A few years ago Erik and I bought a house. I had forgotten how hard it can be to have confidence in what you have heard from God when you’re facing an emotional battle. There can be a lot of stress involved in the house-buying process.
For me it was hard because I was emotionally involved. I fell in love with the house immediately and let my emotions get wrapped up in the purchase. I imagined our furniture in the house. I imagined our children playing in their new rooms. I rejoiced at a place big enough to hold our very large extended family. It had become a part of our family already in my mind. And so every time we heard bad news about the loan process, my emotions would get dashed upon the rocks of fearfulness and I would get really upset.
If I feel this way about a house, I can only imagine how hard it is when a loved one is faced with a deathly illness. Or how about losing a home to foreclosure and not knowing where you will land. Tough situations call for hearing God’s voice clearly. These kinds of situations are what are called storms of life, and we all have times where we venture into these waters.
Regarding the house, before we got far into the loan process I went before the Lord in prayer about it. He spoke to me about the house, assuring me it was going to be ours. And even though I knew that I had heard, I was still very tempted to be tossed about by the emotional waves every time something took a turn for the worse. His words were the anchor that I held onto whenever I heard that the loan might not go through, or that a creditor wasn’t responding to a request.
Had I not heard from Him, the stress from the process might have dashed me to pieces. That may sound extreme, but we had been trying to buy a house for years. Just one year before, we were buying a different house and the deal had all fallen through three days before closing. We lost the deal and had to find a place to rent immediately. It was stressful and heartbreaking. It was not a fun experience and I was so afraid of that happening again.
Here are the words from the Lord that I wrote in my journal that anchored me from the storm: “I WILL make crooked paths straight. I will make mountains into valleys and valleys into straight walking paths. Watch me Wendy as I do this for you. Will you then believe that I am really here? That I really love you? That I really want to meet with you on a daily basis? Will you finally see that I am a mighty warrior and that I can make these things so, by saying them? I say it. It is SO. This house is the Selvig family house. Not to be touched by the enemy in any way. Not to have influence from worldly men or angry evil spirits. I’m setting a perimeter around the house, fresh and new. No evil will prevail past the perimeter. My peace. My angels. My kingdom will come to earth in your house. Your children will be blessed there. Your marriage will be blessed there. My Spirit will rest there, and many will sense it. Miracles will happen there. Life will pour from the doors. Do not fear. I have already seen it and it is done. REST in Me, your King. Now, wait and trust and see.”
Wow. What a King! How can you doubt after hearing something like that? Well, believe me, you can. How do I know? Because I heard it, and in my inner core I knew it was Him, but I’m still always afraid of putting my own thoughts in when I think I’m hearing Him. I’m afraid of telling myself what I want to hear. And so I don’t doubt His goodness, I doubt my own ability to hear.
So while I wanted to believe that Jesus spoke to me, sometimes I’d look at the waves and the fear and the doubt and find myself sinking like Peter did as he was trying to walk on the water towards Jesus. Yet Jesus held out his hand and helped him walk by having him look at Him.
I think there is a great lesson here about faith. If I truly believe that Jesus spoke to me, then I need to listen to what He said. I did believe it, and so after a small battle in my heart, I chose to not listen to the ups and downs that came regarding that house. My emotions couldn’t ride those waves anymore. Instead I chose to look straight ahead at Jesus, walk on the water, and let Him pull me to safety.
Then, just like the year before, three days before we were to close on this house the deal fell through completely. The bank had missed one of our sources of income and we actually made too much income to qualify for the loan we had applied for. We didn’t qualify for the other loans. It looked like the deal was going to fall through completely. When we heard that news we could have let ourselves sink in despair. Instead we waited calmly for the Lord to intervene because He had said that it was our house. I went to my room and prayed about it in faith. Jesus had said this was our house, so that meant this was just a hiccup.
A few hours later the phone rang. “Mrs. Selvig?” The mortgage employee questioned as I picked up the phone. “I can’t believe this, but we found a completely different loan program that I didn’t know about. You qualify and not only do you not have to fill out any new paperwork, you’ll get an even lower interest rate! We can proceed to closing just as if nothing happened!”
James 1:6 says that he who doubts is like wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. If I choose to ride every wave I will get beat up by the surf. Choosing to doubt is a choice to be led by emotions and circumstances. If I choose to trust the Word the Lord spoke to me in my prayer time, I can ride through the storm steadily even as waves try to toss me about. Hearing the voice of the Lord is important so that you can face the storms of life with confidence. I can’t imagine walking through life without hearing my Shepherd tell me which way to go!