Written by Evi Idoghor, Creator, Letstalknationblog.com
There are a lot of hurt people around the world today, people who have been hurt and disappointed by expectations they projected on the creator, God, who seemingly fell short of those expectations. I was going through a Facebook post one day, where someone had prophesied, that by a certain month and date next year, they were going to be married. They were specific and wanted others to join their faith with them, so this decree could come to pass.
While I can’t fault that person for having great faith, and even the audacity to put that on a social platform, where others can ask you ‘how far?’ later on, I want to use this opportunity to address one of the prevalent issues that happens in the Church—naming and claiming it.
God disappointed me
This was around mid-year 2015. I was in a church service where the pastor was proclaiming a multiplicity of things that were going to happen to individuals who happened to be in attendance that given day.
With every word spoken, I screamed with excitement, a resounding Amen!! He talked about how by that very time the following year (2016), that our lives were not going to be the same. I was exhilarated. You have to understand that by this time, I was just getting to know God on a more intimate level, I had left a sexually immoral relationship, I was finally free from watching porn, I was reading my Bible and praying every day, in fact, my friends singled me out as the pastor of the group.
I thought kissing sin goodbye was synonymous with walking into the very things I desired for myself, i.e. marriage to a tall, fair, and handsome guy who would worship the ground I deemed worthy to set my foot on, a white-collar job in a prestigious organization, earning six figures in American dollars, exotic vacations around the globe, and then to crown it all up, a United States passport.
Guys, my requests and ideologies were wild.
Not to say all these things are impossible for God, because the Bible says with God all things are possible, however these things I listed were not His plans for my life at the time, and I soon learned the hard way.
2016, turned out to be one of the toughest years of my life. Everything tanked. I was broke; I had no lucrative job, I was miserable to say the least. Although my needs were met, such as house rent and food, I had no extra funds for luxury, like I once used to.
Then I felt like God disappointed me.
This was not how the preacher had said it in church, if I knew 2016 was going to be half of what it was, I wouldn’t have been jumping up and down and screaming that fateful day.
Naming and Claiming it
You see, as Christians, we have been taught to ask God for anything, without the caveat of if our requests are according to His will for our lives. We go ahead and set timelines for various things to unfold, failing to realize that such authorization comes with a certain pay grade which is definitely above ours. On social media, I see posts, the popular ones, you know the ones with thousands of likes which says things like—“God is going to do such and such in your life before this week is over, claim it.”
And I am left wondering, do I not have enough faith for things to take effect in my life, seeing that I have named and claimed many things that never occurred.
This sort of conditioning has made some Christians, stop seeking God for the things He wants to accomplish through them, rather they seek Him for the things they selfishly desire. And when those things don’t happen, they turn around and raise their fists at God. Meanwhile, there is a great possibility that what they claimed wasn’t meant for them to begin with.
James 4:3 (NKJV) says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
You know, teaching people to seek and desire God’s will doesn’t sell; people often want to hear how they will become millionaires and bosses next year, how they will get married, and how they will become the pride of the earth. Because somehow, praying for God’s will to be done, has been associated with receiving the bare minimum from Him and also suffering, and no one wants to suffer.
Ask some Christian single ladies, they have a list of what they want in a man; tall, dark, handsome, influential, the whole nine, and they somehow fear that if they surrender that list to Christ, then He will present them with a man, who pulls his pants all the way to his chest and is socially awkward.
Do you want to know how you can receive things from God?
It is simple, ask according to His will.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
—1 John 5:14 (NKJV)
How can I know what God’s will is for my life? By spending time studying God’s word and also in prayer. Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, prayed for the possibility of not having to deal with the cross, however, He ended His prayer with whatever God willed for Him at that moment to be done.
God’s will sometimes present itself with discomfort, it happened with Joseph in the Bible as well as many others who decided to follow after Him. In those down moments, those moments of despondency, your character is being developed; God is refining you to becoming who He has called you to be.
Psalm 105:19 (NLT) says “until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.”
Timing is another factor that cannot be ignored. Yes, you might have this great revelation from God, as Joseph did, but fortunately, you do not possess the authority to choose when it can come to pass, you can only trust that God who has your best interest at heart, will make it happen at the best time. After all the Bible says He has made everything beautiful in its time.
God needs you to be prepared for the assignment He has called you to, be it on a small or large scale. He needs someone He can trust. Then once it’s time for certain things to unfold, there is no stopping them.
All those times I was pleading with God to accomplish certain things in my life, what I kept hearing in my spirit was Jeremiah 29:11, I know the plans that I have for you. It was not until I was in a pickle at Atlanta airport back in 2017, that I realized His plan was not for me to return to the US at that time.
Prior to that incident, I had many dreams about seeing myself in Nigeria. Lord knows how I detested those dreams. They came with a level of dread for me because I did not want to leave the US and move back home.
No matter the amount of praying, crying, naming and claiming it, writing all I desired on a piece of paper, and dancing around it in the privacy of my room, the husband, the job, the vacations, and the blue passport, none came to be, when I wanted it.
Is all of this to say God doesn’t want you to work great jobs and get married? Absolutely not! But He wants such things to happen according to the will that He has for you. If God reveals a thing to you concerning your life, when you stand on such a revelation, bringing it to God’s remembrance, then it is bound to happen, according to 1 John 5:14.
After all, He is the one who made the promise. Just like when He promised Abraham and Sarah a child, the Bible says in Romans 4:20-21 (NKJV), referring to Abraham— “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform."
Seeking God’s will first for your life (Matthew 6:33) will save you from dashed expectations, false hopes, dreams, and desires. It will give you a different perspective on life and also bring you into the perfect plan that He has for you.
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