First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building a Foundation of Faith (l)
“I wouldn’t take a million dollars for my experiences, but you couldn’t pay me two million dollars to go through some of them again,” said Kenneth Hagin.
His words are my exact sentiments about my experiences selling cars at ten different dealerships. One such experience dealt with a reason why many prayers are not answered.
After working for a year at a large GM dealership, the management fired me in early 1993. A used car dealership hired me a few days later. The dealership paid no base salary or benefits. My income depended solely on commissions from car sales. So, no car sales meant no income for me.
The first few months were fantastic and management even considered promoting me. A sales drought then hit and I didn’t sell a car for weeks. Every deal I worked on fell through. The other salesmen stayed far away from me, worried that whatever I had was contagious and would infect their sales.
I had no money. My vehicle sat in front of my apartment, hungry for gas. Bills piled up. My groceries came from a food bank. I walked everywhere, even the two miles back and forth to work.
“Why not quit?” you ask.
I couldn’t quit because I felt the Lord wanted me to stay. I believed He was doing something in my heart. All I could do was trudge through the valley until He delivered me.
After five weeks of no sales and zero income, something happened.
A young couple liked a car I showed them. Everything seemed perfect and we talked about meeting again in two days and writing up the order. Hope replaced the dark clouds hanging over me.
The following day was a day off for me.
A salesman met me at the door two days later when I arrived at work and took me aside. “Your couple came in yesterday and Kevin wrote up the order. He stole them from you. What are you going to do about that?” he said.
I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know,” I replied.
Kevin and the sales manager were off that particular day. There was not much I could do until the next day, but I was devastated for the rest of the day.
Early the next morning, I went for a walk and the Holy Spirit began speaking with me. “You have to forgive Kevin,” the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart.
“I can’t,” I replied.
“You have to,” He said.
“No, I absolutely can’t forgive Kevin. I hurt too much,” I said as I continued walking.
“If you don’t forgive him then this will happen…” He said, relating what would occur if I refused to forgive Kevin.
“I don’t care. He’s a thief and a liar and I’m hungry,” I said.
“You have to forgive him,” He whispered to my heart.
I sighed and stopped walking. “Okay. I can’t forgive him on my own, but if You help me forgive him, I will.”
And just like that, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit surge through me. I forgave him. No longer did I hold a debt against Kevin. He could have the commissions from the sale and I blessed him.
Later that same day, while Kevin was busy with a customer, I helped another one of his clients and wrote the order up for Kevin. I even delivered the car and sent the people off. Kevin made $400 commission without ever doing anything.
I was totally set free.
Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions. (Mark 11:24-25)
Unforgiveness is one of the major reasons why our prayers are not answered. It is such a malignant sin that if it is not remedied in an individual’s life, it will eventually result in bitterness, which defiles other people.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many are defiled. (Hebrews 12:15)
If your prayers are not being answered in a prompt fashion, ask the Holy Spirit if you have unforgiveness. If you do, then forgive, but if you can’t forgive because the pain is too much, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. His name is the Helper and He will help you.
What is a surprise reason that our prayers are not answered?
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)