I was inspired to share with you about an experience from my life, which was a great lesson to me and also an incredible testimony. I faced something I did not expect. It turns out that you can do God’s work and think that you do it all for the glory of God and you delight Him with your deeds, without even knowing that the real picture is very different than you thought.
Question: what are the deep intentions of your heart, what is behind all that you do?
🕊✨ All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. (Proverbs 16:2 NIV)
🕊✨Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2 NKJV)
This experience changed the trajectory of my path. It also showed how the Lord gives all that is needed when you do His work. But in order to experience His blessing in its fullness, it is necessary to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit and to be in obedience to the way God leads you, and not be stubborn and carry out your plans as you want.
This was 6 years ago. When the opportunity opened, I shared my testimony about what the Lord has done in my life, wrote a book telling my story-testimony and it seemed that I stood well, fulfilling my promise to God, and doing what I love. In May 2013, I thought that my book’s manuscript was finished and the next step was to find a good editor and funding to cover the editing and publishing expenses. I needed $10,000.
I immediately began to look for ways where I could find the editor and funding. But everywhere I looked it seemed that I ran into a wall and could not take a single step forward. In my persistence and zeal to do everything possible, ignoring the quiet voice inside that prompted me to come before the Lord in my prayer about the next step, I took the matter into my own hands and started a fundraising project. I was perplexed as I was watching how I received encouraging messages and heard many greetings and comments about how excited people were about my book, but the funds were coming in very slowly. It seemed as if the invisible hand would not allow the money to come.
The voice of the Holy Spirit continued urging me to leave everything I was going to work on and go before the Lord in my prayer. In prayer, in the spirit, I clearly heard/felt “The editor and the money are already prepared by Me, it will come all at once and you will not even have to do anything to find them. But it will come when the time is right. Now, leave everything aside and go study My Word, search for My will for you.”
I did what the Lord said. It was not easy to stop everything. But I knew that without God’s blessing I will not have success in my pursuits no matter how much I try. I understood that this time I had to be still, not to do anything, but trust the Lord and wait until He would provide everything; meanwhile, I had to go deep into His word and hear what He wants to say to me.
So, after I pushed all my to-dos aside, I opened the Bible, and with a prayer began reading His Word. On the very first day, while reading His word, it felt as though I was struck by lightning – I saw that I was walking in the wrong direction!
Imagine the plane has a route to its destination. At some point, the pilot looks at the compass and sees that the plane is slightly off course. The shift can be very small, almost to the point that you don’t even have to worry about it because it won’t matter much. But what will happen if the pilot makes no changes and allows the aircraft to fly a little off course? The shift may not be visible in the very beginning of the journey. But after thousands of miles, this aircraft will be completely knocked off course. Arrival will be far from the destination, where he was supposed to land. This is what I saw in my life – the arrow of my compass was slightly shifted from the course.
🕊✨ Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV)
The word “selfish ambitions’ got my attention. In the classic translation of the Greek Testament, it’s self-seeking.
To be honest, I felt uneasy. Suddenly the Lord showed me the depths of my heart… Even if I love God and sincerely did everything I did, in the depths of my heart behind my work bringing the glory of God, there were also my personal ambitions. Ambitions to achieve my success. I was shocked. It was such a fine line that I did not even notice it! For so long, it seemed to me that I stood right before God because I lived by His word, for His glory and I constantly saw Lord’s blessing in everything. It turned out that it only seemed so to me.
And if the Lord did not stop me now and did not show me the depth of my intentions, I would have gone in a completely different direction than I thought. And, ultimately, this would lead me to great pride and arrogance, and I would be aiming for goals that for the most part are not His will and even the opposite.
🕊✨ These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look…. (Proverbs 6:16-17 NKJV)
🕊✨ Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility. (Proverbs 18:12 NKJV)
It was not an easy time for me. But, it became very valuable and special time. I examined myself, my values, my aspirations and intentions behind them. I spent a lot of time reassessing everything and, having changed my aspirations and intentions, I brought my arrow to the correct course.
It was a very difficult process, but at that time the direction in which I was going changed, and at the end, I was very grateful for this time period. See, I aspired to do so much, but I was not even ready yet for my ministry! During that time period, I added several new chapters and made a lot of changes in the manuscript, and I saw that my book was also not ready for publication – it was not yet finished! The work that I did with the manuscript radically changed the book.
And when the book was fully completed, and my heart also changed, the Lord did what He told me in the prayer — a professional editor and the money indeed came to me at one time, and I didn’t even have to look for it. One of the country’s best editors came to the company where I worked, and soon one person, having learned that I was writing a book and what I needed to publish it, surprised me by handing me an envelope with a check in it for $10,000, and said “I prayed about it. This money belongs to “Unstoppable”. Go ahead, publish your book, the world needs to know your story and what the Lord has taught you”
It was just INCREDIBLE!!
See, the Lord has everything you need and He can provide. If your plans do not follow through, stop and call upon Him to show you. It might not be working out for you not because you are a loser or because the enemy is working against you, but because for certain reasons the Lord himself does not allow you. Maybe it’s not the right time yet. Or, maybe you are not ready.
Examine yourself. Check what are true intentions in your heart. Weigh your heart and what stands behind your goals, what your true motives are behind the ministry that you carry or want to carry. Looking for your selfish desires to be fulfilled, to realize your ambitions, to achieve significance in the eyes of people can end very painfully.
Before you do something, ask the Lord about His will. Be in obedience to Him even if it seems to you that it’s better to do other than what the Lord has directed you to do. The enemy will try to deceive you and will tempt you to do the opposite of how the Lord directed and it may indeed seem that this way is more logical and better (This is another lesson in this story, but I will share it another time). But not everything that shines is gold.
You will be successful in your affairs only when you are in obedience to God and will do exactly the way He directs you.