Receive the Blessing, Don’t be Deceived
A miracle occurred; we were prequalified for a mortgage on a house. I tell you this is a miracle because of our history of experiencing a foreclosure several years ago. I won’t go into all the details surrounding that event; they are told in another book: Beyond Foreclosure. For now, I’ll just tell you, it’s a miracle. It’s important that you know that before we prequalified (or were even thinking of a house) God confirmed said to me, “Rest child, fall is coming and blessings will abound.” So, in my heart, I recognized that God prepared me to receive an unknown blessing because He told me, “Blessings would abound.” The details of the blessings, I did not know, but I recognized the energy and action of God’s Hand, when we prequalified. I said, “Aha, this is what He was talking about.” So, I trusted. I knew God was at work. God even confirmed it through my husband. In fact, the process of the house search and the possibility of buying one started with Brian (not something that I orchestrated or tried to make happen). In fact, a week or two before all this, Brian came home and said he found a house, God told me to let Brian pick out the house. I had been praying for a house for two years (ever since the foreclosure). The loss was so hard on my family, especially my husband. I felt that Brian gave up hope – that he settled into the bleak reality of where we were in the physical. Simultaneously, however, I will also say that his steadfast ability to endure long-suffering, silently, enabled our entire family to get through it. I wanted to cry (pressing back tears many days, constantly praying to God, while Brian remained a steadfast example of standing firm, and enduring tough times, constantly saying, “It’s not so bad.” Which made me want to cry harder because I knew it was. I counted our blessings, but held back tears at the same time. It was a tough time.
Two months prior, I asked Brian to help me begin to look for a house and to pray for one, but he said he wasn’t ready to do that. He said that he didn’t want to talk about or pray about a house, until November (the official 2 year mark from the foreclosure, and even then, he doubted that we’d qualify since I wasn’t brining in any money). My heart was broken, but I agreed to not bring it up again to Brian. I prayed about it constantly every day to God, and I scoped out neighborhoods in the children’s school district, confident that God had a house for us; We just didn’t know the address yet. So, when Brian walked in the door on a September evening stating, “I found a really neat house.” I almost fell over; it wasn’t even November yet. Again, I recognized that God prepared me for this by telling me that it would be a good idea to let Brian pick out the house. Up until this point, I was praying about a house I found that was overpriced but to which I believed God led me; I figured in God’s time, the price would go down, and it would be ours. I even had Warrior Moms praying about it. One Warrior Mom, met me over there two times and we prayed on the front porch. The 2nd time we met there to pray, God told me, “This house was credited to you as righteousness today.” I thought that meant that the house would be ours for sure. I now know that God was blessing my faith (in the eternal form), but that this particular house for which we prayed, would not be ours in the tangible sense after all. As soon as Brian walked in the door and proclaimed he found a house (after God had told me to let him pick it out), I understood. I would receive the credit of righteousness from my faith in God regarding the other house, and I would allow God to work through Brian for a home for us. I was excited. At this point in my life, I don’t want a particular house more than I want God’s will in my life. I’ve been humbled to the point of prizing His will over my physical desires. I want nothing less than His will, whatever that is. For many years, I fought God to the point of exhaustion over these matters. I was so thankful to be resting in His will now.
So, we prequalified, and we put an offer on the house Brian found. But then….. Don’t you just love the “but then’s.” The minutia details of the process of officially qualifying began. We gave Jerry, our realtor and friend, a money order for $1,000 for ernest money, and then we waited. Now, I knew it would all work out because God told me blessings would abound, but then time and details started to permeate the situation, the air, the conversations, and doubt and fear of “What if it doesn’t all go through?” began to permeate the air, my thoughts, and my words. The lender would not commit; she kept saying, “I’m stating your case.” “We need to make sure the underwriter has all they need; they won’t put their name on it, unless they are sure.” Jerry reported the facts to us about the process which I appreciate. I know that he can’t give people false hope. He’s seen too many deals fall through over the years, including our house that got foreclosed on after 3 contracts fell through (He had tried to help us with all that two years prior).
During the 3-4 weeks all this was going on, Brian came home one day after teaching and said, “I bought some bulbs today.” I said, “What? Bulbs?”
“Yes, some bulbs,” he replied.
“The school is selling light bulbs for a fundraiser now?” I asked in a confused voice.
“No, you know how every year, I buy one thing from a kid for a fundraiser? Usually I buy a case of water or Gatorades, but this year I bought flower bulbs.”
“Oh, that’s nice,” I said. I was still confused. But I thought it was a nice gesture. Brian had planted many flowers in the yard of this house we are leasing. I always told him how nice they looked and how we would definitely be leaving this house with added beauty when we left. But then he said, “No, for our house. I bought them for the new house. I’m planting them at our new house.”
Later that day God said to me, “Brian purchased the house in faith when he purchased those bulbs.” I teared up at God’s love for us, at Brian’s faith, and the beauty of it all. I almost let myself sob tears of joy, but I felt like if I started to sob tears of joy and release at that exact moment, Ten years of tears would flow, and I may never stop, so I decided to wait and dance and cry and sing when we moved in instead. It would be a safer celebration for me.
