“There have been times in my life where God said something would happen, but because of the other person, it didn’t. What are your thoughts on this subject if that’s ok to ask?”
This is such a great question. I love it. It really made me think too.
When God’s Promises Don’t Come True
First, the Bible says that God is always faithful and what He promises to do, He WILL do. Everything that God has promised, within the pages of Scripture, are true and perfect. If God promises something in Scripture, it WILL come to pass. It could be that we have to wait a while for it though…
We might have to wait
Think about how long Abraham waited for his promise to happen. He was 75 when God promised him he’d have a son (Genesis 12:1-4) and he was 100 when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). 25 years of waiting.
Think about Job. He waited for at least a week in excruciating pain and suffering (Job 2:13).
God promised David would be King over Israel and instructed Samuel the prophet to anoint him. We don’t know precisely how old David was at that time, but we can guess around 10-15 years old (1 Samuel 16:1-13). In 2 Samuel 5:4, it tells us that he was 30 when he began to reign. This would be around a 15-20 year waiting period to receive his promise.
Sometimes, God asks us to wait. As humans, we always want things to happen right now (myself included), but God’s timing is perfect and sometimes it’s just about waiting and being faithful in the meantime. I know that as I wait for Kyle, it’s not at all easy, but God continues to assure me of His promise and so I wait…6 years in counting for God’s promise in this area. When God’s promise happens, it will have been worth the wait!
Then someone could say, “Well, God doesn’t talk to us outside of the Bible”, which is crazy because, the Bible itself says Jesus leads us. He doesn’t talk to us with an audible voice, but He DOES impress upon our hearts things, through our consciences and in our hearts.
Psalm 23 comes to mind right off the bat, but there’s so many other passages too, that talk about Jesus being our Shepherd, leading us, guiding us. I know in my own Christian walk, it’s a DAILY thing.
Every DAY He’s leading me. Showing me what to do. Showing me what He wants. He is my Shepherd.
So we can establish that God leads us. He talks to us through His Word, through sermons, He convicts us through our hearts and consciences. He’s not a far off God, He’s pretty chatty! 🙂 He will talk and talk as much as you want Him to, until your brain hurts because “His thoughts are higher than ours”.
Sometimes when He is convicting me, He convicts so fast that I can’t keep up. Sometimes the convictions are just knowledge. One minute I know nothing and the next minute, I understand the whole situation. It’s a pouring out of “instant knowledge” so to speak that occurs. Him dispensing wisdom.
We can’t keep up with Him and He pours out onto us tons of blessings and guidance when we seek Him and obey Him. When His Word becomes as sweet as honey to us, the Bible says (Psalm 119:103).
With that in mind, there ARE still times that we can get His promptings or convictions wrong.
Determine where it’s coming from
Sometimes I will think something and think it’s from God and it just comes from my own mind. Maybe it’s Satan or his demons planting ideas in my head, and to guard us from such things, we should test the spirits. In 1 John 4:1, it says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
In the same way we are to test the spirits of others if they are teaching us, being like Bereans and looking up what someone is saying to see for ourselves if it is true, we should also be doing this with our own mind. Does what is being said in our mind line up with Scripture or go against it? That’s a huge red flag right there.
We need to know, FOR SURE, WHERE and WHO this information is coming from.
I’ll give you some examples of how I personally “test the spirits” in my own life, so maybe it can help you.
Right now, I feel like God wants me to one day write and publish a physical book, published by a real company (not like my printables in my shop or something), but a legit, physical book, traditionally published.
Now to me, I’m like, “Huh?! WHY???” I don’t really want to. I’ve never once had any desire to publish a book. I’ve seen a lady I know get published. I know the stories about how hard it is. I know the things involved in it to make it. And I just…have no desire at all to go through that. LOL.
Now please bear in mind, if this conviction IS from God, I will eat those words because He lines up OUR desires to His as we seek Him. So IF He wants me to publish a book, eventually, at some point, I WILL want to. That would be confirmation that it’s Him.
Because I have no desire to do this, but I love God and so if He instills in me a desire to do something (that is not sin, of course, because God never asks us to sin), then I know it’s Him. I know that’s His spirit wanting me to and that would be my confirmation.
I don’t know if it is or not yet, but I AM praying He WOULD confirm it. And I think that’s a fair prayer to pray to Him. We want to know His will so that we can obey it. If it’s His will, I will surely do it. So the heart has to be right.
