We all have a feeling that there is some higher power out there in charge of everything, or at least somethings, especially that which we need at the moment of our need. Most times, we think and remember this higher power only at moments of great need or challenges. We generally believe He can do and undo all things; He controls both the good, the bad and the ugly situations of life; He controls everything from start to finish defined as nature; He is God, and “God” is His name.
One thing I’ve observed which is common to people generally is prayer. Even those who try to deny the existence of God as the “God of the Whole world”, and “The Supreme being” still pray – whether they call it “prayer” or not. Adherents of other non-Christian faiths also pray. We all pray and God answers.
Prayer is foundational for the Christian faith. You can’t become a Christian without prayer and you can’t remain in the faith without prayer. The keys of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 16:19) can only be obtained through prayer; can be best utilized through prayer(Matthew 18:18); and will only be sustained through prayer.
As Christians, so many things we daily request from God as real / fervent prayer or mere wishful thinking. We expect God to grant our hearts desire, since He knows all things. But it isn’t everytime we pray that God answers immediately with a thunderstorm, or rain or sunshine. It isn’t everytime we pray that God seems to have even heard in the first place – at least from our own opinion. And considering that a thousand of our years could just be God’s one-day (2Peter 3:8), our wait seems as long as eternity after we have done all we could: exercised patience, had faith, claimed his promises, prayed and fasted.
I had a change of mindset some years ago and realized that God indeed answers every prayer His children make to Him. We are the ones that have problems not accepting the time and specifics of His answer. His answer could be either a yes or no, but either way, it is God’s answer. When God says “Yes”, He has answered your prayer, therefore wait for its manifestation. And when He says “No”, He has answered your prayer. Move on, at least you now know “it” isn’t God’s will for you.
When God says “Yes”, you are happy. Aren’t you sometimes sad when God says No? are you as happy when He says “No” as when He says “Yes”? how you feel and what do you do next after hearing God’s “No” – is what really matters?
Some people resort to Plan-B when God says “No”: they decide to help themselves or seek help from mortal-man. Unfortunately, when all fails, they return to their maker and ask Him for help on what to do next.
Shouldn’t God be the “first” and “next” resort for everything about our lives? If He is the first resort and His answer is “No” – shouldn’t we be happy? If He is the “next” resort, why are we sad when He says “No”? God’s “No”, regardless of our time or place just means that we don’t have to waste our time, energy and resources trying to do what He doesn’t want us to do. It means there is another “Yes” coming on the way. God loves us(you and I) so much both in His Yes or No.
A father leads his son by his hand to cross a river. Father has crossed this river many times back and forth, and so He knows where the shallow and deep parts are. Father and son proceeded into the river and walked straight ahead. After a while, father tells his son to turn right. The son asks, “why”, but father says “don’t worry, just turn right. I am your father, I know where the deep portions of this river are”. If at this point the son decides to argue, become stubborn and disobey his father, he will end up as another “drowned child” in the river.
The measure of our faith and trust in God is indicated by how pliable we are in God’s hands, by our willingness to open our hearts and accept whatever His answer is. Unfortunately, most believers have their hearts and ears ready to hear God’s “Yes”, but not His “No”. Some people have their minds so made up that they even conclude within themselves that God said “Yes”, but meanwhile, God hasn’t even said anything.
Others bombard Heaven with prayers even after God has said “No”, hoping their intercessions will make God change His mind. Unfortunately, we all sing: “have thine own way Lord, have thine own way, thou art the Potter, I am the Clay”. When a potter takes his clay and first molds a cup, then uses the same clay to mold a bottle, and then again uses the same clay to mold a bowl, anyone watching him/her at work would be excited and amazed first at the potter’s skill, and the material in his hands.
If we(Christians) are really clay, shouldn’t we be glowing under God’s hands while He changes us, remolds us day by day, more and more into an example of His own Image? If we are really clay, the world around us will give glory to God as they observe God working in and with us, and would be challenged by our meek and quiet spirit. They would realize that such a lifestyle isn’t earthly and common to “most people”; they would soon come asking us to tell them about our God.
It is only as surrender everything: ourselves, our will, our ambitions and goals in life; all that we are, have, think and hope to be; all of our past, present and future….that we become a masterpiece in His hands. The more we surrender ourselves, the more we realize that He indeed has the best of the best intentions for us, and the more He molds us into His own Image.
Enoch’s entire life is almost summarized(Genesis 5:24) in one verse that says “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”. It wasn’t easy to walk with God for 365-years. Enoch was a “family-man”, he lived and faced the challenges of a normal life, had a wife, sons and daughters, lived and interacted with people…….but in all these, He walked with God. He must have been so surrendered to God, that God had to reverse the natural order of his life as a man. Enoch went to heaven alive.
After Eden, the only occurence of an animal talking in the Bible was in Numbers 22, and its rider, Baalam was on a mission against God’s perfect will. Baalam was so spiritual that even after a night of praying to know God’s will, He couldn;t see God’s angel that had become visible to his(Baalam’s) donkey.If God could open the eyes of the donkey, why couldn’t Baalam see? The “I” in Baalam was what blinded his eyes.
May God grant us(you and I) the grace to not only have a listening ear, but an obedient heart to His voice.