Tag Archives: wait on God

The Right Dog

My best friend lost his cherished Rottweiler Bear in December of 2017. He was devastated and we all encouraged him to get a new dog soon. Keep in mind this man is a two time combat vet who was devoted to this dog, and the dog was devoted to him. They were inseparable. He was in a part a therapy dog for him. So losing this dog was heart wrenching and almost took his own life. Also keep in mind that he is a mighty prayer warrior, and has carried me through my cancer battle throughout 2016 and 2017. He knows the power of prayer. We agreed that another dog would be supplied, and prayed in Jesus name that God would  bring the right dog for him.

He was so distraught that he did not even want to try and look up Rottweiler breeders own his own.  He asked me to do that, so I proceeded to weed through the hundreds that came up in a search.   I gave him 4 websites to go to and they happened to be some of the best Rottweiler breeders in the country. At the time, we rejoiced because God had led me to the exact place for him to find a new dog   He said it seemed perfect, but he had a check in his spirit about it, so he waited. And he waited. And he waited, still praying for the dog to come.

Almost 6 months to the day of Bear’s demise,  he called me and said he saw an add in his local paper for pure-bread Rottweilers.  . He called the man and it turned out to be the very man who had sold him Bear almost 14 years earlier. As they talked, my friend discovered that the one male he had was Bears grandson! Of course he purchased that dog! We together marveled at God’s extreme mercy, and I told him I was so proud of him for waiting and listening to God. Even in his deep grief, he heard the voice of God. The prayer of 6 months earlier came through because he was willing to wait and listen. That to me is faith in action!

never get discouraged when your prayer is not answered immediately.  God has a plan in mind,m and it will always be for your best.  There are many times we will have to wait on an answer.  Waiting is the “Knock” in the A.S,K, Principle.  Jesus said knock, and it shall be open.  We need to knock until it is open.   I am always willing to wait, because I trust Him.

How about you?

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A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 3C – We Must Expect a Response

Now that we know we have been heard and we know that God understands us because we’re speaking in faith, we should expect a response. Expect means to look forward to or to look on as likely to happen or to anticipate. I would guess that all of us, when we come to the Lord in prayer, come with this attribute in high gear. We want an answer and we know that God is able to supply those answers no matter how difficult the situation. We are going to look at three different words that are used in the Bible to signify waiting and expecting. There are more, but for sake of brevity, I would rather use only 3. All of these words show an understanding that the waiting, the expectation, will be answered.

The first word is from the Old Testament and is the Hebrew word qavah. It is translated wait or look for or looking for. It denotes an anticipated response in due time.

Psalm 40:1 King James Version (KJV)
I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
Is this the way we wait for God – patiently? Or do we get anxious wondering when, oh when, will He give me an answer. Patience is essential in our waiting. We have absolutely no control over when God will answer, and whatever we are going through is in His hands. He will decide when to lift the burden. In James 1:2-5, we are told that a trial comes to test our faith and teach us patience. Do you learn this lesson when going through difficult situations, or do you fret and stew because the answer has not yet come. Look at the promise of this Psalm. If I wait, He will incline to me and hear me. I picture a loving God leaning over so I can whisper in His ear. What a powerful portion of scripture.

Lamentations 3:25 King James Version (KJV)
25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
God will never disappoint you if you are waiting for His answer, not your own. If you are looking for what you want, then perhaps you will be disappointed, but that is not God’s fault. He always sends the best answer, the good answer. We just need to put ourselves in a place of waiting and anticipating His response.

Isaiah 40:31 King James Version (KJV)
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I’ll guess most of you figured I would be using this verse. It is probably the most well-known verse on waiting. The promises contained here are staggering to me. God tells us, through Isaiah, that if we will be patient and wait for His timing in our lives that He will strengthen us. That means to me that He will give me the strength in the middle of my struggles to wait for His perfect response. That strength will carry me through the trouble until he decides to bring the solution. That strength will help me to run and not grow weary, and walk and not faint. I do not have to worry about falling short or about not finishing well – His strength will carry me through. In the meantime, I can soar above my troubles like an eagle soaring above the ground. I can be confident to rise above the struggles! What a mighty God we serve.

The next word is the Greek word ekdechomai. It means to look for or expect.

John 5:2-4 King James Version (KJV)
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
In these verses we see the people at the pool of Bethesda. They come here because an angel comes down every once in a while, and troubles the water. The first person who sets foot in the pool after the troubling of the water is healed. Now that’s a miracle in itself and anyone who goes to that pool should be expecting an answer because they have seen answers before. This word talks about people who are waiting for something that is a certainty. They know that the pool will be troubled and they know that the first person in would be healed so they waited, They just have to wait for the angel to come. We should so wait for our answer from God – that it is a certainty and we should be ready to receive it whenever it comes.

