Trouble will always try to rear it’s ugly head whenever God is doing something good or about to do something extraordinary in your life. It’s at that moment when we as Christians or Christ-followers and God’s chosen people must ask God for the Holy Spirit of discernment.
Trouble may come in different forms:
- An ex-boyfriend/ girlfriend popping up out of nowhere trying to fake a friendship or rekindle a romance.
- An old friend who wants to now reconnect with you after disappearing when you were going through your trying times, trials, lowest point or storms.
- An annoying, nagging, mean / evil spirited coworker who suddenly wants to be friendly with you and hang around you.
- A family member who wanted nothing to do with you that suddenly wants to be fully involved and immersed in your life.
If you haven’t grasped the pattern yet, trouble comes disguised as something sweet or seemingly working in your favor. Again, it’s during those times, we as Christians must have the spirit of discernment to know that what may look or feel good isn’t necessarily good. Even if it comes wrapped up in a bow, the spirit of discernment will let you know that what you see or are experiencing isn’t for you. It may look perfect, it may even feel or sound great but you have to hold true to what you were taught and what the spirit of discernment is telling you.
“My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.” (Proverbs 3:21-26 NLT)
Today I just had my own encounter with a trap from my past and all I can say is thank God for the spirit of discernment. It came in a form of an ex-boyfriend. He stopped by wondering why I had not returned any of his phone calls nor text messages. I sensed a warning deep down inside a few days ago after he tried calling me again. The sign said that after awhile, he would try to be bold enough to show up at my house. Still I had hoped this day wouldn’t come because honestly, I did not feel like dealing with his mess anymore. I’m in a much better place and like Mary J. Blige, I don’t need no more drama in my life.
After hearing the doorbell ring a few times, and seeing how relatively calm my dog was as I walked closer to the door, a voice in my spirit let me know who I was about to see on the other side of the door. Sure enough, it was my ex. Annoyed, I took a deep breath, looked up towards the Lord and opened the door. I made sure to stay in the doorway as I did not want this conversation to be drawn out. “How can I help you?” Immediately, he started going in on why I hadn’t answered his phone calls. “What do we have to talk about,” I said. “I needed to know that you’re okay,” he replied. My response was calm and simple, “I’m in a better place.” He said, “Oh, but I was worried about you. Are you okay?” Again, as calm as the sunshine on a warm summer’s day, I smiled and replied, “I’m great. I’m in a much better place.”
Still he kept edging the conversation on as if relentless to let it go, “I’m always your friend. You can talk to me about anything. No matter what’s going on in my life, the moment you hit up my phone, I’ll be there to answer. It’s not like you to not answer my phone calls. I just needed to know that you are 100% okay. Dag, you couldn’t call me back to let me know you were cool?” With the same calming smile on my face, I replied, “I’m 1000% great. I’m in a much better place. I followed God and He got me. Had you prayed to Him about me, He would’ve told you, ‘I got her, she’s good!’” He interjected sarcastically, “So you’re 1000% great. Wow. Well I did listen to God because I was nervous as hell about coming over here like this but when I got closer to your house, I followed my gut instinct and decided to come over. So I’m here making sure you’re all the way good. Are you sure you’re okay?”
Still with a smile on my face, I noticed my breathing was relatively calm as if I was in a resting state. Sticking with that calm spirit surrounding my heart, I replied, “You listened to the wrong spirit. Had you followed that uncalming, nervous feeling you were having and turned to God about it instead of listening to the Devil, God would’ve told you that all is well with me. He got me and I’m in a much better place.” Relentless to let go, he responded, “Well I didn’t listen to the Devil, I followed my heart and my gut feeling and you of all people should know that God already had this day written a long time ago. So he knew this day would come.” This made me smile brighter for behold, he had no idea that what he had just said to me, confirmed my suspicion that this was a test.
Feeling even more at ease, I responded, “You’re right and I’m glad I followed God and am doing what Jesus Christ told me to do. I’m at peace.” Shifting his position in my doorway as if feeling a sense of discomfort, he jokingly replied, “So what, you’re in ministry now?” With a big smile, I replied, “Yes I am!” With a shocked look on his face, he forced a smile and said, “Oh, well that’s great. Good for you.” It was a short pause and I could sense he was trying to find something more to say to me.
