These two words can become a land mine in the fertile ground of your faith. These are among the enemy's favorite words to fling at the faithful Believer just before he or she drifts off to sleep or ventures out in faith. How often do you find yourself enjoying the beauty and favor of the Lord, and just as you begin to feel hope and peace, those words suddenly shock you with an icy chill, as if ice water has been injected into your arteries?
What if I didn't hear God?
What if I fail?
What if I just imagined the vision?
What if God didn't say what I thought He said?
Now, hold on a moment; this sounds familiar! The first story we read in the Scripture about the serpent (the enemy) is this:
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden"?'"(Genesis 3:1).
This was the beginning of "What if?"
I recently had one of those moments that turned into an entire night of negative "What If?" thoughts! We just made a huge move to another state with our entire family (even married kids and their spouses). This move has been based completely on the belief that we heard God's voice leading us. There is no natural sign that caused this move to make sense: no job security, no friends or established relationships in our new area, no invitations or promised opportunities. We have a word from the Lord and, therefore, in faith, we are following His voice. That long night when "Did God really say?" assaulted me felt like the Titanic hitting the iceberg. I went from walking on water to sinking into icy darkness – fast.
The enemy is quick to attack with fearful questions, and they are weapons that can take the obedient Believer on a rapid retreat from the heart to the head. The "What Ifs" rattle like machine gun fire in the Believer's mind; emotional land mines begin to explode, shredding every bulwark of faith's protection.
If this has ever happened to you, be encouraged, because the enemy rarely asks this if you haven't actually heard from the Lord! When you hear and obey you can pretty much bet the first attack will begin with "Did God really say?"
It's Going To Be Worth It!
Of one thing I am sure: Every risk you take after hearing God's voice will be filled with both provision and surprising doors of opportunity to walk through. When the enemy intimidates with "What if..." or "Did God really say..." there is only one answer, and it is this:
If I have not heard the Lord, and have made plans outside of His will, then God will order my steps in the right direction; even in the midst of my plans!
I have a Scripture to back me up in this:
"A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure" (Proverbs 16:9 AMP).
I don't trust in MY ability to hear His voice, I trust in HIM! My Papa God will be faithful to rescue me and direct my steps on a sure path as I trust in Him. I know that He is a faithful Father, and as I have committed my steps and my plans over to Him, He will keep me on a sure path. We must not put our trust in our gifts, our hearing, or even our obedience, but rather in the fact that He is a faithful Father in the midst of all of our humanity, knowing that He honors and adores every overture of love that we make for Him.
Make everything you do an act of worship. During our move this past month, as I grew weary from all the hard work, I decided to make every step I took on my aching feet, every packed box, every dollar spent an act of worship to Him. I cannot tell how much this helped me move forward.
Obeying God's voice is not always the easy path, but it is always the best path. I remember when our family was living on faith in another country and one of our young children was going through extreme homesickness. I wondered if their pain was worth the decisions we had made. That Sunday morning at our church the worship team began to sing Rita Springer's song "Worth It All," and in that moment I knew that every struggle we would face to obey His voice and all the battles we were fighting to defeat the voices of doubt had been worth it. I realize this time I will look back on this new journey of faith and say the same thing, but for now I proclaim in faith, "It's going to be worth it!"
Turn The "What Ifs" Around
During my battle last month, I received an amazing word of encouragement from a friend who suggested that I turn the negative "what ifs" into positive "what ifs." The next time the enemy hits you with "What If" questions as you walk forward, turn the potential field of land mines into a Field of Dreams. Try this:
What if my greatest longings are fulfilled?
What if I fly rather than fall?
What if God exceeds my dreams and expectations?
What if I'm about to embark on the greatest journey of my life?
What if it's better than I imagined?
What if I find favor every step along the way?
Dream with God. It will be worth it! I love it when my kids share their dreams and desires with me. I never discourage them, but love to encourage them to dream and dream big. I love it when I can partner with them to see their dreams fulfilled. If I love my kids' dreams, then God surely loves our dreams even more. All dreams come with risks, and all risks come with a battle. Life is full of risks, but if you have a word from the Lord, then your risk was just upgraded to assurance.
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified Bible)
Hebrews 11:1 contains a promise to go with your faith, and with this promise you can answer the enemy's questions with a proven and sure answer. Move forward in your faith and in your assurance of all that you hope for as you go. Keep your eyes fixed on the One who will never leave or forsake you. He is faithful.
Kathi Pelton has a passion to encourage, uplift, and serve. As well as being a published writer, she has traveled extensively with Watchmen for the Nations, spoken at conferences, been a member of a national prophetic round-table, and co-directed a house of prayer. Her favorite pastime is to spend time with her husband and children.
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