James 5:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
I live in Iowa and farmers amaze me. They invest thousands of dollars in seed, spend hundreds or hours preparing the soil and their machinery, and don’t get a result for 90-120 days. They know the seed will produce fruit and they just need to wait until the appropriate time to gather that crop. They expect the seed to produce. I don’t know any farmer who ever has planted who does not expect a return on that planting. He just waits for what He knows is coming. We should have the same expectation with our prayers. They are seeds planted and God will provide an answer when the time is right.

1 Peter 3:20 King James Version (KJV)
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
This time the word describes God waiting! God waited on those preparing the ark. He knew for a certainty it would be completed someday and He would send the flood. There is no doubt in God’s mind that this was going to happen – it was just a matter of time. God will always waits until we are truly ready to receive the answer, never early, never late. We might think His timing is off, but it is not. His answer will come once He knows we are prepared to receive it.

We see in all three uses of this word that these are not answers set to our time. They are answers that take a little while and we have to wait until the appropriate time. That is how God works. He gives us an answer in the appropriate time and we should be in an attitude of expectation to receive from Him when He’s ready to give.

The next Greek word is prosdakao. This word means to watch for or look for.

Luke 1:21 King James Version (KJV)
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
Zacharias had gone in to do his duty and burn incense in the temple. While he was in there, behind the veil, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that his wife would give birth to a son. This son would be mighty for God, and would be named John (John the Baptist). Zacharias was much longer in lighting the incense than normal and the people were waiting for Him, wondering why it was taking so long. This type of expectation is one that knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that something is coming. We need to be certain that we will receive an answer. Even if it is delayed longer that I would like or expect, I need to know He will answer. God always answers our prayers!

Luke 3:15 King James Version (KJV)
15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
People were waiting to be baptized and they had long been expecting the Messiah to come. It was a foregone conclusion that He would come someday. There was absolutely no doubt in their minds. Now they wondered if John the Baptist was that Messiah, that answer to their expectation. This is the kind of expectation we should have when we pray!

But we must also be wary to wait for the right answer, not just any answer. John the Baptist was not the answer. In my current situation, I could be thinking God has answered my prayers because I am in remission – the cancer is gone! But I have not received the whole answer yet. I am believing for complete healing – neuropathy and tiredness will be gone as well. I need to continue in a state of expectancy for the full answer to my prayers. Glory to God!

Acts 3:5 King James Version (KJV)
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

Peter and John were entering the temple one day and saw a lame man begging for alms. They approached the man and told him to look at them. He looked at them and it says he expected to receive something from them. He had no doubt in his mind that these men would give him something. The man expected to receive money, bit Peter and John had something much more precious. They gave him back his legs!

God answers our request, and it is always His best for us that is given in response. It may not be what we expected to receive, or what we asked for, but we can know of a certainty that if we wait on His timing, it will be the best thing for us. Again, with this definition we see the type of expectancy that we should all have. One that knows there will be a response and that it is soon to come. We should never stop being in this expecting state.

How good are you at waiting? Are you always in a position that you expect a response, and are you willing to wait for God’s perfect answer for your life? Are you drawing strength from God to endure the wait? Are you soaring above the problem while you wait? God loves us and He will answer in His time. We should expect that. Patience is all we need to enjoy the time of waiting. Let us wait on Him with expectation!

Next, we will discuss the fact that while we are waiting, we must be listening for a response. So often God will answer, and I will not hear His reply because I am not paying attention. Hopefully, we can learn better to listen to Him!

Patience revisited

James 5:7 KJV

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

I live in Iowa. For those of you who don’t know Iowa is a huge farming state. Our farmers produce more corn and soybeans than any other state in the country. We are the third largest farm economy in the country. We are proud of our farmers and our state would not survive if something happened to the farm economy.

I have grown to admire farmers very much. Some people think they only work to plant and harvest but when those two things aren’t going on they are always busy working on machinery to make sure it’s ready for the next phase. But nothing is more impressive then the fact that they have the patience to wait for a crop.

In the fall, after harvest, many actually start preparations for the next spring.  They till the soil and put fertilizer on so it sets in during the fall and winter, before the frost sets in.  a lot of farmers are now using manure from chicken and hog farms (we are also #1 in both of those categories). In the spring, once the frost is out and the ground temperatures are above 50, they put tens of thousands of dollars into the ground that is prepared ahead of time. Of course, all is dependent on the spring rains.  It often gets to wet at times and delays planting.

There’s also money for herbicides and pesticides for some of them. All of this money is usually borrowed from the bank in hopes that there will be a harvest. As the season goes on there’s nothing more thrilling to me in the spring then you start to see those little buds start to pop out of the ground. You drive down the road and for miles and miles and miles all you see is straight rows of these little green things popping out of the ground. Watching them grow is nothing short of a miracle.

