If you are a Christian, why do you live in fear, stress, anger? It’s a difficult question, because it makes you look inside where you thought it was all ok. But if you live in fear, stress, or anger, it’s not ok. Something is really wrong. If you live like that, you are no different from the person who does not claim to know Jesus. But you do claim to know Jesus, so why the stress?
The answer is because you don’t believe what you say you believe. Jesus said to fear not. He said to throw our burdens on Him. He said to be filled with His Spirit and live in joy. When we don’t do that, we suffer the consequences and it keeps us up at night.
Go back and read the Bible. Read how it says you should live and ask yourself if you are doing that. Repent and ask God to forgive you for not trusting Him and start all over. You can’t call yourself a Christian if you don’t obey Him. You are not called to pray a prayer of salvation. You are called to live a lifestyle of faith. Read it. Decide for yourself if you really trust Him. This is your wake up call. It’s time to be who you are meant to be.
You know that God answers prayer. What does He say? If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:14) Of course, you have to be in relationship with Him. You have to know you hear His voice — My sheep hear my voice. (John 10:27) But what if you are hearing Him and it seems like your prayers aren’t being answered?
First of all, know that everyone will go through that. It’s wrong to assume that God answers prayers for everyone else but you. We all go through dry spells. It’s what you do during those times that will affect if and when your prayers are answered.
You have to keep believing. You have to remember how much God loves you. There are reasons for the delay. You have to trust Him. If the answer hasn’t come yet, does it mean that it never will? No, it just means that it hasn’t come yet! Maybe there are circumstances that have to change first. Maybe your heart has to change first.
Stay strong in faith. Keep listening for His voice. Be obedient to the things you know you need to do. Praise Him regardless of seeing answers. Praise Him for the answers. If what you want and need is of value to you, there’s no reason to stop believing.
Why was Peter the only one to hop out of the boat and walk on water? We don’t need to go into what happened next. The point is, he walked on water! What were the other guys doing? Watching him. They were scared. They didn’t believe. They weren’t willing to try it. They missed out.
Are you watching from the sidelines? Are you thinking: I have a job and a family, I go to church, I read my Bible, that’s good for me? No need to change the world? No need to release the kingdom?
Sitting on the sidelines is dangerous. Jesus was pretty cross with the Church of the Laodiceans. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Rev 3:) I’m guessing that God is calling you to do something, anything. You may not be responding because you haven’t learned to hear His voice. Or maybe you know exactly what He wants, but you don’t want to do it. Either way… dangerous.
What have you got to lose? I shudder to think. What have you got to gain? Peter walked on water! No one else did. You haven’t been called to the kingdom to do nothing. Time to get before God and find out what He wants. Don’t be scared. It will be awesome once you trust Him.
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)
- Brotherly kindness
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.
You can afford to be generous.
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:)