Monday, November 12, 2012

Yes. [No]. Wait.

We’ve all heard the saying, that God either tells you, “yes, no, or wait” in response to the things we’ve been praying for.  Now if you’re like me, you get less excited when the answer turns out to be anything other than “yes.” Lol  ESPECIALLY if it’s a “no.”  I mean think about it, if you’ve been praying about something and God says yes, meaning He opened a door and made provisions to that specific prayer…then you know what to do next:  SHOUT!!! Lol.  In the same regards, if you’ve been praying about something and God’s answer is wait, meaning He hasn’t made it completely clear to you on the next step…then you know what to do next: you wait. (Y’all thought I was going to say something deep there didn’t you? Lol). So we know what our action items are when God says yes and wait, but here’s my million dollar question: What do we do when He tells us no? “No” meaning, nothing you seem to be doing regarding that prayer seems to be working.  “No” meaning, you’ve pretended like God hasn’t already made it clear to you that His answer is NO and you’ve told yourself you’re in the “waiting stage.” No basically meaning, NO.  C’mon you get the point lol.

Time to be a little transparent….yes, I’ve fallen victim to placing myself in the “waiting” column when I was in denial about an answer God had already given me.  It’s funny how we think we can change God’s minds on things.  I remember praying to God about a particular guy situation a while back and asking Him to make it clear to me what I should do.  So I prayed and I waited, prayed and I waited, prayed and I waited.  But here’s the thing….the whole time I was “waiting” God was making it beyond clear to me that His answer was no for the relationship.  That’s not the answer I wanted to receive so I actually convinced myself that He didn’t say no, He was just using all of the MILLIONS of red flags to say wait, it will get better.  No my friend, this in fact is NOT how God operates.  When God wants you to move or not move, He will make it plain to you either through His word or through another believer….and we know when God is making something plain to us.  Amen somebody.  
"God is a very specific God, He's too great to give you a general non-descriptive answer...and when something is for you, it will undoubtedly be for YOU."
Now allow me to interrupt your thoughts if I could, because I feel like someone just read that “through another believer” part and got real excited because your best friend told you that God told them you were going to be famous one day in be in front of millions of people.  Now that sounds real good, but the truth of the matter is your friend and any other believer for that matter will always be confirming what God already told you through His word and will be specific to what God has already laid on your heart.  Meaning….your friend won’t be telling you something that God didn’t already tell you. So stop allowing people to come up to you after church and whisper vague and generic blessings in your ear.  God is a very specific God, He’s too great to give you a general non-descriptive answer…and when something is for you, it will undoubtedly be for YOU. I’ve had to remind myself of this quite a few times after I realized “prophecies” that I was allowing other people to speak over me were NOT being fulfilled.
"Eating fruit out of its season is poisonous"
So now that we’ve finally come out of denial to what God is saying, it still leaves us with the question, “now what?” What do I do after God tells me “no”?  Well first before we can really ask that question we have to realize that God never just says, “no.”  He never leaves us hanging out in the open without any resources or direction on where to go next.  Notice, I didn’t mention that He gives us an explanation to the “no.”  God doesn’t always reveal the “why” to us.  In fact, out of all of my quiet time dates we’ve had or the long talks I’ve had with Him in my car and even the low points in my life where I’ve cried out to Him has He ever shared the answers to every question on my test of life with me.  Why? Because it’s not about “why” He said no…it’s about us trusting that He has our best interest at heart and whatever it is that HE has is better. You’re asking for [this] and He wants to give you [THIS]. Yeah that initial “no” may sting a little (or a lot) but I think we can all agree that we want the better God has for us. 
So having said all of that….here’s where it might get a little tricky.  This may sound cliché’ but I also don’t think “no” necessarily means never.  What you’re praying for may in fact be something that God wants for your life….it’s just not for you at that time.  You might ask what’s the difference between “not the right time” and God telling you to “wait?” Well, waiting to me is God saying, “I have what you’ve been praying for but I’m still setting it up, I’m still putting some finishing touches on it.”  Meaning it’s within your possession but it’s being delayed until God finishes working everything out.  Now, “not for you at that time” means it’s going to be given to you….but it could be in a completely different season in your life in a completely different way then what you prayed for….ultimately resulting in “no” for right now.  Either way, if God is giving you the red light whether it be a permanent “no” or a temporary “no” it should no longer be your focus.  A good friend once told me, “eating fruit out of its season is poisonous.”  When we’re requesting something from God, we always have to have the mindset that He honors our request according to His will.  So that means we may not get everything we pray for or when we pray for it….but it does mean God will give us the very best possible thing instead.  Now that’s a win-win situation isn’t it?
So to answer the question, “what do I do when God says no?” It’s simple, accept His answer and pray for redirection. The Bible tells us in Psalm 37:4 to “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  When you redirect your focus back on Christ, you’ll find you get more and more of your hearts desires….because it will be HIM putting the right things in your heart to desire.  So be thankful for God's "no" it just means, He loves you too much to let you have your own way.