And they just have to trust God and be patient until the harvest is ready.  They need timely rains, about an inch a week.  No strong winds are needed, or it can knock over the corn crops.  Hail and tornadoes can stay away!  Temperatures have to stay warm enough – corn loves hot and humid!. But the farmer waits and trusts God will bring what is necessary, and in the fall he is rewarded most of the time with a crop that will pay the bills.

James says that we need to be patient like that farmer. We’ve talked extensively about patience before.  It is an attribute that is highly admired by God in my opinion. When we can sit back and not worry about when we are going to be healed or when that financial blessing is going to come or when that enemy is going to walk away, and we can simply trust God to do it at the right time, the peace and the joy of the Lord will be there for us just waiting. We will never have to wonder if God is going to come through because we’ll know he will. We will never have to wonder if we are walking in God’s plan because we will know that we are despite the things that come our way. My job is to just keep moving forward and go through the circumstances that come into my life while trusting the Lord and having the patience to wait it out until God is ready to relieve me.

I read a Blog several days ago that talked about the fact that this person had never prayed for patience because she had always been told that praying for patience will bring trials. She said she already had enough trials in their life and didn’t want to bring on more. I couldn’t help but think how desperately this person needed to pray for patience and yet they were afraid because they weren’t sure how it would come out. This kind of fear has no place in the kingdom of God. Praying for patience so we can endure the trials that come our way is one of the basic prayers of our lives. Didn’t the Psalmist say “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me”. Isn’t that essentially claiming patience to walk through that Valley?

If you gave not been with us through this whole journey in James, please go back to the second post from James 1:2   This post may help you understand why trials are so necessary in our lives, and how we should approach them.  Then go to the next two posts in James 1:3 and James 1:4  These two will help you understand why patience is so important to our Christian life. And patience only comes trough trials.

Patience is also a fruit of the spirit. The way I see fruit of this kind is it the more we give it out the more we receive. The more we give patience to somebody else the more we will have for ourselves. It’s something that we can’t keep inside of us. If I want patience for my own life I need to make sure that I am being patient with those around me. If I can’t be patient with those around me why should God bless me with more patience.

If you find yourself in a place where you are impatient with other people you’ll probably have a tough time being patient with God. This is a good time to pray for patience. Do not fear more trials because if you’re in this situation you probably have plenty already. God will help you through every single time if you’re praying to gain strength to go through a battle. He is the deliverer and the protector and He says if we ask He will give.  One of the biggest blessings He wants us to have is patience.   Ask for it, desire it, seek after it with all your heart.

 

Wisdom for the Asking

James 1:5  KJV

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James switches gears a little bit and addresses the matter of wisdom. Now I say he only switches a little bit because we need wisdom to discern the trials and tests that face us all the time. It is important that we understand God has a reason for allowing things to come into our lives and often this takes wisdom. We have talked about what we gained through trials and tests the last few days. Now it is time to share what we need while we’re going through them and that is wisdom, along with patience, faith and joy.

 James tells us here that when I am going through these trials, or any other time that I’m not understanding, I should ask God for wisdom. To me wisdom means being able to take the knowledge and the understanding that I have and apply it to the situation that I’m in. Believe me there are often times that I don’t have wisdom. Sometimes I get into the middle of one of my posts and realize that the wisdom that I need to continue the train of thought is not present. So I stop, pray and ask God for the wisdom to continue. He always comes through.
What often happens to me though is I get into the middle of a situation and I try to figure it out myself. I go back through every step I to get here and I look at it how it started and  I try to figure out, in our my understanding, why this is happening to me. Now all that isn’t necessarily. It would be much easier for me to just ask God for wisdom in the first place. He obviously has the wisdom to be able to help me. Remember Solomon? When God said he could ask for anything Solomon ask for wisdom. God told him because he asked for wisdom he would be blessed beyond his wildest dreams. I believe that applies to us too. If we will ask God for wisdom the windows of heaven will open and pour out a blessing that we cannot contain.
The Bible tells us that wisdom has been around since before creation (Prov 8:22). It also tells us a fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10). It also tells us that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (1 Cor 3:19). So many people follow the wisdom of this world instead of the wisdom of God and think they know the heart of God. That is literally an impossibility. Without the wisdom of God we stand as fools. We need his wisdom every day. And the funny thing is that He gives it to us liberally if we just will ask.  That means it will flow into us in large quantities at the time we need it. I use the King James version and it says that God upbraids us not when we ask for wisdom. That means He is never angry or upset that we are asking for wisdom. So we should be coming to Him all the time asking Him to give us wisdom in these situations.
And then there’s a guarantee at the end but it shall be given. Now we have to take into account that God does things in His own time and we have to be patient. We just talked about that at length. But He promises that He will show us the reason for the test in the trial in His own time. All we have to do is ask and He’ll give us the wisdom to work through it. This takes great listening skills because we have to cloud out all that the world is throwing at us, including the trial we are going through.  I hope that you will take the time to do the asking
Be blessed!

