“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who TAKE REFUGE in him.”
While at a Home Depot store in CT, I found a storm door in the discount rack. I was not sure it was the size I was looking for, but well, its price was 75% off, so I thought to take a chance on it.
Dragging it to the cash register, I handed the girl the discount tag. She entered the info, then had to reenter her login pin because it was such a big discount. However, the cash register would not accept her pin. Nine times she tried. “This has never happened before!” she exclaimed.
Well, I realized why it was happening at this moment: it was God protecting me from a wrong purchase! So I said, “I’ll wait on this,” and put the door back. When I got home I found that the door was the wrong size, so it was good I didn’t buy it.
This is an example of how our loving Father warns us by giving us red flags or obstacles when we are about to make a wrong decision. He promises to give us direction: “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths” (Pro. 4:11).
But are we listening as He leads? Often I am so focused on the goal or object before me that I am not listening to His inner voice, so He gives me a little tap on the shoulder in the form of an obstacle to get my attention.
The way to “amplify” what God is saying so we can hear Him better is to praise Him for the obstacle. Praise opens our eyes, raises our sight and protects us from our own pushiness, impatience, selfishness and stubbornness. When we praise, we surrender. When we praise, we honor God. When we praise, we open the way for Him to protect, guide and provide (Psalm 50:23).
There have been a number of times in the last six months where God has put up similar red flags for me: an on line order not going through, a sense that I should wait to send a letter, the internet going down just when I wanted to do something. And a day or two later it became clear why God was warning me to wait. Waiting was taking refuge in Him.
Unfortunately, I didn’t heed one of these warnings and now am literally paying for it. While trying to get internet access in Germany, we went to one shop that promised everything we wanted. The girl filled out the contract on the screen for us, but then she could not get it to print out, in spite of working at it for a good 20 minutes. Finally, she said, “Come back in an hour when the manager will be here.”
We should have just gone home to pray about it more, but instead we came back and signed the contract. In the end the company couldn’t keep their promises and charged us over $200 to end the contract. I failed to accept the light God gave and pressed ahead into trouble.
God wonderfully and lovingly gives us light all the time. Are we accepting it or walking in our own way? “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble” (Pro. 4:18,19).
Prayer: “Lord I commit myself to walk in your light all the time. Help me to do this, to heed your warnings, to praise you when things don’t work out, knowing that you have something better in mind. Amen.”