Following My King
Our Conversations with God
From time to time, we all face issues where we have talks with God. Sometimes these are about our “blowing it” or about our disappointment with how something worked out for us. I am talking about coming face to face with God, humbling ourselves and vowing not to repeat the mistake or bad habit again. Or the conversations happen because we are afraid of what lies ahead.
An online friend wrote of having long conversations with God as she drove to some garage sales. I have had similar times when I have done something very stupid in my life. A close friend has talked with God at length about her possible upcoming surgery.
The good thing is: No matter what the reason, the time, the circumstance. God welcomes us and listens to us. For this I am eternally grateful.
In God’s Time, In God’s Will
When things keep us feeling down and we see no end in sight, we need to remember God is in control. Ephesians 1:11 tells us God acts, “in His time” and “in His will.” Paul wrote this letter to the believers at Ephesus from a prison cell.
Whatever our trial, God is with us. Six state in the midwest United States have experience tornadoes, and floods. One state had the majority of it’s counties affected by flooding. Another had most of its southern section flooded out. One city’s hospital has been closed because of intense flooding.
We have family friends living in one of these flooded out areas. They citizen’s worked together, using a township conservation club as a hub. They planned on keeping the club open 24/7 for as long as needed. One of the women wrote us. “We were worried about the extra expense of keeping things turned on, but we knew we had to do it.”
This humbled me. These people prayed for God to help them through this time. I believe He honored their integrity and their efforts. He does that for His children.
I am aware of two married couples who are doing what they can to keep one of each at home despite health issues . A woman is caring for her husband who has Alzheimer’s despite her own heart problems. A man tends his wife who has a bad heart and experiences mini-strokes despite his own heart problems. God is with them.
Some trials seem to stay with us. Some seem to be fleeting. Whatever the case, God knows our needs and will help us through them as he sees fit.
We all have heard about grace. It is one of the dearest terms of Christendom. But what is it, actually? As I see it, grace is likened to a precious stone having many facets.
Back in the early 1970’s I asked my then-pastor’s wife what was meant by grace. Her answer was interesting. She used an acrostic to explain it: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. I have since reasoned that all we have from God has been granted to us only because Jesus Christ went to the cross in our place.
One facet of grace is the idea of love of which we are unworthy. The fact that God loves us in spite of who we are or what we have done amazes me. The idea He loves the hardened criminal as much as He loves the sanctified soul sitting in the pew each Sunday and Wednesday night blows my mind. But God does love us equally.
Can we see grace in today’s society? Yes, we can but we have to use discernment in order to recognize it. We extend grace to another person when we forgive them for hurting us. We also practice grace-giving when we do a good deed for a friend.
How can we describe grace? Hymn writers have used words like amazing, and wonderful, and marvelous. Where would we be without God’s grace? We all would be lost and headed for the lake of fire.
Waiting and Trusting
Waiting, no one really likes to do it. But we spend a good quantity of our life waiting for something. As children, we waited for Christmas, for our birthdays, for summer vacation. As teens we waited for that special guy to ask us for a date. As young adults we spent precious time wondering if he would propose marriage.
When we were expecting our child or children, we had to wait for the better part of nine months before we could hold that little bundle of joy in our arms. Then it was waiting for the teething to be over. Then it was a while before our little ones could walk by themselves. But we waited for these moments.
As we go through our spiritual lives, we have times of uncertainty, times of fear, times of danger. We are supposed to trust God for the outcomes. We are not to worry about these things, we are to trust.
Sometimes we think it impossible to wait and trust. But Isaiah 40:31 reminds us all, “Those who hope in(wait for) the LORD will renew their strength. The will soar like eagles they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Prayer IS Important
The title of this entry was emphasized to me while my husband and I were on vacation recently. Through an oversight, I did a very stupid thing which could have had caused me/us major problems for a very long time. I discovered my error a full day after the incident. We really didn’t know what to do. We prayed independent of each other and experienced a peace about the situation.
My prayer consisted of me telling God it was my fault, all my fault. I couldn’t cast blame on anyone else. I HAD MADE THE MISTAKE. I could only hope the person who discovered my personal gaffe was honest. If that person was, I asked God to bless him or her. In case that person was less than honest, I told God I would turn him or her over to Him.
My husband was praying for guidance through the possible resultant circumstances I had possibly caused. He prayed that God, through the Holy Spirit, would send us to the person who could help us.