Winning Through Captivity

Psalm 137

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

How shall we sing the Lord‘s song in a strange land?

Have you ever been to the place where you just don’t feel like you can lift your heart to praise Him?  The writer of this psalm feels that way.  They have been carried away captive,  and long for Zion, the mountain of God and the place of worship.  They have been taken captive because of their continuous turning to sin and forgetting their God.  Now they realize what they have done, and are filled with grief.

I have felt that way.  Walking in the trails of Pure Life Ministries one summer day I felt that way. I landed at PLM because my sins had overtaken me, and I had to do something drastic. I had lost my job, my marriage was in shambles, I was kicked out of my church and my ministry was gone.   It was like going into captivity

On the trail that day I was listening to the account of a missionary in India who had given into lust and was on the brink of an affair.  He had driven to the women’s house  and parked outside. Then the Holy Spirit spoke into His heart and asked him if he realized how this would affect his marriage, his church, his ministry and all those around him who supported him.

It hit me hard.  I dropped to knees right in the middle of that trail and wept out loud, knowing that I had never taken that into account.   I stayed there for about 15 minutes and headed back to the dorm. The next morning, around 3 am,  I knelt before the cross and recited Psalm 51 as my prayer.  God changed my heart that day.  The captivity was over.

My heart lept within me.  The spirit of praise returned to me, and the rest of my time there was filled with thanksgiving instead of remorse.  Repentance worked just the way it was meant to.

If you find yourself in a place of deep remorse,  and are captivated by your sin, repent.  That is the only way the spirit of praise will return.

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

God must be first. If something else is, you must work in your spirit to enthrone Him again.  If you do not you will see your joy and peace erode slowly.   It will be replaced by satisfaction with less, and that tendency will grow within you until you are happy there.  Is hard to get back when you get here.  Your pride has brought you to a place where you think the place you are now is the best place to be. Pride controls you not God.

I know about this because I have been there.   I only overcame because of 8 months at PLM and a loving,  faithful wife who has stuck by me.  I could not have done it on my own.  You need a trusted friend or counselor to help you remember what God is truly like and what His blessings are like.  You have forgotten!

Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.

O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

Have you ever watched the movie “Ever After”  it is one of my wife’s favorites.  A retelling of the Cinderella story, very different from previous scripts, it stars Drew Barrymore as Cinderella.  The harsh treatment by her step-mother and step-sister is as bad as in any of them, and she is left to suffer at the hands of a ruthless man.  But in the end her step-mother walks in thinking she is due an honor and in horror finds that her step-daughter now holds the rule over her.  Drew Barrymore, the queen, makes a simple statement.  She says “I will speak for her.  May the same treatment be given to her that she has given to me”.  With that, the mother in law and her sisters are banished to the laundry room.

Here, the same thing takes place.  May these kingdoms receive the same treatment they have given the Israelites.  This should be our attitude toward our enemy.  While we are waiting for God to rescue us, and He will, we trust in Him through all attacks.  We know He is our sword and shield, He is our refuge and fortress, He is our strong tower.  There is no enemy that can defeat us, for He is our victory.  So we pray for our enemy.  We do not return hurt for hurt.  We return love and help.  We rise above the turmoil.  God will take care of them and turn our captivity into theirs.

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

I have much wonder about this verse.  Why would the psalmist say these should be happy that dash little ones against stones.  This is a barbarous act that happened in warfare in those days.  There should be no happiness in that, especially that the psalmist would recommend.  But it is a warning to them, not an approval.

You see, the psalmist knew they would receive the same recompense for what they do to the Israelites, those called and blessed of the Lord.  In the end, Israel will have the victory and they will be vanquished.  The captors better take their happiness now, because here will be none in the end.  With this verse, He encourages them to be happy now, because it will not last.

The enemies that rise against you better take their happiness now in the torment they bring your way, and they usually do.  My wife has a tormentor in her work place.  This person takes great joy in belittling my wife and talking behind her back, in blaming her for her own mistakes, and holding up work to make it look like my wife is slowing things down.  It is maddening to hear her come home day after day with the same story.  But my wife has been moved now, and the tormentor is silenced.  There is no more happiness in her.  She has been put in her place.  My wife is in the happy seat now.  Wait out your enemy.  God will take care off it!