So now you know the downward spiral that saying no to God causes. Yesterday's post was just an imaginary scenario, but I'm sure all of us can relate to that in some form or another. It could just be saying no to reaching out to someone who needs a prayer, or saying no to that extra hour of late-night TV when you really ought to get to bed. Most of us think of saying no to God as a choice to blatantly sin, but for most of us, it's more of a choice between choosing between what is acceptable, and what is right.
Here's an example of choosing what is right:
So you decide to do the 40 Day Fast, and delete your Facebook account, suspend your cable subscription and select a few good inspirational blogs to follow on your free time. The first few days you pray more, you read your Bible more and you psych yourself up into a state of mind that say's "This is great!"
A week goes by, and you don't feel any different, other than you can't pick up that remote and put up your feet for some entertainment after a long day. Your super spiritual psyched-up state of mind is slowly fading, and you don't want to admit it, but you are wondering if you really can last for 40 Days. But even so, you stick to your vow - you won't break the fast for anything.
The next day at work, a crisis arises. Everyone is angry and blaming each other. You've seen this before and it always ends ugly, and you get hurt. But this time, you rise above it. Your mind is clearer, you see the problem for what it is, not the exaggerated version that everyone at work is portraying it to be.
You remain calm, you pray. You don't just pray, you fight. You silently rebuke the demons in your workplace, you rebuke all the attacks on your job, and determine that God has to be Lord in that place and that this problem needs to find a solution without all this stress and drama. You ask God for wisdom, what to say, what to do, and how to react. He answers right away.
You are filled with a sense of boldness and peace, a knowledge that you are connecting with the power of the God of all Creation. A frantic coworker comes to vent her worries at your desk, and words of strength and encouragement come out of your mouth, instead of the usual gossip that you have fallen for in the past.
You go home in joy, knowing that Psalm 91 just happened in front of you. "A thousand may fall at my side, ten-thousand at my right hand, but it will not come near me…"
You can't wait to read your Bible and pray when you get home. You can't wait to get to church for the next meeting and drink in all God has for you. You can't wait to see how God will come through for you in the days to come!
In a matter of days, you have a hunger and thirst for the things of God. You can't wait to listen to the audio Bible as you drive in to work, to the audios of the pastor's sermons online. Every break you get, you are pulling up the Bible on your phone, and even when you don't have anything specific to pray for, you just want to talk to God as your friend - your Father.
Out of the blue, you get a promotion, over others with more seniority. And without thinking, you react in such a spiritual, confident and humble way that no one in the office feels threatened. You are moved to an office far away from the gossips and busybodies - and you didn't even ask for this!
Throughout the rest of your fast, Satan tries to throw problems at you. A relative is suddenly ill - the family pressures you to leave town (which means leaving church and work) to stay by their bedside… Or so you thought. Your mind is in tune with God and you hear Him direct you. No, your prayers of faith and healing are what this relative needs. Others can sit by his side, but you need to stay focused and not allow your spiritual journey to be interrupted, and you obey.
Two days later, your relative is miraculously out of the hospital and just fine. And it doesn't surprise you at all.
Before you know it, the 40 days are over. You love this new bond you have formed with God, you love the way you can hear His subtle urgings to pray, to care for someone, to say no to useless requests, to discern what is a trap of the devil. It almost feels like you are going to have to put an end to a beautiful new relationship, and you don't want to do anything to jeopardize what you've just built.
You look at that big black screen in your living room and wonder why anyone would want to turn that thing on! One thing you still haven't received - the baptism in the Holy Spirit. But you feel so close, so sure, so firm in your faith. You've started down a new and exciting path that you've never been down before. Why stop now?
As far as you're concerned the fast isn't over until you receive the complete infilling of His Spirit. You can taste it, you can smell it, and nothing will get in your way to finding it.
Without a doubt, God is pleased to grant you this amazing gift.
The smallest decisions can take on huge effects. All you do in the spiritual world impacts every aspect of your life. Even things that seem completely unrelated, are always related to God, the source of everything. Everything is connected to everything. Isn't it worth it to say yes to God?