I know it seems like I am beating the proverbial, “Dead Horse.” But I am continually receiving IM’s and emails from folks who are being beat to hell with junk the world is offering. It gets tough out there. We have needs. It can be financial, or medical, or even relationships that need healing. We pray; we pour our hearts out to the Lord and wait for His answer . . . and then sometimes we wait some more . . . then some more. I think you know what I am getting at.
I am one of those who believes in the Lord’s perfect timing. In His own time, all our prayers will be answered — one way or another — but where we run into trouble is when we are afraid to even submit our prayers to the Lord’s scrutiny. What do I mean? Well, some of our prayers need to be purged because often our faith is misspent on requests that are, well, childish. We do not know how to pray, “Your will be done,” kind of thing. We don’t want His will — His desire and purpose — as much as those things that He allows by his will.
I better explain what I am talking about. We are continually told that if you put your check in the offering plate, “God will pour out more blessing than you can contain.” But what I am telling you is to put all your faith instead in that city “whose builder and maker is God.”
However, when you read the 11th chapter of Hebrews, were some of those folks not living in faith? Did God refuse to answer some of their prayers? After all, not all of them were delivered, and not all of them lived to see answers to their prayers. Thet weren’t all spared pain, suffering and even death. Some were tortured; others were sawed in half; some were out in the wilderness wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated (Hebrews 11:36-38).
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received everything that God had promised (Hebrews 11:39). Those who did “receive what God had promised them” used their faith to work righteousness, to gain strength in times of weakness, and to put the enemy to flight.
As the writer of Hebrews said, “It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death . . .” (Hebrews 11:32-34)
What I am getting at is that you do not have to worry about whether God is saying “Yes” or “No” to your request. Don’t be frustrated and hanging your head down when the answer is not in sight and, please, quit concentrating on faith formulas and methods. Just commit every prayer to your Lord and go about your business with confidence. He will not be one moment early or late in answering, and if the answer to your prayer seems to be taking too long, your attitude should be: “He is all I need. If I need more, he will not withhold it. He will answer in his time and in his way. If he does not fulfill my request, he must have a perfect reason for not doing so. No matter what happens, I will always have faith in his faithfulness.”
No, I am not saying that this is an easy way to live. It will go contrary to all of your natural instincts. But that is okay, you shouldn’t be concerned with your natural instincts, but instead, honoring your Father, and fulfilling His goals and purposes in your life.
Oh, I hear you thinking that I am just spouting out religious sounding babble. But I have to live this out, just like you. Don’t you think I would much prefer to be working instead of experiencing unexplainable fatigue and balance issues? Due to my infirmities I am unable to climb a ladder; have difficulty using stairs, unable to walk a straight-line; can’t stay awake for more than a few hours. Do you think it would help if I was shouting to the Heavens for the Lord to come heal me? I don’t. I am attempting to live one-day-at-a-time, faithfully seeking the knowledge and wisdom of my Father.
Father, I know this is difficult for me, and I realize I am a “work-in-progress.” I ask you to forgive me if I am more concerned about getting my prayers answered than I am in learning total submission to You. I do not learn obedience by the things I obtain but by my continual fellowship with you. I am willing to learn by what appears to be an unanswered prayer. I truly desire to follow you I will rest in Your love, while I patiently wait for Your promises.
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.