1.) The person who discovered my error was employed by the business we had patronized. SHE WAS HONEST.
2.) The morning after our prayer vigil, a policewoman crossed our path and my husband decided to approach this officer with our problem. She took the time to make some phone calls to see what I needed to present in order to get the credentials I might need while we were on our vacation.
3.) At no time after we prayed did I feel unnerved about the possible outcome that could have resulted from this incredily stupid thing I did.
Prayer works, Prayer is Important, Prayer works, Prayer is important, YES, IT IS.Prayer works, YES IT DOES.
When God Answers Our Prayers
Have you ever prayed for an answer to a need and received an answer that gave you pause. I was sitting in church recently and saw at least three answers to my prayers. Last week I heard of a ministry project that will happen in a few months. This project answers a request made to God two years ago. This more recent answer could be the answer to other needs in our town. God is at work in the hearts of his people.
I was in attendance at a revival meeting on Saturday evening, the last of a three-night revival. There were stories of teens being saved on the other two nights. The preacher on Saturday night, the son of a friend of ours, didn’t mince any words about the presence of Hell and that no one had to go there. He spoke of Jesus as the Savior and Lord of his life. He also told of where he was before he found Jesus. I know his mother prayed for a long time for this son to find his way to Jesus.
God answers prayer in His time. God answers prayer according to His plan. Our job is to pray and petition. His job is to perform miracles, heal, guide and direct.
I will keep praying for those on my prayer list and for the needs of those I meet. in the future when I see answers unfold before me, it will cause me to pause and give praise.
As believers, we have to rely on God and His leading for our lives. Sometimes this seems difficult. But we benefit when we relax and let Him pour His love and comfort over us. Life is full of surprises and yet, God can take those difficult times, that difficult news and mould it to how He wants us to experience these events.
There are times, we seek answers from God, thinking that response will come through either path “A” or path “B”. But God surprises us and uses another way to resolve our problem. These surprise answers to prayer are what makes us sit back in amazement.
We have to remember God is in control of everything. We have to wait to see what He has in store for us. The neat thing about all this is we become more comfortable with trusting God each time we see His answer. Trusting grows easier as we learn to do it.
Palm Sunday Thoughts
What were the people thinking as Jesus rode into Jerusalem that day? Were they thinking of His true reason for his journey? Did they know that He would object to the money changers in His temple? How did they feel when the leaders turned on Him? Did anyone think to stand up to the naysayers?
It seems the people were thinking, “What can He do for me?” They didn’t know the true reason for his journey. They were only thinking about their ‘here and now’. The people, save a handful, seemed to get caught up in the later action of the week. It seems no one of the everyday people thought about standing up to the ‘powers-that- be’.
Of course, we who believe know the rest of the story. We know this was a part of God’s plan. Our Lord had to go through all this in order to become sin for us. He took upon Himself every vile and dirty sin of the world. He took on every hurtful comment we have made. He took on every sin of omission we have and will commit.
God’s In Control!
We believers say this all the time. But when we actually see Him working in our daily lives, we have to stand back and exclaim it. Yesterday evening, our church had a soup supper/fundraiser. I had not planned to work at it or even attend. (Health reasons come into play here.) About the time the event started, one of my closest friends called me. She asked me if I was going to it. She had heard from the person in charge that some of the workers had gotten sick. We decided to go. Instead of serving soup as we intended. We washed the dishes trays and the pots and roasters. But that was where the person in charge needed the help.
I hadn’t been able to be at church due to my husband’s injury and the cold weather and ice. I hadn’t seen some of these people in about six weeks. But they all knew most of what was going on with my absence. They loved me. That was what I needed. God knew that. He sent my friend to the phone to get my attention and get me out of my emotional funk.
Growing in the Spirit
I find myself growing closer to the Lord. I participate in a prayer fellowship at our church. We were praying a forty day guide for revival. I found myself waking up and reaching for the book where I keep the sheet before being fully awake. At day number 32, I went online and found another 40 day guide for an election year, which this happens to be one.
While I feel closer to God, I am not without some issues in my life. I have to trust God for the outcome for each of these issues. He has lead me this far and I know He won’t leave me now.
Trusting God is not always easy. He can allow conditions to enter our lives that are painful, difficult and distasteful. But He always teaches us through these harsh events. Look at Job, God allowed Satan to do with Job what he could. God did this to teach Job somethings.