Here are 4 signs that God is saying, “Just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean I’m not working.”
1. If God Has Called You into a Season of Passionate Prayers, Oftentimes You Won’t Feel the Huge Breakthrough God Is Actually Creating Behind the Scenes
We all want our prayers to result in explosive change as soon as we utter them. But so often, our prayers seem to go unanswered. We have to remember, however, that there’s more than meets the eye. There is truly a spiritual realm that we are not fully aware of right now.
For example, in Daniel 10, he was motivated to fast and pray diligently for three weeks. On the outside, it appeared to Daniel that nothing was happening. But when the angel finally answers him, Daniel is told that his prayer was actually heard immediately but there was a great battle in the spiritual realm that needed to take place before Daniel could receive his answer.
I’m not saying this exact thing will happen to us like it did to Daniel. But clearly this an example of how God can be working behind the scenes as soon as we pray but we may not feel the weight of what is happening in the spiritual realm.
Even if you don’t feel like your prayers are accomplishing anything, never underestimate what God could be doing. As 2 Corinthians 1:10-11 states:
He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
2. If God Is Causing You to Take Little Steps Every Day in the Right Direction, Oftentimes You Won’t Even Feel the Massive Changes that Are Actually Happening
When you are raising a child, it’s impossible to notice how quickly they are actually growing. My son is 8 and my daughter is 6. I see them every day and I’ve never felt like they woke up one day taller than they were the night before when Bethany and I put them to bed. But if I look at some pictures from just a few months ago, the changes they’ve gone through are unmistakable.
This is how it is with our own selves as well. We all crave that spiritual breakthrough that strikes like a bolt of lightning. But far more often than a sudden change is the type of massive growth that occurs because of little steps taken every day. If you look at yourself from yesterday, you won’t feel like anything is happening. But if you zoom out farther, you will see that your feelings are deceiving you.
Little steps taken over long periods of time always result in huge leaps forward. Even if you don’t feel like God is doing anything significant in your life, stay faithful because he actually is. You just can’t see it because you are too close to the situation. As Galatians 6:9 states, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
3. When You Choose to Serve Others in Humble Ways, Never Underestimate How Much God Is Actually Accomplishing Even If You Don’t Feel It
It’s human nature to look at a famous pastor and think that this man is the one who is accomplishing great things for God. It’s so easy to look at someone with an expressive gift like the ability to lead corporate worship and to then imagine God is using that person more than he is using others. And it can be truly discouraging when you humble yourself to serve in a way that doesn’t seem to be appreciated by the people you are choosing to sacrifice for.
But humility is the soil in which God’s seeds grow the strongest. When we get to heaven and we are all judged for the good and bad that we’ve done (2 Corinthians 5:10), I’m convinced those who will receive the most praise will be people we’ve never heard about while we were on earth.
In Jesus’ parable about the talents, the two servants that the master was pleased with were told, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21, 23). They were not commended for being highly skilled, engaging leaders, or sophisticated men. They were commended for being “faithful” with the “little” in their role as a “servant.”
Even if you don’t feel like your humble service is accomplishing much for the kingdom of God, it is. Never forget that. As James 4:10 states, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
4. If You Are Making Earthly Sacrifices That Have Heavenly Rewards Promised in Scripture, This Is a Sign God Is Working Even If You Don’t Feel It
One of the hardest parts about being a Christian is that so much of our reward requires us to wait.
Yes, God certainly does bless us now with many good things on this earth. But ultimately, our greatest rewards are actually eternal and not earthly. And so this requires us to have faith to keep our eyes not on what is seen and felt but on what is unseen and will be felt fully in the future. As 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 states:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”