Sunday, September 20, 2015


{via pinterest}

Usually when God wants to tell me something, He does it by giving me certain Scripture passages, speaking through my friends, and tailoring the sermons I hear and books I read so that they all repeat different aspects of the same message. A friend and I talk about "divine bruises" - when God is whacking us over the head with something over and over again so that we can't ignore what He has to say. I'm always excited by divine bruises, because they are a signal to me that God is working in my life. But very, very rarely, God will speak to me more directly, giving me words that I know are not mine in order to tell me what I need to hear.

(Disclaimer: whatever the method God uses to tell me something, I always make sure to test it with Scripture: this is, after all, the final authority on the nature of the things that God says to us. If something doesn't completely line up with Scripture, it is not of God, no matter how supernatural it seems.}

Last week was one of the incredibly rare times that God gave me a direct assurance while I was praying - an assurance as clearly from the Holy Spirit as if it had been a direct quote from the Bible. Because He usually chooses to speak to me through His Word and the people He has placed in my life, the words He gave me were all the more striking, while harmonizing perfectly with all that I know of Him.

Awhile ago I set aside something I wanted. It was difficult, and I wasn't sure exactly why it was necessary, but I knew that I needed to. So I did. This was long enough ago that I thought I had dealt with it and it wasn't an issue any more. But as I was praying over my tea a few weeks ago, I suddenly found myself praying about this desire, questioning why I had to give it up, why it would not have been good.

And suddenly, in the middle of a thought, I was given three words. They did not come from me: I've generated inner dialogue and tried to convince myself it was God talking enough times that I know the flavor of that self-deception. This was different, clearly coming from something other than myself.

I have better.

That was it, but it pulled me up sharply. I started turning these words over in my mind: "I have better." As in, "Kate, I have something better for you than this thing that you wanted."

These words reminded me that whatever I get - or do not get - comes from God, who is the source of my contentment and joy. But that was something I already knew.

What grabbed my attention was the word "better." God was not telling me that my misguided heart wanted something bad that He withheld in order to give me something good. He didn't say "I have good." He said better. Which means that what I wanted was a good thing, but that I needed to let it go in order for Him to prepare me to receive a better gift.

This realization came as such a relief to me. I had tried to convince myself that this desire was somehow bad, and that this was why I couldn't have it. But I really knew that it was good. I think this is why I found myself praying about it after such a long time - I had not moved on because I had attempted to do so by denying the good in this desire.

But now I don't need to do that. When it comes up, I don't need to tell myself what I don't really believe: "Kate, that would have been bad for you." I can instead remind myself, "Yes, that could have been good, but God has something better in mind."

As small a shift as it seems, it makes a world of difference, and it really applies to every prayer answered negatively or every good thing withheld from us. When God says no, it is because in the long run, He has something better.

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." ~Psalm 84:11

"Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart." ~Psalm 37:4

"Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you...My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips." ~Psalm 63:3, 5

1 comment:

  1. wow, this is terrific…..
    wait on the Lord…..
    you have disciplined yourself in His Word and have learned how to hear Him….
    i love you, Kate….