Over the past few months, the Lord has taken me on a journey unlike any I’ve ever traveled before. As I’ve walked the path He’s set before me, I’ve been blown away by how gracious He’s been to me. He has dreamed the biggest of dreams with me. He has spoken the most beautiful promises over my life. He has answered some of my greatest prayers and fulfilled some of my deepest longings. He has healed places in me that were in desperate need of healing. He has injected me with hope.
Along the way, He did something I wasn’t expecting. He showed me my Promised Land, and then He showed me the steps it would take to get there. I started walking in faith toward what I knew He was calling me to.
Not long after He confirmed in my spirit what direction I was to head, I started running into walls of opposition. The enemy started coming at me with some of the strongest spiritual attacks I have ever experienced. My mind was attacked by whispers of lies from the enemy. My finances were hit from all sides. My closest relationships were in turmoil. Confusion and chaos abounded in every area of my life.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about confusion and chaos, it’s that they seek to destroy connection in relationships. Sometimes it’s in your relationships with people, sometimes it’s in your relationship with Jesus, and sometimes it’s in both. As confusion and chaos attempt to destroy connection, they also seek out cracks in your life where seeds of doubt can be wedged in. And when it’s not immediately silenced, doubt takes root and grows.
For me, the disconnect and doubt crept into every area of my life. I was completely undone by the confusion and chaos I was feeling. It made no sense to me. I was so certain of what the Lord had shown me, the direction He was pointing my life. Things got too hard, and the path was too uncertain. I stopped dead in my tracks, and I refused to budge. I was content to stand still until He cleared things up and showed me where to step again.
One day I was processing some of what I had been going through with one of my friends. I was so frustrated by the walls I kept hitting. I told her that my best friend had challenged me to start praying that the Lord would increase my faith. I had been praying that prayer multiple times a day for several days when everything seemed to start unraveling. I was confused. I had been expecting good things like answered prayers and open doors to come along and stretch my faith. As I opened up about my frustrations, she told me a story about one time when she realized she loved the Lord more than she trusted Him. It was then that I felt Holy Spirit asking me “Do you really trust me to increase your faith?” I felt my head nodding up and down in a solid YES. Then he said “But do you trust me to do it in the best way for you?” My nod stopped abruptly. I finally understood.
I had been asking Him to stretch my faith, and He was answering my prayer. I just didn’t trust Him to do it how He saw best. He was using some really hard, uncomfortable things to stretch my faith. Instead of recognizing them for what they were – faith stretchers, I allowed doubt to creep in and bring disconnection with it. Doubt made me question His nearness, His goodness, and His faithfulness. I was angry over these hard things that had nudged themselves into my life completely uninvited. Without even realizing it, I was slipping away and becoming disconnected from the One who always has my best interests at heart. It all came down to my own inability to look at what was going on in my life through His lens of love. He loves me so much that He only wants the best for me. He wants my faith and my trust in Him to be without limits. Even though I didn’t understand it at the time, He was doing exactly what it took to get me to that place.
Once I realized what was at the root of my disconnection, the lack of complete trust, I repented for it. I changed my heart and my mind, and I gave my YES to whatever the Lord wanted to do in my life. I gave him my YES to bring me to the place where my faith and trust were stretched fully.
A few days later, the turmoil in my life was still raging. I felt Him ask me very quietly “You say you trust me, but do you trust that the promises I spoke over you are true?” I found my head nodding again, but my heart was not following along. I kept saying, “But God… you showed me. It was so clear. But everything is so uncertain now. It’s all so fuzzy. How do I move forward when nothing makes sense? Are you changing your mind? What are you doing?”
He took me to the book of 2 Corinthians where Paul says:
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1: 19-20)
I’ve always heard people say that all God’s promises are Yes and Amen, but I never really thought about what that meant until now.
Once God gives His Yes in our lives, it remains a Yes. He is not fickle; He is steadfast. His Yes will never become a No or a Maybe. His promise remains true even when our human mind can’t fathom how it could ever come to pass. He may change our path, but He never goes back on His promise. And because He is trustworthy and good, I can give my Amen to His Yes – no matter what the fulfillment of that Yes may look like.
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In her book One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp talks about groping for understanding in the midst of not understanding. She mentions the Israelites eating manna during the 40 desert years. Manna literally translates as “What is it?” The Israelites literally ate the mystery. And the mystery was “like wafers of honey” on the lips.
The unknown can be pleasant, sweet, and satisfying. The Israelites had to trust God to be their ultimate source of provision. They were to never gather more than one day’s worth of manna except in preparation for the Sabbath. They were in a place of ultimate dependency, ultimate trust. They were trusting the manna would show up, that God would show up. Despite being unable to see how God’s promise for their lives could ever come to fruition, they trusted in the mystery.
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As He was connecting all of this is my heart and mind and spirit, I was still at a standstill. I was standing in the middle of the path He had been clearing for me with my arms crossed tightly over my chest and my lips set in a hard line, refusing to move. He nudged me ever so gently again and said “I meant it when I said walk in the promise. You have to walk. Don’t stand still. Walk.”
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And so I find myself walking again. My faith has never been bigger, and I’ve never trusted in His promises as fully as I do now. I’m taking each small step He guides my feet to take, and I’m being faithful to remain true to the Amen I gave to His Yes.
Even when His promise is a complete mystery, I can still stand in agreement and trust Him with my Amen because of His faithfulness in my life.
I’m trusting in the mystery and trusting in Him completely.
He has shown me my Promised Land. It’s time to walk to it.