An old saying goes something like this: “The more things you have, the more they have you.” Have we become possessed by possessions, especially us who live in affluent societies? There’s a tension between the desires of the heart and the lust of the flesh. The latter is more about self-gratification and is by far less fulfilling than true desires birthed in our hearts by God. Furthermore, the lust of the flesh causes a war inside, which at times, bleeds into relationships with others.
James 4:1-3From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Here’s a simple recipe to wreck some families. Put money and possessions in the middle of the members. Have you seen a family torn apart over an inheritance? Perhaps, you’ve been one of the unfortunates who have been caught in one those squabbles over who gets what, or even worse. Of course, another way to put stress on relationships is borrowing money from each other. On a side note, a way to avoid this is simply not lend any; rather, give it away if have you the ability. Stating the obvious: pray about it first.
If you find jealousy or envy cropping up over what someone has; if you find yourself hanging onto things for dear life; if you find it difficult to say, “Yes, Lord” because of the fear of loss or how people may see you, or if you get angry at the thought of losing your possessions, you may be possessed by the things of the world. What exactly are the things of the world? The answer is found in 1 John. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever(1 John 2:15-17). In short: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are the things of the world.
Jesus tells us these things choke out the Word. Matthew 13:22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the Word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful (see also Matthew 13:7; Mark 4:7,18-20; Luke 8:7,14).
Is it wrong to possess things? Generally, no; however, filtering things through lust and pride is problematic. Our call is being content in whatever state we find ourselves (Philippians 4:11-13). That doesn’t mean we become complacent about our condition, nor say we should never possess anything. Even Paul said he knew what was to have much and to have little. Either way, he learned to be content in whatever condition he found himself. Remember, this earth is temporary -everything is going to burn. The things of this world hold no eternal value.
Obviously, the cure to jealousy and envy is love. Submission is another one. Galatians 5:16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. If Holy Spirit has you, the world cannot!
Have you been wearing yourself out trying to make an impact, and still, you feel as if you have produced very little fruit, if any? So, how’s your relationship with Jesus anyway? Jesus said: “I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). If you’re not plugged into Jesus, if you’re not fellowshipping with Him, you will have a very difficult time doing much of anything for His Kingdom. You may very well have a bonified desire to do good things for God, but there is a way they are to be done. It’s one thing to do a good thing, it’s quite another to do the right thing. Having what one might consider a good idea, may not fit God’s design for you. When you start moving in directions that seem okay or even right, you may quickly find yourself gasping for air, and that’s because you need a fresh Wind. You need Holy Spirit guiding you.
Why was Jesus so impactful during His earthy ministry? He was busy about His Father’s business. He did not allow Himself to be distracted by others, nor the things of this world. No one could persuade Him to get involved in things outside His mission. It would be good for all of us to take His cue. It may be worth stepping back for a moment, and consider what you’re doing. Ask the Lord to reveal His will for you. This may lead you into new territory. Comfort zones no longer have a place at the table. This very thing may bring you to a crossroad where you have to make some tough decisions. That includes putting a stop to what you’ve been doing for some time. Discomfort and changes are good when they lead you to His perfect will for your life. It takes you out from dead works, and places you into labors of love in which you find joy like no other.
Moreover, making these shifts saves you from the weariness of doing what you’re not called to do in the first place. When you are in the center of God’s will, you find a vigor in life you’ve never thought possible. There may come a time, or perhaps that time is now, in which someone may ask you to do something to which you’re not called. It may be profitable to simply say, “no thank you.” Our walk of faith and obedience requires hearing from the Lord before taking action (see Matthew 4:4; Romans 10:17). And you may hear in a variety of ways, which we will not address here; but know it’s a place of rest.
Hebrews 4:10For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
Is Christ divided? No, He is not, and yet there’s been disunity in the Body of Christ for years -centuries even. The call to repentance has gone out numerous times. Some are heeding that call and are gathering with others with whom they once opposed. Crossing boundaries that should have never been in the first place. Will we as the Church finally get it right?
Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me” (John 17:17-23).
How do we get it right? One word seems to sum it all up: love. If we kept things that simple it would work. If we’re busy loving one another, we won’t have time to hurt each other. Notwithstanding, that kind of love entails submission to Holy Spirit on everyone’s part. We are exhorted in Ephesians to “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). The requirements for unity is found in the Fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-24). Our coming together as one requires a power greater than our own. If you have difficulty loving others, start with submission. 1 Corinthians 1:10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Speaking the same thing involves agreement with God. Simply agreeing on doctrine does not necessarily mean true unity. It has to align with Him in order for it to be legitimate. What if we all agreed one thing, but it doesn’t agree with the Word of God, is it true unity? It wouldn’t be unified with Holy Spirit, so the answer is no. The Bible makes it clear there are doctrines of men and demons, but there is only one Doctrine of Christ. Not only that, we could say we have a consensus in order to unify; but more than likely, underneath it would still be a number of people in disagreement. They merely acquiesced for the sake of “keeping the peace.” They still differ in belief. The fissure remains. What would happen if we came together in love, and searched for the Truth as God intended? That would require humility. We would have to check our egos at the door; but then, if we’re crucified with Christ, ego shouldn’t be a thing. We do want The Truth, right? Surely, we’re not trying to build our own little kingdoms that rest on our private interpretation of the Bible, are we? Ephesians 4:4-6There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
It’s time to get it straight: there is only one Church. Generally speaking, congregations are comprised of the local population, which means there may be exclusions of different ethnicities. But that is the only reason for the exclusion. As disciples of Jesus Christ, this next statement should be obvious to all, but here it goes: we all descend from Adam and Eve, which means there’s only one race. Going further still: the term, born again found in John 3:3 means to be born from above. That changes our position in life. Our citizenship is in Heaven, which eliminates borders (see Philippians 3:20). It’s time we all break bread together. There are no more social classes to keep us apart either. Colossians 3:8-17But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
If you chose, you can find fault with anyone. Think about it: even the Pharisees found fault with Jesus, even though the fault was actually with them. Slow down and think about that statement. Don’t pass it up. Now consider the first sentence. You could find fault with anyone, but where would the fault lie: with them, or you? If you find yourself constantly looking for fault in others, it would be a good idea to ask yourself what’s going on, because that’s a departure from love.
1 Peter 4:8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Here are some reasons people look for said faults. Pride, ego and arrogance attached to low self-esteem. They are compensating for feelings of inadequacy. Much of it is the result of being disconnected to God’s love. Affirmation issues disappear when you fully receive His love and you love yourself the way He does. A second reason that may not be as obvious to some is self-preservation. If you’ve been deeply hurt by others, you may find yourself looking for “fissures in the façade,” as to not be hurt again. If you’ve been betrayed by someone close, it would make it difficult to trust. Trust issues reveal the need for healing, and perhaps, forgiveness. If you haven’t forgiven, you will not heal from the wound. Some people are trained to look at others with suspicion. They grew up with it, because it was prevalent in the culture of their family. This may not be an exhaustive list, but it gives a starting point. Take it a step further, and ask God to reveal what’s going on with you. Most, if not all, have felt critical of others from time to time. Even though it may not be a constant, try to be aware of it. If you find criticism creeping in, pause, take a deep breath and submit to Holy Spirit. The flesh loves to criticize. Galatians 5:16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Okay, let shift gears. We can discern when something is amiss with others. In some cases it can be very blatant; in others, it’s subtle. In the latter, the Lord may reveal it to you. Question: what do we do with the discernment? Do we judge the other person, or do we connect with God’s purpose behind it? What is the purpose of discernment in this case? Reconciliation with God. In other words, we are meant to connect or reconnect them to God’s heart. We may respond by praying for them, or opening our hearts to them, so they have a safe place to go. Those who are struggling, find it difficult to share with others because of the fear of judgment. If they know we’re safe, they may confide in us. In turn, you may help them navigate through whatever they’re going through. In short, let the Lord lead us. Galatians 6:1-6Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.
