Tag Archive: answer to prayer

Understanding Icebergs

icebergThe other morning I cried out to the Lord about what is going on in my life, how He was not using me as I expected, and why things were not happening faster or in a bigger way in my life…Sadly, I was actually complaining out of fleshly discontentment. But the the Lord is so gracious and loving, rather than being upset with me in my impatience and frustration, the Lord answered the cry of my heart with a simple question, “Do you want what you think you can see in the life of someone else, or what I have for you in your life?” He showed me that His work in my life was like an iceberg, only about 10% is visible on the surface. But if I would step back and not worry about how it “looks” from the top, He would continue to do a wondrous work below the surface, out of sight. I realized I must lay down what I am not seeing and trust that He is working and using me as He said He would use me.

If God is to get the glory, then who are we to demand that we “see” the works in our life. A single word spoken to one person could change the lives of hundreds by word of mouth alone. We need to realize that by living our lives committed and surrendered to Jesus Christ is the best “ministry” and “work” we could ever provide to the world.

One of my favorite movies is Facing the Giants. In one of the scenes the janitor gives a Word from the Lord to the coach, instructing him to prepare for the harvest, even before he can hear or see the rain. This is  a great example of the Lord telling someone they need to stand on what He has already told them and “believe” it will come to pass. If the Lord tells us to prepare our fields for the harvest, then we must prepare our fields in faith, even before we see a single rain cloud in the sky. We are not in charge of the soil we till or the seeds we plant or the garden we work or the field we harvest or when the rain will fall…He is. If we are to walk by faith, then we need to believe His Word will not return void and that He will bring the harvest in the right season, His perfect season.

Everyone who desires to be used mightily by God will have times when they cry out to the Lord and ask why they cannot see Him doing “BIG THINGS” in their life. Why they cannot see Him using them in a BIG way like they believed He would…Or why they have not seen Him “move mountains” in their life like they know He can. Often when He plants BIG dreams and goals in our hearts we must go through a “preparation season” before He is able to use us according to His plan. This season can seem like it goes on for a very l-o-n-g time. We may feel “stuck”, like we will never move forward toward our dreams. The question we keep asking is, “WHEN GOD, WHEN WILL YOU USE ME IN A BIG WAY!!!” What we need to remember during these seasons is that we will never see the full picture, we need to believe there is 90% that we cannot see below the surface even during this season.

The Lord sees what is in our hearts, whether we are truly taking Him at his Word, or are we doubting Him in our human wisdom. If He tells us He has answered our prayer, do we thank Him for the answer and go out in faith to prepare our field for rain, or do we stay on our knees and keep asking until we can “see” the answer?

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Waiting Period

waiting-periodsAbout a week and a half ago the Lord told me, “Good things come to those who wait [on Me].” This soft spoken word of encouragement came as an answer to the cry of my heart, when I was at point giving up on receiving (seeing) the answer to a prayer. This was not the first time He chose to encourage me throughout the last year and a half while I’ve waited to receive the answer to my prayer. But this word was different; it reminded me what my responsibility was during this period…to wait on Him.

Doesn’t He understand the wait is “killing me”? Yes He does, and that is His point. During these periods of waiting we are forced to choose to either surrender our wants and will to Him (“die to self”) or go down our own path and try to make it happen our way. This is where a test of our faith happens…Will we stand on His word and trust Him, believing what He has already told us? Or will we doubt Him and/or ourselves, wondering if we really heard Him correctly, and try to find another answer or another way to our answer?

I chose to stand in faith on the words He has already given and He did not abandon me in my time of weakness. Instead, He came under me, lifted me up and gave me strength. He rewarded my faithfulness by encouraging me through the remembrance of other times of waiting, when great answers to prayer and blessings came only after very l-o-n-g periods of waiting. If we had given up on those prayers when all hope seemed to be lost, then we would not have seen the awesome power of the Lord manifested in our lives.

And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up. – Galatians 6:9 (TLB)

In most states there is a “waiting period” when someone purchases a hand gun. During this period the person is given the time to “cool off” and consider the motive, the real reason, they are purchasing the gun. God does the same thing with some of our prayers; He gives us a chance to work through the motives behind our prayers. I believe He also takes this waiting period to kill off parts of our flesh and mature us in the Spirit, until we are able to receive and walk in the blessings that will come through the answer of our prayer. If a child is always given what they want when they ask and are never forced to wait, they will never learn to appreciate what is given to them. They will never be satisfied and will never treasure any gift that is given to them.

God is not a gumball machine that we can put a prayer into and receive whatever we ask. Rather, He is a loving Father who is always looking for ways to love and bless His children…ways to teach them how to hear His voice and stand strong on His word. Just like for our own children, we sometimes withhold a blessing until we know the time is right and our child is mature enough to handle it rightly. If we give them too much too quickly we are not loving or blessing them, we are setting them up for failure.

God knows how long the wait must be for the answer to be a “good thing”. Will you choose to wait on the Lord and His perfect “good” time or will you try to make you own way in your time?

gods-time-best-time

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