But God… I Hate My Situation

by | Nov 2, 2010 | Charisma Archive

But God… I Hate My SituationI have discovered that as we seek the Lord our most
difficult periods can be transformed into wonderful breakthroughs into
God’s love. For me, one such season occurred during the years 1979 to
1981.

The association of churches with which I was aligned had
fallen under spiritual deception. Not only were its core doctrines
increasingly seeded with New Age influences, but also immorality crept
in, and key leaders began leaving their wives for other women.

I could no longer remain silent. I left my congregation
in Detroit, where I had served as pastor, and traveled to the
organization’s regional headquarters in Iowa. I went to plead for
repentance. However, after meeting with the senior leaders, I was asked
to leave the group.

You can imagine the situation that left my family and me
in. We had left our church, we had no money, and we had four little
children. We couldn’t afford even basic housing. Desperate for almost
any type of shelter, we finally found an old farmhouse in rural
Washington, Iowa. The home was more than 100 years old, but it actually
looked much older. After negotiating with the landlord, we were given a
year of free rent provided I did work around the house such as cleaning
and painting.

Even so, the house needed more than I
could provide. The furnace did not work well, so we installed a
wood-burning stove in the kitchen. That first winter, it turned out,
was one of the coldest in Iowa’s history. Frost formed on the inside
walls, spreading a foot or two around each window, and wind chills
dropped to 60 below—lower than that on several occasions.

To keep warm each night, the whole family cuddled tightly
on one large mattress on the dining room floor, about 18 feet from the
stove in the kitchen. A fan behind the stove nudged warm air in our
direction. My nightly project, of course, was to build enough heat in
the stove to keep us warm until morning.

While I worked the fire, I also prayed and sought God.
The wood burner became a kind of altar to me, for each night as I
prayed, I offered to God my unfulfilled dreams and the pain of my
spiritual isolation.

As the seasons came and went, the little area around the
wood burner continued to be a hallowed place for me. Even in the
summer, I would sit on the chair next to the stove and pray and worship.

I would like to say I found the joy of
the Lord during this time, but in truth, though I gradually adjusted to
my situation, I felt an abiding misery in my soul. Our deep poverty was
an issue (I earned barely $6,000 a year), but more than that, I felt as
if I had missed the Lord. My continual prayer was, “Lord, what do You
want of me?”

Three years of seeking God passed, and I still carried an
emptiness inside. What was God’s will for me? I had started a couple of
Bible studies and spoken a few times in churches, but I so identified
with being a pastor that, until I was engaged again in full-time
ministry, I feared I had lost touch with God’s call on my life.

Despite this inner emptiness about
ministry, I was growing spiritually, especially in areas that were
previously untilled. I had unconsciously defined a successful ministry
as something born of my performance. During this time, however, the
Lord reduced me to being simply a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Rising to the top of my focus was a
passion to be a true follower of Jesus Christ—to obey His teachings and
approach life not as a critic but as an encourager. I also found myself
increasingly free to enjoy and learn from Christians from other streams
and perspectives.

These changes, though deep and lasting,
occurred slowly, almost imperceptibly. They were happening quietly in
my heart, and only in hindsight did I see what the Lord had done.
Throughout this time, I was preoccupied with feelings of detachment
from God’s will. My prayer to know the Lord’s plan for me continued
daily.

One day as I stood in the kitchen pantry, I repeated
again my abiding prayer: “Lord, what do You want of me?” In a sudden
flash of illumination, the Lord answered. Speaking directly to my
heart, He said, “Love Me where you’re at.”

In this time and season, I was a TV television repairman
doing odd jobs on the side to provide for my family. I hated what I was
doing.

In my previous church I had taught against TV, and now I
was “laying hands” on sets and raising them from the dead! The Lord’s
answer cut straight to my heart. I was awed at its simplicity!

I asked: “Love You where I am at? Lord, is that all You want of me?” He replied, “This is all I will ever require of you.”

In that divine moment peace flooded my
soul and I was released from the false expectation of ministry-driven
service. God was not looking at what I did for Him but who I became to Him
in love. The issue in His heart was not whether I pastored but whether
I loved Him. To love the Lord in whatever station I found myself—even
as a television repairman—this I could do!

A deep and remarkable transformation
occurred in me. My identity was no longer in being a pastor but in
becoming a true lover of God. Amazingly, a few days after having
settled my priorities, I was invited to pastor a church in Marion, Iowa. 

In spite of all my previous anxiety about returning to
ministry, I did not jump at the opportunity because I had learned what
the Lord truly desired of me. Though I eventually accepted this call,
my focus was not merely on leading a church but on loving God.

God seeks our love before our ministry.
His greatest commandment is that we love Him with all our mind, heart,
soul and strength. If we do, we will fulfill all He requires of us (see
John 14:15). It is as we love Him that He causes all things to work
together for our good (see Rom. 8:28).

Beloved, loving God is not hard. We can
fulfill any assignment—auto mechanic or housewife, doctor or college
student—and still give great pleasure to our heavenly Father. We do not
need ministry titles to love the Lord. Indeed, God measures the value
of our lives by the depth of our love. This is what He requires of all
true God-seekers: to love Him where we are.


 

Francis Frangipane retired in June as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after more than 25 years. Visit him online at frangipane.org. He is the author of numerous books, including And I Will Be Found By You (Arrow Publications), from which this article is adapted. To order the book, call 877-363-6889.


BIBLICALLY CONTENT

Meditating on the Bible is one way to find God’s peace and contentment. For helpful verses, go to content.charismamag.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

America stands in a crucial moment, much like the moment where Elijah made Israel choose between Baal and Jehovah. Elijah said to the people, "How long do you halt between two opinions? If Baal is God..." That's according to Evangelist Mario Murillo, whose ministry...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important...
10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Roaring Heart Podcast with Anthony Hart

The Roaring Heart Podcast with Anthony Hart

The Roaring Heart Podcast With Anthony Hart The Roaring Heart Podcast is a prophetic podcast reflecting the heart of the Holy Spirit in people. It’s a unique mix of interviews, prophetic declarations, prayers, heartfelt monologues, spoken word excerpts, and soaking...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]