Wouldn’t it be great if God sent an angel to us everyday with our instructions for the day? It would make life so much easier without the guess-work. Instead, we’re left to work it out on our own. Sometimes we get a very clear direction for where to go and what to do. Those times great. But along the way, roadblocks can pop up. Our plans don’t work out the way we thought they would. Discouragement can set in.
When that happens, it feels like the phone line to heaven has been dropped. What are we supposed to do? We really wish that angel would come with instructions. But God did give instructions. What was the last thing you know He said? Go back to that and do it.
God will bless a decision to honor His will, whether it’s right on or not. He’s not required to bless a decision made out of rebellion because we don’t like the timing. The roadblocks may pop up, but keep on with what you know to do. Honor the word that you know you got and let Him work it out. Life gets messy, but God will bless your faith to trust Him.
Carry on. You’re closer to your goal than you think.
We are a people in great need of humility. The problem is, we don’t even realize it. Here’s the big test:
…Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (I Peter 1:5-9)
Blind? Unable to even see how far away from God we are? This is serious. It means that we are in danger of walking away from God without even knowing it. What are those things again?
Virtue (morally good behavior or character)
Perseverance (continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties)
Stop right now and do a self-check. The Holy Spirit will show you those areas where you are weak. Look at that list and see where you know for a fact that you need help. If moral conduct is a problem, then faith is a real issue. Self-control? Be honest.
If we can’t live with these qualities, then we are not allowing God to change us the way He wants to. It takes a humble heart to repent and ask to be renewed, changed from the inside out. If God is showing you that you have been blind, now is the time to deal with it. Be real. Be humble. Be everything that you are meant to be.
Our life in the kingdom is more than asking God to answer prayer. We’re called to be in a relationship with Him. That’s the reason for the whole enchilada, the reason for creation, and it’s out of that relationship that our prayers are answered.
…he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Heb 11:6) See, it’s not in the asking that prayers are answered, it’s in seeking Him. When we spend time with Him, we don’t even need to talk much about our needs. In fact, God is more likely to give you the answers you’re looking for when you are just hanging out with Him. But He’s looking for diligent seekers.
What does diligence mean to you? Here is way to view what it could mean.
Diligence Level 1: Go to God once a day and ask for prayers to be answered.
Diligence Level 2: Go to God three times a day, maybe, with drive by prayers. You have a busy life.
Diligence Level 3. Set the timer on your phone to ping once an hour. Stop and contemplate God often during the day.
Diligence Level 4. You think of God all the time. You pause often in your day to think about His goodness. You love hearing His voice.
(This is not a formula. There is no formula. There is only you and God and how you relate to Him.)
The dictionary definition for diligence is “persevering determination to perform a task.” How much of God do you want? What level are you now and what level do you want to be? Trust me, the more time you spend listening to the Holy Spirit, the more exciting your life will be. He promises to reward us, answer prayer, when we become friends. That’s what He’s looking for. And there’s nothing more awesome on earth than being friends with God.
The message of the kingdom is to love God above all, and love each other. What that really means is, to love each other. Loving people means that we do what we can to bless them and see that their needs are met. It means being generous, without thought of personal gain or how much we can afford.
The reason we can give without worrying about the cost is because … my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19) So, go ahead and give. There’s more where that came from. You’re just spending the Father’s money anyway. If He’s the one supplying your needs, then it’s His money, and He has a lot.
Practice generosity and see how it will affect the people you give to and your own relationship with God. See if He won’t take care of you, even if you give away you last dollar. It’s an exercise in learning trust. Once you see how God will bless you for being generous, you can begin to trust Him in every area of your life. You can throw your cares on Him, because He promises to take care of you.
He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor. (Prov 22:)
Sometimes your plans fall apart, the opposite happens, or real tragedy hits. That doesn’t mean that God has forsaken you. It just means that you didn’t know what was going to happen. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re wrong about something.
David was anointed king. He was clearly in God’s favor, but then spent the next several years running for his life. He didn’t do anything wrong. Paul was shipwrecked, stoned, imprisoned, and eventually killed. He didn’t do anything wrong.
Stuff is going to happen. No one said that problems would go away when you become a Christian. In fact, they can intensify. The enemy hates our walk with the Lord and will work against us at every turn.
