God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
In Psalms 34:19-22, the Lord promises to deliver the righteous from the many afflictions they will face.
God doesn’t lie or joke about intervening in situations on our behalf.
We can literally take Him at His word when He says He will move mountains, open doors no man can shut, make a way where there seems to be none, cause men to favor us, avenge us, deliver us from harm, and prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies.
What’s interesting, though, is how He intervenes through strange ways.
Before God intervenes in a situation:
1. There’s always a dead end or impossibility
When Pharaoh let the Israelites go, God told Moses to lead them to encamp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. When Pharaoh saw them there, he’d think they were wandering around confused in the desert (Exodus 14:1-2). Moses’ instruction must have equally taken aback the Israelites. Because when Pharaoh pursued them and drew near to them at the sea, they panicked because it seemed like they had reached a dead end.
In Joshua 6, God told Joshua that He had given them the city of Jericho, its king and mighty men of valor- but in reality, it was securely shut up because of the Israelites. It appeared there was no way the children of Israel could access this fortified city to conquer it. They must have thought that the Lord’s promise in Deuteronomy 6:11 to bring them into the land He swore to their fathers- a land with large, flourishing cities they did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things they did not provide, etc. –was a pipe dream.
In John 11, Lazarus, whom Jesus loved, was sick. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sought Jesus’ intervention. Instead, Jesus stayed two more days where He was, and Lazarus died. I’m sure his sisters were distraught and disappointed but had to come to terms with his death at his funeral.
In John 11:39, when Jesus told Martha to have the stone to Lazarus’ tomb rolled away, she didn’t quite understand His instruction. According to her, he’d be stinking since Lazarus had been dead for four days already.
2. He gives an ‘absurd’ Instruction
Just when the Israelites thought they were trapped in the wilderness and cornered by Pharaoh, the Lord gave Moses two ‘absurd’ instructions. The first one was to tell the Israelites to move on. The second one was for Moses to raise his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites could go through the sea on dry ground (Exodus 14: 15-16).
Although the city of Jericho was securely shut and appeared impenetrable, the Lord gave Joshua an ‘absurd’ 7-day strategy in Joshua 6:3-5. Imagine how the priests, army, and children of Israel must have been the butt of jokes as they marched silently around the wall of Jericho once for the first six days. The people of Jericho must have expected more from them than a ‘clown show’ - having heard of the mighty things the Lord had done for them.
Imagine the look of horror on Martha’s face when Jesus made an ‘absurd’ request that the stone to Lazarus’ tomb be rolled away. She must have been thinking about the embarrassment they were about to face due to the stench of his dead body. The whole of Bethany would have had a field day gossiping!
3. He watches to see if you will fully obey the ‘absurd’ instruction(s)
The Lord places high value on obedience more than any sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).
It wasn’t until Moses raised his staff and stretched out his hand over the sea to divide the water that the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land for the Israelites to cross over (Exodus 14:21).
On the seventh day, the Israelites marched around the city seven times per the Lord’s instruction. At the seventh time, the priests blew the trumpets and shouted at Joshua’s command. Only then did the wall of Jericho fall down flat, and the Israelites went up into the city and took it (Joshua 6:15-20).
It was only after the stone was rolled away from Lazarus’ grave that Jesus confirmed that the Lord heard His groaning in the spirit (which no one was aware of) and called to Lazarus to come forth, and he was resurrected from the dead (John 11:41)
4. He requires your faith
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
To see the glory of God, you need to have faith in Him. Your faith must precede any move of God’s hand. In John 11:40, Jesus told Martha about Lazarus, who was dead, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
In Exodus 14: 13, when the Israelites were at their wits’ end, Moses told them not to be afraid. Instead, they were to stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord. They would never see the Egyptians again because the Lord would fight for them, BUT they needed to be still.
In Joshua 6:16, after the Israelites had marched for the seventh time around the wall of Jericho and the priests blew the trumpets, they obeyed Joshua’s instruction and shouted with a great shout because the Lord had given them the city.
Imagine if the Israelites didn’t trust the Lord to obey the instruction He gave through Moses for them to move forward despite being surrounded by so much water.
Or if they kept quiet even after the Lord assured them through Joshua that He had given them Jericho.
What if Martha, as disappointed as she was, refused to allow the stone from Lazarus’ grave to be rolled away to avoid embarrassment?
Some of the greatest miracles we read of in the Bible would not have been recorded.
For you to experience the kingdom life on earth, go to deeper dimensions with God, step into your new season, see the manifestation of that prophetic word or promise, walk through that open door, meet your destiny helpers, fulfill your assignment with great power, see that mountain move it will take two to tango.
Set your pride, expectations, and need to know the fine print aside and obey the ‘absurd’ instructions God has given you.
Understand that having faith and trusting God means that you are effectively saying yes to His strange ways, which you will never fully comprehend.
God’s strange ways are heaven’s technology for delivering His glorious signs, wonders, and miracles.