Sunday, July 12, 2020
The hard part
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall
strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!
Waiting is one of the hardest things to do. We want to be people of action. We feel better if we are doing something to address our need, but waiting forces us to rely on God. David learned what it meant to wait. He was chosen by God to be the next king of Israel, then spent years waiting for the day God's Word would come to pass in his life. As he waited, a paranoid, egocentric king occupied the throne that had been promised to him. David spent his time hiding in caves and living among his enemies. As he waited, he saw good friends murdered and his family and possessions taken. He saw Israel's enemies wreak havoc on his nation. Perhaps no one ever faced greater adversity while waiting upon God's promise than David did. He certainly understood what it meant to become discouraged and fearful.
But David also enjoyed the reward for waiting upon the Lord. He became the greatest king in Israel's history, and, more importantly, through his trials he became a man after God's own heart. The psalms David wrote during his days as a fugitive have been cherished words of encouragement for millions of people through the ages. Through David's descendants came the Messiah. David's willingness to wait has blessed us all.
Times of waiting on the Lord can be some of the most precious moments in your life (John 11:1–6). If you are waiting on God for something, read Isaiah 40:31 and find encouragement as you wait for Him to fulfill His promises to you. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Being jealous or envious isn't anything but universal between believers and unbelievers. We often observe others receiving blessings that we too would enjoy.
Be honest, when you see such things, don't you in part look at yourself to wonder what you did wrong? I know that I have.
I struggle in an area most probably don't.
It seems that I was gifted by God in the area of solutions to problems. Yet, in that, it's painful to have a solution that I am convinced would work, yet am unable to fulfill. I sometimes view it as a curse more than a blessing. But when I look at what was said in this devotional about David, I wonder if he was seeing similar things. It was decades before he truly became the King of Israel. As Blackaby writes, he watched friends die and problems grow. He probably wanted to do something but wasn't allowed or able.
We are certainly like how Blackaby describes us. Having a need n wanting to DO something. We struggle when circumstances seem to have us handcuffed. Waiting goes hand-in-hand with patience. It's just not something we are born with. Looking at the headlines, several generations of problems state clearly that teaching impatience begets adults who never outgrew the childish trait of impatience. Whining about what they don't have and blaming it upon others. Christians do it too. Some so-called Churches teach that if you aren't being blessed right here right now that there's something wrong with you. That God is a God of prosperity an since He's a Holy God, you must be the reason why you aren't abundantly blessed.
Let me ask you something. Was there really something wrong with David before he became King? True, God was working on his heart, but other kings of Israel became king literally over night. So was it David's fault? Didn't he have enough faith? Was his heart not right before God? Surely if he was to be King it would have just happened right?
Look at the bigger picture. Who was really impacted by God's decision to make David King? Was it only David? No, it was Saul and his entire family. God had put Saul in as King. The Lord's name was on the line. Saul sinned not just in the sight of God but of the nation of Israel and the world. People knew. Could the Lord have fixed all that in a moment? In a day? Yes. But what would have become of His Name?
We face what seems to be either insurmountable problems or situations. Or even small ones as well. We don't know what to do. We pray and pray. Then pray some more. It seems that either God isn't listening or we look at ourselves as to look for reasons why He hasn't answered.
The greater thing is what impact it would have on His Name. Could Jesus give us whatever we asked in His Name? Yes. But how would it impact people coming to Christ? Imagine if you will, that Jesus just started answering every prayer with a yes, just because we asked. What would the ramifications be? Your yes would probably conflict with someone else's. Theirs would conflict with someone else's. And so on and so on.
As it is only science fiction, consider all these time travel movies. Someone goes back in time. Anything they interact with impacts future events. Stepping on a bug that wasn't supposed to die. Allowing one to live that WAS supposed to die. Spending even age appropriate money. You obtained something that someone else was supposed to have and history is altered.
We look at our world only. We don't look outside of it. We don't look at what our requests of Jesus would do to others. How it would impact people. Say you woke up this morning to an answered prayer of winning the Publisher's Clearinghouse. Your life wouldn't be the same as if you hadn't. You certainly would now have money. But your level of challenges with temptation would be off the scale. You would be tempted to alter other people's lives. Probably in ways that God wouldn't want to have happened yet.
Your character would be changed. Out of the woodwork would come people you haven't seen in decades. If you refused them they would dredge up your past as a weapon. Howard Hughes proved conclusively that to have great wealth without Godly wisdom begets paranoia and dying alone. Trust is shattered. Faith in God is greatly diminished because you begin solving your own problems without prayer.
If a tree only grew tall and full without the storms of life, one single storm would rip it up and throw it into the sea with no real trouble at all.
We are taught patience. Unfortunately the world doesn't believe in it. Which is why riots happen. Why credit card debt is a trillion dollar industry. Which is why vanity based surgeons exist. We have been taught, indoctrinated, to believe what we are told we need by a world that is loyal only to Satan. When you listen to the Word of God, it's contrary to the message of the world.
Prayer also gives you the opportunity to change you before Jesus. When your requests align better with what the Spirit is doing in you and those around you, then more of them happen.
I struggle no differently than any other Christian. My requests are often out of distress that I don't understand. But I am the one who doesn't understand. He does.
Pray without ceasing is what Jesus says to you and me. When have you had a conversation with someone on a heavy subject and by talking it out your view changed? There's your AHA moment.