It was December and the rules of the contest were if you completed your year-long goal, you had a chance at winning the money. I got an e-mail the night before and I was a little nervous: “Were you able to complete your goal?” (They remembered me. That’s a good sign, right?) I shot back: “Yes, I did.” The next day was the meeting and when they came to the contest part I was piqued.
But as hard as I had tried to see a positive picture of me winning, it just wasn’t happening. As the negative thoughts kept popping up, I’d force them away and I quoted victory scriptures instead. The announcer came up, “Okay, we have two people who completed the challenge. The winner gets $40 and free meetings all year long. “Oh good, only two of us.” When she drew the name out, it wasn’t mine! “OH NO! What happened?!”
All that positive praying and I just couldn’t make the outcome be what I wanted. The truth is, I really knew it in my heart but I just didn’t want to believe it. In this minor experience I was reminded of a much larger truth.
Sometimes the Lord’s messages to us are going to be negative and not what we want to hear. Instead of trying to force the positive result with scriptures, if they aren’t doing anything, then we need to stop pushing and just ask the Lord, “What’s going on?” He expects us to have that kind of relationship with Him. I was trying to muscle through with my own will, but it wasn’t to be. Next time this happens I’m going to be more sensitive to the situation and just ask, and save myself some grief!
My incident was small, but Ezekiel tells of a much graver situation. The prophets weren’t liking the messages God was giving about war coming. They decided to enforce their own will and preached peace instead. “Therefore the Lord God says: “I will destroy you for these ‘visions’ and lies. My hand shall be against you, and you shall be cut off from among the leaders of Israel; I will blot out your names, and you will never see your own country again. And you shall know I am the Lord. For these evil men deceive my people by saying, ‘God will send peace,’ when that is not my plan at all” (Ezekiel 13:8-10)!
When we pray about anything or anyone, we go for the best and that’s a good thing. But if in our spirit we sense it’s honestly not to be, let’s remember to stop and ask the Lord what’s up. He’ll let us know. Honest raw truth from God is better than even the slightest bit of “positive thinking” that is not true. The sooner we accept the “negative” message from the Lord, the sooner we can deal with it and move through it.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever” (Ps 23:4-6).
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