Friday, November 5, 2010

Your Blessing is On the Way Pt 3

#3. Is it Time Yet? When I opened this blog, I spoke on how we often times expect God to give us our answers immediately and don't take into account that it is not always the right time for whatever it is that we ask of God.  We are afraid that he does not hear us, or that he is not going to do what he said he would do but God doesn't break promises so we should never have to worry about that.  All we can do is wait for Hm to fulfill his promise. Psalm 37:7 says, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him;"  That isn't telling us "don't do anything" because we know James tells us "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead," (2:17, NIV) but it is saying not to take it into our own hands.  

Let's use Abraham and Sarai as a popular example to prove this point.  God promised Abraham that he would be a father to many nations, however, Sarai and he believed that she was too old to bare children and decided to take matters into their own hands.  Sarai gave Abraham her servant, Hagar, to sleep with and she bore him a son, Ishmael.  Unfortunately, this was not God's plan for Abraham as God still was not ready to fulfill his promise.  As a result, there grew conflict between Sarai and Hagar, Ishmael and his decedents were destined to be in constant conflict with the world and later on down the road, Hagar and Ishmael were forced to leave.  In the end, God fulfilled his promise to Abraham and Sarai gave birth to Isaac when Abraham was 100 years old.  There were 14 long years between the time that Abraham and Sarai tried to take matters into their own hands and when God fulfilled his promise.  What makes us think that we will never have to wait for anything?

On the same note, I think sometimes we believe that when we don't hear an answer from God that it simply means He isn't listening.  Have you ever thought that his silence could be an answer?  In situations where we are looking for God's guidance, we often times look for some sign to show us where to move next and when we don't get one we panic.  However, as the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  I believe if we are truly pursuing God first and living righteous, then the reason He is not giving us an answer is because we are right where we need to be for the time being.  The only thing one can do is continue to walk in righteousness with God and wait patiently for him to tell us the next move to make.  Until then, we should work on where we are now and be "faithful over a few things" so that we can be "ruler over many." (Matthew 25:21, KJV) 

Be patient with God, He promises you it'll be worth your wait. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Your Blessing is on the Way Pt 2

I want to start this devotional by first apologizing for my absence this past weekend.  I won't even waste your time with excuses so I will just continue with this series.

#2. How are you living? Verse 3 tells us "Trust in the Lord and do good;" and verse 5 say "Commit your ways to the Lord."  Often times we go to God living in sin and wonder why it is that he won't honor our requests when it is because we don't deserve it.  Although there is nothing that we can do to really deserve God's grace and mercy, (hence why it is grace and mercy; supposed to be unmerited),  God does honor our obedience and commitment to His ways.  2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways THEN will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land."

I like this verse because it reminds me of a concept I learned in Geometry that I feel applies here.  It was the difference between "iff" (if and only if) and "if."  Iff denoted any time that there was only one route from the problem to the solution. For instance, x+2=4 iff x=2 or you and I equal saved if and only if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Well in the case of "if," there can be more than one solution to the problem.  An example would 2x<8 if x=1 because x could equal anything right before the number 4, get it?  Well 2 Chronicles 7:14 is exactly like the second concept I just discussed, "if." You see, God tells us that humbling ourselves, praying, seeking his face and repenting equals forgiveness, healing and blessings.  However, we serve a faithful, merciful and forgiving God who has the tendency to give us his grace even when we do not do any of the things above just because he loves us which means there are other solutions to the problem of our sin and disobedience.  Now it's easy to think, "If God shows me grace even amidst my sin, then I don't have to live right," but keep the math problem mentioned above in mind.

God gave us the answer key to all the problems in our life and if we use it, we will excel in our faith test and reap the rewards.  If we don't, however, we run the risk of barely passing our way into heaven and leaving many of the blessings assigned to us locked up.  If you don't believe me, even David tells us in verse 6 "He will make the righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun."