God wants us to be mature, complete, walking by faith, and stepping into big things. The only way to step into the big things is to allow God to stretch you in the little things.
Being stretched spiritually by our heavenly Father is not fun, but it is completely right. Feeling like that rubber band, being pulled in both directions, can be a very uncomfortable place in our lives. One thing about God though is that when He is the One doing the stretching, it is only for our good. He’s not going to put us so hard that we are damaged. He stretches out of one form into another. Like when a child is growing into their adult body. It is painful to have growing pains, but if our bones do not grow it is unhealthy. The same is true with us as Christians. We cannot get to a comfortable place as a child of God, and remain there for the rest of our lives. We can deceive ourselves into thinking that we are grown-ups in God, but the reality our actions reveal how immature we are spiritually. No, we must allow those growing pains, those stretchings to take place, because we are becoming something powerful in God. We cannot be used in the way God intends, if we refuse to grow up spiritually.
Another reason why God stretches us is to reveal who we really are, and how much we need to change. That is called the depth of revival, when we are confronted in hard times with the reality of who we really are. We can’t go to the next level, or have the height of revival (signs, wonders, miracles, visitations of God) without the depth of revival. It is usually not very pretty, and it puts us in a crisis. We have a choice to make, we can run to God, and ask Him to change us, or we can pretend that we don’t see these things. One is a good choice; the other is a dangerous choice. Usually people, who refuse to deal with things God is bringing up, are putting themselves spiritually in a dangerous position. When stretching’s come, trials and tests, or pressure that was designed to refine us and we refuse to change. We are allowing hardness to come upon our hearts, and we get a ‘stiff neck’ of unbelief. We’re not growing, we’re not changing, we’re not responding by faith, and we are getting more comfortable with the spirit of the World. That is very dangerous, because we are positioning ourselves to be picked off by the enemy. He looks for people like that, and goes on the attack. He uses offense, isolation, voices, depression, deception, and looks to pull us out of the Kingdom of God. So we must be on our guard, and not allow hardness to come upon our hearts.
It is so important as Christians that we stay connected to Jesus, and be responders. When that Word of God is being preached, we should be listening with our spiritual ears, and responding immediately to that Word. We should be allowing that Word to work on our minds, transforming us into a new person. We should allow God to stretch us, so that He can remove those things from our lives that hinder us from knowing Him better.
When we’re stretched, and we see the worse of us, that is the time to run harder after God. Saying, “oh I’ll just take a break from church, “ or “I give up” is the worse response we could do. That’s what the enemy wants us to do, kick ourselves out of the race. He doesn’t even have to work; we’re doing the job for him. What we don’t know is that God has the power to bring change in our lives, and He has compassion on us. He wants to bring change in our lives, and set us free. God is like a refiner, and we are like gold. We are not pure gold yet, we have a lot of impurities in our lives. So God puts on the heat, so that the deep things can come to the surface. Then when we see things, we cry out to Him, and He is faithful to remove those things from our lives.
When the season of being stretched is over, you should be purer, happier, stronger, safer, more stable, closer to God, at a higher level, greater authority, greater anointing, and deeper faith. These things do not come during passive times in our lives, they come when we’re under pressure, and being stretched. It’s really about how we respond during these times of stretching. The right response is to allow it to happen, and cling to God. Like a storm, it will come, and it will go. Will you be stranding stronger when it’s over, or will you crumble? Will you refuse to change, and refuse to respond? Or will you open your heart to allow God to do surgery on your soul, and set you free? Will you admit that you see what God sees, and allow him to purify your heart? It’s all about how you respond, and you don’t have to be a perfect person. You just need to be a person who is willing to change, and allow God to work on your life. If you choose to be stretched, you will thank yourself later down the road. When God opens doors for you to do BIG things, you’ll have the character and the maturity to handle it. Plus, you can contain much for others.
So today, I would recommend that you read James 1, and plan on choosing to respond to the stretching. Remember, God wants us to be mature, complete, walking by faith, and stepping into big things. The only way to step into the big things is to allow God to stretch you in the little things.