When you say yes to some things, you are actually saying no to others. For instance, if you were to say yes to instant gratification, you could feasibly be saying no to something in your future. This principle is not exactly new, but it does cross many facets of life. Time is another example: when you say yes to spending time over there, you’re saying no to spending it here. This principle does have some advantages if you are mindful with it. So, let’s examine a couple of ways this could be used. Bear in mind, there are many ways, but this may be a good place to start.
In the previous two examples, we find how it applies to stewardship. For every expenditure you make, whether it’s time or resources, there will be expenditures elsewhere you will not be able to fulfill. This is especially true for time, because it is not a renewable resource. Of course, there is a small percentage of people on whom this has a lesser affect in terms of finance. As a whole, it pays to consider your goals and objectives before making those expenditures. Obviously, God owns it all and has no such restraints. Since we are His, and all we possess belongs to Him, it may be a good idea to ask Him what He thinks about how we spend. In relation to the first example, remember, the so called small or insignificant purchases can whittle away your reserves for the future. Even if you’re just a dollar short of obtaining something, you’re still short and you won’t be able to possess it. One plus one may only be two, but keep adding those ones over time, and they will add up to hundreds, maybe even thousands. Similarly, putting little sums of money away over time adds up. What you do or fail to do today, affects your future. Think to what you’re saying no, before you say yes. Again, pray for wisdom. James 1:5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
The yes means no principle works well for keeping the right focus. If you say yes to righteousness, you’re saying no to evil and wickedness. By saying yes to forgiveness, you’re saying no to bitterness, wrath and anger. By saying yes to love, you’re saying no hatred. Instead avoiding the negative (thou shalt not), focus on the positive (do what’s right). By chasing after the things of God, you will automatically avoid evil; especially since it will not be a consideration. By focusing on excellence, you gravitate toward success versus failure. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never make a mistake, but even mistakes become steps toward the right direction, if you learn from them. If you’re constantly trying to avoid the things of the flesh, you will be flesh-minded. Try this on for size: Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Romans 13:8-10Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Chastisement (discipline), ah yes, one of our favorite words in the Christian community. Although, it does seem as if some take this word to mean punishment; which in reality, is quite the opposite -believe it or not. Has it occurred to any of us that discipline actually leads to peace? Look at what the Bible has to say about it: Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11). Discipline leads to peace, but there is a stipulation: we must allow ourselves to be trained by it. We must be willing to learn the lessons involved. That might be stating the obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many resist it. The harder you fight against discipline, the harder the lesson will be to learn. It’s vital to stay teachable!
Successful discipline requires humility. You cannot point the finger at other people when you are experiencing hardship due to your bad decisions or even rebellion. You cannot hope to change for the better without a willingness to see things about yourself you may find distasteful. Sometimes, we can be blind to our shortcomings, and they require chastisement to expose them. Until you see things from God’s perspective, you may believe those shortcomings are okay; even though, they are doing you more harm than good. In fact, they are robbing you of peace. Without righteousness there is no peace. Any shortcoming void of righteousness is also void of peace. Moreover, they come between you and God, especially if they go unchecked. Remember, truth leads to freedom (see John 8:31-32).
While going through the experience of correction, you may feel as if God hates you, or is punishing you. Because God is love, He will always do what is beneficial to you. If it doesn’t benefit you, it’s not on Him; it’s on you. That may sound like a strong statement, but think about it. If you refuse correction, things may very well get worse. Peace will continue to elude you. Remember the stipulation.
Hebrews 12:3-6For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
Who is the Ultimate Example of humility? Jesus. Consider another passage of Scripture: Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). By all means read the entire chapter to get full context of the verse. Now think about this: if Jesus endured hardship, who are we to not endure it as well? Chastisement is a sign of love on God’s part, and obedience is a sign of ours (see John 14:15).
