“What we perceive as detours and delays are often God’s ways of setting up divine appointments. And they often start out as closed doors.”- Mark Batterson
“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.”- Acts 16:6 (NIV)
As Mark Batterson continues Chapter 7 of Whisper, he talks about a check in the spirit. Pastor Batterson notes that the apostle Paul intended to go to Bithynia on his second missionary journey. However, the Holy Spirit prevented Paul from preaching there. In addition, that check in Paul’s spirit was followed by the vision of a man in Macedonia. The man asked Paul to come there and help them.
Consequently, a check in the spirit, Mark adds, is:
- difficult to define, difficult to discern
- a feeling of uneasiness you can’t ignore
- a sixth sense that something’s not quite right
- creates a lack of peace in your spirit
- God’s red light; failure to obey the sign might send you heading toward trouble
Therefore, God closes doors to protect us, redirect us, and keep us from less than His best. However, we chafe at perceived detours and delays, even though God often uses them to set up divine appointments.
In this context, Pastor Batterson raises the subject of fleeces. While Mark believes fleeces carry God’s stamp of approval, he offers three warnings and instructions:
- Test your motives. Make sure you’re asking for the right reasons. If you fail to test your motives, you risk testing God. As Mark stresses, “the driving engine must be a genuine desire to honor God.”
- Delayed obedience is disobedience. We must make sure the fleece doesn’t function as a delaying tactic or as a substitute for faith. While there’s a time to seek God’s will, the time comes when you need to act on it.
- Set specific parameters in prayer. Finally, define the fleece. Otherwise, it’s easy to come up with false negatives or false positives. Furthermore, don’t discount the fact that fleeces require divine intervention.
Today’s question: How do you react to perceived detours and delays? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The obstacle = the way”