I hear it from clients all the time: “God answered my prayer, that was a divine appointment!”. They’ve met someone who showed up in their life at just the right time, or so it appears. A new relationship. A job offer. But all that glitters is not gold. How can you tell who orchestrated the encounter?
The word “divine” is heard in secular phrases. When someone says “the pie was divine,” they mean it was supremely good. The most common usage for Christians is when something is, “of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God or a god.” (Merriam-Webster).
From God or a god * (emphasis added).
Why do we always assume that the instigator of anything divine is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? I believe the most reasonable explanation is that most believers cannot accept the possibility that other gods, including the Prince of this world (Satan) and his kingdom, can do the same.
God’s people perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), and this is another arena where lack of understanding and discernment can lead to disastrous consequences. Holy Spirit does speak to us, but demons can put thoughts in our mind, and they can orchestrate encounters for us.
I had a woman client who mistakenly understood the nature of the divine connection she had encountered. She’d been alone for some time and had begun praying fervently for the Lord to bring her the man she was to marry.
Within two weeks, she met a man and felt a “supernatural” connection. He looked like the one and in her heart she believed that he was the answer to her prayer. He had some anger and control issues that bothered her, and her friends had reservations that they voiced. But she pressed ahead in faith and confidence that her heavenly Father had put this together.
It was a whirlwind romance; they married quickly, but things went sour almost as fast. The woman’s new husband abused her, stole money and left her hurt, angry and bitter after only a few months.
How did that happen?
I do not believe for a moment that he was God’s answer to her prayer. The demonic kingdom, which hears our prayers also if we do them out loud, responded by forging a connection with these two.
They are able to put thoughts in people’s minds (just as God does) and get people into positions of vulnerability so that their plans for destruction (John 10:10) can be fulfilled.
This woman had a real desire (for a godly husband), and I know that He will bring her the right man in His timing. He will bring good out of this apparent disaster, and she had matured and gained faith as I minister deliverance to her and help her see how she had been outwitted by the enemies of her soul.
How to Discern the Source of Divine Appointments
- Do you primarily have peace or concern?
The word and directions of the Lord will bring peace, not fear or concern. There may be some soulish apprehension, but the inner voice of peace will calm the flesh. If the inner voice is fear or doubt, you should be concerned.
- Do family and valued loved ones share your view?
Love is said to be blind, and discernment can go out the window during these times. Those close to us can often see through the clutter, and their concerns should not be disappointed.
- Do you have to constantly look past negatives to cling to the positives that you see?
Rose-colored glasses distort the view. Make a conscious effort to take them off and force yourself to look at reality. Just like a rattle in our automobile, problem areas almost never resolve themselves. They are ignored at great peril.
- If you are considering a life-changing decision, do you find yourself saying that things will be different after you take the leap?
I’ve heard this comment often during my years of marriage counseling. Problems during courtship never get fixed after the wedding. Ever.
Concerns about a job or position should be resolved upfront. It may be painful, but it’s much better to address the issues sooner rather than after you’ve started down the wrong road.
God can and does set up supernatural encounters for us. If you understand that the demonic realm can do the same, you will be better positioned to make better choices.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed (Prov. 15:22). Don’t become prideful or isolated. Listen to Holy Spirit’s voice (“My sheep know my voice” – John 10:27) and if you are unsure of what you are hearing, seek out those who love Him and you.
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