Sensing him gearing up to try for further attempts at a conversation, I spoke in the spirit to myself, ‘It’s time for this conversation to end.’ He then abruptly blurted out, “Well the last time I spoke to you, I remember you were in a dark place about your grandma and worrying about your brother and family.” Quickly yet sternly, I cut him off, “Correction, the last time you remember, that was the place that I was in. However, the last time we actually spoke was a few months ago about your girlfriend and the problems you were having with her. We never talked about me and where I was at. The whole conversation was about you.” Shifting again in discomfort, he said, “No we didn’t. We talked about you. I don’t talk about her and could care less about wherever she and I are with things.” This was another moment where the spirit of discernment was showing me exactly why he was here.
So I calmly replied, “Maybe now you aren’t talking about her but at that time, that’s all you did was talk about her. I don’t really care but I just want you to know that what you’re recalling as our last conversation was not the correct recollection of our last conversation. I was then, and still am now, at a much better place than I was when you’re referring to that dark place I was in before. I’ve changed! Where I am now is in a much better place. I’m at peace! I followed God’s calling on my life and I’m happy!” Slightly annoyed yet trying to sound loving and kind, he responded, “Well I don’t have any hatred towards you. I’m always your friend and you were my first love. Even if you’re over me, that’s fine. But I just wanted you to know that I’m here for you.” As I listened to his badgering, I calmly zoned out and thought to myself, ‘Where were you when I was at my lowest point? Some friend you are. You turned your back on me. Only person that was there for me was God. I’m so ready for this conversation to be over with!’
As if God heard my thoughts directly, he shifted his stance once again uncomfortably as I responded, “I don’t hold any grudges towards you. All is forgiven and I’m at peace. I wish you nothing but the best and I’m 1000% happy with where I am in my life and where God is taking me.” Yet still not quite ready to just let go, for a fourth time he attempted at a conversation briefly telling me about his new job, how he’s trying to get to a better place with his faith and how he’s not worried about what’s going on with that girl anymore. “Right now, all I’m focusing on is my kids.” Smiling, I congratulated him on his new job and shifted my position towards the door.
Before leaving, trying at one final attempt to reconnect with me, he said, “Well could you at least promise me that you’ll try to call me and stay in contact, at least letting me know that you are alright?” My answer was short and simple, “No, I cannot promise you that. No, I won’t promise you that.” Shaking my head and inching more towards backing him out of the doorway, I said, “Take care and God bless.” With somber eyes, he said his goodbye and walked away. I’m glad to report that by closing the door, I finally closed that chapter for good. Right afterwards, I thanked God for being so good to me, for sending the warning signs and for gifting me the spirit of discernment.
See, God will send you warning signs if you let him. That Holy Spirit of discernment will let you know what you are about to walk into before it actually happens. It’s our job to tap into that spirit, listen to it and allow it to guide us through the testing point. If we allow that spirit to properly guide us, we can pass whatever test the enemy sets in front of us.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” (Galatians 5:24-26 NLT)
My ex remembered me in my broken place. My ex remembered a girl that used to be so in love with him that she’d fall for his tricks and seemingly kind, loving words. What my ex was not expecting was the God in me. He was not expecting that I had changed! He was expecting me to still be that same broken, depressed filled, grief stricken person who was depending on him to bring her happiness back. Yet what he found today was that he was not the answer to my prayers — God was! He was no longer responsible for my happiness, God is! He had no more power over me because God stepped in, blocked the Devil’s attempts and set me free from everything that was holding me back. To God be the glory for my testimony.
“Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” (Psalms 25:5 NLT)
I pray you who reads this learn something from my testimony. If you allow my experience and the God in you to give you the correct guidance you need to have in order to proceed to the next level in your life, you can get through anything.
“For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” (Psalms 84:11 NLT)
Trouble will come but remember your faith. Recall God’s teachings in the Bible that says,
“And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.” (Ephesians 1:13 NLT)
“”Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” (Revelation 3:13 NLT)
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG user: @_enk