BRAND NEW When An Answer You’ve Waited for Comes With a Catch
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What – When an Answer You’ve Waited For Comes with a Catch
I was tempted this week. Really tempted. I was offered a long-awaited and prayer-saturated professional opportunity I’ve been hoping for. But the offer came with a catch.
I can’t divulge specifics, but I can say this: accepting the offer meant diminishing who I am as a woman in ministry. My ministry credentials, representing God’s call on my life and requiring years of study and hard work, now stood as a barrier due to man-made and archaic restrictions. I could have the book publishing deal I longed for…but I would need to compromise by hiding or sacrificing my credentials in ministry. As much as it pains me to even type those words, it pains me more to admit that for just a minute, I was tempted. Tempted enough to ask my agent if I should comply. His response reaffirmed what I already knew; ”Absolutely not. I don’t think you should hide who you are or what you’ve accomplished.”
So I did what I knew in my gut I had to do: I turned it down. I was disappointed. Angry. Frustrated. Discouraged. Confused. Ever been there? Ever grown disappointed and discouraged when an answer is taking forever? Ever prayed for something, longed for something, and believed for something, and then when the answer came it came with a catch?
An answer that comes with a catch always demands a compromise.
You’ve prayed earnestly for a husband…and then there’s a guy…a guy with a catch. “Sure, this man isn’t a Christian, but I can eventually get him to go to church.” And the catch demands a compromise.
You’ve longed for a better position at work…and then there’s a way…a way with a catch. “Sure, this deal isn’t exactly ethical, but this company has so much money they’ll never miss it. I’ll finally have the promotion I deserve.” And the catch demands a compromise.
You’ve believed for a door in ministry to open…and then there’s a path…a path with a catch. “Sure, this ministry position isn’t exactly what I know I’m called to do, but waiting on God is just taking so long. Maybe He can use this to get me where He wants me. It’s not His perfect will for me but He’ll understand.” And the catch demands a compromise.
The temptation to compromise when you’ve waited so long for an answer can be oppressive. The struggle is real, folks. When you’re praying for something, longing for something, and believing for something, the enemy will give you a counterfeit answer that comes with a catch. His answers ask you to compromise something of value; your integrity, your morals, your character, or your worth.
We aren’t the first people to struggle with this. Genesis 16 shares the heart-wrenching story of Sarai, Abram’s wife, desperate for a child. Her own words, “The Lord has kept me from having children,” reveal the depth of her disappointment and discouragement. The enemy provides a counterfeit answer, and Sarai, baited by her own desire for a child, manipulates the situation by having Abram sleep with her maidservant, Hagar. The results were – not surprisingly – disastrous, both for all parties involved and generations to come. In God’s mercy, He provided for Hagar and provided Sarai with a child, but the debacle was not without dire consequences.
Just like Sarah, the enemy will try to bait us with our own desires and provoke us to manipulate the situation regardless of the cost. When we think God isn’t moving fast enough, we can become disappointed and discouraged. Those “Deadly D’s” drain us of our potential and derail the plan God has ordained for us.
So what do we do when an answer we’ve waited for comes with a catch? We see it for what it is – a counterfeit answer that comes with the catch of compromise. We ask God for the strength to turn it down, the patience to wait on His answer, and the wisdom to accept His perfect will, whatever that may look like.
When God is truly in something, you will NEVER have to compromise who you are in Christ or sacrifice what He has done in and through you. God has called you for a divine purpose. If you have to squeeze yourself into a man-made mold or compromise your convictions to walk through an open door, then it isn’t God’s door.
I understand how difficult it is to turn down counterfeit answers when you’re tired of waiting on the real ones. But if you long to “Make Your Life Matter No Matter What” more than you long for an answer, God will honor your obedience. This was a real test for me. I was truly tempted, like Sarai, to manipulate the situation instead of wait on God. If this resonates with you this week, I pray you have the vision, the strength, and the wisdom to resist compromise and turn down any counterfeit answer. Give the deadly D’s of disappointment and discouragement to God. God’s got this, and God’s got you.
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What