Bible Study
*For more information on this topic, check out the following scriptures:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What's Been On Your Mind?

“It starts with a thought.  A thought is planted in your mind and then once it takes up residence in your mind, it then forms into an emotion.  Once it becomes an emotion, it then begins to travel throughout your body and eventually this emotion turns into an action.  Once you begin to continually perform this action, it then forms into a habit.  Once a habit is formed, it’s ultimately destined to turn into a behavior.  The behavior, which formed from the habit, came out of the continual action, and the action which was provoked by the emotion, all originally formed from…..the thought.”Bishop Keith W. Reed

It’s crazy what can happen just from a single thought.  The mind truly is a powerful thing, and if we’re not careful with our thoughts we could end up doing a lot of damage in our lives.  A lot of things that weigh heavy on our hearts stem from a single thought.  Worry, doubt, fear, anger, confusion, disappointment…..the list goes on and on.  Ultimately these things come because there’s some type of disconnect between what WE think to be true and what the Word of God SAYS to be true.  Here’s a helpful hint that will probably help in almost every situation we face: EVERYTHING ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT IT APPEARS TO BE. If I could be real, the #1 mistake I make in almost every area of my life is I get a TINY glimpse at what God is doing in my life and then I hit the ground running with it!  I’m laughing as I write this because I can be so silly sometimes.  When I went through a rough patch with my previous job I prayed for God to open a door faithfully every single day for like 5 months straight.  (Now you might be like, “5 months…that’s it!?” but when you’re in a tight spot for even a week it could feel like an eternity).  I prayed this for 5 months and it seemed like God went ghost. 

“I’ve learned we have to test our thoughts.  Question where they came from.”

So one day I received a text from a friend out the clear blue sky who asked me if I would be interested in a communications position at his friend’s company.  He knew that was my major in college and decided he’d ask me if I was interested.  I thought, “WOW! I didn’t even tell him I was looking! This MUST be God!”  Now here is where a lot of us go wrong.  In a matter of seconds, the thought of getting this new position began to build up an emotion which then led me to start trying to figure out how I was going to tell my boss I was leaving and to figuring out how I was going to pack up everything off my desk and of course trying to calculate what my new salary would be….ALL BEFORE I EVEN APPLIED FOR THE POSITION!  Can we say psy-cho! Lol  All of this happened because of something I thought was for me.  Which it turned out… wasn’t.  In fact the same situation occurred several times again before I finally surrendered and said, “Lord, where is it You want me to be?”  I’ve learned we have to test our thoughts.  Question where they came from.  Was it something we desired for us, or was it something God desired for us.  We can’t just jump on the first thing we see just because it looks like it fits the description we’ve been praying for.  Amen somebody. 

“I found that He’s not as concerned with changing our situation as much as He’s concerned with changing us.”

I later learned that after a bunch of failed attempts and dead-ends that God wasn’t even asking me to apply to any of those jobs in the first place.  It wasn’t until I prayed that prayer and asked God where did He want me to be that I found out He wanted me to stay exactly where I was.  There are some things that God can only teach us in our tight places.  I found that He’s not as concerned with changing our situation as much as He’s concerned with changing us. My job was such a greater lesson than getting a new position.  During that tough waiting season, I learned to adjust my thinking.  Each time doubt, fear, worry and frustration begin to kick in…I began to turn those thoughts over to God.  I began to meditate on scripture instead of meditating on my own thoughts.  When we get our thoughts in alignment with God’s word we find that there’s less and less room for those type of emotions to dwell in your heart. 
All of our thoughts don’t always come from God or even ourselves, some of our thoughts are planted by the enemy.  He wants you to feel worry, confusion, disappointment and doubt.  That is why it is vital to measure what we’re thinking to what is in the Word.  Our thoughts can consume us and give us a false hope of reality but the Word of God makes everything plain.  Take a moment to give that “thing” that’s been on your mind the heaviest lately.  Ask yourself is what I’m thinking about drawing me closer to God or further from God? Get in the habit of testing your thoughts and whatever is not making sense, wait on God to make it clear to you.  It’s not God’s will for you to become dependent on what you think, His ultimate goal is for us to become dependent on Him.  Don't allow your thoughts to form the behavior of someone who always worries, doubts, and is fearful.  Instead of constantly dwelling on every little thought that hits your mind, attempt to keep your mind stayed on Him and in return He promises to give you perfect peace on each and every situation. 


Bible Study
*For more on this subject check out the following scriptures:
Hebrews 4:12
Philippians 4:6-9
Psalm 26:2-3
Psalm 139:23-24
Isaiah 26:3