Saturday, September 24, 2016

Devotion: Delay Is Not Denial

There has always been some question in the minds of most believers as to how God answers our prayers.  We have been taught that God is always faithful to answer our prayers, but we have been told that God answers some prayers with a “Yes,” some prayers with a “No” or so it seems sometimes, and other prayers with a “Wait.”  Is this really how God answers our prayers?  Does he really tell us “No” or to “to wait” or is this something that has been created by man to console ourselves when we do not get that immediate, desired answer from God?

For the answer to these questions, let us turn to a prayer by Daniel, who was seeking wisdom on a prophesy that Jeremiah had given to the children of Israel that said they would be held in captivity for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10).  The time had passed and it looked like the prophesy was not going to come true so Daniel prayed seeking revelation from God.

“And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.  And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.  At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision” (Daniel 9:20-23).

We see from this passage that while Daniel was still praying, the answer to his prayer was so immediate that it interrupted his prayer.  God had sent forth the angel Gabriel to deliver the answer to Daniel’s prayer.  Besides giving Daniel the answer to his prayer, we also note that Gabriel explained to Daniel that when he first began to pray, the commandment came forth for Gabriel to come forth and show him the answer to his request.  We see from the onset of Daniel’s prayer, God immediately answered his prayer and within a matter of minutes, the answer manifested itself in the form of the angel Gabriel.  By the way, the answer was seventy weeks of years or seven times seventy years (490 years in all) (Daniel 9:24).  But Daniel had a second prayer, but with this prayer, Daniel prayed and fasted for three full weeks (Daniel 10:1-2).  Why was such a delay in God answering this prayer?  Had he somehow told Daniel to “wait?”

“And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.  And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent.  And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.  Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.  Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days” (Daniel 10:10-14).

We see from this passage that while Daniel prayed this time for three full weeks, the angel told him that from the first day that he had set his heart to understand, God heard his prayer and the commandment came forth for this angel to come forth and show him the answer to his request.  We see from the onset of Daniel’s prayer, God immediately answered his prayer, but for some reason this answer took three weeks to manifest.  Why was there a delay of three weeks for this prayer and manifestation for the previous prayer received immediately?  According to the angel, it the prince of the kingdom of Persia or a demonic entity that delayed him one and twenty days or three weeks and it was not until the angel Gabriel came to help him that he was able to get free and come to make Daniel understand what would befall the children of Israel.  From this, we see from this prayer that the delay was not of God but of a demonic force.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:14-15).  “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (II Corinthians 1:20).

Scripture tells us that we can now have this confidence in knowing that if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us and knowing that he hears any request that is according to his will, whatever the request, we have the petitions that we have asked of him.  But here is the icing on the cake, all of the promises of God and any thing based on the word of God are “Yes” and “Amen.”  God simply does not answer “No” to our prayers, however, he just doesn’t answer, honor, or listen to any request that is not in his will.  As for the delays being or not being denials, we see that had Daniel not stood on his faith and on the promise of God for three weeks, waiting for the manifestation, “the delay” may have been seen as “a denial.”  But now that you know the truth, knowing that God answers all prayers that are according to his will, immediately, how will this knowledge change the way you view prayer?  Will you now preserve one and twenty days or one and twenty years?

We pray that this inspirational message will be a blessing to you as well as informative.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Friday, September 16, 2016

Devotion: Prayer Strengthens You

Prayer is always an interesting subject because of the many aspects associated with the process.  We know from previous discussions, prayer is nothing more than how we communicate with God.  We now know that prayer will also strengthen us.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 TLB).

Worrying causes stress and stress can causes all kinds of other issues, mainly issues that can affect our health.  Instead of worrying about things, we are told to pray about everything.  And when we pray, we will experience God’s peace, which will keep our thoughts and our heart quiet and at rest.

“Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:17-18).

We are told to pray without ceasing.  As we know, prayer is just a conversation between God and us, so basically God is telling us to “communicate with him without ceasing.”  God is telling us that we should not cease to be in constant contact with him, constantly having a conversation with him, which will allow us to experience his peace.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NIV)

Prayer should always be our first response to everything and never used as our last resort because we have become desperate and run out of options.  We should devote ourselves to prayer and to being in constant communication with God.  Prayer, that constant communication with God can actually strengthen your faith.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 TLB).

We should never underestimate the power of prayer, especially when we do it the way God wants us to do it.  Prayer can renew our strength.  Cease not to pray.  Cease not to constantly communicate with God.  Prayer, constant communication with God, will strengthen us.

We pray that this inspirational message will be a blessing to you as well as informative.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen./span>

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Devotion: If You Don’t Know What To Believe

Each day we struggle with what to believe, questioning whether what we hear is of God or of the devil.  While there appears to be some ambiguity in the minds of many about God, we wanted to know who this God is that so many claim to serve.  Since we were tired of being tossed back and forth, going this way and that, turned about by every wind of doctrine and teaching of man (Ephesians 4:14), we decided to search the scriptures for ourselves to see what God has said about himself.  We found that the God we are supposed to serve tells us to put our trust in him.

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:5-8).

Because we do not know who God is, then our faith and our trust ends up being misplaced.  We place more trust in mortal man, who can turn our hearts away from God than we place in trusting the actual word of God.  God tells us to “study to show thyself approved” so that we can “rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).  Scripture tells us that this “word of truth is given to tell you what to believe (for doctrine), what is wrong (for reproof), how to correct wrong (for correction), how to live (for instruction in righteousness).  You are to rely on the word of truth because it includes everything needed to grow in maturity, to be perfect (meaning proficient or capable), and to do what God wants” (II Timothy 3:16-17).

What must we do if we don’t know what to believe?  If you don’t know what to believe, then we suggest that you find out the truth for yourself.  Search the scriptures for yourself because the word of truth contains all you need, so that you will know what to believe and what not to believe.  We pray that today’s inspirational message will bless you and that you will share it so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW