Years ago, my husband Gary and I won a trip to Acapulco, Mexico through a business endeavor. The trip didn’t include free airfare.
We didn’t have the money for our house payment that month, let alone tickets for the trip.
We were in the process of learning about faith, so I prayed for the money for the airline tickets. Just before the deadline, a random offer came in the mail from a finance company—all we had to do was call and activate the offer and buy our tickets.
I thought: This must be God!
Of course, I’d like to say that Gary and I had a divine revelation and said no to the whopping 28% credit option, but with the lure of the trip and a lack of understanding concerning God’s Kingdom, we activated the offer and packed our bags.
It was a terrible trip.
Once we got to Acapulco, Gary was so nervous neither of us could relax. He was preoccupied and checked the ATM every morning to make sure we weren’t bouncing checks, and I was physically ill during part of the trip. To add to our tension, there was political unrest there at the time, and armed guards walked the beaches with machine guns.
Then, when it was time to go home, we discovered there was a tariff to leave Mexico. We had to borrow the money from someone just to get out of there! We couldn’t have been happier to get home. When our flight landed in Texas, Gary said, “I could kiss the ground!”
So many times we ask God for things we aren’t ready to receive, and without considering the consequences of our decisions, we take a shortcut, using a questionable method that violates God’s principles.
2 Corinthians 11:14 says, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
Just because we’ve prayed for something and an answer seems to appear doesn’t mean it is God’s plan.
I love John 15 in the Bible and, in particular, verse 7:
“If you remain [abide] in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
We must learn to “abide in Christ,” to listen as we pray and come to know His voice and His ways. Then we’ll no longer be tossed to and fro by every circumstance of life…and every credit offer.
It took us several years to pay off the loan for those airline tickets. The problem wasn’t the destination, but the manner in which we got there! God wants to bring “whatever we wish,” but unless we abide in Him those wishes can turn into traps that mimic our prayers.
Gary and I learned God’s ways and eventually became debt free, stayed at the same resort, and enjoyed a very memorable time with great friends.
The difference was that the second time it was by abiding with God.
There will always be things that we want and deals to be had, but we should never shortcut God and let the desire of the moment jeopardize our future. Keep your dreams and desires in check until it’s God’s correct timing.
Pray about the things you want, and be patient. Then, watch and have fun as it comes through God’s way!