Wednesday, October 18, 2017
"On Fire": (VIDEO) Don't Rely on 'Signs' so Much as God's DIRECTIVES
"My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones."---Proverbs 3:1-8(NLT)
I don't think I *ever* anticipated that my post "Will God Flat-out Tell You Who Your Husband Is?" would get so much traction. But almost two years later, the emails keep rolling in!
As I've been praying for the women who've been writing me, there are two things that I feel led (Luke 12:12) to share on a corporate level; especially after watching a video on signs that a married couple received about them knowing they were "the one" for each other:
I always adore when two virgins are joined! I also really like that the husband said his wife was his first kiss too. Beautiful.
And listen, as far as the wife sharing signs that her husband was the one? First, *every love story is unique* because, as Psalm 33:15 tells us, "He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works." Personally, my mother calls me her "signs and wonders child" because I know *for a fact* that God speaks in signs (Daniel 4:2-3)!
Yet there are two things I want to say as it relates to looking for signs and being...overly-dependent on them.
I remember once reading a very interesting piece that Andrew Wommack wrote on miracles. I know a lot of people who pray for those and something he said in particular about them had me be like "Whoa":
There are three important reasons for receiving from God through blessings rather than miracles. First, blessings prevent crises, while miracles deliver from crises. Second, a blessing is always a more abundant supply than a miracle. And third, miracles are a temporary fix, while blessings are permanent solutions. Therefore, if you’re living from miracle to miracle, it probably means you’re living from crisis to crisis.
Hmm...definitely something to consider next time you ask God to perform a miracle in your life!
Along these same lines, think about why we look for signs from God. It's usually to confirm something, right? Here's the thing, though. If we trusted God as much as we should, would we rely on signs so much?
I remember one of the last times I asked God for a sign concerning something that he had honestly already provided me *years worth* of signs about. He clearly said to me "Shellie, this is it" meaning, "We're basically done with the signs portion of the program. Walk by faith not by sight." "Sight" in the form of always looking for signs on this particular topic (2 Corinthians 5:7). I'll keep what went down to myself (it's OK to have some secrets between you and the Lord; that's how intimacy is cultivated--Psalm 139); however, I will say that the sign was pretty...indisputable.
Nothing earth-shattering has happened since, yet that's kind of the point. It's important to get to a place where taking God at his Word/word is enough. The Classic Amplified Version of Proverbs 3 tells us to seek God's will in all that we do. The New King James Version tells us to trust him with all of our heart.
When we do both of these things, he is able to *direct* us.
Direct: to manage or guide by advice, helpful information, instruction, etc.; to regulate the course of; control; to administer; manage; supervise; to give authoritative instructions to; command; order or ordain; to guide, tell, or show (a person) the way to a place; to point, aim, or send toward a place or object
Walking by faith isn't about moving if you get a sign...
Walking by faith is trusting in the One who provides signs---even if you *don't* get one.
Because signs or not? Here's what you can be certain about with the Lord:
"As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect."---Psalm 18:30-32(NKJV)
If you know that God will make your way perfect...
If you really and truly believe that (do you?)...
Why do you need a *sign*?
Just trust his *Word*.
AND FOLLOW HIS DIRECTIVES; HIS COMMANDS (Psalm 37:23).
Because here's the thing...
Whether we realize it---or want to admit it---when we become too reliant on signs, we're basically asking God to *prove himself* to us. That's...a bit much. God doesn't *owe* us anything; *especially* a mate! If he has one for us, it is a gift (James 1:17) and gift givers can bless others...whenever they want to.
Again, there's nothing wrong with signs...
God used/uses them often...
Just focus on doing what he says, as he says it, more than anything else.
Obedience requires faith more than signs (Mark 11:22)...
And it's placing faith in God that pleases him (Hebrews 11:6, Luke 11:11-13)!
One more thing about signs...
It's important to ALWAYS keep this Scripture close and in its proper perspective:
"But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."---James 1:14-15(NKJV)
This one too:
"But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated."---I Corinthians 2:14(AMPC)
Another thing to keep in mind about signs is not to *lust* them...
What I mean by that is there are signs from God and then there are things that cause us to create "phantom pregnancy signs" because our desires have turned into idols. We want something *so badly* that we *make* things seem real when they...aren't.
That's basically what a phantom (false) pregnancy is:
False pregnancy, clinically termed pseudocyesis, is the belief that you are expecting a baby when you are not really carrying a child. People with pseudocyesis have many, if not all, symptoms of pregnancy -- with the exception of an actual fetus. Some men experience a related phenomenon known as couvade, or sympathetic pregnancy. They will develop many of the same symptoms as their pregnant partners, including weight gain, nausea, and backache.
Only recently have doctors begun to understand the psychological and physical issues that are at the root of pseudocyesis. Although the exact causes still aren't known, doctors suspect that psychological factors may trick the body into "thinking" that it's pregnant.
When a woman feels an intense desire to get pregnant, which may be because of infertility, repeat miscarriages, impending menopause, or a desire to get married, her body may produce some pregnancy signs (such as a swollen belly, enlarged breasts, and even the sensation of fetal movement). The woman's brain then misinterprets those signals as pregnancy, and triggers the release of hormones (such as estrogen and prolactin) that lead to actual pregnancy symptoms.
You think this only happens with pregnancies? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Yes, we serve a God who can do the impossible...*as it relates to things that are in accordance with his will* (I John 5:14-15). Yet when all we care about is what *we* want, that can cause us to throw common sense (something that God is a wealth of---Proverbs 2---Message) and reality (something that God deals in---Ecclesiastes 7:18--Message) totally out of the window! We'll want something to happen *so badly* that we will conjure up signs in our minds that aren't God; they're *all* us and remember, Jeremiah 17:9-10 tells us that our hearts---the center of our emotions---tend to be deceptive (maybe a little Satan too; he does like to lie and deceive, after all!---John 8:44, 2 Corinthians 11:14).
How can you know the difference?
That's a blog-that's-more-like-a-book all on its own! I will say this for starters, though. Romans 14:17(AMPC) tells us that the kingdom of God is "...righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." This means that *when something is of the Lord, it will not compromise moral living, it will bring you peace and yes, even some joy*!
When it's you? Usually there is anxiety that sets in; that's not good:
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."---Philippians 4:6-7(AMPC)
If you've been asking for signs concerning your future husband, I pray this gives you some clarity. I also hope that the focus will start to shift a bit from "Lord, show me a sign" to "Lord, help me to do just what you say. Sign or no sign."
Psalm 84:11 tells us that God withholds *no* good thing...
If something or one is in line with God's will for our lives...
Look to God for instructions/commands/orders---*then obey them*.
If you do that, there'll be less of a need for...signs.
I promise you that.
His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...