Some of us think that we are smarter than the Holy Spirit. We make our plans without consulting with The Lord in prayer. Plans are good and we should plan, however, The Lord sees what we don’t and knows what we don’t. Therefore it is wise to surrender our plans to Him in prayer and ask for course corrections as we proceed towards our intended goals.
The problem with secular motivational messages is that having big goals does not necessarily mean that God is in those goals. Dreaming big doesn’t mean that God is in those dreams. We can become so ambitious in our pursuits that we leave God behind and continue on our journey not realising that we are on our own. Many have built huge, imposing Towers of Babel that look good on the outside but God is not in them.
The most dangerous place to be is where God has not sent you. If God sends you to a place or assigns you to take on a project, He will supply the grace, wisdom and resources to finish that project. You will be protected as you follow His instructions. But if you send yourself to a place where everything seems to be in perfect order, you will be there completely on your own.
When the Holy Spirit restrains us, He wants us to align with the master’s Will for our lives. When He pulls us back, it is because He wants to deliver us from disaster. When He cautions us not to do something, it is simply because He sees years, decades ahead of us and can determine the consequences or results of our actions even before we take them.
Naomi told me how a business man came into town with a business which promised to help people ‘relocate to Canada.’ He also promised to help business people obtain visas to a European country where he would introduce them to investors for their businesses. The man looked the part of a successful and honest business man. He wore expensive clothes, drove an expensive car and lived in a highbrow area of the city. Many people thought the time for their ‘breakthrough to wealth’ had come.
Naomi was introduced to this company by a friend. She sold some property and gave the money to the company to process her visa, ticket and accommodation for the trip. Many people were caught in the euphoria and sold their property to be a part of the opportunity. One day this sister went to the office of the company and just sat down looking at everything going on. She had some doubts which tugged at her heart and told her something was wrong. She told herself that ‘this thing looks too good to be true. It looks too smooth, too easy. This must be a scam.’ However she failed to yield to that warning and restraint.
On the day they were supposed to receive their tickets for the journey, the owner of the company disappeared, taking with him all the funds collected for the trip. It was later discovered that his expensive car, which he abandoned, was hired. He never paid the rent for the apartment he leased as the owner was also deceived by him. He slipped out of the country unnoticed. The police have not been able to solve the case.
Naomi lost a lot of money because she failed to yield to the restraint of the Holy Spirit. When she had doubts about the veracity of the company’s claims, she should have stepped back and refused to invest in that scheme. But she told me that she didn’t want to look like ‘the odd one out.’ She didn’t want to rock the boat, so she followed the crowd and lost a lot of money.
When the Holy Spirit restrains us from a course of action it is for our own good, for our own benefit. The problem is that when money takes centre stage in our minds we fail to listen to the warning and plunge ahead, driven by greed and covetousness. We must understand that God has the best plans for us. None of our plans can match the plans He has for us. No matter how bright, brilliant and beautiful a plan is, if you feel or sense that something is not right, we should take it to God in prayer and seek more clarity. It could protect us from financial loss and save us from untold heartache and pain.