When Reception Fails

Deuteronomy 8:17-18

The last few messages have considered how God uses or even places us in circumstances for the purpose of molding and maturing us into “the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29). After all, this IS the plan of God. He is in the process of redeeming (buying back, or we could say restoring) us to the relationship which sin has destroyed. This process absolutely must include faith in the sacrifice of “His one and only Son” (John 3:16) for the forgiveness of sin; but it also includes learning how to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), and how to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). This is the process which will take a lifetime and include many storms as well as opportunities to soar.

But perhaps one of the most difficult portions of the journey is when we’re just not sure what’s happening. We’re definitely not soaring high like an eagle, but neither can we say we’re in a storm or experiencing discipline. It’s just that our spiritual life seems to be characterized by an uneasy quiet. Nothing. No affirmation, correction or direction. Just quiet.

If you think this sounds a little personal…you’re right. I want to give my all. I want to be involved in something which can change the world. I’ve told God these desires, but so far…nothing. We’ve now been traveling for 75 days. There were several reasons involved with making the decision to take this extended journey, but one reason was the hope that we might receive clear direction as we removed ourselves from the hectic schedules which had consumed our family. So far, we’ve had a great journey – except for my wife still experiencing lots of back pain and everyone missing their friends and routine – but nothing in the form of clear direction. It’s as if I’ve lost the signal. I’m sure He’s still speaking, but I just can’t hear.

We left Spokane Washington yesterday and headed toward Seattle. My brother had suggested we drive through an area in the middle of the state called Dry Falls. This area was formed in a short period of time by massive floods which carved wide coulees into the otherwise flat terrain. The water is now gone but you can drive and camp in the bottom of the coulee. It’s really quite beautiful. However, after we picked out our spot and set up the trailer I noticed one problem – no signal. We were in an area where internet connection was lost – an area where there was no reception. What was I going to do?

We had an extremely peaceful night! So quiet. And in the midst of all the quiet I began to ponder, What do you do when the signal fails? Of course I had to consider what I was going to do about sending out a message (had to wait until we changed locations) but I also considered the more important spiritual message. Did God have something for me to learn? Was He speaking even now?

It occurred to me that there are always going to be times when we are not receiving. And during these times there is only one thing we can do. We must continue to do the things we know we ought to do.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

No, I don’t have direction with where we should live or what I should do after our journey ends in December, but there are LOTS of things I know I need to be doing right now. The way I communicate with my wife needs to be much better. My patience level with my kids is being challenged every day. And my quiet time with God needs to be more from the heart. Let’s not lose sight of the daily things God has for us to do – the lessons we know He is teaching. Let’s diligently continue to rejoice and pray anytime we are in a season when reception fails.

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

4 responses to “When Reception Fails”

  1. Anonymous

    >Steve, I am not sure about your reception, but God is certaining still using you in a mighty way. I look forward to this devotion everyday. It astounds me sometimes, the insight God has given you. So even if you are not sure of your directions, one thing for sure, as you pour out, He will surely pour into your life.

    Thank you and may God continue to smile upon you and your family.

    P.S. I love the photos! I may never get to these places, but through you all, I get the adventure of a lifetime!!

  2. Anonymous

    >This is so where I am also right now. My husband and I were the music ministers in our church but my husband became ill five years ago and is unable to function in that capacity on a regular basis. So far, he has not receive a healing but the Lord has not sent anyone to take our place yet. I just keep praying but am having trouble believing that he will be healed.

    I am encouraged by your reminder to just "keep on keeping on". May the Lord bless you for being so honest and forthright about your journey with Him.

    I pray that you and your family will know God's will for your lives soon.

  3. Anonymous

    >Steve…I feel like I've known you for a while…like brother and sister. When I read your post today I was taken aback. Your wisdom and instruction is so Christ-centered I would have never believe you to have such trials like communication difficulty with your wife and need for patience with your kids. I see you through your instruction and it is so anointed that I believe you communicate with your wife as you relate to other husbands and wives. You are Christ to your children. They see you being patient with their growing up. God is satisfied with your quiet time. Sit in silence and just listen to Him. Let Him do the talking to you for a while. Have you ever heard of the daily devotional practice of reading from Psalms and Proverbs so that when you've read for 30 days you will have read both books completely? I named this principle the "Plus 30 Principle."

    When I was diagnosed in 1988 with multiple sclerosis, I suffered terribly with depression. Our youth pastor and dear friend told me to read the Psalms and Proverbs daily and allow God to speak to me and my specific needs so that my depression would lessen and my strength would increase. I call this method of reading Biblescopes, like an alternative to reading horoscopes. Here's your Biblescope for tomorrow.

    From Psalm 23:
    The Lord is your benefactor. Be completely dependent on Him for provision, guidance, and protection. Even when you enter the the valley of the shadow of death, have no fear of eternal punishment for the evil one cannot touch you. The Lord will gently prod and direct you to the comfort you know as forgiveness. Receive God's Holy anointing with fragrant oil. God provides protection like a good host. God our perfect shepherd guides and protects us forever to bring us into His house forever. Psalm 23 NIV

  4. Anonymous

    >Thank you for your open honesty and forthrightness. It is a blessing when someone who God is using to teach and instruct also recognizes their human frailty and admits to being in "dry places" now and then. We all are destined for them at some time or another.

    I was told in June that I was being removed from my position as a nursing director in a community hospital. This administrative decision was based on the political and financial power of a few very influential physicians; ones who bring in millions of dollars of revenue to the organization.

    Despite prayer and devotion, I am left with complete and utter frustration, confusion and sadness. I keep thinking of Jesus when he was before Pilate being accused of something He didn't do. I have chosen to think of my situation as a means of redemptive suffering so that I,too,can become more like Him. It is amazing how God has used the situation to touch so many people and to draw me closer to Him. It has given me a chance to witness to God's precious love and purpose in my life. But, still, I feel lonely and uncertain of my future. I have lost desire and enthusiasm for my work; a career I have had all my adult life.

    GDW has been a lifeline during this struggle. Thank you for your vision and desire to share God's word despite what it might "feel" like at times. The desert and the valleys are not the final resting place; only the temporary passthrough to where we are destined by God's providence. Let us not lose hope. Our focus is on Him, not our circumstances.
    Peace of Christ be with you.

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