Praying Through a Fog

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 14, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

[This post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

One of the most frustrating situations we tend to go through is a time of uncertainty and a time where things do not seem to make any sense. It is like we are lost in a thick fog and we cannot see where we are or where we are going. How often would we feel so much more peace in our situation if God simply allowed us to see what was going on and explained why he was putting us through these situations?

I just came through one of those fogs, which I wrote about last week. I was in a fog, where I did not know what was going on with my job. I made the mistake of allowing the position I was teaching as a substitute to become an idol in my life, and that clouded my vision on what God was doing in my life. At the end of last year, God told me I was to substitute teach for another year and then he would open up some doors. Just that little light put everything back in perspective, which helped me see where I was and helped me to stop idolizing that position. I can say I am still in a fog right now, but God gave me a tiny glimpse of where I was, which gave me confidence to keep going.

How do you pray when things do not seem to make sense? How do you hold onto the faith when God seems so far away and you have no idea what your situation is? Adrian Rodgers has a very practical sermon on “When Nothing Seems to Make Sense.” I touched on this in my post Do not Doubt in the Dark, but here is another facet to his message. If things do not seem to make any sense, “Do not demand to understand. Try to understand if you can, but do not demand to understand.”

In the Bible, Job had the problem of demanding to understand. He wanted God to explain himself right then and there. Job did not understand the spiritual wager that went on in heaven. If he had known about it, it would have been easy for him to pass the test. But he also would not have learned his lesson, and neither would we have learned his lesson. Do not try to force God to explain himself to you and at the same time, do try to grasp your situation in light of the big picture if you can.

Another important thing to do in times of confusion is to hold your position. Some of the best advice I have ever heard on these types of situations is to never make any rash decision in such times. If you are not sure what God’s will is, go back and revisit the last thing you know God told you to do, and obey it. We need to know our position on where God has placed us. When the Bible says, “Be still,” it is not talking about staying motionless and being quiet. It actually is a military command: “Hold the line! Hold the position! Do not move from where God put you!”

But there are times where we need to move. One of the best stories I have read that shows this situation is by C.S. Lewis in The Horse and His Boy. Shasta sprints ahead of Rabadash and successfully warns the king of Archenland about the coming invasion. But then he stumbles along a mountain path alone in a dense fog. Instead of just staying still, he follows the voice of Aslan. In doing so, he ends up in Narnia where he alerts them. When he returns with Narnia’s forces, he goes along the same path and discovers it was a treacherous mountain road where he easily could have fallen off, had he seen where he was and not listened to Aslan’s voice.

A friend of mine told a similar story to this situation. He described how a friend of his was in a deep spiritual fog, with no hint of orientation or anything. It was totally dark around him and he kept praying and praying for God to show him some light so he knew what was going on. Eventually God did “turn on the lights” and in his spirit, this friend of a friend saw a demon sniffing around, looking for him. He immediately prayed, “Turn off the lights!”

There are times where God purposes to get you into that fog and that is to protect you. In one situation, it could be to keep your eyes off your surroundings so you do not get distracted and so you do not get struck with fear by what you see. In another situation, it could be not to keep you from seeing, but to keep you from being seen. Many armies have successfully maneuvered around other forces in fogs and they did not complain about not being able to see. They knew in that fog, they were hidden from enemy sight.

Too often we do not have the full picture, and many times God purposes not to show it to us. Why? I believe part of it is this: if God did show us what we would face in advance, most of us would not do what he wanted us to do. That being said, I can testify that those of us who have entered into partnership with God and obeyed him through the trials and difficulties and times of uncertainty, we would not trade it for anything else. The only thing we would regret doing was not going through that situation, but for not trusting God earlier than we did.

Do not try to force God to explain himself in times when things do not appear to make sense. As you pray, pray that God will get you through your dark times and through the fog. Do not try to rush him. When you are in that fog, God does not put you there to confuse you. God is not the author of confusion. He puts you there to keep you from being distracted by what you would see if you did have clear vision. He puts you there so that you are not frightened by the enemy’s maneuvers. At the same time, God can also take you through a fog to hide you, so he can put you in a position to strike the enemy from under the cover of darkness.

Trust in the Lord in times of confusion, in the dark fog that blots out the sun. He knows the situation far better than we do and far better than our enemy does. As you pray, pray not explicitly for vision, but for God’s clear direction. Pray that God will take you and prepare you for his tasks during that time. Praying for God’s glory to be demonstrated as you walk with him in absolutely surrendering trust. When you focus on the Lord in complete obedience, you cannot lose. Next week, I will address effectual prayer along with secrets on how to get answers to prayer.

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