You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. (Matthew 16:3)
Knee Jerk Reactions
I am famous (to myself and to God) for having what I call “knee jerk” reactions. I have always been a person who was hot on the griddle to jump and DO anything. I have gotten burned a lot on that griddle because I had no idea how to discern whether to turn to the right, to the left, to go straight, be still, or how to make any well thought out move. Thusly, it has cost me in one way or the other in many areas of my human existence. As hard as I try and as much as I believe that I can and do hear clearly from heaven, there are moments when I know I need to be still and not make any moves. I know that I need to keep going and doing what I know how to do. I know that I need to quit trying to make things happen that should not. Still, my flesh gets anxious to make what I want happen. I have come to realize over the years that I have to face the fact that there will still be times I will war within myself for discernment of God’s divine will.
Yes, we are in the 21st century and yes, we have the most advanced technological instruments available to us to use to advance humankind, but that does not mean we do not still boob. I hear a lack of discernment as I move around Christians. This causes their flesh to take over and they think they deserve something better than they have. They want what they want NOW, so they jump from the fire into the frying pan without regard to God’s will in the matter. This is what gets one off track. Depending on what it is they have made come to pass, sometimes their course in life, may result in taking years to be realigned. Just because you feel something, doesn’t mean you should be doing it.
For example, I was told four years ago to get up and go to a particular car dealership. I was told the day and the place and instructed to take a copy of my testimony with me. I have been told before to go to places with a copy of my testimony, so doing this didn’t surprise me. In the back of my mind I thought, “Maybe it is for a new car.” Not knowing the exact outcome, I went as I was commanded and a gentleman came up to me, introduced himself, shuttled me into his office and we began to talk. Of course, immediately I thought it was a “God thing.” A few moments of conversation revealed that he was a pastor with a small church and I handed him a copy of my testimony, telling him that God had told me to come there. He invited me to come to his church the next morning (Sunday) to speak.
Now, (remember my flesh is still weak) another salesman walked in stating they needed to put me into a new car. (Be wise about others who always tell you “we” need to do this or that for your benefit). He continued by saying that just the night before, a car had come in that was “just right” for me. Within a few minutes, the issue was settled (without checking my credit references or other documentation) that I was going to have a new car. They stated, “We’ll make it happen.” I was very tired that day and couldn’t discern whether this was actually from heaven. It happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to think. I wanted it to be from heaven and thought certainly this would not be manifesting right before my very eyes if it wasn’t God’s will that I have a new car. God knew I had wanted one (my weak flesh did) but I didn’t need a new car. I had a car that was only four years old and I had but one more year left before it was paid off. I thought to myself, “Well, he is a pastor and certainly he won’t deceive me just to make a commission, would he? Well, of course not! Anyway, I bit the apple, traded in my car (that had nothing wrong with it) and obligated myself to higher loan and insurance payments. I drove away from the dealership in shock.
It wasn’t too long after that I needed a new battery. The engine light came on and stayed on. I took it back to the car salesman/ pastor and he told me it would be $300.00 to fix the problem. As I looked at him in a bewildered state, he said, “Tell you what. I will pay $150.00 of the charge.” To make a longer story shorter, he made some vile comments about the way I looked and I walked away knowing I had been taken. All the pieces of this scam were revealed to me over the period of the next several months.
I struggled each month to make the car payment and the higher insurance payment it carried with it. I didn’t stop to consider or to take the time to go home and pray about it and wait on a clear answer from God before taking action. I am still paying for this car, knowing I “knee jerked” because my flesh wanted another car. I was deceived.
We have promises in God’s word that if we will walk uprightly before Him, that He will not withhold any good thing from us. He promises that we will hear a voice behind us saying, “This is the way.” But we don’t believe He will really talk to us or we don’t know how to discern His will in any given situation. Additionally, when we are tired, we get off kilter easily and when there is someone who is telling us anything who is “a man of the cloth,” we readily accept what they are spilling forth. And, to top it off when we WANT something in a bad way we really don’t want to hear that maybe “it” is not God’s desire for us so we stifle the Holy Spirit when He is telling us to be patient.
I have kicked myself over and over, knowing I should have been wiser. I really hadn’t wanted to go there that day but one thing I did know was that the Holy Spirit wanted me to (but for a different reason). The outcome of that eventful day was that by actually going to this man’s small congregation, a soul was brought into the kingdom. In attendance was a girl who was a dancer at a local strip club. She said, “I haven’t been here (to his church) in several months but I had to come today.” I discovered two weeks later that she fully committed her life to Christ and stopped dancing altogether.
I did have to go to the car dealership that fateful Saturday but it wasn’t for me. I had to meet this pastor so I could go to his church to get this particular news of the Gospel to a girl whose stage name was “Molly.” Ultimately, this pastor did sow, as an offering, into my life for several months, which was another reason I had to meet him.
Now I know better and don’t make a move until I hear clearly from God, even if I drag my feet. Let the peace of God reign in your heart when you find yourself in a situation, which could very well be a setup by the devil to destroy you piece by piece. Wait upon the Lord. Pray about what you want, what you need, and what you think you need for your life from your Father. Then get up, stop talking about it, and wait for God to speak to you. Don’t try to make things happen unless it is a dire emergency. Yet, still there will be times when God will use these situations to teach you lessons. You will never be able to put discernment in a box but this is the way God can and will train you to hear from Him so don’t be surprised.
Discernment... You know we all have a life to live while we are here on earth and many get trapped by Satan. He gets them off the path that was designed by heaven for them. The world is in what seems to be uncertain times but YOU don’t have to be. Will you still make mistakes? Well, I can tell you “yes” you will, but the chances of you coming out the winner are much greater if you will give God a chance first. He tells us that if we know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will He give us the Holy Spirit. We all need the Holy Spirit for discernment and the promise of HIM is that He will tell us which way to go.
Don’t let your knee hit you in the chin…