How do we go about discerning God in improprieties? How do we do this? Sometimes, in our bid to enforce what we think is right, we find ourselves fighting against God without knowing.
How is this possible? Let us consider some biblical examples.
Humanly speaking, it was not proper for Joseph, who was the acclaimed favoured son of his father, to tell his brothers about his dreams where they were all subject to him. That means they were not just inferior to him at the physical level, they were also secondary to him at the ethereal realm. Why wouldn’t such men resent and resist him? To them, it was not fit that their young sibling should be their head. It was not proper, yet that was the plan of God; and in resisting that, they were not writing themselves in His good book.
In the same vein, it was not proper for one ordinary carpenter to rise up one day and claim to be the Son of God and be preaching doctrines that were at variance with the popular teachings of the religious leaders of the day. The Pharisees, Sadducees and teachers of the law were greatly irked by the ways and professions of Jesus Christ. And they would stop at nothing to ensure that He was eliminated from the surface of the earth. They did what they considered the proper thing in their eyes, antagonising Him at every given opportunity and seeing Him off to a painful death. Yet, by so doing, they would not get the approving nod of God.
It was not proper for Stephen to say that he saw God and Jesus seated on the throne (who has ever seen God and lived?) and not expect them to stone him to death. So, by making such bold proclamation, the most proper thing to do was to rush him to a violent death. And that was exactly what the audience did. Yet, in enforcing that propriety, they all stained their hands with the blood of an innocent man.
It was improper for some people to claim to be of The Way (Christians) and be practising a religion contrary to Judaism, why wouldn’t someone as fervent as Paul persecute them to death? Paul enthusiastically took up the cause of eliminating all disciples of Jesus from the surface of the earth. Yet, in so doing, he was not fighting the cause of God; he was only – ignorantly – kicking against the pricks.
Similarly, it was improper for Pharaoh, a pagan king, to rise one day and claim God asked him to go fight a battle. God, talking to a pagan king? That was the height of impropriety. So, Josiah was young, he was king and God used him mightily; so he would not have any of it that Pharaoh was fighting the cause of God. He resisted him and he met his death at age 39 while trying to stop Pharaoh.
Therefore, discerning God in improprieties demands a great level of spiritual sensitivity. It takes discernment to identify the God factor in any situation and to then act or be positioned appropriately. Of all the foolish things a man can do, running on a collision course with God –knowingly or unknowingly – is one of the most dangerous. The result is usually not desirable.
Also, read “Why did God put me here?”