For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord,
And He watches all his paths ~ Proverbs 5:21 NASB.
Seeking God’s perfect will for our lives can be a perplexing experience. When there are several choices, how can we know for certain which one to choose? It’s like coming to forks in the yellow brick road of life, each one appearing to lead to Emerald City.
Remember Dorothy and Toto? They made three friends along the way, but they also encountered witches and flying monkeys. Just when it appeared that Dorothy would become the wicked witch’s prisoner and lose her ruby slippers forever, her fate changed after she doused the witch with a bucket of water. Although Dorothy had no idea it would kill her enemy, it turned out to be the only way to destroy the witch. What dumb luck.
Our lives, however, aren’t based on a fairy tale with a lucky ending like Dorothy’s. But we do have a good God who guides us down the paths of life, directing us away from evil and keeping us on the straight and narrow, even granting us our heart’s desire as we obediently submit to Him.
But how do we know which path to choose when we encounter forks in the road?
My daughter Meg recently experienced this dilemma. After working as a long-term substitute teacher last year, she had applied and interviewed for a science position in the district’s intermediate school. Teaching there had been her heart’s desire from day one.
However, she didn’t throw in the towel after she found out she didn’t get the job. She continued to pray and speak words of faith, confessing that she believed she would still get hired last minute for her dream job at her dream school.
Personally, I viewed her situation with realistic skepticism and pushed her to apply to other districts. I truly believed her vocational opportunities lay elsewhere.
As she prayed for God’s will, several offers came along, making the choice difficult. Should she simply choose the one that paid the best salary in the public arena? Or should she work with like-minded Christians in a private environment? While the Lord uses us wherever we’re planted, it’s still vital to be in the proper place.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the Lord weighs the motives ~ Proverbs 16:2 NASB.
Usually, money is our biggest motivator, but we must remember to weigh all sides. Looking beyond our worldly needs may be difficult and considered foolish by some, but God’s ways are contrary to the ways of the world. Keeping this in mind, Meg chose the job in the Christian school with the lowest salary. She released and surrendered her dream job to the Lord.
But then, God had a better plan. A few days later, she received an email from the new principal at her dream school inviting her to interview for the same science position. Long story short, he offered her the job and she accepted. The Christian school graciously released her and found an immediate replacement for their kindergarteners.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts ~ Isaiah 55:9 KJV.
Meg’s journey of pure-hearted obedience and speaking words of faith have been a good lesson to me. Watching the Lord give her the exact right job for her talents in the right school has been nothing short of amazing. Even when making those previous choices, the Lord knew they weren’t final. God had something far better at the last minute. And He gave her the most precious gift: her heart’s desire.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! ~ Romans 11:33 NASB.
How about you? Are you encountering forks on your road of life? I’d be honored to pray with you to find God’s perfect will and receive the desire of your heart. Just leave your request in the comment box.
The last three months have been some of the hardest times I can remember. It began with weird harbingers like accidentally grinding up my pearl earring in the garbage disposal (don’t even ask). Next, I broke off a tooth biting into a pretzel. After a few more bizarre “accidents,” a thought crossed my mind. Might I be under a spiritual attack?
Yes, I was. But then the attack spread to other family members. The worst began on April 20th when my mother saw something black hanging in her side vision. That led to emergency surgery to repair a detached retina.
Everything should have been fine with a happily-ever-after ending…BUT. That small, three-letter conjunction changed our lives and spiraled us into a Kansas tornado lasting over three months.
The problem? A viral infection appeared in Mother’s eye a week after surgery. The prescribed eye drops didn’t seem to work, even after several weeks of applications.
To make matters worse, black streaks reappeared in Mother’s side vision, indicating a second retinal detachment. When her doctor planned to do a second surgery despite the worsening virus, I knew I had to find another doctor and a second opinion. Quickly. Thank God I did, or otherwise, she would have surely gone blind in that eye…BUT.
God led us to the right doctors who diagnosed her infection correctly and began treating it aggressively. After several weeks, her new surgeon was able to do major surgery. He had to remove fluid from the back of the eye cavity that was beginning to cave in and then reattach the retina. We held our breath and prayed.
The operation was a success, thank the Lord, and everything was back in place. We were rejoicing! God had come through again, and all Mother had to do was heal…BUT.
