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Archive for the tag “Faithful”

Sovereign King

Over the last week, I have had dreams about people I used to work with. Several nights ago, the dream was about people I worked with twenty plus years ago. Last night was about people I worked with on the previous job. I don’t know why I am having these types of dreams. They have been very real and very unsettling. When I woke up on the morning of the first dream, I began to pray for those people who I hadn’t had contact with in many years. Maybe something is wrong with someone and needs prayers offered on their behalf. Maybe that’s why God puts people on our hearts at certain times.

I wouldn’t say I am a prayer warrior. Sometimes my prayer life is like a trickle of water that runs constant but has limited use. I pray often but I feel like the words never leave the room. There are other times when I know God hears my prayers. The first time that ever happened, it shocked me. I was pouring out my heart to Him when I was in a desperate place. I was driving to my parent’s house several hours away, so I had lots of alone time. I don’t remember the exact prayer, but I remember the answer.

I was in a desperate place because I was in the “far country” away from God. I lived my life as I wanted. I didn’t look to God for much. I said my nightly prayers but had little to do with Him and His purpose. The prayers offered at night were the standard prayer – asking for God’s protection over my family, thanking Him for the day and looking after me, etc. No substance to the prayers and no real action plan about what was going on in my life.

So in my desperate prayer to Him that day on the drive home, I wasn’t really expecting much of a response. However, it was pretty immediate through a song on the radio. As soon as I finished the prayer a song came on the secular radio station from a Christian artist who sang about “doing right.” And that began the journey back to a relationship with God. Soon after, I lost my job; and I moved back home in order to start over. I hit the reset button. It was a big adjustment to move back home into my parents house. But I truly needed that time with them. And God used that time to get me back on track.

I need a reset button now. Sometimes I feel like I have gotten off track. I left my job several years ago expecting this new path to unfold before me, and it hasn’t happened as expected. However, I believe I needed this time for God to work in me some things that were desperately needed in me. I had some things that needed to be surrendered, and it took years to get me to this point. My prayer continues for God to use me regardless of where I am. And He does. But sometimes I would love to have the answer come as dramatic as it did when I heard the song on the radio. I would love the immediate response with specific instructions. Wouldn’t we all?

Andy Stanley said a couple of weeks ago in one of his messages concerning King David, “We place our hope in what we depend on and who we depend on.” There was no question of where David’s hope was found. I am sure he had his moments as we all do, but David was completely surrendered to God’s will, God’s way and God’s timing. David had clarity of who was the real King, and it wasn’t him or Saul. David encouraged himself in the greatness of God. He reminded himself of the Sovereign God and His faithfulness.

We are told in Scripture that God is faithful to complete the work that He has started. I think our prayers get anemic when we fail to understand God’s will, God’s way and His timing. Our part is to remain faithful. Our part is to continue praying for those around us. Our part is to continue to be useful no matter where we are. And in time, God will reveal the next thing. God will finish His work in us and through us. When we feel off track, then maybe it’s time to hit reset and remember who God is and His faithfulness.

I don’t know why I am dreaming these days of previous jobs and the people I worked with. Maybe God is preparing me for the next project that will unfold in the near future. His will be done, like it’s done in heaven. His way is perfect and I will wait on His timing. I hope you will too.

Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O Lord.
Psalm 25:4-7 (NLT)

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Expectation

Have you ever encountered God’s word with a “duh – I knew that” moment? I get that all the time. It happened again when I was reading the passage about the church praying while Peter was in jail. The angel of the Lord appeared in the cell with Peter. Peter was sound asleep, even though he was probably slated for execution in the next day or two. Ah, to have that kind of peace! Meanwhile, the church is in a house praying – not sure what they were praying but they were praying nonetheless. Were they praying for Peter’s release? Were they praying for protection for him? Just what were they praying? Scripture is silent about the prayer. After the angel supernaturally freed Peter, Peter shows up on the doorstep of the house where the church was praying. The one who went to the door was overjoyed to hear Peter’s voice on the other side of the closed-door. She was so excited she forgot to open the door for him. Was she seeing the answered prayer right in front of her?

How many times have I prayed specifically for things to occur, and I totally miss the answer? Or how many times have a prayed not really expecting God to answer my prayers? Why then do I even pray? If I am not expecting God to answer, why even go through the motions? Do I believe God hears me? Do I have such small faith that I just don’t think He’ll come through for me? These are the questions I have been pondering since I’ve read about Peter’s release (found in Acts 12:1-18). I was reading this passage the day after I heard a sermon on Expectations. Jesus couldn’t do any miracles in His hometown of Nazareth because of their lack of faith. I realized I have been praying for specific things with little faith. I don’t really expect Jesus to come through for me. I don’t know why. He has been faithful in the past, but I am not expecting much in the future.

Oh, I believe Jesus can do all things. I believe nothing is impossible for God. But obviously I don’t think the prayers I have been praying will amount to anything. I am not anticipating the great things God is capable of or else I would be excited about the future. I would be watching with anticipation, like a child anticipating Christmas. The countdown is on for the fulfillment of the promise; just like the month before Christmas and the child is counting the days. I guess it’s because the future is “out there” with no end in sight. The faith comes in when there is no sight of the end. How long will I have to wait until the promise?

Regardless, my prayers need the expectant attitude. The anticipation of what is to come. God is good all the time. He knows where we are and what we are waiting on. He is also looking in our hearts to see the smallest of seeds of hope and faith. Are they growing or are thy withering? How long will they grow or how long will it take for them to start to die? For those who endure, the promises of blessings will come. If there are no blessings, then it’s not the end. Pray unceasing and with expectation until the blessing comes. God is faithful to fulfill all He has promised! Praise God now for what He is going to do!

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:22-23

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