When will I stop thinking,
“Maybe when I’m….. God will…..”
“Maybe if I ….. God will…..”
“Maybe if I could just …. God would….”
“I bet when we…. God will…..”
When I realize that Christ sat down and that His redemptive work is finished, I am brought to 2 wonderful new pathways that lead me to be un-stuck! (How long we stay stuck declaring, ‘I guess this is the way God wants it to be. I guess when I’m …… He’ll ………’) What, when you’re more holy, he’ll come through more? When you’re more deserving, he’ll bless you more? When you’re more needy, he’ll answer more? When you’re more sacrificing, you’ll see his power more? When you’re more humble, he’ll exalt you more? He came through, blessed you, answered you, gave you all power, and exalted you in his free gift of offering you to be in Christ, to accept Christ as your free gift provision.
I was reminded of a great truth by a friend today via a summary from Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life. When a couple–who had trouble with self control when it came to how they treated their kids–asked him to pray for them to have more self-control, he refused. You’ve already got all the self-control you’ll ever need, he told them. “He has given you all things pertaining to life and godliness,” the scripture says! HUH? I don’t know how well he explains this in his book, but I know that I sure needed a good teacher of the Word to explain it to me. Wommack did that for me in his teachings, Spirit, Soul, and Body and You’ve Already Got It.
When I realize His part is done, I can joyfully move through my BEGGING phase and into these two paths!
1) I can rejoice that He IS coming through RIGHT NOW! He IS fulfilling His promises to me RIGHT NOW!!! Since His name is Provider, I can stop begging him to provide and start gathering buckets to catch it. I can ignore my circumstances and use my understanding (and imagination if needed) to grasp what is really going on and then act and prepare accordingly praying through every hindrance.
One man who finally grabbed hold of this truth was in a desperate situation. He had taken a new job and put his house on the market confident that with the Lord’s help, he would sell the house. They moved, started the new job, moved into the new house expecting the old house to sell. They felt they had done the right thing for sure. Two years later, they were desperate. The house had not sold. They had begged and pleaded with God, figured God was teaching them patience and trust, gone through every religious interpretation that was given to them… but it took a good teacher of the Word to explain to him what was actually happening according to God’s Word. Jehovah Jireh (“My Provider”) had not withheld, was not withholding. This man could rightfully praise God for his good grace, for having given to him already past tense (in reality, not theory) everything he needed, which meant (in this situation) a buyer for this house. WHAT? HUH? That is ridiculous. That’s like taking something out of the air and having to pretend!?
That would take faith to believe that.
Exactly. Now, this man’s faith did not make it so; his faith just relied on what was already true.
He came home, took two days off, and just renewed his mind thanking the Lord for having sold his house. Not knowing how to pray or intercede, he prayed in the spirit. Even though he could not see it, and even though his situation looked DIRECTLY AT ODDS with that idea, he decided to interpret his situation according to God’s Word no matter what it looked like in the natural. After two days, he got a phone call, and the man on the phone said, “My wife and I decided to buy your house the DAY you put your house on the market TWO YEARS AGO, but we’ve had all these hangups. The guy who wanted to buy our house…(blah blah) … the guy who wanted to buy his house … (blah blah)…. But IN THE LAST TWO DAYS, all kinds of things have happened, and we can buy your house now.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
What kind of theology is this? It is believing what God’s Word says is ACTUALLY true, not sometimes true, not I-wish-that-was-in-my-situation-true
So why would God allow the hangups that two days of intercession would overcome? That seems cruel, like a hide and seek game. God’s Word tells us that “There is one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” Our adversary cannot stop us from trusting God and cannot stop God from giving to us, but if the provision is passing through the hands of others, he can hinder them through speaking deception and doubt and fear to them. But now, because of Jesus’ triumph over death and evil, the bible says Satan has been placed “beneath our feet.” We have authority over his works in prayer. The scripture says Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and the fact that Jesus told his disciples to cast out devils means that though the authority for this work is finished/established through Christ’s death, it is part of the work at hand today. I am not saying that this man “cast out a devil’…I am saying that the Devourer was at work in his situation and he overcame it in prayer by standing on the truth (which took some imagination, faith, and boldness) and interceding out of his mouth.
2) In his name, I can calm the storm. Just as Jesus rose up and spoke to the storm … [“You can say to this mountain…”]… and just as “all authority has been given to [Jesus]” and He said, “In my name, you shall… heal the sick, cast out demons…ask anything … “(various scriptures). Yesterday I was talking to an old friend about all hell breaking loose in her family. I called just as she was preparing to take her friend to the hospital who had been couch-ridden all day with an intense fever. We prayed for her and within minutes she was up and around and feeling better. People are begging Jesus to show up and DO SOMETHING!… “If only you had come, Jesus,” the friends of Lazarus said. But Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the father. He now gave you authority to do what He did… in His name, as His ambassador.
A great deception is at work to get Christians to interpret their situation as if God were holding out on them! THEN THEY’LL NEVER STEP UP, SPEAK UP, INTERCEDE AND MOVE FORWARD! It is very troubling and sad. The more I see this in more areas of life, I am driven to talk about it out loud. (“What I tell you in your ear, shout on the rooftops!”)
I have many more examples of how this has played out in our lives in the last two years. If I just went into that much detail about a story I just heard but didn’t live…. you can imagine why I’m not diving into a single example of mine! Nutshells elude me, and the details matter to me too much…..so.. another time. The father away from a story I get, the more I can sum up….. my close friends know this a little too well.
Until next time….
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*(In the Old Testament, when Daniel prayed, the angel sent to answer the prayer explained that he was sent the moment Daniel prayed. In one instance, the answer came immediately; in the other, it was still 2 weeks… with Daniel praying the entire time. The angel explained in this case that he had been struggling against an evil spirit in the heavenly realm. Now, in Christ Jesus, in the New Testament, HE HAS DELIVERED US from the power of darkness, and these hinderers cannot stand against God’s answers of provision as we pray with the authority of Christ (in us.)