It’s a good thing to ask God if there is something that you do need to repent for or adjust in your life. Be obedient. But if you are and still find yourself in the middle of trouble, God is with you. He’s there to give you the grace that you need. He will help you in the middle of problems. He will be your peace when there is none. Learn to walk in His joy and trust Him with all the issues. He promises to work them out for us. And God doesn’t lie.
Elijah made the rain stop for years, then he made it start again. Mary made God change His timeline for Jesus’s first public miracle. In both cases, they spoke to the situation and expected results. They didn’t get a group together to pray about it.
Your faith can move mountains.
Jesus said, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. (Matt 17:20)
God responds to dramatic faith. There are times when we need to join together in prayer, and there are times when we need to speak to the mountain and tell it to get out. One person can do that. One person can feed five thousand people, walk on water, and raise the dead.
Elijah, David, Paul, Moses — they were all remarkable men, but they were just men. We’ve been filled with the Spirit and power of God to do amazing things. We have all the authority of heaven to release miracles in the kingdom. Imagine this world if every believer lived in dramatic faith. Try it. Be that person and change what God has shown you needs to be changed. Mountains are about to fall.
Want to change the world? Want people to be saved, healed, and delivered from pain, abuse, and fear? There’s a secret weapon of the Spirit that will allow God to be God in all those circumstances. It’s called humility.
We are supposed to be the light of the world. Jesus is supposed to shine through us. When He does, He is seen and able to do the things that we cannot. But we have a bad habit of getting in His way, mostly unintentionally. It’s like we invite Him to a party to meet our friends, then stand in front of Him all the time. We work too hard, explain too much, and fear that He may not show up with us.
Humility steps back so Jesus can step forward. It’s faith and rest in Him. When we understand that He really wants to bless people, we can get out of His way and let Him be God. We can present the circumstance to Him, then sit back and watch Him work miracles.
It’s not about us. It’s all about Him. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5) But with Him, all things are possible.
Mary’s request for Jesus to make more wine for the wedding party was unusual because He told her it wasn’t His time to reveal Himself to the world. Her response was to assume that He would do what she asked. And He did.
And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:3-5)
Her determination to see results changed God’s heart. The very first public miracle was supposed to be something else, but Mary changed it. That’s how effective our prayers can be.
Notice that she didn’t beg or plead. In her mind, this was something that needed to be done and she knew He could do it. He just needed to be asked. Really, she didn’t even ask, she just told Him they needed wine.
Imagine going to God with that kind of determined trust, that all you have to do is ask and know that He will answer. You can’t doubt, you have to know. That’s what a son or daughter can do.
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:14)
Does your knowledge of God mean that He will answer prayer for you? Probably not. Does your hope that He will answer prayer get you answered prayer? Probably not. So what does? Faith. Faith is not hoping that God will answer, it’s knowing that He will.
If you’re holding a pitcher of ice water on a hot day and your child comes to you with an empty glass, does he hope you’ll give him water, or does he know without a second thought that you’ll give him water?
God has everything you need, He just wants you to come to Him for it. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Phil 4:6) And when you do, relax in faith that your Dad has it worked out. He’s very clever and will not only do what you need, He’ll add a cherry on top.
Settle it in your heart right now that you know God will be what you need Him to be. Emmanuel is God with us. Imagine Him by your side listening and nodding as you talk to Him. He is with us and promises to take care of us. You block all His blessing when you doubt, but your decision to believe will open the door of heaven to you.
When we live in the kingdom, we are family. We’re here for each other to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. But we have to balance our desire to ask others to pray for our needs with our own faith to believe God.
I know people who take every prayer request to prayer partners, prayer groups, pastors — anyone who will be patient enough to listen to them. Every need in their lives must be prayed for by other people. When I see this, I see that the person asking for all this prayer has no confidence in their own faith.
Did Jesus die on the cross for our sins? Did He rise again in victory over powers and principalities? Did He give us all authority to move mountains? The answers are either all yes or all no. If they are yes, then they are yes for everyone who has received salvation through the blood of Christ.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16) What makes prayer effective? Faith. Trusting God to do what He promised He would do — answer our prayers and meet our needs. If it takes other people to do that for you, then you have not come into a relationship with Jesus. To know Him is to love Him and trust Him.
Please not assume that we should not ask for prayer from our prayer partners. That is not my point. I believe we should join together with others who know how to speak to the mountain and make it move, but we should know that we have the faith to do it within us.