By: Richard Gazowsky
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I’ve often found myself standing in the middle of a no man’s land between two opposing sides. It’s the world that I’ve known most of my life: the one that I control with my flesh, where every decision is made by myself; the other one a world that I’m not very familiar with, the realm of walking in the Spirit of trying to be like Jesus ~ where He said, “I can do nothing except I see the Father doing it”. To be honest, over the last few years I have visited this concept of walking in the Spirit. But it was always when I was faced with some great decision to be made, or desperately needed help.
What makes this time so different is that now I’m actually trying to make the transition of letting God make every decision that I face during the day: what type of clothes I put on, what kind of dinner I eat, who I am going to meet with for a business meeting, etc. Wow! Do things change when you place God in total control of your life! I also realize the problems I’m encountering while making this change are not God’s fault, but 100% mine. My fleshly ways from the past are so easily interjected into my current desire to follow Him completely. Let me give you an example.
A few weeks ago I was given a prophetic word, “Don’t go south.” I knew this prophetic word was truly from the Lord, for another prophet had warned me earlier that now wasn’t the time to travel to Southern California. But several weeks went by and the prophetic words became only distant memories in my mind. One Sunday I was asked by a dear friend to join him for a series of meetings that were to be held in the Los Angeles area. I quickly asked the Lord if I should go and He said “Yes” (more about this later).
So, my family and I packed up and headed south. It was weird what happened on that trip. Suddenly I found myself with a binding tension in my chest and was hardly able to breathe. The next day, in Los Angeles, the situation became more acute and I realized that my breathing situation was getting progressively worse. At this point I remembered the prophetic word that had been spoken over us, “Don’t go south.” And there I was, standing in Los Angeles in disobedience.
Let me take a moment here to explain something that I’ve learned about God’s ways. I’ve discovered that when God warns you not to do something, He tells you once. That is His perfect will. But if you go ahead and forget about His instructions and then ask Him to change His mind, He will allow you to take the path of disobedience. The Lord told Joshua, “I will remove the enemy from the Promised Land once. But if you decide to bring them back in, marry their daughters, and dance with their gods, I will not stop you, but will let you bring these troubles into your lives. If they torment you and kick you out of the land, then it is the pathway that you have chosen.” (I’m paraphrasing this Scripture out of the book of Joshua). We need to understand that when God tells you His perfect will, but He does not play with it. His perfect will is extremely valuable in the heavenly realm, and is probably the most valuable possession a man can possess. If we reject it, we are going to have to face the consequences. Now back to my dilemma in Southern California.
The situation wasn’t easy because I was looking right at my dear friend that I’d promised to attend all the meetings with. And some of the meetings were with famous people that I’d wanted to meet for years. I also knew my decision was going to put an undue amount of pressure upon my relationship with my friend. Suddenly this feeling rose up in my flesh that I was not acting mature, the decision wasn’t good, and I should keep my original commitment to be down there. But at the same time I faced a bigger issue ~ my personal obedience to the word of God.
This is the no man’s land I was talking about, where you stand in between the will of God and your own human will. The human will is always backed up with reasoning and logical understanding. The will of God is only backed up with your ability to accurately hear God. And, in situations like this God usually doesn’t explain Himself, so you are completely stuck with the problem of verifying the accuracy of the word and your own inability to explain the reason God is telling you to do something.
I made a decision. Since I was going to be a fool anyway, I would be a fool for Christ. Whenever I’m unsure what to do, I completely unplug my brain and just do what God originally told me. (Of course none of this would have happened if I’d only obeyed the word of God from the beginning.) Please understand, I’m trying to give an accurate appraisal of how sometimes our human failings cause us to stumble into that no man’s land between God’s will and our will. My family and I decided that the best thing for us to do was get back to San Francisco as quickly as possible, and then take direction from the Holy Spirit. I’m happy to tell you that my friends, all of them, were very understanding.
There is a reason that most of us have to go through situations like this. It’s to show us that finding God’s perfect will is probably the highest treasure that man is ever going to obtain. I must tell you that it can be extremely expensive, especially when it comes to your human ego. But how could you ever put a price, or expense account, on the necessity of obeying God’s perfect will? As any intelligent Christian knows, for God to even be mindful of us and give us a task to do, is honor enough to transform our lives. But when He directs our paths it also leads us into treasures forevermore. That is why continual resistance to obeying His will can eventually lead to the worst destruction. God’s will is literally everything. Like I said to you last week, we must breathe faith so we can exhale obedience.
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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called The Voice of Pentecost, and is also president of Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”