Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Not Forgotten

Not Forgotten 

Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Isaiah 49:15 

God never becomes preoccupied or neglectful toward one of His children. God said it would be more likely for a nursing mother to forget the infant at her breast than for Him to forget one of His children! The nursing mother has a keen sensitivity to her baby. Even if the infant is in another room the mother's senses are in tune with her child. The mother knows when it is time to feed and care for the child. The mother never becomes so preoccupied with other things that she neglects the needs of her child. It is fitting that God chose this imagery to describe how He looks after His people, for He is more sensitive to the needs of His children than even the most loving mother. He anticipates every cry for help. Even before we can call out in need, God is responding with His answer (Isa. 65:24). This is one of the most comforting promises God has given to us: that He will never forget us. Don’t let the difficult circumstances you are facing convince you that God has forgotten you. Don’t ever assume that God is more concerned with the needs of other, more significant, more spiritual people than He is with yours. Scripture teaches that God looks upon you with the same love, interest, and concern as a nursing mother would look upon her infant. It should reassure you to know that your Father loves you like that! 
Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

I would be lying if some days didn't feel like I was forgotten by my Savior. 

Prayers a plenty, and awaiting His response often can feel like we weren't heard.  That God was busy elsewhere.  It could never be that He's asleep anywhere because Scripture is clear that He doesn't. The next inevitable thought is looking at ourselves for reasons why. 

Dear Reader, God's timing is always perfect. He's in a need to run for one thing. When someone returns to Him. Yes, He constantly watches the horizon for any wayward child that is returning to Him.  Satan would love for you to believe that you are ignored or abandoned. 
He will try to induce those negative feelings.  Daniel prayed 3 times a day.  All the time. Scripture says that was his habit.  He observed that a fulfillment of Scripture should have happened. Was praying about that. Was told when the Angel showed up that the response to his prayers was issued immediately. The battle through which the Angel had to go through to get to him was fierce. A delay isn't necessarily a no.

There's been times, been days, weeks and months that it seems time drags on and God hadn't answered my prayers.  I continue to pray anyway.  I have joked that I am tired of being in the wilderness for the last 20 years where we live now.  

But God's had His reasons for those 20 years.  The Children of Israel were in the wilderness for a total of 80 years.  In my life, in these 20 plus years, He's done much to change me, to grow me in Christ.   The things that I have endured, gone through, lived through, had to happen here. Growing up in the culture that I did, accumulation of things and wrong thinking was the norm.   I look back and can see where God's needed to teach me the necessity of letting go.

My time and attention 20 years ago wasn't on or where it's at today. 
My priorities were not what they are today. 
My need for acceptance by people is far less today than 20 years ago. 
My need to be placing more of my life in serving my Savior is greater now than back then. 
My understanding of things has changed in 20 years. God's opened my mind to things I have never considered before. 

In 20 years I have learned to grow more dependent upon prayer.  To look forward to the drive to work when I talk with Jesus.  Work is seen by me differently than it has been in the past. I really don't trust me to make wise decisions at work.  I pray for His help in guarding my mind and my mouth before going in the door. I don't work for anyone but my God.  It's His standard that I must shoot for.  Whatever it is that He has me do.  

Oh, in my past, Satan used to really do a number on me.  He used to use all kinds of thoughts and feelings to put me down and keep me there.  Used to say things with a grain of truth that were twisted into elaborate falsehoods.  After years of hearing it I began believing it. Things by him were presented to me much as you read in the Gospels of his tempting Jesus. Some of those thoughts still plague me but as the days go by its less and less.  If this sounds like you, trust me, my Friend, you are not alone.  Satan doesn't want anyone to join the ranks of the Redeemed.  That's his first choice. If his wiles don't work to stop someone from salvation, his next is to get permission to go after them to hinder their growth in Christ. To make them ineffective in locating any others looking for salvation. Read the book of Job. Satan's needing permission to go after believers.  He doesn't need that with unbelievers. 

But why would Jesus give him permission?  Read again that passage where He says that God causes all things to work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.  We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.  Hammers, chisels, grinders, knives, etc. are actually tools that move or remove things in a violent manner.  Force is required that is often intense but necessary for what is desired.  God will permit things to achieve whatever is necessary to grow someone in Christ Jesus. He prayed for Peter, knowing that Satan asked to sift him as wheat.  He allowed it because it would be necessary for Peter's growth in Christ later.  Jesus didn't forget him at all. Peter easily could have thought that. Peter was downcast in the days after he failed in regards to denying Jesus.  After Jesus appeared to him and restored him, he would never make that mistake again. He grew in Christ. 

You may think that God's not going to listen to your prayers.  God always listens. What you pray about is in need of being what He's wanting of you.  If we pray in accordance with His Will He easily answers.  But remember back to Daniel.  Our Adversary is going to try to hinder that response.  God always answers with yes, no, not right now, and wait, I have something better in mind. 

You must never give in to thinking you have been forgotten. As the song goes, when He was on the cross we were on His mind.  Jesus was thinking of you, of me, of every human who has lived or ever will live when He was nailed to that cross.  He could never forget the nails, can never forget you.

You may not have the words to pray. That's OK. Just pray anyway. Jesus will be there.

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