Shortly, thereafter, the fear started. You see, right when Brian spoke those words about planning the flowers in our new yard, I realized that Brian had a ton of faith! I became fearful for him. He was hoping for the first time in years! I’m referring to a point prior to the 2 years that our foreclosure occurred. I’m referring way back to our son’s diagnoses of Usher Syndrome, of the cochlear implant surgery when he was 18 months, of the 4 years of the speech school, the uncovered medical expenses, the diagnoses of blindness when our son was five-years old, and the foreclosure. I’m referring to the fact that life had been hard for many years, and while Brian remained steadfast, I know that as a man, as a father, as a husband, the last decade had been harder than words can say on his heart and spirit. So, I became fearful that if this didn’t work out, Brian would be crushed to the point of no return. You see, when you don’t hope, it’s a safe place. When your hopes are not raised, you can’t fall. This is why so many people refuse to hope for anything more. It’s safe. Granted, it’s not a flourishing, faith-filled life, but it’s safe. It’s a safe prison! I was okay with my out of control faith for me. Nobody got hurt when I silently prayed and believed God for miracles. Only my faith was at stake, and I could handle it because I had come to a point in my life where I knew that if I hoped so high and fell, God would be the only one who could lift me up, and I expected Him to do it. He had done it so many times in the past that I knew He’d do it again, so I had faith. But when I saw that my husband had that kind of faith, instead of getting excited, I let the enemy taunt me with fear of my husband falling. After a day and a half of being tortured with fear and doubt by the enemy, after answering Brian and the kids’ questions, “What is the status? When are we moving? Can I paint my room a bright color?” I would say, “Well, they are working hard on the paperwork, we’ll see. I’ll let you know when I know.”
God said, “Enough! Do not forsake My blessings.” I stopped in my tracks and I saw a vision of God’s hand reaching out to mine. In His hand was a blessing, and between His hand and my hand was a decent size space/gap. In between His hand and the blessing and my receiving hand was the space in time where the enemy works very hard to cast fear and doubt in my mind to the point where I will lower my hand! I got chills down my spine realizing that the enemy himself was trying to get me to forsake our blessing, and that if I kept talking the way I was, I would definitely help him (the enemy) accomplish his goal. The vision faded, and I yelled, “No!” aloud. I walked around my house claiming the blessing of this new home for our family. I praised God. I rebuked the enemy, fear, and doubt. I said, “We will receive this blessing in faith! God is able. God is powerful. Only God can do it, and God, I know you are! I receive it in the name of Jesus!” I had a holy conviction about me, and I was bold, loud, steadfast; I realized what was at stake, and I shuddered to think that I almost lowered my hand.
My hand is raised, my spirit and faith are high; likewise my husband and children are believing! We will believe. We will believe. We will believe. I remember over 2 years ago when God began bringing people to the Warrior Mom Ministry; I was dizzy with the excitement and the evidence of many years of prayer that had reached tangible form. I remember feeling the weight of having gotten people to hope and have faith, and I was concerned because now, it wasn’t just my faith at stake, God had brought others to the table, and I was concerned that I would let them down (if it didn’t all work out. Again, I was taking the responsibility of blessing other people as if I was God; that was His job – not mine).
God said, “Do not doubt me; you can’t afford it.” I realized that God expects me not to doubt, not one ounce! Doubt may come beyond my control, but I am not to focus on it and allow it to grow bigger than my faith. I now know that when He confirms something, when He speaks, I am to receive it! Now please understand, we don’t buy a lottery ticket and say, “In faith, I believe I will win!” No, this is not a life of faith; this is playing with fire and blaspheming His power. But, the more we read the Word, the more we are in communication with Him, the more we hear Him speak, and the more our will becomes aligned with His will. As a result, our prayers are more aligned with His will for our lives. When we get to the point of desiring to receive His will above our desires, we receive His blessings for our lives in faith, and we are joyously ecstatic about it!
I shudder to think of the countless children of God who had the faith to raise their hand to receive His will in their life – His blessings, and who in fear and doubt cast upon them by the enemy, lower their hands and forsake their blessings! And, this does not require a full lowering to forsake a blessing. Sometimes, it’s in the 1 cm lowering of doubt that the blessing is lost! I know that I have been sent to you today through reading this story to tell you, “Raise your hand! Raise your hands, Raise your hands! Keep them raised! Praise Him for who He is and claim victory, and His will in your life. Whatever happens, no matter what, no matter if it’s been a decade or two or three since you’ve seen the tangible evidence of your faith, do not lower your hands! Raise them higher and surround yourself with people who will help hold your arms up (like they did for Moses when fighting the Amalekites in Exodus 17:8-16). Surround yourself with faith-filled warriors of the Word, and believe!
If you ever visit me and my family at the grace house God provides, there will be a sign that reads:
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.