Here are 3 common ways God will reveal a “stop” to you.
1. If You Are About to Take an Unwise Large Leap of Faith Without Biblical Confirmation, God Is Usually Saying, “Stop”
This term “a leap of faith” is often used when we are faced with a choice that has a high potential for both risk and reward. For example, some may say they feel led to take a leap of faith if they have a strong pull to quit their job and pursue their passion full-time, or move across the country to be with someone they don’t know that well, or invest money in an opportunity that has made a few people rich and many people poor.
God speaks to his people in many ways, but the three primary ways God speaks to us is through the Bible (Psalm 119:105), the Holy Spirit in our hearts (John 14:26), and the circumstances in our life (Matthew 10:11-15). This is especially important to remember when you are faced with a choice to take “a leap of faith.”
I believe small steps of faith don’t require large amounts of confirmation. And I believe large steps of faith do require large amounts of confirmation. Certainly there are times where God will lead you to do things that many will say are unwise. Sometimes you do need to quit your job, pursue a relationship, or invest your money even when people around you are warning you not to. But this will be confirmed to you in clear ways, not through vague signs that could be interpreted in many different ways.
So we need to go back to how God speaks. God speaks through the Bible, through the Holy Spirit, and through the circumstances in your life. When God is truly leading you to take a leap of faith, there should be good confirmation that this is truly the Lord. Is there biblical evidence that this risk is something God wants for his people? Have you spent enough time truly praying and hearing from the Lord? And are you looking at reality and listening to the facts other people are pointing out?
If you are about to do something that is “a big leap of faith” but you lack clear evidence that God is leading you to try this, oftentimes God is saying “Stop.”
2. If You Are on a Relationship Path that Is Causing You More Harm than Good, God Is Saying, “Stop”
Christian faith has two parts. On the one side, it’s about how much faith you have. But on the other side, it’s about what you are putting your faith in.
Ultimately Christian faith is about putting your faith in Jesus (Galatians 2:20, Romans 10:17). No matter how much faith you have, if you are putting your faith in something that is untrue, your faith will not result in what you hope for.
When applying this principle to relationships, it’s important you are not relying on blind faith rather than biblical faith. You have to have faith that God will produce what you are hoping for (Hebrews 11:1) but you also need make sure you are putting your faith in something that is true.
If you have faith that a relationship that is hurting you more than it is helping you will miraculous turn into a godly relationship, this is blind faith, not biblical faith. No relationship is perfect. There will always be some hurt in a relationship between two imperfect people. But overall, if the movement in the relationship is negative and hurtful rather than positive and helpful, this is not what God wants for you.
And this doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships. This applies to your relationships with friends, family, work, church, and much more. If you are on a relationship path that is causing you harm, God is saying, “Stop.”
3. If You Are About to Pass Up an Opportunity that You Will Regret Missing, God Is Saying Stop
Whenever my family and I go on a long road trip, my wife has learned that she needs to pay close attention when we are nearing our exit because I have tendency to get into autopilot mode and drive right past it. She’s saved us missing our exit many times by saying at the last minute, “Mark, turn here!”
I believe God does this for us in life. Sometimes God will say stop not because we are doing something wrong but rather because we are about to miss something good. Notice what happened to Paul in Acts 16:9-10, which states:
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
God may not give you a vision every time he is trying to get your attention, but he will get your attention when you are about to miss what he wants for you. If you are about to cruise right past a good opportunity that you know you will regret missing later on, God may be saying, “Stop!”
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