Monday, January 5, 2015

New Doors and The Witness of God's Peace

Sometimes the things we think we want, aren't what God has in mind at all. There are many people waiting on new doors of opportunity right now. You have it in your head what you think you ought to do, or where you think you're supposed to fit, and God may indeed present you with options, but I caution you to pray through your decisions and not jump at what may immediately seem like the initial answer to pray you've been hoping for.

I saw in a dream people that have been waiting and hoping for acceptance in the body of Christ. They even received invitations and were in a hurry to attend what looked like a wedding or celebration of some sort, yet they found that they did not have the right outfits or accessories to go to the event. They borrowed clothes and accessories from others and were fretting that they would be late, that they would miss the special event. I saw them trying on clothes that didn't fit, jewelry that didn't go with the outfits and they were so frustrated that they wouldn't fit in with the rest of the guests. They they became disappointed and felt like giving up because they felt they were too late and had missed too much of the action. 

Friend, if you feel you have to borrow someone else's garments and accessories just to fit in, that's not where God wants you! If you have to pretend to be someone you're not just to try to find acceptance, then perhaps that is not the place God designed for you to be fruitful. If you have to rely on the praise of man, certificates and 'credentials,' or exaggerate something about yourself in order to appear successful in the eyes of others, then you are waiting in front of the wrong door! People often try to present themselves in a certain light in order to find acceptance where they want to fit in or even be found worthy of certain positions and promotions. That's just a part of life, but if we have to work to find acceptance that should be a clue that perhaps that is not God's best choice for us. The truth is, if we have to work for our acceptance, then somewhere along the line it can be taken away from us just as easily. 

You are already qualified for the right position. You will be a perfect fit, a custom made solution for the place God has in mind for you. Your skills, abilities and the things you are anointed to do are just for you, and no one can do them exactly like you. You are perfectly suited for the need at hand - in the right place - the place God has selected for you! Don't try to be someone you're not; just be the best you that you can do. God's favor is better than any feeble attempts we may make at trying to fit in or seem worthy of other people's acceptance. His favor opens the right doors right on time.

I am reminded of a time when I was looking for new employment many years ago. I had it in my head exactly what I thought I wanted in order to be happy and achieve my goals. I interviewed with a company and it was exactly what I thought I wanted. They even offered me the job. The only problem was, I had no peace about accepting the offer.

As I was waiting, I went on another interview. This was a job in a place that had never occurred to me, and did not appeal to me at all. As a matter of fact, I had seen the ad in the paper for several weeks, but I did not want to apply for the job. Then one day I thought that I would because at the time, I was still in the hiring process with the first job that I thought I really wanted. 

When I got to the place for the interview, I realized that I had initially made a hasty decision to not find that place appealing but my 'criteria' was based on wrong assumptions. As I walked around the place I realized there was a sense of peace that had not been present with the other company I had applied with. On the same day, I was presented with both job offers. One with the company I thought I wanted but had no peace, and the other job with the company I had not thought I would be interested in, yet the peace was unmistakable. I knew that the witness of God's peace was leading me to make the right decision.

My husband and I have both walked into positions, opportunities and open doors with nothing but God's favor. I remember a different interview I had many years ago where the employer just kind of sat there in the interview and flat out told me she couldn't think of one question she wanted to ask me, but for some reason she just liked me. I was hired on the spot. That was God's favor at work.

We have experienced God at work in other situations, too. When we came back to California we had no open doors for employment or where to live. We moved by faith, and it was pretty nerve racking to not have the answers we wanted for our future. But through a series of divine appointments we walked into both employment and a place to live - no credit checks, no money down, just Holy Spirit's influence at work in our situation, moving on the heart of the person that had the resources to help us.

Time after time we have experienced God working on our behalf like this. God's favor is better than trying to jump through hoops in order to make ourselves 'approved' in the eyes of others. We just have to trust Him. If He can do it for us, He can do it for you! 

Sometimes we look for what seems logical to us but it's not what God has in mind. Time after time we have met with disappointment when we've tried to find a place where we think we're supposed to fit, only to discover it wasn't what God was leading us into. Don't let old habits and mindsets lead you in the wrong direction. God's promise in Is. 43:19 is that He is doing a new thing.  New means we haven't seen or experienced it before! When I look back at the dead ends we've encountered over the last 5-6 years, I realize God was answering my prayer, just not the way I had wanted Him to. I kept going back to the same type of places where we had stopped 'fitting in," hoping that I could find it. Yet, God's message was that I was trying old familiar things that weren't a part of His new plan. I finally 'got it,' and dealt with my disappointment. I told Him I would stop trying all the doors of familiarity because He obviously wasn't leading me to any of them. I had been leading myself! Big difference.

Trying to fit where we aren't supposed to fit is like trying to force a round peg into a square hole. It just doesn't work. It can become disheartening when we know we don't fit in what was once the desired, familiar and comfortable place but we don't have the vision of the new thing to carry us forward. We may ask ourselves, "How do I find the next new door?" "How do I know I haven't missed the main event?" You may feel in your spirit, "The hour is so late, maybe I should just stay where I'm at!"

Let me assure you that you have not missed the main event. God has already written you into His plan and He needs you to fulfill the part that only you can do. He doesn't want to do it without you! But we must come to a place where we realize we can't possibly affect change the way we hope, and we stop leaning on our own understanding. Lean on His. Cease from all your efforts and let God lead you. According to Hebrews 4:1-10, we must exercise our faith in order to enter God's rest. If we don't enter His rest, we forfeit His promises! I want to encourage you to keep an open mind and not limit the possibilities of what God can do in your life. Just because you may have some preconceived idea of how you think things should work themselves out, doesn't necessarily mean that will be God's plan. Instead, tell the Lord that you will remain open minded about His plans and ask Him to lead you to the right door. Ask Him to give you faith and confidence towards Him to knock on the right door, or, in some cases if you have no sense of where to go or what to look for, then you must wait upon Him to bring the opportunity to you. Look for the witness of His peace. The witness of peace testifies of Him going before you to make your way sure. May you find delightful surprises awaiting you soon!


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