One thing I DO know, is that particular conviction is NOT coming from me. Again, I have no desire to do it.
If I’m testing spirits and there’s three options (God, Satan/demons, me), it’s not me. I can successfully rule out me. haha.
So, then I start thinking about it. Would Satan want me to publish a book?
Publishing a book provides notoriety. It makes your words last forever, unlike a blog that can be deleted, books are in publication long term. More people around the world can see and hear your words. You can reach more people. Maybe someone doesn’t have internet in a distant country, but they have access to books. Things like that.
Would Satan want my reach to be further? Not really. I don’t see how Satan would want me to publish a book. It would help more people and he doesn’t want us to help anyone.
So at this point, I feel like it IS God, but I still want to be 100% sure (and I don’t know the timing of it) so I wait for an answer from Him concerning this and one day, I may just do publish a book. If He wants me to, I will. In His timing. 🙂
So I think first, determine where it’s coming from.
God always keeps His promises, but has He really promised this??? We need to be sure.
Take free will into consideration
Secondly, you have to consider that yes, God is God and completely sovereign, but there’s also free will.
Like one of my good friends said, it didn’t happen because of the other person.
God gives everyone free will. He wants us so desperately to come to Him, to have a relationship with Him and He chases us DOWN to get us to HAVE that relationship with Him. But not everyone cares.
Is it a business deal? God doesn’t want us unequally yoked. So going into business, as a Christian, with a non-Christian, is not God’s purpose for us. There will be people who don’t agree with that, but go back to the Bible, study it all out and you’ll see that it’s not something He wants.
Same with a marriage. God doesn’t want a Christian to marry a non-Christian. Does that mean you can’t date, hoping and praying they become saved? It’s up to you. I personally think it’s a bad idea. The whole purpose of dating someone is to take the next step from friends to dating to marriage. If you date someone you can’t marry, then you are giving away things (think: kissing, holding hands) that you should want to save for your future husband.
I am single now, but when I date, whoever I date, I expect to be my future husband. I don’t want to date someone who won’t be my future husband.
There’s always a chance that maybe YOU are spiritually right with God but the other person isn’t. Maybe they are Christian but not walking right with the Lord. Maybe they are being rebellious or maybe they just refuse to see it.
Really that is between them and God. All we can do as Christians is try OUR best to do what God wants us to do. Does He hold it against us if WE are willing to obey and the other person isn’t? No. He doesn’t. We are accountable to God for our own actions, not for the actions of others.
In cases like those, I would say to just be completely faithful and willing to do whatever God asks, as much as it depends on you. As much as depends on you, is key here.
If it is not happening because of the other person, remember that God may want to test you. Maybe He’s trying to test your obedience and faithfulness to Him at that point. Maybe He’s sending a little test to show you your heart.
It could also be likewise, that He is growing you DURING that season. I think back to the season with me and Kyle during our initial six years where Kyle was in sin and rebelling, God promised me it would be Kyle as my future husband. He promised and I’m sure of it, yet I saw for six years, that it wasn’t happening, due to the other person.
But IN that time, God was growing ME. I learned to become way more close to God than I ever have before. God set me apart to be like Moses, to lead a great number of people and He was setting me up to do so in all that time.
He was drawing me closer to Himself during that time. He loves you so much and He wants for you to have a right relationship with Him. So, He appoints humble people, weak people, such as myself, to become something great in order to bless you and show you Himself. To draw you to Him, through those people.
In these six years in the trial with Kyle, I would not change it for the world. I know it wasn’t supposed to happen like that, God didn’t intend it, neither did I, but God used Kyle’s sin, to grow me, to strengthen me, to set me up as a great leader! God used Kyle’s sin…to help YOU!
God can turn the most muddiest of messes into the most beautiful jewels in the world and only GOD alone can do that!
He alone is worthy to be worshiped and praised. He alone is our great God.
Where does that leave you?
After that, we don’t know. We just cannot possibly know all of God’s intentions or thoughts. It’s impossible.
But when you take these things into consideration – meaning you know where the information is coming from (NOT you or Satan) and you take into consideration the free will choices of others, and you are willing to wait to see God’s promises, you can understand what God’s promises are for your life and when they will come to pass.