When God Backs You Into a Corner

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Sometimes, God backs you into a corner. When He does, it’s important to know what to do and how to respond.

Here’s what I mean when I say that God “backs you into a corner”:

Sometimes, you will beg God to do things a certain way. For example:

These are just a few small examples. But basically, when I say that God backs you into a corner, I mean that you are begging Him to do something urgently, fast please fast Lord, and He doesn’t do it …

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    And He doesn’t do it some more

    And He keeps on waiting, and you keep on waiting, and there’s still no change in your situation and no obvious answer to your prayer, until it seems like you have no options.

    When you’re in an untenable situation and you beg God to do a certain thing to help you, but He doesn’t …

    … it’s not because He’s not hearing your prayers. He’s not even failing to answer your prayers. But He IS backing you into a corner, and there’s a reason for His actions. As the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 139:

    “You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me” (Psalm 139:5 NKJV).

    And usually, that reason is:

    Sometimes God backs you into a corner to make you take an alternate route.

    Here’s one of my many stories about this:

    Years ago, before I got married, I bought a little house. After we got married, my husband and I decided to sell the house and move because crime was going up in our neighborhood.

    Unfortunately, we bought a second house before we sold the first one. We reasoned that God was with us, so He would give us favor, and the house would sell quickly. (And yes, we got all the wise advice and financial counsel, and everyone agreed that we should purchase this second house.)

    So we bought the second house and moved. We put the first house on the market for sale, and we waited.

    And waited.

    And waited some more.

    Meanwhile, we were stuck maintaining both houses. And money was bleeding out our proverbial ears. All our dreams and hopes and aspirations and financial goals were flying out the window, month after month.

    We prayed and fasted and prayed some more, and some more, and some more. But that house did not sell.

    I became very depressed and actually fought suicidal ideation during that time.

    Try as I might, I could not understand why God wasn’t helping us by selling that house. It would be so easy for Him to blink His eyes, snap His fingers, or think a thought, and that thing would have been sold. But He didn’t do it.

    Looking back, I can now see why He didn’t sell the house at that time. There was some eternal work He needed to do in our hearts, and He used that period of tribulation to do it. But back then, I didn’t know that. All I knew was that God wasn’t helping us the way I wanted Him to.

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    Of course, we did have one option before us: renting the house out.

    But, we really did not want to do that. We did NOT want to be landlords! We had tried it once, and it had NOT worked out well at all. We thought and talked about all the potential downsides of renting the house out again, and we did not want to do that AT ALL. We just did not have any peace about it.

    But after about 2.5 years of this nightmarish situation, with so much money draining out the door every single month and me in a deep, intense depression because of it, we finally realized:

    God wasn’t doing what we wanted Him to do. We were backed into a corner. And the ONLY way out–our proverbial Red Sea crossing, as it were–was to rent the house out.

    Even though we didn’t want to.

    Even though there were LOTS of downsides to doing so.

    Even though we had never felt like we had peace about it, and we still didn’t at that time.

    But it became obvious that the only option God was leaving us was, in fact, to rent the house out. So we did: we listed it with a property management company for lease. And within a very few days, they had a tenant in there and the financial burden to us was significantly reduced.

    (The burden wasn’t gone, because we still had to pay for repairs and maintenance and such, but the monthly burden was nearly completely gone.)

    And immediately, the Lord delivered me from that emotional bondage and pressure, and He gave me JOY again.

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    Again, we had not wanted to make the decision to rent the house out. But God literally gave us no other option if we wanted the situation to change. And the situation wasn’t producing good fruit in our lives, particularly in mine. The pressure caused by the situation made me anxious, worried, and depressed most of the time.

    So, even though I didn’t realize what He was doing, God backed us into a corner.

    Looking back, it’s a good thing He did … because it was over ten years before the real estate market in that area stabilized, and we finally sold the house. Yes, more than ten years later.

    If we hadn’t made the hard decision that we did not want to make, the financial bondage would have lasted over ten years, rather than 2.5 years like it did. That would have been horrible for us.

    So God backed us into a corner.

    He has backed me into a corner lots of other times, too. For example:

    1. When I had a financial need at various times, and the normal things I usually did to resolve it just weren’t working. In those situations, He has often used that to force me to think differently and come up with a creative solution, which each time has opened up another stream of income for me or for this ministry.
    2. When some people mistreated me while claiming to be my friends, and all the prayer and fasting in the world didn’t resolve it. In that case, it became obvious I was going to have to confront the situation. So I did, and found out those people weren’t really my friends at all, and that they hated me behind the scenes.

