Me: God why would you give me something and take it away so quickly?
God: If i gave it to you and took it away, i can either give it back, or replace it with something better?
Others: It’s an attack from the enemy but don’t worry God has got you covered. Remember the story of Job?
Me: hmmn yh, but even the devil still had to ask God for permission before he could attack Job which means God allowed it ?! *eyebrows are being raised at this point*
Others: Well that’s true, which means if God allowed it, there’s a reason for it. Take heart darling
Me: aaarrrgh why?
Me: But God why now? It’s kind of inopportune? You be doing the Most …(inexplicable things sometimes)
God: I just need you to trust me on this one. In due time, you will fully understand.
Me: *sigh* Ok.
Disclaimer: If you do not believe spiritual warfare is real, this post is not for you. However for those who know that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” – Ephesians 6:12, please bear with me and read on it will all make sense very soon!
A while ago, i presented two plans (Plan A and Plan B) to God and asked in prayer for God to make either of the plans happen. I was not fussed as to which one happened first or which way God was going to make it happen. My prayer was just asking God to make either plan A or plan B happen. Both plans were very important as i pretty much needed it to survive in the long scheme of things. It was not anything trivial in case you’re wondering. Long story short, God gave me plan B and not too long after it was taken away. I was literally elated when i first received plan B. I did all the usual things you are taught to do in church when God does a miracle, you know like give a thanksgiving seed and give a testimony to show God that you appreciate what he has given you and also to encourage others that “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” – Ephesians 3:20.
How did i know it was God that gave me plan B?
I knew it was God firstly because James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift comes from God” and plan B was a good gift. Secondly, the enemy will never send anything good your way. It may appear good initially. For example, when Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, to idolatry with the offer of the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. The fruit of this promise, would have led to destruction. Why? Because Jesus would have had to ‘bow down’ to the devil, thereby acknowledging Satan’s false sense of superiority and false power as ‘the prince of this world’ as referred to in the Bible; and would imply Jesus surrendering his Lordship! And we all know who the one and true God is. The devil has got a nerve and it makes me mad y’all but moving along swiftly…whenever you’re unsure if God sent something your way or if the adversary sent something your way, please make sure to remember Mathew 7:16 “by their fruits you shall know them” – a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and vice – versa.
Now when plan B was taken away from me, i was understandably angry. I mean i had a right to be lol but i mentally struggled with three things.
- Did God take it away?
It is perfectly possible that God took it away. So this leads me to the next question.
2. If God was going to take it away, why would he give it to me in the first place?
Well this one is much harder to figure out. If God took it away, maybe it’s because he has something better, or plan B has come to the end of its season, or plan B was for me to learn something for that time. I’m sure we’ve all heard these answers before and whilst they are perfectly plausible, i don’t like cliches! Even though they may have some truth to them. So a part of me accepted (partly lol) that the reason God took away plan B was because something else greater was in store for me. After all, the Bible does say in Jeremiah 29:11 that God’s thoughts and plans for us is not to harm us but rather his plans are to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. However what if God allowed the enemy to take it away?
3. If the enemy took it away? Why did God allow it?
Now after plan B was taken away, a few things transpired that confirmed that it was indeed an attack from the enemy and God allowed it but why?
Very good question! Thanks for bearing with me so far, i’m about to put you out of your misery lol and tie all the knots together nicely so it all makes sense 🙂
To answer this question i first thought about the story of Job as you can see from the conversation above. The bible said that Job was a righteous man that feared the Lord and hated evil. If you follow the story in Job 1 particularly verse 8, God said to Satan “Have you considered my servant Job…”, then Satan replied in verse 10 “have you not put a hedge around him…” and verse 12 God gave Satan the permission to strike Job and start making his life a living nightmare.
At this point, i’m like God why would you allow the enemy to strike Job? Like i stated earlier the devil has a nerve and it makes me mad. Satan was challenging God about Job’s character but God had faith in Job that he would not turn against him. The devil said to God that the reason Job was not going to challenge him was because God had not only blessed Job but God had also put a hedge of protection around him therefore implying that if these privileges were removed Job’s relationship with God would change. For those who have read the story we know that this was not the case. So i was like “God clearly, this was a battle between you and Satan and Job happened to be caught in the crossfire. How is that fair?”.
