In an earlier blog, I addressed the issue of having disassociated myself from those who are deliberately negligent in the pursuit of what the Lord called them to do.
There is another group to contend with and that includes individuals who, with purposeful intent, target certain persons – both in and out of the Body of Christ – in an effort to deter them from their ordained purpose. They will engage in what appears to be a God-bestowed relationship and their advice always seems specifically geared to your current situation.
I became familiar with one such person in my own life. Twenty years ago, I had occasion to meet Ann (not her real name), at a church service in suburban New York. A friendship developed and I was amazed as to how this woman consistently seemed to hear from the Lord on my behalf. Although I had accepted Jesus as my Savior 10 years beforehand, it was during this season that I began to actively pursue the things of God. Ann never wavered from encouragement and I felt emboldened by her counsel.
Ann knew of my desire to marry and months into the friendship she announced that per God, I was called me to be the wife of a certain man at church whom I will Roy. I liked Roy yet I was also aware of the fact that he was engaged to another. Ann replied that I was not to concern myself with that since the Lord already informed her that they would break up and he would soon be mine. I wanted a husband so desperately and to my detriment I chose to believe her. Shortly thereafter Ann proclaimed that she was chosen by God to marry the praise and worship leader. However, the stipulation was that unless I interceded faithfully on her behalf, my own blessing would never come to fruition. Foolishly I asked no questions, accepted the directive, and readied myself for the task.
Months passed and our promises, allegedly from God, appeared to reach a level of stagnancy. I labored consistently on behalf of us both yet the Lord was seemingly silent on this topic. Although Roy, my designated spouse, did break up with his fiancée, aside from chance encounters in the church lobby, literally nothing transpired. It was worse for Ann as her purported mate did not even acknowledge her. Her rage spilled forth as well as the accusations in that I was inept both as a prayer warrior and friend.
By the end of the summer, there was still no communication between Ann and her professed suitor while mine had already moved on to another relationship. Her fury seemed unrelenting and it was now expected – demanded – that I spend each moment in prayer for us both. Did I not realize the dire seriousness of the situation at hand? If I neglected to bring this forth in my petitions before His throne, the consequences would be severe. My longing for a spouse was ever present and Ann’s words appeared to hold what I wrongly perceived as God’s authority.
Just a few weeks later, on a glorious fall morning, I was in angst over what I perceived as my failure in my role as an intercessor. As I prepared for work, with my makeup in hand, I distinctly heard the Lord say “Your friendship with Ann is in idolatry.” And at that precise moment, the anxiety, fear, and confusion that were so prevalent over those last several months, literally dissipated with His Words. I knew then, with complete clarity, that I was to sever my association with Ann.
I never did see Ann again though she did call periodically over the next few weeks. “…Did I wish to get together?…Cat food is on sale…can I pick up a bag for you?” I declined graciously. The Lord had freed me from that abyss and I had no desire to return. Ultimately all contact ceased and while it took a tad longer, I finally came to the realization that Ann’s words, regarding my intended mate, were not of God. That was further evidenced when one subsequent night in church, I learned through casual conversation with an acquaintance that Roy and his wife had relocated to Georgia.
It was after I married five years later, that the Lord imparted upon my heart that I would have remained single had I continued in the friendship with Ann. I have trusted Him to direct me in every regard and I am filled with gratitude that He allowed His perfect plan to be made manifest in my life. I have also thanked Him for the gift of Godly wisdom whereas when people now say “The Lord told me to tell you…”, I measure their words against His Word. Indeed, I am more than aware of the dastardly results that can come about with intentional false prophecy and deterrence of purpose.