“When?” It’s the question we want to know first but the answer we often receive last. While we can’t predict the future, it can be helpful to know when we are on the right track so we are not going in the wrong direction.
Therefore, here are 3 common signs God will use to let you know you are actually getting much closer than you think.
1. If You’ve Recently Had to Start Over, This Is a Sign You Are Closer Than You Think
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be in a Christian marriage, but you recently just went through a breakup with your boyfriend or girlfriend who you really thought was “the one.” Or maybe you recently switched employers but after a few months in this new position, you realize this job is just as bad as your old job. Or perhaps you’ve been fighting a particular sin and you finally got a few months clean under your belt; but then you had a moment of weakness and boom, you did it again.
It may feel like you are back at zero when things like this happen, but in truth you are not. You can learn from that bad relationship, from this new job that’s also bad, or from this recent fall into temptation. And now when you begin again, you have new knowledge to help you get different results.
Many times we think our issue has to do with our lack of opportunities or the current environment we are in. But if that were true, some of us would just be luckier than others. But that is not the case. For example, when it comes to business, some people continue to find success again and again, proving it’s not luck. Look at Steve Jobs. He started Apple and it thrived. He left, and the company suffered. Then he came back, and the company started thriving again. It was Steve Job’s talent and skill that made Apple successful. He didn’t just get lucky twice.
So if you’ve recently had to start over in a particular area of your life that you want to find success in, take heart. These experiences are changing you, and you are the greatest variable in what results you experience in life. You are actually closer to success than you think. As Paul said in Philippians 3:12-14, which states:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
2. If You Are Experiencing Healthy Conviction, This Is a Sign You Are Often Closer Than You Think
Conviction and condemnation are two very different things in the Bible. Condemnation is being sentenced to punishment for your sins. Since Christ took our punishment, a Christian will never be condemned by God (Romans 8:1). However, conviction is when the Holy Spirit is highlighting a sin or an issue in our lives so we can correct this and live better (John 16:8). Sanctification is the process all Christians go through as they learn to walk with Christ more and more (Hebrews 10:14). It’s the maturing process as a believer. And conviction is a sign of sanctification.
Many people have asked me, “How can I know if I am truly saved?” Ultimately it comes down to truly believing the gospel through faith and by grace. But one sign of true salvation is our concern about our salvation. In other words, if you are convicted when you sin and wonder if you truly are saved, this is a good sign you actually are saved. Those who never examine themselves are the ones who are more likely to not be truly saved since 1 Corinthians 11:28 tells Christians to examine themselves.
You might feel like a failure when you are convicted of your sin or because of some mistake you’ve been making. But the sooner you correct this issue, the closer you actually are to the goals you have. As C.S. Lewis said:
We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
3. If the Enemy Is Starting to Notice You More, This Is a Sign You Are Closer Than You Think
If you read about any battle that took place in history, it’s always true that the fighting gets the most intense at the areas of most significance. If you are advancing into enemy territory, the closer you get to the capital, the stronger the opposition is going to be because that’s the most significant city in that country.
Likewise, when you are on the right track in life – whether that be in your walk with God, in your dating life, or in your career – spiritual warfare is going to increase the closer you get to the godly goal you are pursuing:
- If you have been dating someone and then some areas of weakness get exposed by the enemy, this is actually good because it means the relationship is getting serious. You need to solve these issues before marriage can take place.
- If your coworkers are starting to get jealous, this means everyone’s starting to notice you are next in line for a promotion because your effort is undeniable.
- If you have been getting tempted more lately, this means the enemy is getting worried about the growth you have been experiencing with Christ.
1 Peter 5:8 states, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Who would the enemy rather devour? The person miles away from their godly goal? Or the person who is almost there?