Without explanation or reason, she developed unbearable pain on that side of her head, like a severe migraine. I can’t express how frightening it was to care for an elderly person in that physical state. I felt completely helpless. As her eye swelled closed, she couldn’t eat, take her medication, or get out of bed. I had to get help.
So off we went to the ER at a local hospital. Not only did we go that day, but also the second day after. Her blood pressure was sky-high, as well as the pressure in her eye. After aggressively lowering her pressure, an ER doctor decided to treat her pain with opioids.
What a mistake.
As a person who has never taken drugs stronger than Tylenol, I had no idea of the effects she would experience. I assumed her pain would be eased and she would be able to sleep…BUT.
After arriving home from the ER, I seated her at the table for dinner, but she was only able to eat a few bites. Since she sat peacefully with her eyes closed, I decided to wash the dishes before helping her back to bed. Before I could finish, however, it became apparent that something was wrong.
She had lost consciousness and was having a petit mal seizure. She had experienced a few in the past, so I was familiar with the symptoms. I sat next to her, all the while talking and trying to get her to come back to consciousness. When thirty minutes had passed and she was no better, I prayed earnestly to Jesus for help. After another thirty minutes with no change, I didn’t know what to do. There was no way I could carry her back to bed. Would I need to call an ambulance? I was desperate.
Suddenly her lips began to move. I listened carefully as she whispered, “I see Jesus.”
At first, I was elated! But the next second, fear gripped me—was Jesus coming to take her to heaven? Was she going to die? Oh no. Jesus couldn’t take her. Not yet. It wasn’t her time.
I sloughed off fear and clung to my faith that all would be well. Sensing that this was a holy spiritual encounter with the Lord, I asked, “Did Jesus speak to you?”
She could barely respond. “No. He touched my shoulder.”
Wow. A healing touch from Jesus. I could sense His very presence in the room as she grew quiet and peaceful, and her seizure ended. My knees hit the floor.
Right then I led us in a time of prayer and praise songs, thanking Jesus for touching her. I was awed to witness His glory, and tears flowed as I basked in His holy presence.
Soon Mother’s eyes opened, and she was able to walk back to bed with my help. She talked about Jesus, especially His face, describing Him as a young man in his thirties with brown hair, dark eyes, and a perfectly clipped goatee.
I imagine you’re wondering like I did, if she really had a vision of Jesus or if it was a hallucination.
I’m convinced she saw the Lord. I believe Jesus came and touched her that night because of her steady improvement after that encounter. Her migraine and the swelling of her eye dissipated within a few days and totally disappeared.
Today her eyesight is returning steadily each day, and we know it is being perfectly restored. Her eyes are focusing together—something that has surprised her doctor, who had predicted she would probably never see much out of it again. Her strength has returned and she is again active and enjoying her life.
What was the key for my mother? I believe several things played a part in her healing.
First, prayer and communion. My daughters and I anointed her with oil, took communion together, and prayed over her daily.
Second, speaking to the illness or affliction. We prayed Scripture over her circumstance, speaking to her eye and every cell to be healed and made whole in Jesus’s mighty Name.
Third, understanding spiritual warfare and how to pray against the attacks of the enemy, which is vital in these last days.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places ~ Ephesians 6:12 NKJV.
In Jesus’s Name, we bound up the ruler of darkness, Belial, another name for Satan or the Lord of Lies, and cast him into the pit.
What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? ~ 2 Corinthians 6:15 NIV.
Another factor is my mother’s personal life. She has lived a life of obedience, holiness, and humility and has always walked softly before the Lord. She especially has compassion for the poor and helpless, and she never passes a beggar on the street without rolling down the car window and giving money.
Psalm 41: 1-3 promises:
Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed (NASB).
How amazing that God graciously performed these promises in Psalm 41 over Mother’s life.
Did you know the enemy attacks God’s anointed ones, especially when something glorious is just around the corner? Whenever you’re under attack, rejoice!
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing ~ James 1:2-4 NASB.
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed ~ 1 Peter 2:24 NASB.
Do you have a physical illness or affliction that you’re asking the Lord to heal? He is no respecter of persons. Jesus is waiting for you to ask and tells us:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” ~ Matthew 7:7 NKJV.
Be encouraged in your suffering. There is an end because we have a merciful, loving heavenly Father.
We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful ~ James 5:11 NASB.
Are you experiencing a spiritual attack of the enemy? I would be honored to pray for you. If you fill in the comment box with your request, I will agree with you for your healing.