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In a time of momentary victory, what gets most of us so distracted that we forget where we were, how we got there, and where we should be going?   We forget our purpose and destiny.  This may have been the danger with Abraham. Maybe he became so satisfied with Isaac and the sweetness of knowing God’s promise fulfilled. Maybe he forgot the real goal was not Isaac, but the Lord.

How common is this in our lives? We experience the blessing of the Lord and become satisfied with the blessing instead of in the One who originally blessed us. When times are good we often find that our spiritual life grows stale, our prayer looses intensity, our Bible study becomes sporadic, our worship becomes optional, and our giving becomes superficial.

All of a sudden a trial or test arrives from nowhere and rouses us from our spiritual coma. In our slumber, we discover God wants us to continue to strive for holiness. He wants us to hunger for a relationship with Him and not settle for the blessings He gives.

I had a colleague who was invited to give a devotional at a ladies missionary meeting.  She pondered what to share to this group.  Eventually, she remembered a word the Lord had given her four weeks prior.  In fact, she had shared that same word several times to other groups.  She decided to go with it, instead of developing something new.   She related to me afterward that the devotional didn’t have any impact upon the group or upon her.  In other words, there was no anointing or unction in what she shared.    As she prayed about it afterward, the Lord spoke these words to her. “You offered up stale bread.  That word was one I gave you weeks ago. At that moment in time, it was fresh bread and now it is stale. You haven’t sought Me since, therefore there wasn’t any fresh bread coming out of the oven.  You didn’t have anything fresh to give that ladies group and that is why the devotional was flat and lacked anointing. Don’t rely on stale bread.”

I have been in church services when people stood up to give testimonies.  Some could only relate what God had done in their lives years ago.  Thus, they only offered stale bread.  What a travesty! We all need to be asking, “is God speaking and moving in my life today?” The answer is He wants to move today… not just yesterday.

Abraham and Sarah probably had a thousand pats-on-the-back and a thousand congratulations.  Why not, they were a hundred years old when God graciously moved.  But, this wasn’t the end, simply the beginning. The Lord wants us to seek His “well done” everyday.  He wants us to seek holiness, not just the comfort knowing we once were victorious. So times of testing often come to get us back on track.

When were your most intense prayer times?  When did you felt closest to the Lord?  I’m ashamed to say that my most intense and focused prayer times were often during intense battles with Satan and during times of tremendous need.  These occurred not on mountain tops but in valleys.

We see our life most clearly in the difficult times. We search for the Lord most intensely when trouble looms. It doesn’t have to be that way . . . but most often it is.  The next time you are tempted to complain in the storm, remember that very storm may have been sent to take you to the next level.