Hebrews 12:1-2Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It’s easy to lose sight of hope at times, which is why it’s important to remember one thing: Jesus Christ is going to return. While it is true we do not know the day or the hour in which the Father will tell the Son, “Go get Your Bride,” rest assured He will return. This Blessed Hope is more important to our daily life than some may realize. Consider some things the book of Hebrews has to say.
Hebrews 6:17-19Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
It is comforting to know God cannot lie, which means biblical hope is a sure expectation, as opposed to mere wishful thinking. Look at what hope does for the soul: it provides an anchor which holds us steady. It brings stability to our emotions, as it also centers our minds when thoughts want to go rampant during difficult times. Our Blessed Hope puts things in proper perspective: everything on earth is temporary. That means even the most long, drawn-out circumstance has a shelf-life. Even though it may appear to be something that will never go away, it will! To be clear, hope is not a message of escapism; it’s a message of victory and yearning to be united with our Father and Jesus in person -to go home.
Remember, Jesus said: “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13). What does that look like? And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20).
It’s tempting to try to figure out when Jesus is coming back, but again, consider what He said to the disciples: Acts 1:6-8When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
We’re not supposed to get too hung up on the times and the seasons. Yes, watch and pray. And to be clear part of the Doctrine of Christ does include the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment (see Hebrews 6:1-3). So, this is not to say we should avoid eschatology or the study of the end times. Notwithstanding, we should not get lost in the minutia of figuring out when Jesus is coming back. If what Jesus said isn’t enough, here’s a couple quick things to consider. How could you possibly make any sort of approximation of His return when God withheld specific things which were heard by His servants. Read Revelation 10:1-4 and Daniel 12:1-4. It’s very difficult to be accurate when you have missing information that can never be found out on this side of eternity. Essentially, we need to stay focused on the Lord’s business. We’ll leave this rabbit trail now.
When you combine hope with faith and patience you have a recipe for inheriting the promises of God. Hebrews 6:10-12For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His Name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Finally, no matter how wonderful things might be for you, or how not so wonderful they may be; remember, the best is yet to come. You’re not home yet!
How important is your reputation? How much do you protect it? This question runs deeper than it may appear on the surface. This states the obvious: if you consistently follow Jesus and do all things as unto Him, doing what is right in His eyes, your reputation will take care of itself. And honestly, it won’t be a consideration. On the other hand, if it becomes the forefront of your mind, you could easily slide off into hypocrisy. Why? Because you will likely become more concerned about outer appearances than who you are in Jesus, while overlooking things like character. It may actually rob you of integrity. When your reputation plays centerstage, your attention is completely on you. It becomes a place of pride, and gives place to the flesh. Instead of serving the Lord with your spirit, you would now rely on the arm of your flesh. Secondly, opinions of others would override your concern about how God sees you. Becoming a Pharisee is not that difficult. Our flesh loves attention and craves the praise of other humans. Consider some of the things Jesus said about the Pharisees. He called them hypocrites because they were pretenders. By definition it means actor. Therefore, everything is done for show, not purity of heart. Let’s bring it home: if you extend kindness to another for the sake of appearing kind, the act is not for the other person; it’s for you! It’s for your reputation. “Look at me,” cries the flesh. Luke 11:43Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. Some people have been held captive by their reputation. Especially those who have had one that has been less than stellar. And we’ve seen those who’ve had a difficult time as children because of their family’s reputation. Of course, the opposite is true in other cases. Many have hearts that cry out: “I’m not the same as I used to be,” or “I’m not like my family, I am different!” Some will succumb to the reputation and act accordingly. Others will fight it with everything they’ve got. The former simply become who they believe to be true about themselves. And yes, actions often follow. Until they learn differently, they’ll never move on. The later may create a new one, but they may also find themselves fighting with imposter syndrome. Others may see them as being different, but they themselves might question whether they actually have the goods. In short, reputation can skew identity. Regardless of reputation, pride can take hold, making it difficult for legitimate change. Some take pride in their “badness,” while others take pride in their “goodness.” As it applies to family reputation, some take advantage of it. They simply use it as leverage. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our focus should be the glory of God. If we’re crucified with Christ (see Galatians 2:20), our reputation is no longer ours to hold onto. It’s counted as dead. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Be faithful to Jesus, and everything will be as it should. Proverbs 22:1A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. If you have Jesus, you have a good Name. His Name is the Name above all names. He is our righteous and He is our goodness (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). Colossians 3:17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We humans have a need for certainty, and one requirement for obtaining it is truth. Truth solidifies everything, and without it, there’s instability. Apart from the truth, no one feels completely at ease; in fact, most generally feel unsettled. When something feels amiss, there’s at least some element of truth missing. How many are fully confident in a given situation without having all the facts? If you want to make positive change in life, you need to know where you stand in order to assess what adjustments need to be made to move forward. Simply knowing where you’re at gives you a starting point.
