No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. — 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
Often distractions and interventions appear similar because they may both seem equal and or both important but they have very distinctive differences. A distraction comes with a curse and an intervention comes with a blessing. Overall, the test is this- Is this a blessing or a lesson? If a store clerk hands you an extra $20 in change to you and it’s exactly what you owe your neighbor. You may be tempted to believe, “Oh wow this is a blessing!” when it’s really a lesson to exercise integrity. The intervention would be you returning the money then opening an opportunity to engage the clerk in a conversation and maybe invite him or her to church.
A friend called me on her way to a store to make a return. It was clear she was upset and struggling with something. While we talked I realized she’d called for confirmation regarding what she was about to do which was return almost $200 worth of merchandise mistakenly released to her from her layaway plan (yes they still have those, if you’re in your 20’s someone 30 and older can explain that to you later). Now she was struggling because all the other people she’d called prior to calling me told her what had taken place was a blessing from God and she shouldn’t return the items but keep them. She and I didn’t have a long drawn out discussion. I simply reassured her that her inclination to want to return what she never paid for was the right thing and receiving something by accident WAS NOT a blessing but a test or a lesson. This conversation took mere minutes. She called me back to say the store manager was baffled as to why she’d returned the items. It was clear they’d never seen that happen before or at least it was extremely rare. Well she gave back the items and went about her business. However, it wasn’t even an hour before the store manager called her back and said they’d discovered that they’d actually been trying to contact her for several days and had been unsuccessful. There had been a special donation by a well-known athlete in the area and she’d been chosen as a random recipient days ago. This gift was not based on need, an application, or a contest. She’d just been selected to receive this gift. A stranger prepaid her debt for her to enjoy what was now a gift instead of what she was planning on working towards paying off. Now this is a true intervention because it is the true blessing.
It’s difficult to determine the difference between a distraction or an intervention without prayer and discernment. Bring everything before God and seek His guidance when you’re unsure. The reality is God’s going to act, when he has a person to work through to do his will in completion. In other words, He set the world up to do his will through humankind.
God has had some stuff in store for us that he hasn’t been able to do because of our lack of involvement in our lives, the lives of others and even the world at large. This access isn’t some minor thing. Prayer releases God to do what he has determined to do. Use prayer to take your legal authority to gain access to the only one who grants us solutions to the impossible situations in our lives, the lives of others and the world we live in. Talk to God daily and often. However, begin as soon as you wake and pray before ending your day. Share your burdens, dreams, and celebrations with God as you would an intimate friend. Be specific. Find out the will of God so you can do it on earth. You’ll just be frustrated when you don’t know God’s will…In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. — Proverbs 3:6 NIV.
Your turn, do you have an example of the difference between a blessings or lesson?