Dr. Randy Carlson


There are a couple of moments in time in our lives that are very powerful, but they’re also very dangerous. It’s the ah-ha moments of our lives, those moments when a light bulb goes off and you have an awareness of something that you were not aware of just a few hours or a few days before.


Now, we’ve got to be very careful, because all of us have had moments in time where we thought we were given something special, and we realized later that it was wrong. It was an error. John says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone into the world” (1 John 4:1). This very powerful topic exposes who we are as a person, our intuitions and our thoughts. Satan will use those in our lives if he can. He’d like to keep us too busy in the hectic, overwhelmingly noisy time that we live in that we miss the ah-ha moments God has for us.


Think of that passage in the Old Testament when Moses was tending the flock, and experienced God through a burning bush – a bush that didn’t burn up (Exodus 3). It continued to burn and burn. When Moses stopped and paid attention to that ah-ha moment, God spoke to him.


How many times in our lives does God give us ah-ha moments – burning bush kind of moments – and we just keep walking right on by them. We don’t stop to ask:

  • “What has just happened there?”
  • “Where did that thought come from?”
  • “Is that a truth or not?”
  • “I’m watching this experience in someone else’s life. Can I learn from watching them?”
  • “Is He teaching me something?”
  • “Is there an ah-ha moment I need to grasp?”


So, these ah-ha moments are powerful but there’s a second moment in life, unfortunately, that is also very powerful, and it’s the oh-no moments of life. An oh-no moment occurs when unwanted and unpleasant things happen. We’ve all had them.


Probably the greatest example of an oh-no moment happened for Jonah. He had the ah-ha moment when God told him to go to Nineveh and preach (Jonah 1). But Jonah had his oh-no moment when he found himself in the belly of the fish because he ignored the ah-ha moment God wanted him to be aware of. He said, “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and he answered me out of the belly of Sheol. I cried and you heard my voice” (Jonah 2:2).


We can avoid many of our oh-no moments, if we pay closer attention to our ah-ha moments. If Jonah had paid attention, he never would have ended up in the belly of that great fish. In our lives, when those oh-no moments occur, we choose what we are going to do.


I think it is interesting to see the words of Jonah. It’s almost as though he is not taking responsibility for his problem. He talks about how God put him in the belly of the fish. And the reality is, like Jonah, many of us have oh-no moments of our own doing.


Some of us get into problems, because of our own foolishness. When I think of Intentional Living and what we try to teach here, it’s important to understand God will use our ah-ha moments to lessen the impact of our oh-no moments.

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