New to the city, stormy conditions threatened to ruin our plans for our first 4th of July holiday here. We were elated that we had been invited to view the annual fireworks show from our neighbor’s yacht. Since early morning we’d been debating whether or not we’d go to the open-air concert and fireworks event to be held in the heart of our city. Although we wanted to go, we weren’t looking forward to navigating the crowds and traffic of the 30,000 people expected. Ergo, when we read our neighbor’s text inviting us to join him we whooped and high-fived each other, grateful for the perfect solution! Lost in the moment, we hardly noticed the server’s arrival at our table asking if we wanted dessert.
After a satisfying meal, no sooner were we home then our attention was commanded by the sonic boom that rattled our windows! The sky lit up like a prolonged camera flash exposing the torrential rain and wind that the summer storm had brought with it. Our palm trees swayed erratically against the backdrop of the illuminated sky. Slowly and silently we looked to each other with mutual defiance in our eyes. No words necessary, we smiled knowingly, reaching for each other’s hand. As our hands connected, we authoritatively declared that the storm must pass by the time we were ready to launch out to sea with our friends. Gratified, we turned our attention back to the edge-of-your-seat movie we were watching, digging in to the scrumptious pineapple upside-down cake we’d brought home from the restaurant.
Sometimes in life we get good news just to have the blessing snatched away before it can materialize. More often than we should, we concede defeat. As a part of powering through, however, there comes a time when you must utilize your faith to snatch your blessing back! With faith’s eyes you can see past the threatening skies and ignore the deafening thunder. Untimely storms may be ominous and even frightening, but you must demonstrate that the power you have is unmatched and irrevocable. Your success is determined by your faith to press forward.
There were other concerning factors to why Don and I debated going to the event; but, because we wanted to celebrate America’s freedom with fellow residents, we chose to pray for a workable plan. Believing our prayer had been answered via the text invite—not complaining about the sudden storm—we refused to allow natural circumstances or anything else to block our blessing!
My message to you is that at some point you must refuse to allow contrary winds and torrential rainstorms to defeat you. In matters of faith, defeat is in giving up on your intended blessing. Not once in the Bible do we read that we ‘gotta know when to fold ‘em’ concerning what God has given. Understand this, YOUR FAITH WILL BE TRIED, but once you’ve received your answer, you must keep believing that it is what God says it is. When your faith is being tried, expect temptation to come to cause you to give up on what you’ve received to be true. Once temptation arrives, your opportunity to develop spiritual muscles is imminent—the blessed opportunity has come for your faith to increase.
When God has spoken, access to what you’re believing for has already been granted. You may have to dig deep, but faith is the key to unlock the door to your blessing. Any allusion of doubt that tries to creep in must be readily dismissed by faith spoken from your lips. Speak your faith all the way through to manifestation. Living affirmed entails knowing who you are and Whose you are. Affirmed believers know that God is sovereign. Speaking what HE has granted, versus naysayers words or personal doubts, will affirm your belief that you are an heir to the abundant life and blessings of God’s kingdom, no questions, no apologies.
We knew that God was saying to us, you will see the fireworks from the best view in the city, you will hear the best music for the occasion, you will enjoy the company of cherished residents, you will have the romantic connection that holidays induce, and you will not have to battle your way through traffic or crowds. We received that with joy. The recapitulation of our joy was expressed through our belief, demonstrated by speaking our faith into existence—even while the storm was raging. It wasn’t until the next day that my husband, chuckling, read aloud the text that we’d missed en route to our neighbor’s home. It simply stated, “Are you ready for an adventure?” Our faith had connected to their faith as well! Are YOU ready for an adventure with God?
This story could have been different. We could have talked ourselves out of our blessing, using the circumstances as an excuse not to enjoy our holiday. We could have sat immobile complaining about how the weather had shut down our plans, accepting defeat. Instead, we spoke to the clouds, wind, rain, and thunder commanding our blessing to fruition. The only conditions we submitted to were the conditions of our faith.
You will never be required to do what you can’t do, but you will always be expected to do what you can do. In Christ, you can do everything expected of you. As a married couple, Donald and I have learned to “become one flesh.” We’ve come to understand the value of agreement (Amos 3:3). When we’re not agreed, unless one concedes to the other, time freezes. In matters of great importance, this can be frustrating. You can “pray until your belly hits your back,” but God will not change his order to convenience your fits. Therefore, challenges should be viewed as opportunities for spiritual workouts. There may be sweat, there may be fatigue, but there will be stamina and strength built in the process—your faith will grow beyond what you can fathom.
- ASK accordingly to God’s will (His Word is his will).
- EXPECT the answer to come.
- RECOGNIZE and RECEIVE the answer when it comes.
- ERADICATE doubt and fear before they have a chance to sway you.
- AFFIRM your stance as an heir to the promises of God. See and say!
- BELIEVE that God’s promises are sure.
- SPEAK your belief into existence.
It was drizzling when Don and I left to board our friend’s yacht. When we arrived at his home, we found him outside by the pool deck that abuts the sea wall. Don comically greeted, “God refused to be outdone by our fireworks, so he put on his own light show! I say we venture out to sea and expect a great time!” Husband had spoken and our friend had agreed. His excitement got us all the more excited, to the point where I was thrown off by the sudden rush that ensued with the others there. Waving his hand over the sea, our friend expressed how vehemently the 5-foot waves had been crashing against the sea wall just an hour before we arrived. He exclaimed that the colorful sights we were viewing were non-existent during the previous white-out conditions. This attested to the worsening circumstances, after we prayed, that were in no way conducive to launching out to sea. Don and I smiled and exchanged a knowing glance. Sometimes things get worse after you pray before they get better. This is warfare. Press forward anyways.
The storm had rolled in suddenly amid a gloriously sunny day. It would either tempt us to forfeit our blessing, or challenge us to exercise our faith. We chose the latter and enjoyed the most spectacular fireworks display that we’d viewed together, to date, accompanied by a wonderful playlist of patriotic songs. Besides nostalgia, romance was in the air to boot! There is a special bond that is forged between people who, together, trust and believe in God’s power to perform.
The seas were calm, the drizzling had ceased, and we had a panoramic view of two city’s annual firework displays, anchored out at sea, rejoicing over God’s faithfulness and the rebirth of our nation. This beach girl and her big kahuna enjoyed the answer to our prayer because we pressed through. The promise of our blessing was never conditional, but the looming circumstances demanded that our faith be decreed to enjoy the end of our faith—the manifested promise.
What circumstances are present, today, that demand you must use your faith to press through to the promise? Once you’ve answered that question, don’t forfeit your blessing, instead get’ta pressing! The results can be explosive. MJ
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash Photo by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash Photo by Abbie Parks on Unsplash Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash Photo by Sebastian Davenport-Handley on Unsplash
Conditional Circumstances first appeared on Living Affirmed.
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