In some instances, avoiding the truth is an act of fear, and for others it may be an act of rebellion. Some equate truth with pain, so they sidestep it. “The truth hurts.” Deep down many of them know they’re doing themselves more harm than good by doing so. If you were to reject truth, you would find confusion knocking at your door, along with anxiety. Interestingly, truth does bring a sense of freedom, along with certainty and peace. Jesus said it best: “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
Why do so many reject the truth? They want what they want, and they don’t want it to interfere with their way of life. Insisting on your own way at the cost of truth leads to an unstable life. It’s the way of self-deception which leaves you vulnerable to blind spots. In one sense, it’s a form of self-sabotage, which may even affect your eternity. Truth begins with Jesus, as He Himself has said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). If you want absolute certainty, begin with Jesus. He is the Source of all truth, knowledge, wisdom and understanding. He is our Rock!
If I said, “God would stop the earth for my sake,” would that sound arrogant? It might, unless, you understood I’m not talking about me; I’m talking about His immense love. How far do you think God would move for you? Some might respond: “That’s fine for you and others, but I don’t deserve that kind of love!” Now that’s ridiculous! His love is not the type you can deserve, much less, earn. He freely gives His love. But then He is love (see 1 John 4:16-19). It’s His nature! This is not pie in the sky talk, this is Bible.
Romans 8:31-32What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Do you know how many different pieces God has to move at the precise time in order to bring your prayers to pass? He has to move through circumstances and people, regardless of their willingness to agree with Him. Who knows what variables through which God navigates just for you. Your existence is proof in of itself. Try looking up the odds of you even being born. You’re a full blown miracle! Have you read Romans 8:28 lately? And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Consider this: our loving Father will take those circumstances and events that don’t look good at all, and use them to benefit us. That includes bringing our prayers to fruition. Is there proof in the Bible of His stopping the earth for someone? Try this on for size:
And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the Lord the third day? And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that He hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the Lord: and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz (2 Kings 20:8-11 [read verses 1-7 for full context]). Check out Joshua 10:1-15.
Take a look at Genesis 37-50 which gives the account of Joseph’s life, and how God used circumstances that looked the polar opposite of what He revealed to him. Can you imagine, God gives you dreams which show you will one day rule over your entire family, and the next thing you know, your older brothers sell you into slavery? Not to mention throwing you into a pit just prior to that, along with conspiring to possibly murder you. And as if slavery isn’t enough, you’re falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison. Of course more takes place, but this should suffice to paint the picture. It looks like you’re at the bottom to stay for the rest of your life. Then suddenly, God moves and you’re on top. That’s Joe’s story in a nutshell. God literally used everything Joseph experienced to place him in a place of authority which would lead to his saving his family and an entire nation from famine. Not to mention his ruling over his family.
Okay, one more: how good did it look when Jesus was on the Cross? You know the rest of the story! Perhaps, it’s time for you to receive His love and allow Him to move heaven and earth for you. He wants to bless you, the Cross and Resurrection of our Lord reveals this truth.
Romans 15:3-4For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell on Me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.