In One Way Out Another
The End Is Just The Start of It All – Part 2
Would you have ever imagined that the very thing you prayed to change has somehow drastically changed you? This is what happens every time one prays a thirty-thousand-foot prayer.
This is what happens when you pray for a big goal or a dream that you have planned to see accomplished.
This is what happens when you attempt to build your dream life.
This is what happens when you pursue that degree.
This is what happens when you write your next book.
This is what happens when you say “I do” to another human being.
This is what happens when you start your ministry.
This is what happens when you run for public office.
Instead of only changing the target of your ambition, you change.
Your prayer ends up altering your life.
This is an unexpected result. A person goes into their thirty-thousand-foot prayer with no intentions of changing who they ultimately will become. You never prayed so that your entire existence (life) would be altered.
If you haven’t noticed it yet, God uses prayer not for a single purpose, but for multiple purposes. He has it intertwined into the existence of many. When you decided to go after it, He already had plans in place on who’d be impacted and how it would alter you for the best. Every prayer is multi-purposed and as you walked such a journey carved out by the thirty-thousand-foot prayer you’ve prayed, you changed. This path and the experiences it brings your way, will change you in small or drastic ways. You begin changing from the day you invite God into your world. Listen to the words, prayer invites God into your world. What do you expect will happen when God shows up in your world? There is only one outcome if you pray and God shows up to answer you. You come into it one way, but you leave another way.
You came in one way and left out a different way.
One of my favorite Old Testament prophets gave these instructions to the people who desired to enter the temple to see the Lord. This I found quite interesting. He said to them that if they entered the temple by way of the north gateway, they must leave by the south gateway. It reminds me of how our COVID 19 social distancing requirements worked. In places like grocery stores, we’d have one way to enter the building and another way to exit. This prophet gets a look more specific with his instructions however. This is the part I like; he says that a person must never leave by the same gateway they came in.1
Here’s my takeaway: when we enter prayer (like entering the temple) we go in one way, but we come out another way.
When we enter prayer, our family has learned to never leave the same way we entered. For us it’s symbolic. Allow me to elaborate.
Prayer is an opportunity to exchange normal for something “no-longer-common” (uncommon), what the Bible calls “holy”.
Given such an opportunity, when we encounter God, the proof is that our thoughts and ways are better than when we went in.2 We go in with one mind set, challenge, problem ,or idea, but we come out with His.
Let me say it like I want to [to the left] so that I can leave an imprint in your thinking. There is no way you’ve spoken with God and your thoughts aren’t elevated beyond your “normal” thinking. If you want to know if you’ve heard from God, this is the way to evaluate it. Is what He says natural? Is it “common” to humanity? What He says isn’t natural, normal thinking nor is it common or ordinary. Is what He says going beyond what you have the ability to think or accomplish on your own? When what you’ve heard goes beyond what you have the ability to think or see possible at this point, you’ve heard from God.
Think about it, Moses was so impacted by God that it not only changed his thinking, it changed his appearance. The great apostle Paul encountered Him, heard from Him, and his entire purpose for existing was altered. He went from trying to destroy the Jesus movement to becoming the very person to catapult the movement exponentially. Person after person who heard God speak via prayer, received instructions that were mind blowing, uncommon in nature. In other words, they went in one way, but came out another.
In concluding, let me come with it from two directions: the person who’s experienced it and those who wish to.
For those who’ve taken a thirty-thousand-foot journey, you’re the victim of those around you thinking that you’ve lost your mind because you pursued something so uncommon that you went into one way, but it brought you out a different way. You went in without a degree and came out a doctor. You went in single and came out married with children. You went in bankrupt, but came out a homeowner. You went in a failure, but came out successful.
For those of you who desire it, I encourage you to take a step, pray and act on that big dream that only God could have planted in your thoughts. But this time when you go in, don’t come out the same way.
Question: why do you go in one way and continue to come out the same way?
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Reference #1: Ezekiel 46:9 NLT, Bible.com, accessed November 17, 2020, http://bible.com/116/ezk.46.9.nlt
Reference #2: Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT, Bible.com, accessed November 17, 2020, https://www.bible.com/116/isa.55.8-9.nlt
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.