The very word incites a mixture of feelings, emotions, and uncertainty. Nobody welcomes a crisis – do they? I mean, who invites or looks forward to a crisis of any sort?
Consider the definition: “any event that is intended or expected to be, an unstable or dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or a whole society.” Furthermore, it states: “Crises (pl) are deemed to be negative changes in the security or stability of political, societal, or environmental affairs, especially when they occur abruptly, or with little or no warning” (ref. wikipedia.com).
For the purpose of what we are talking about here in this blog, we are interested in spiritual crisis, or crises, which certainly do exist and happen. A baseline understanding of the Word of God and the records and accounts therein show and demonstrate that faith, the faith of those that have gone before us and our faith today, in the here and now, will confront crisis. In fact, no one is excluded and no one gets a “crisis-free” pass in this life. That is true for individuals, groups, communities, and entire societies.
There are spiritual crises that we will face. Some are frequent, others are once in a lifetime. Others are more individually based while some test families, communities, regions, and nations. Sure, there are preventive measures that we can take to help head off certain crises ~ but the facts remain that there are many that we can neither see nor prepare for. Denial, rejection, or ignorance does nothing to help alleviate the reality that they occur. God allows crises to come into our life for a specific reason or purpose, and we do Him an injustice when we fail to do two very important things: (1) Draw closer and closer to Him; and (2) Learn something from the crisis itself.
Consider what Oswald Chambers wrote about crisis some 110 years ago now:
We presume that we would be ready for battle if confronted with a great crisis, but it is not the crisis that builds something within us— it simply reveals what we are made of already. Do you find yourself saying, “If God calls me to battle, of course I will rise to the occasion?” If you are not doing the task that is closest to you now, which God has engineered into your life, when the crisis comes, instead of being fit for battle, you will be revealed as being unfit. Crises always reveal a person’s true character. Are you saying, “But I can’t be expected to live a sanctified life in my present circumstances; I have no time for prayer or Bible study right now; besides, my opportunity for battle hasn’t come yet, but when it does, of course I will be ready”? No, you will not. If you have not been worshiping in everyday occasions, when you get involved in God’s work, you will not only be useless yourself but also a hindrance to those around you. (My Utmost for His Highest, September 10).
You might say, or ask: What does that mean? Here is what I get from it: We must be ready, spiritually, for the crises that will come; ones we cannot see in the here and now. And we do this by truly worshiping God in our everyday lives, leaning on and learning from God, and abiding in His power and presence moment by moment. Exercising basic Christian disciplines prepares us for the crisis ~ so that are are rightly related to God in the present. Is the Holy Spirit the active presence in us, today? If not, let us by all means yield to Him right now and give Him full access.
Crisis will come and they will bring challenges with them. So let’s be ready! With God’s direction and help ~ which comes through worship and sincere community with Him ~ we can be.
Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world! (1 John 4:4)