Apr 10, 2011

When will the answer come ... how much longer must I wait, Lord?

Have you ever expressed, to the Lord or to yourself or to someone else, the thought "When will the answer come,  how much longer must I wait, Lord?"

I am sure you have.  Impatience is often the source of frustration.  But I have found, in my own life, that many of the answers God gave did not come in my time frame nor in the way I expected.

God promises us "He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation. "  Psalms 91:15 & 16

The heart of God is to bless us.  He is a loving heavenly Father and knows how to bless and keep us.  If he did not mean that, He would not have said it.  Jesus came to fulfill the will of His Father, by paying the price for us on the cross and making a way for us to have access to every promise of God.  

God says "If you call on me, I will answer you"    This promise is only conditional upon us "calling upon Him"  He says, if you call.  God of course already knows what is going on in our lives, but there is something about us calling on Him, that makes Him respond.  He is watching over His Word to perform it.  

I know there is a lot of teaching on  faith or the lack of faith.  I have seen people in bondage to "faith" rules and regulations.  Suddenly because they happened to think or say the wrong thing, their faith is nullified. A lady many years ago, came to us for prayer.  She had miscarried several times and was confused as her pastor told her that she did not have faith.

I immediately told her "you don't need faith to have a baby, God made it that way."  Billions of people have had babies without even know what faith is.  What she really needed was healing and not a guilt trip.   All the faith rules are complicated and based on my ability to impress God by being perfect.  I have seen God do miracles for total non believers.  I have seen people get healed who did not even believe nor were they expecting a healing.    

But Jesus said we only need mustard seed faith to move mountains.  That is tiny.  Just the simple act of calling upon the Lord, is in itself an act of faith.  I would not call on Him if I did not believe He would answer.  That would be dumb.  Remember, many miracles came to people to whom Jesus had said "oh ye of little faith" He says again in Jeremiah 33:3  "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." 

The act is "call unto me" and God's response is "I will answer you"  but not only answer you, but "show you mighty things that you did not know I was capable of doing".   Again, the only condition God places on this promise is "Call unto me" God delights in honoring His word.  He knows we are not perfect and He knows we never will be.  He knows we live in an imperfect world where things go wrong. 

You say, how do you know that.  Well look at all the imperfect people God has used over the centuries to do His will.   There are many great names today who are by no means perfect and have issues, but God is using them profoundly.  Let's take this over to the new testament and see what Jesus said.  (Matthew 7:7-8)  Vs. 7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:   Vs. 8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

That is not difficult to understand.  But if it is as simple as Jesus said, then why do we not get everything we ask for.   Well simply put, if God were to give us everything we asked for, our lives would be a mess.  Many of the things we think we need to change our lives, would actually complicate them and ultimately lead us away from God's perfect plan for our lives.  

So what did Jesus mean when He said, ask, seek and knock. Jesus clarified this earlier in Matthew 6:  Vs. 31 - Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?   Vs. 32 - (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  Vs. 33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.   Vs. 34 - Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Jesus says ... "there is a better way."   Seek  first the Kingdom of God ... that is God's plan and purpose for your life.  "for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."   As we pursue God's things, all the things we NEED will be added to us.   There is an attitude of simple trust that we must learn to walk in.  I am not striving every day to get things from God.  Living for God is not a chore that I must do each day I wake up. He is part and parcel of my every day life.  I am aware of Him and I am confident that He has my best interest at heart.  I am living in expectation for the next God planned event in my life.  But I am also not phased if in the natural it does not look like much to others.    

The Apostle Paul learned that secret during his walk with Christ.  Phil 4:10-11 (Amplified) 11 - Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be [a] content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.  Vs 12 - How to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also haw to enjoy plenty and live in abundance.  I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. 

It's not that Paul is "satisfied and content" with his negative circumstances, it's that he is rooted and grounded in his trust in God's ability to cause him to triumph.  The thing he calls "secret" is simple trust.   It's not "21 steps to receiving your miracle".  It's trusting God each and every day, knowing that He loves us and His plan for our lives is being implemented."  Now obviously if He is talking to you about doing or not doing something, then obedience is also a key.  Trust and Obey.   

In many church communities, you could not ever say what Paul just said, without being chastised for speaking unbelief.   But Paul had learned to trust God during good and bad times.  His love for and faith in God did not waver because of the circumstances he found himself in. Then he adds ...  Vs. 13 - I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [b]infuses inner strength into me; I am [c]self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

It is Christ in me that makes a difference.  It is His ability, efficiency and might on the inside that makes a difference.  This takes the pressure off of me to perform ritualistically and puts the pressure on Him in me.

It's His life, power and ability in me that will make my life productive.  
It's His strength, wisdom, understanding, favor, and anointing 
that is conforming me to His image and His will for my life.
So stop beating yourself up and start leaning "not to your own understanding" but trust in what Christ accomplished on the cross.  He is presenting you holy and faultless and irreproachable to His Father. Colossians 1:22 (Amplified Bible)  "Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father's] presence." That does not mean we are just going to live any which way we want to, but when we get a revelation of what He has done for us, we love Him even more and we desire to live circumspectly before Him.   

Christ is presenting you holy and faultless and irreproachable before the Father.   Trust Him today and call upon Him.  If you don't get the answer immediately, don't get mad at Him, but keep on loving Him and through "Faith and Patience" you will inherit the promise.  (Hebrews 6:12)  Stay away from many "formulas" because they will lead you into bondage, but simply trust what God has said in His word.   

God bless you richly.

Gil Howard-Browne

Our main ministry web site is www.revivaltimes.com

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