians would fight hard against believer’s using cigarettes and committing adultery, but when it comes to Christian’s harboring offense and pride those sins seems so easy to justify. Pride is one of those things that is easy to see in others, but not in ourselves. But I want to encourage you once more that for the sake of what you’re about to brith, do not get addicted to your offense. Die to yourself and embrace the bondservant mentality that Jesus has.
You cannot give birth to what God has placed in your life if you chose to protect your hurt feelings instead of protecting what God has placed in you. It wasn’t until Hagar came back that she was able to give birth to Ishmael.
When we scan the story of David we see that He had a leader that was harmful, and when he could no longer stay because it infringed with his safety, he left. But one remarkable thing that David’s life teaches us is that even though Saul was a very bad and toxic person to David and he distanced himself, He never disrespected Saul. In fact, we see that he continued to honor him. David’s heart remained pure instead of resentful towards a man who was throwing spears at him to end his life.
Remember that no matter what anyone may have done (and I’m not talking about extreme abuse, I am simply talking about disagreements that cause hurts and pain) we must fight to stay rooted where God has planted us, not allow bitterness and offense to drown out the promises of God in our lives, and we must fight to keep our hearts pure because we are carrying something from God.
God sees you and when your heart remains pure, you will see Him too.
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