Last week I wrote about how what we do in the hidden times and seasons matters a lot. But I’ve felt challenged that there’s still more. Because it’s not only about what we do. It’s also about what we believe and rest in.
When Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, over and over he repeated the same few words, “You’ve heard it said, but now I say.” He took the people deeper, challenged their paradigms even more, and turned their old system upside down in order to introduce them to a totally new way of doing life and kingdom.
When I think about who I am in the unseen places of my life, those words “but now I say…” pull me deeper. They remind me that not only are my actions important, but even more so are my beliefs.
Because it matters what you and I choose to believe, stand on, and hold faith for in the hidden place where no one sees or knows.
The question that uncovers this best is, what are the truths we rest in when it seems like everything is against us or nothing is happening for us or all the good stuff is taking place elsewhere?
So to consider what you and I choose to believe and rehearse over in our minds when we are faced with another friend who gets his or her long-awaited breakthrough, which also happens to be the same one we’re hoping for.
Or when we receive the letter that our funding didn’t come through, book isn’t going to be published, or dream job isn’t happening.
Or when we find ourselves feeling betrayed, rejected, or hurt by those we love most or highly esteem in our lives.
Or when someone speaks words over us that belittle our identity, passion, or calling.
These moments are critical ones. They force us to wrestle with and settle on the truths we are firmly holding to despite what we see or feel. The choice is as unseen as can be, and yet it determines everything about what flows from us.
Because in the tension we are offered the chance to hold to God’s goodness and elevate our thoughts to his truth. To bless, honor, and thank even with all that is before us or around us or not happening for us. To embrace God’s promise as greater than our circumstances and resolve he is faithful and working no matter the current moment.
None of this happens when things are going as planned, but when hopes are delayed, breakthrough is happening somewhere else or when we are feeling overwhelmingly tucked away by God. Because it is on that tense, hidden ground that what we choose to believe comes to the surface — and brings its fruit with it.
We are most ripe for breakthrough when we have sown seeds in faith and trust in God in the hidden place. When no one can see and no one knows, there we are offered the opportunity to bring forth life and goodness around us by the thoughts we think, truth we stand upon, and promises we recount.
So what reveals who we are and who we are becoming are not merely our unseen actions, but also our choices to trust, thank, bless, and honor even if it comes alongside tears, pain, or unanswered questions. This isn’t easy or flawless or without its mess, but it is holy nonetheless.
Because powerful partnership with God looks like choosing when no one knows or sees (or may not even care) to believe God is good, to carry a confidence beyond our comprehension, or to speak honor and blessing elsewhere. Those are the bold choices that make all the difference.