A few weeks ago, I moved house (I might have mentioned this!). In the run up, there was all sorts of throwing-out-of-things and also buying-of things. I also decided I needed a new comfy, sink-yourself-into-it armchair.
And so, the search began.
I knew exactly what I wanted (think: light grey, huge, super comfy wingback) and so I began a search online and also all the local outlet shops, looking, looking, looking for the perfect chair.
I needed it for Christmas. There was a family ‘do’ planned. Not having a chair wasn’t an option.
As I explained this to a salesman in one shop, he blithely replied, I think that’s what you call ‘First World Problems’.
And true, he was right.
But still, I wanted a chair.
One morning I woke up and there in my notifications, was the perfect chair for sale. Better still, it was a good price and at an outlet store not too far from me. I sent an email and that afternoon, went over to take a look.
But, as I walked into the showroom, something felt ‘off’.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but all of a sudden, my spiritual senses were on high alert.
I sat in the chair (comfy!) and walked round it (perfect!) but in this little backalley discount furniture place, I suddenly found myself surrounded by 3 salespeople, all trying to convince me to buy the chair.
I continued to feel uneasy as something in my head and heart was saying, It’s wrong, you can’t buy it.
That didn’t stop me from wanting it though.
I left the shop and over the next few days, consulted with several friends who all said the same, ‘trust your gut’.
I knew they were right, but still, I WANTED that chair!
I even said to a friend, ‘I’ll pray over it, I’ll sanctify it’. Again, the response was, ‘your gut hasn’t let you down so far. You need to trust it’.
By now, I was in a bit of a grump with God. No other chairs were turning up and yet this perfect one was sitting there, tantalisingly close, but somehow I wasn’t allowed to buy it? That wasn’t fair!
The next day, out of the blue, the shop emailed me. ‘We have another chair you might like’, they said. They attached pictures and this one was even better.
I was about to reply but even as my fingers hit the keyboard, there was an urgent ‘stop’ in my head. Stop. Stop. Stop.
I didn’t send the email.
But by now, I was mighty miffed at this bizarre situation. Why was it so wrong? Whatever it was, wasn’t the power of Jesus, bigger, stronger, tougher?
As I drifted off to sleep that night, I was still thinking about The Chair.
Dozy and comfortable in bed, I said to the Lord, ‘maybe you can show me why this is so wrong? I know you don’t have to…but maybe you could let me see?’
Be careful what you pray for.
Eyes shut…drifted into a lovely, relaxed sleep.
All of a sudden, desperate blood, darkness, kidnapping, horror, someone being murdered in the worst possible way, demons attacking, more blood, desperation and darkness.
I woke up a few hours later in bed, gasping for air, slick with stickiness. And all of a sudden in the twilight hours, there was this simple voice in my heart.
THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE LETTING INTO YOUR HOME.
And I knew, instantly that my father had given me a rare insight into an unseen world.
I knew too that the people selling the chair were probably NOT kidnappers or murderers, but someone in the sales chain probably carried some kind of murderous spirit.
A murderous spirit can show up in all kinds of ways, not just in those who kill. It can be found in people who kill ideas, who crush dreams, who ‘murder’ the hopes of others.
Did I want that in my home?
I felt too in that voice, a gentle rebuke. I’d tried so hard to push back against the initial discernment.
I tried to find ways around it, to buy the chair and redeem it. But from day 1, God had said no and yet I still tried to convince him to say yes.
Where am I going with all this?
To be frank, I don’t really know. I am just as confused as you might be, about this bizarre chain of events.
But here’s what I do know,
God is faithful. He speaks to his children. He warns them about danger. He wants to protect them from harm. Sometimes he’ll use brute force to drive home a message.
I don’t like it when he does, but I had no choice but to listen.
I didn’t buy the chair and I said sorry to God for trying to push against his will.
When God warns us about something, it’s always for our own good.