Just in that moment, God dropped a word in my spirit. God said:
“Exposure, that’s the reason plan B’ was taken away. I have something better for you”
I was really confused at this point so i asked God how this was relevant to the story of Job and more importantly to me. The next few days after i received this word, God began to give me more insight to help me understand. God said sometimes when we are going through it, it’s to shut the enemy down because the enemy seems to have a selective memory sometimes as to the power and awesomeness of God. So every now and then he will challenge God like he did in the case of Job and God has to put him back in his place. Also Job was not collateral damage that got caught in a crossfire, his life was a testimony to remind us that the battle is not yours but the Lords – 2 Chronicles 20:15; as when you read Job’s story, he did not curse God or wrongfully accuse him instead Job gracefully accepted his fate and kept saying “blessed is the name of the Lord”. Following this i remembered a song by Matt Redman ‘Blessed be Your Name’ from which God revealed the first lesson from my struggle. I have attached the song with this post. I will urge to listen to the lyrics carefully. The first lesson from this was; what is our attitude like when we are going through it? Do we throw a fit, a tantrum, get slack with our relationship with God because we are having such a hard time? or do we bless God’s name in all seasons? – the good times and the bad?
The second thing God was showing me through this was that doing the right thing at the wrong time can really mess things up for you. Let me explain. Earlier i mentioned that i did the right things after God answered my prayer and gave me plan B by giving my seed of thanksgiving and giving a testimony; the problem with this was it brought me pre-mature exposure. See the thing is, the enemy knows that God has good things in store for you. What the enemy does not know is the details until YOU speak it into existence. God was teaching me that there some testimonies/victories you do not expose until it has reached it’s stage of maturity. This is because pre-mature exposure may cause you to lose that very thing but rather we need protect our testimony until the right time as the Bible says in John 10:10 “the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy”. If you think about it, the enemy cannot come to steal what he does not know exists! It’s like if you always put it out there; this is what you own, this is what you have, this is what is yours, through what you wear, say to people or put on social media, this can bring you the wrong kind of exposure and eventually attract theft! Even in Luke 9:20 -21 when Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was and they said to him that he was was the Son of God, in verse 21 Jesus “strictly warned them not tell anyone”. Jesus’ life was his testimony, it was therefore imperative that he protected his identity, as the crowds finding out who he was pre-maturely, would have precipitated the workings of God’s foreordained plan of the crucifixion as there were still various things that Jesus needed to do before he could reach his destiny. Therefore we need to protect some testimonies to avoid self- sabotage for the things that God may have in store for our future.
Thirdly, sometimes God may take away what he has given you. To help me understand, God sent me a word through an Aunt of mine through the story of Hannah and Peninnah. In 1 Samuel 1:5, the Bible said that God closed Hannah’s womb. God gave this woman a womb when he created her and made her female. Then decided to close it and she could not have children! Her rival Peninnah kept provoking her and made fun of her bareness. Elkanah, Hannah’s husband still favored Hannah in spite of her bareness. When God opened Hannah’s womb and gave her Samuel, he later became one of the greatest prophets in Israel, not only that, God chose him as a priest for Israel and he was not from the family of Eli! Now my question is, does anyone know the name of Penninah’s children? or what they perhaps went on to do in later life?
Finally, God said to me that he had something else greater in store, when we look at the story of Job again, everything he lost was restored to him 7times over! Now that’s Kingdom Mathematics 🙂
The Moral of the Story:
- I will bless the Lord at all times Psalm 34:1, in the good and bad times, through all seasons. Check your attitude when you are going through it.
- If God allowed it to happen, he will bring you through it! His plans for you are not to harm you but trust him that in spite of the storm, something greater is waiting for you on the other side.
- God will always restore whatever the enemy steals from you – Deuteronomy 30
- God will prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies – Psalm 23 (Hannah and Penninah) so learn to trust God with your trouble.
- God can still favor you in your storm
- God is an ever present help in time of need, that means you if you want to see God at work it will be in the midst of your trouble. If we did not have any problems, there would be nothing for him to fix. Therefore there is a purpose for everything that you go through!
- Praise him in advance as he makes everything work together for the good of those who love him.
Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman