Is it God saying, “No,” or is it Satan’s Stumbling Blocks?

Welcome  I don’t know about you, but there are times in my life that I really struggle with knowing the difference between God telling me “No,” and trying to lead me away from something that is not good for me, of if it’s Satan trying to put stumbling blocks in my way to wear me down from pursuing a goal.  Can you relate to this struggle?  I’m going to share a key word I have added to my vocabulary to help me with this process.  And today’s recipe is the EASIEST fudge recipe EVER!  Thank you for joining me, and Happy December!  Note–I may receive a small compensation from affiliate links seen on this blog post.  For further information, please see my Terms and Disclosure page.

Food For Thought  I’m going to do a little self-reflection here, but I believe the reason I’ve struggled with this question so much recently is that I am more in tune with the idea of needing to do what God wants me to.  I desperately want to align my thinking and actions with His plan for me, whereas in the past, I was admittedly more focused on my own wants, needs, and desires, and GASP, more interested in what others wanted me to be!  It’s taken awhile, but in the past couple of years I came to realize that I was not living my life as God would want me to, in many different ways.  No, I hadn’t turned to a life of crime or addiction and I wasn’t living with abandon, willfully sinning, but I was not exactly a pleasant person, either.  So, without a lot of drama, I have turned my life back around to focus on Jesus and trying to live a Spirit-led life.  Even with this strong desire, though, it doesn’t come easy.  Sometimes, I’m just not sure what I should do next or if I’ve made the right decision.  We are rarely given a flashing or neon sign from God to direct our steps, literally speaking, although I do believe signs occur on some occasions.  So when I think I have a plan in place, believing that it aligns with God’s will, and start my journey, I sort of expect it to be “smooth sailing.”  But that’s not necessarily how life goes.  Then the questions start and doubts start to creep in, even though I try to consciously push them back.  And I ask myself, “Is God telling me ‘no’ or is this just a way for Satan to put up stumbling blocks, trying to get me to abandon my plan to do good?”  I wish I had a straight-forward answer or solution to offer others experiencing this, but I don’t.  But I am going to share a word with you that has become a regular part of my vocabulary and devotion time.  That word is discernment.

Another little confession here.  I am a college-educated honor student and I didn’t know the meaning of the word discernment until 2017.  Apparently I had no use for that word before, or so I thought.  Earlier this year when I was having difficulty choosing my life’s next path, I ran across the word discernment in a devotional I was reading that seemed tailored to my needs at the time.  I got the gist from the context, but I still wanted to look up the word to find out more.  The most basic definition of the word discernment means “to judge well.”  In Christian contexts it means, “perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.”  So by combining the two meanings, here’s what I took away from my devotional time that day: discernment is being able to make good judgements based on understanding of wisdom in scripture and the spiritual direction given by God through prayer.  Does that make sense to you?  I hope so, because that is the only way I can determine whether God is showing me a different path or if Satan is trying to make me stumble.  And the only way I can make those judgements is by studying the scripture to obtain and understand the wisdom and spending time with God in worship and prayer.  So now, when it comes to making decisions and understanding God’s answers to my prayers (no, yes, or not yet), I also pray for discernment.  I pray for God to help my understanding and knowledge.  I pray for God to guide my steps, and I ask for Him to help put me back on the right path if I veer to far off from where He wants me to be.  Since I have faith that God wants what is best for me and answers my prayer requests, I believe He will also help me with discernment and judgement.  Sometimes, I believe He does give me signs, even though they are subtle and may be only perceived by me.  The other night I was praying about a decision, and I honestly felt God whisper to me, “Make a decision and I will bless it.”  So, I shared my decision with God, thanked Him for the blessings to come, and promised to trust Him on this journey.  If I hadn’t been asking for discernment previously, I might have missed that gentle nudge from God and spent hours stressing over the decision or second-guessing my choice.

Psalm 119:103
Seek and study God’s word for better discernment in decision making and choices.

Today’s Scripture  Today I’m going to share one of my favorite passages from the Psalms that reminds me of discernment.  Contemplate these words with me today.

Psalm 119:97-104  “Oh, how I love your law!  I meditate on it all day long.  Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.  I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.  I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.  I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.  I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.  How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.”

Today’s Recipe  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like stumbling blocks, literal or figurative.  But not all blocks are bad…there’s building blocks, a walk around the block, quilt blocks, and how about some creamy, chocolatey, festive blocks of fudge!  For as far back as I can remember, I’ve been helping make homemade fudge during the holidays.  Growing up, our fudge recipes involved marshmallow cream or melted marshmallows, which were indeed quite yummy.  But I have discovered the EASIEST fudge recipe ever with only 4 ingredients (5, if you want to add nuts.)  Enjoy these little blocks of fudgy goodness at home, or gift them!

The Easiest Fudge!
4 ingredients and very little hands-on time make this my go-to holiday candy recipe!

The Easiest Fudge Recipe!

  • 1 1/2 pkgs (18 total ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In large saucepan combine all ingredients turn to medium heat.  Heat and stir until all the ingredients are mixed well and the chocolate has thoroughly melted.  Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with wax paper and spray with nonstick spray.  Pour fudge into pan and spread into all corners, smoothing out until even.  Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and lift wax paper from pan, placing on sturdy surface.  Using a large knife cut fudge into 1 inch blocks.  This will yield about 36 blocks.  Place fudge blocks into miniature cupcake liners or small candy papers, if desired.  For gifting, place in paper-lined tin.

Optional Add-ins  You can stir 1 1/2 cups of walnuts into the pan while melting the chocolate if you want a chocolate walnut fudge.  Or, for Rocky Road Fudge, remove fudge base from heat and cool just slightly.  Stir in 1 cup of mini-marshmallows and 1 cup of dry roasted peanuts before spreading in prepared pan.

Recommended Products for Today’s Post (links verified 12/1/17 at 1:00 p.m., CST): 

2 thoughts on “Is it God saying, “No,” or is it Satan’s Stumbling Blocks?

  1. For so many years I just bull-headed my way through life with trial and error. Although I knew the word of God as far as reciting verses and being able to answer questions to Bible stories and such, I had a real problem relating that information to real life situations and decisions. Then I had a room mate at Harding…and she would out loud talk through decision making. I had never seen this before. She would say something like…”If I do plan A…this and this and this could be potential consequences. But if I do plan B…this and that and that could be potential consequences.” Then based on all her plotting of consequences she would make a decision. Amazing. Revelation. As a teacher of FACS all the textbooks have the decision making process and I have used them! But it was not something I had ever learned in school to be sure!

    1. That is great! I have a fiercely independent personality, so it has taken me almost 40 years to realize that the wisest thing I can do is seek His help when making decisions. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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