Five Principles To Guide Us As We Wait For God’s Plan to Unfold
The Harvest Magazine Contributor
I recently reached out to a godly, wise, down-to-earth, married woman at my church a few weeks ago. This woman is a ministry leader and is well-known as a woman of integrity, mature faith and someone who accurately prophesies the word of God. I had an encounter with the Lord, or so I think, and I’ve been wondering if I really heard from Him or if it was the spirit of deception because very little of what I heard has come true. In reality, it looks like things are headed in the “that was so not God” direction instead of lining up with the words that I heard.
So, I thought since this woman at church seemed like a reliable source, I would run it by her. I did not feel led to run all of the details of it by her because I didn’t have enough time nor was it necessary for me to give the full story given the instructions I believe God gave me. Instead, I gave her a quick summary of the dialogue. It went something like this…
“I was dating a guy, I noticed as time went on that things didn’t seem to be progressing. I brought it to his attention and after dating for over a year, he decided to take this opportunity to change his focus on some other things that needed attention. I had some crying sessions with the Lord and in my quiet time with him, I think He told me that he was going to bring him back to me but it’s been seven months, they guy has obviously moved on in life and now I’m wondering if what I heard was from the Lord.”
The woman listened carefully and attentively and did not ask me one question. She said a few things that I want to share with all of you about how to handle any “word” from the Lord.
Here are 5 principles we can use to guide us as we wait to see how God’s plan for us will unfold:
- What we see in the flesh is often different from what’s in the spirit – She encouraged me to not base the truth on what I was seeing with my natural eyes. She told me of a story about God telling her she was going to be promoted in a position. She said it looked hopeless and unlikely that this was going to happen for several reasons. She shared that another person was in line to receive this promotion and others were thinking she would be placed in this position as well but some time went by and she was placed in the position God told her she would be in. She said now the very people who said a woman would never hold this position are calling her by her new title today. To her natural eyes, it looked hopeless but God was doing His work in the spirit realm and His promise was fulfilled just as He said.
- Ask God for wisdom, discernment and to confirm His Word by 2 or 3 people – She said God will confirm His Word to me and will give me wisdom and discernment that is needed to stand on His promise. She warned me to be careful of satan coming to discourage me and make me think that I didn’t hear from God. She said to guard my heart from His strategies and if the promise is mine, nothing and nobody can thwart His plan.
She used an example using her experience in a relay race when she was in school. She was taught to hold on to the baton tight enough to keep a hold of it but loose enough to pass it to her teammate. She said be willing to let it go if it’s not God. He will give you the wisdom and discernment to know whether or not the “word” was from Him.
- Stand on what you believe God said – This has been the hardest part because the circumstances look bleak. I’m at the point now that I want to throw in the towel because it is evident, at least in my mind, that someone other than God was talking that day. But the problem is, denying that it was God bothers me as much as looking at the bleak circumstances.
This seasoned and experienced woman reminded me that God loves me, He knows my desire to get married and have a family, and He will prepare me for what He has for me. She shared that He is building spiritual muscles in me for situations that have yet to come.
- It’s all about timing – I shared with her that I read the story of Hannah recently and it encouraged me to not give up on what my heart desired. She said, “The story of Hannah was all about timing. God’s delay was all about when Samuel was supposed to be born in order to do the things that God wanted Him to do for the people He destined for Him to reach.” In I Samuel 1, Hannah, a barren woman, cried out to the Lord day by day, asking Him for a son. Once she told the Lord that she would give her son back to Him if He blessed her to give birth, after Eli the Priest met her and told her that God had answered her prayer, and she and her husband had relations, “in the process of time,” Hannah gave birth to a baby boy. It was all about God’s timing, not Hannah’s timing. God heard her and had already planned to bless her. Not on her terms but His.
- Take steps of faith – This woman admonished me to take steps of faith according to what I believed God said. She encouraged me to go get “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian and begin to pray over my husband. She said you don’t have to know his name, just pray for him. She explained that she has counseled several women who took this advice and they are married today.
No matter the outcome, these principles are golden nuggets that can be used in any situation.
Ironically, she left me with my life verse – Proverbs 3:5&6 NKJV, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
I don’t know how this story is going to end. What I do know is the Person at the end of the story – Jesus. He was at the beginning and He will, no doubt, be at the end – Alpha and Omega. I know that He is faithful to me and to His Word. I can trust Him completely. He is not a God that He will lie and He loves me very much. He has my very best interest in mind.
And He has your best in mind as well. He will never leave you nor forsake you and He cannot stop loving you. If you love Him and are called according to His purpose, the Bible promises that He will make all things work out for your good (Romans 8:28).
So, did you and I really hear from God? Well, we will wait and see.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27: 13-14 NKJV