Erin and I have had several good prayer times during our 40 days of prayer (see below). As God often does when we pray for a breakthrough or for God to act in some way, He speaks first to “the spiritual” before delivering an answer in “the physical”. In other words, God deals with our hearts and the “real issue” behind the physical answer to prayer we are seeking Him for.
God ministered DEEPLY to us the morning of January 12th. We were asking God what His will might be concerning a trip to visit our families for Christmas in 2016. We have not traveled since we moved here in Nov. 2013 and Erin has not spent Christmas with her family in over 10 years.
As we were praying the Lord revealed to us what was in my heart. There was a belief under the surface in me that thought God was either punishing me or disciplining us by taking away a Christmas vacation (we had our hearts set on one for the holidays 2015). I do not know how this thought had come to grow but it was clearly there, however subtle it was. I believed God was using bad CIRCUMSTANCES as a way to PUNISH/DISCIPLINE me.
The Lord cut to my heart by gently but firmly stating a truth: “David, if I wanted to punish you for your sins I would have to kill you.” The wages of sin is not a missed vacation; it is death! That is what our sin really deserves, and Jesus took ALL the punishment for my sin and God does not punish me for any of them. It is ALL on the Cross.
God then clarified for me three things that had blurred together and were causing fear and condemnation: punishment, discipline and trials. I had begun to see many bad circumstances (trials) as God’s way of punishing me or disciplining me somehow.
God led me to various verses and showed me that:
This in effect is simply the Good News of the Gospel. However, when God spoke it that morning it was fresh truth all over again that cut through the layers of error that had built up through disappointment, or hardship.
May you enjoy the joy of knowing God loves you and no bad circumstances come your way because God is mad or disappointed with you. Live in His love!