I wasn’t quite awake – you know that state when a thought comes to mind but you’re not awake yet? It was a thought that would definitely wake me up.
“Why are you afraid of opening the mail?
Why don’t you have an attitude of expectancy and hope?”
In my sleepy state the question rolled around in my head. I could see the box of mail that was by the front door in my head.
I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to me. It was definitely louder than the usual still small voice of the Lord. “Why don’t you have an attitude of expectancy and hope?”
The box of mail. I was experiencing financial challenges and didn’t want to face them. But I now felt as though my identity had, indeed, been stolen – only not through a perpetrator or thief, but by my own doing. I didn’t want to open the mail, as I didn’t want to be reminded of my financial situation.
But in the midst of our circumstances, we need to remember that God is indeed the restorer of all things. Just as you’re feeling down and out, depressed, discouraged or disillusioned, God can turn things around and restore you to not only what you had before, but better than you ever expected.
Think of Job’s story in the Bible. He had everything he owned taken away, including all his livestock and his home. Then, all seven of his children died. When he heard this news, all of which happened at the same time, Job stood up, tore his robe in grief and fell to the ground to worship God. It says in Job 1:22, “In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.”
After Job’s possessions and his family were gone, then his health was compromised with terrible boils from his head to his feet. His wife encouraged him to curse God, but Job refused. Job 2:10 says, “But Job replied, ‘You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?’ So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.”
Three friends came to visit Job, but Job didn’t speak for the first seven days and seven nights. His friends then tried to rationalize with him. Job never cursed God throughout his situation. The book of Job continues to outline the discussions between Job and his three friends. And, in the end, God showed up – and in a big way. God appeared in a whirlwind and spoke with Job directly. After a lengthy discussion with Job, God told Job that He was disappointed that Job’s friends had not spoken accurately about Him, and instructed Job to pray for his friends.
Job 42:10 “When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!”
Job 42:12-13 “So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters.”
Job 42:16-17 “Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.”
Back to my situation. Why was I having financial challenges? Where was God in the midst of all of my circumstances? I was quoting God’s Word – why wasn’t it working? Why weren’t God’s promises to me manifesting themselves? And here’s the answer. Pride and disobedience.
I didn’t hear God’s voice during my financial difficulties, because I really wasn’t reading His Word or trying to have a close relationship with Him. My fearful attitude and more importantly, my constant negative words, opened the door to the enemy. Being disobedient, having a wrong attitude and verbalizing negative feelings (which basically mean you are prophesying negative events to come to pass in your life) opens the doors to allow Satan in your life. After all, Satan came to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). And steal and destroy he did. And, I allowed him to kill my spirit.
My fear, shame and constant concern over the status of my situation was, for lack of a better term, my idol. My idol, you may ask? Yes. You see, anything or anyone that you put before or above God is an idol. God should come first in your life.
Let me assure you that God was not absent during this process. Remember the verse that says that He will never leave us nor forsake us. God is never the problem. I was the problem. God’s Word is full of promises, and if we believe them, we should take the time to meditate on His Word in order to get them deep into our heart. If you’re not giving Him any time, how will you know what to do? How can you receive further instructions?
Let’s set the record straight. Yes, God’s Word does promise prosperity. Was my church wrong in teaching me about the importance of quoting and believing God’s Word? Absolutely not. What I failed to realize was that my pride and choices to put other things above God nullified the fulfillment of His promise of prosperity in my life.
Proverbs 29:23 tells us that a man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor. I was indeed brought low. But the good news is that God can, will, and continue to pick me up and put me back on the right track.
I asked God what I should do differently in my life to get back on track with Him. What do I need to do, Lord, to see the fulfillment of Your promises in my life? God explained to me what I can do to realize His promises.
God taught me that here are 3 weapons, so to speak, that we can use to combat the enemy – 3 weapons to handle any type of spiritual warfare. First, standing on God’s promises (God’s Word) is a weapon. Second, praise – or praising God for what He has done, is doing, and will do, is a weapon. Lastly, prayer – praying to God and asking Him is a weapon.
No matter what happens to you during your life, be confident that He can turn your life around for the good. He can take anything you have messed up and work through it. He is the ultimate provider, the ultimate healer, the ultimate friend, the ultimate Father and the ultimate Savior. Glory to God!
Hope and expectation? You bet. No matter what has happened, focus your attention on hoping in God and expecting His best. And, if it doesn’t seem to be going the way you think, ask God. Ask God. Ask God. Ask Him what is preventing the fulfillment of His promises in your life. Ask Him what needs to change or what you need to do differently. Remember – it’s a relationship with God, not a religion. God is real and He will direct your path, if you ask Him. [Proverbs 3:6] If you do your part – seeking God – He’ll do His part – directing your path. Concerned that you’re not hearing His voice? Find a comfy chair and get quiet. Read His Word and ask Him to speak to you. Listen for His still, small voice. And, whatever He tells you, be rest assured it will always line up with the Word of God.
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”
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