A few weeks ago, our church went through a major shift. We meet in a middle school auditorium and we’re just about to a point in our growth that we need to graduate from functioning as a church plant into an established church. Anyway, this post isn’t about that. This post is about something that God spoke right into my heart, nearly caused my brain to shut down for a minute just to process it, and then used the message my pastor preached that day to confirm that it was Him that said it.
A few years ago, before I met my husband, I dated a boy. We spent just over a year together and it was… a learning experience to say the least. I didn’t trust anyone, God even, and I was newly saved. But the Holy Spirit had a hold of my heart and God was speaking to me. One day, this boy and I had an argument and as I sat in my room alone and crying, God spoke right to my heart in the quiet and told me that if I would submit to that boy, he would “lead me well for the rest of my life.”
As a young woman and immature believer, I took that to mean that I was going to marry this boy, that we’d be together the rest of our lives. But then that never happened.
One fall day, we argued and that was it. It was over.
I wrestled with the Lord for weeks over what He’d told me that day just a few months earlier. Honestly, I even thought for a few days that it meant this boy would come back to me. But it wasn’t so. God spoke to me again and told me to trust Him, and I did. I eventually met my husband and the boy and I never reunited.
For years, I sat on what He’d told me about this boy, though. I trusted that maybe it was something I would never understand this side of heaven, that God had this incredibly confusing and hidden meaning behind it. Until one day a few weeks ago, as I was driving, the statement crossed my mind and I think I kind of huffed-and puffed about it, and even laughed like it was kind of funny. But like Sarah laughing at God’s promise that she would have children like He couldn’t possibly know what He was talking about, I’m not sure God thought it was so funny from me either.
He spoke right into my heart once again, as if to say, ‘Oh, no. Oh, no. I said exactly what I meant to say.’
What do you say to that, other than, ‘Okay?’ I’m not one to argue with God. But I do believe He gave me a moment of clarity and understanding I may not have been able to handle sooner than now. So let me share that with you:
God meant what He said. There was no hidden meaning or agenda or anything. Had I been willing and able to submit myself to that boy at that time, he would’ve been a great leader. Of that, I’m sure. BUT… At the time, I was not willing or able to do that. Had that boy met the me that I am now, with the understanding and convictions that I have now, we might have been an excellent couple. But he didn’t. He met the me I was then, and it’s because of my experiences with him that I am the way I am now. God used that all for my good. But He didn’t lie to me that day, or say anything cryptic. He literally meant to tell me that if I were able to submit my will to the will of another that this man would lead me well. But I wasn’t willing. And it didn’t work out.
Now, that’s not to say that it’s entirely my fault the relationship and that I messed up some divine plan God had for my life. If you’ve been following my blog at all in the past, you know I don’t believe in a concept of “the one.” I do believe God gives us free will to choose things, like our spouses, because He delights in our good choices and our willingness to submit ourselves ultimately to Him. Even if He has predestined and foreknown our whole lives before they were even conceived, I believe He delights in watching us choose them just the same.
It’s also not to say that I think or believe I should’ve been with this boy. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter much at all if I should or shouldn’t have at this point. I’m married. And being married to someone makes that someone “the one” if you want to call it that. I long for and have eyes for no one but the man I lay down to every night, and I am so grateful for the man I married. But this issue really isn’t about them. It’s just God saying what He means and meaning what He says.
So, I have this revelation now. That God meant it. He’s since delighted in the choices I’ve made, blessed and anointed my marriage to someone else even. But He meant what He said before, too. I shared this idea with a few people because it really shut down my brain for a minute. The concept of God’s sovereignty and our free will and His speaking directly into us and… everything; it was kind of like… whoa. So I shared this with a few trusted souls and a few agreed – this was crazy cool and sounds like God. But a few others, well, they disagreed.
This sent me back a few steps. Questioning God again, ‘Do I even hear from you? Or am I crazy?’
So this time, rather than speaking into my heart, He spoke through His own Wors and the voice of another: my pastor. As previously stated, my pastor was preaching a message on transition. He presented the story of Jesus telling the disciples that they were going to head over to the other side of the lake they were on.
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. (Luke 8:22 NIV)
Pastor has a good sense of humor and claims he looked this up in the Hebrew. He said something to the effect of: the Hebrew, when Jesus says ‘let’s go over to the other side,’ it directly translates to ‘let’s go over to the other side.’ Sometimes, Jesus taught in parables, but sometimes, He gave great direction that was pretty straightforward. He meant what He said and He said what He meant. Simple as that.
No hidden message. No cryptic meaning. Just direction.
The disciples were much more willing to follow direction than I was, apparently, because they did. I… well, I did not. Not until eventually, the boy and I broke up, and being stripped of that relationship, I was fully reliant upon God and His Word and eventually, learned the value of submitting to my husband.
See? God works all things for our good, as well as His glory. And even my disobedience was used for good because it eventually brought me back to Him, where He comforted me and shepherded me and ultimately, grew me. Making not only my life better, but revealing more of His own glory in it. Like John Piper says, “I am most satisfied when God is most glorified.” And that goes both ways, God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. There’s no other way around it, it’s a fool proof plan.
All that being said – I don’t know where you are in life. I don’t know where you are spiritually, but I can tell you these few things.
One, don’t assign meaning to God’s words that aren’t there. You may limit what He’s trying to do in your life. But also, don’t ignore what He’s saying altogether either.
Two, it’s okay to ask God for confirmation on His word. If it’s from Him, He will confirm it. He isn’t offended by you asking for confirmation; in fact, He likely enjoys it. He did it for Gideon quite readily… twice.
Three, God doesn’t do BS and you can’t screw up His plan. He can be trusted to tell you the truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth), but even if you aren’t totally with it when He does, you’re not going to throw off the whole course of your life, leaving God up in heaven like “Well that was a curve ball. What now?” He’s got it all under control and He’ll use it one way or another, sometimes even despite you and your willful disobedience.
So, it’s okay. I mean, it’s not okay to disobey God, but if you are looking back on your past and realizing your disobedience, that’s when it’s okay, I think. You’re forgiven. God’s working in you and He’s revealing that to you because His grace is already covering it. He’s already brought you up from that pit and He’s showing it to you so you don’t walk that way any longer. For your good and His glory.
Just, maybe don’t laugh at Him. Because I can tell you from experience, He’s quick to humble the proud,.