    These are just little examples, but each one has changed the course of my life.

    What’s the takeaway for you?

    Just this: You need to be aware that God might back you into a corner. I believe that He is actually backing some people into a corner right now. If that’s you:

    • You’ve prayed and prayed, but nothing much seems to change.
    • God may answer every other prayer you pray, but He seems to be ignoring all your prayers on this one topic.
    • You know He is hearing your prayer because you do not regard iniquity in your heart, but yet things don’t seem to get better.

    If that’s you, my friend, God has backed you into a corner.

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    And He has backed you into a corner because He’s forcing you to take an alternate route:

    • He may be forcing you to think differently and come up with a creative solution that you never would have pursued (or worked hard on) if He had relieved the pressure of your situation.
    • Or, He may be forcing you to throw some dynamite into that log-jam and make the decision you didn’t want to make.

    See, very often, we don’t want to take certain steps because we think we don’t have peace about taking that step. However, in reality, the situation we are in isn’t producing peace or fruit in our lives.

    Yet, we hold on to that situation because it’s comfortable; because it’s fun for our flesh; or even as a form of self-medication (to make ourselves feel better so we can pretend that our real problem does not exist).

    All the while, the self-medication we are holding onto is actually making our real problem worse:

    The comfort we are clinching with our tiny little baby fists are preventing us from receiving the real blessing that the Ancient of Days wants to give us. And we continue on in our depression, discouragement, and despair, but we tell ourselves that this thing we’re holding onto is really a blessing.

    But it’s not, because it’s not producing good fruit in your soul and spirit.

    Beloved, we have to pursue wisdom whether we feel comfortable doing so or not.

    And when God backs us into a corner:

    • We have to recognize what He is doing.
    • We must acknowledge that He is choosing to solve our problem a different way.
    • We have to hold up our hands and surrender our habits, our preferences, our comfort, and our self-medication to the Lord.
    • And we have to be not as the horse or mule, which must have their mouths held firm with bit and bridle, or else they will not come with you:

    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you” (Psalm 32:8-9 NKJV).

    Friend, if you feel like God is ignoring you, He’s not.

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    God doesn’t have it out for you. He is all good, all the time. But He does back people into a corner sometimes for your own good. And when God backs you into a corner, it’s because He is helping you work out His best possible plan for your life.

    Has God backed you into a corner? Are you in that corner right now, trying desperately to figure out why He isn’t answering?

    If so, what alternate route could the Lord want you to take? What comfort is He asking you to surrender? And what stick of dynamite is He asking you to throw into your log-jam, if you will but listen to Him?

    Leave a comment below!

    5 Comments

    1. Amen thank You Jamie, Its not a comfortable position to be,I’m on that corner right now God has barked me into,thank You for this revelation I will praise my way out,and follow Him leading me to His plan and purpose.Thank You Jamie

    2. Jacobeth Arus says:

      Amen to the word of God our father in heaven was loving us all that he has backed us into a corner.
      He want us to really feel and realized his strength in all that we do and then He is the only one knows which path of our life and ways, places that is the best for us to endure.
      Hi Jamie,
      Thank you for the encouragement and your time within our conversation.
      Am so happy with every message you have sent through me.
      Amen!
      Thank you so much.

    3. Tshegofatso says:

      Thank you so much Jamie. Firstly I feel like you see exactly what I am going through. It’s been years waiting for change to come or hear from God on this particular situation. When I read this part[ Sometimes God backs you into a corner to make you take an alternate route.] I am ignited to start praying meaningfully ” Lord what alternative route do you want me to take? I need Him to relieve me of financial pressure with extra, abundant provision…and I feel as if He’s given me so many innovative ideas for business development, I just don’t which one to implement first. I ask that you stand in prayer with me to hear His still small voice in this corner. God bless you and your ministry incredibly so Jamie.

    4. Thank you Jamie
      I love reading your material. I too right now am going through a major financial crisis in which my companies are not producing enough to cover my huge debt. I pray every day to God to increase my sales so I can cover my monthly expenses. I have have fallen so behind in all my payments and am afraid to lose everything I worked so hard to build
      I love God so very much and just need Him to show me an answer
      Thank you for sharing your story here Jamie

    5. Elijia Acosta says:

      Hi Jamie Thank you. I now know I’m in that corner. I just need to pray for God to show me a better alternative for I the only next thing left is for me to give up and walk Away.

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