Super Glue Love

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. —Romans 8:28

 

Loving God and my assurance of His purpose for my life keep me trusting Him day by day.  The love of God is like the “super glue” that holds the broken vessels and other cracked and damaged items together.  Sometimes it’s as if I’m wearing a glaring LED  sign that reads, FRAGILE! HANDLE WITH CARE!

How many of us have been broken, felt unloved and rejected? We’ve made countless mistakes. Probably had a ton of dysfunctional relationships.  Family and households have crumbled under the pressures of life.  No doubt, like me, many of you have faced, and still face the destructive tornado-like challenges life brings. And at some point you’ve probably questioned God’s love for you.  However, the question is not about God’s love for you, but your love for God.  Your love for God can be measured by how you handle the bad and ugly and unpleasantness of life.  Too many Christians throw in the towel and give up hope…they stop trusting and believing that with God ALL things are possible. You can’t grow weary just because you don’t see immediate results. God is all powerful and faithful.

We misquote Romans 8:28 frequently or emphasized it to mean more than it says.  It should be read along with the next two paragraphs.  Apostle Paul does not promise that only “good” or “pleasurable” things will come to the Christian.  Have you read all that happened to him? (2 Corinthians 11:16-33). But what he does tell us is that even the difficult experiences—trouble, calamity, persecution, hunger, destitution, dangerous circumstances and situations, and even the threat of death— does not mean God no longer loves us.  It’s a deceptive scheme of the enemy to convince you that God doesn’t love because of life’s adversity.  What Apostle Paul wants us to know  is that God in His sovereignty uses the bad and ugly—He uses it all to bring to pass His plan for good—our good.  And best of all, nothing can separate us from the love of God. Always remember it’s about God’s purposes.  Think of it like this: He chose you to be a part of His purpose for the good of “those” (not just you alone), who love, who have been called according to His purpose.  What you’re going through is also for someone else’s good.  That someone loves God and has been called according to His purpose.  Of course, in our finiteness, we can’t fully comprehend God’s sovereignty, and how He orchestrates; it is too great for us to attain.  Therefore, we should just believe in, rely on, adhere to, and put our confidence in His power and authority to bring it to pass (whatever it is!)  From this perspective, I will keep trusting Him, loving Him and for sure, obeying His commands. That is the evidence of  His ‘super glue’ love that holds this fragile vessel together, and makes us inseparable. Awesome!

Believe.Hope.Faith.

The book of Job is a must read and study for these stressful times of adversity in which we are now living.  The pain, agony, despair and disappointments are weighing heavy on all of society. And God’s people are “passing” through the elements of adversity too.  Notice: I said “passing” through. These times are a rite of passage to your Kingdom purpose and destiny.

I can only imagine Job’s pain when he received news of the death of all his children.  I can only imagine the depth of Job’s discomfort and physical pain caused by his boil infested body that had eaten away at his flesh— I can only imagine. From my own experiences, I know the affects of material losses—house, cars, employment, financial struggles and hardships. To some extent I even know how it feels to be betrayed by friends—falsely accused by those closest to you.  I know how it feels when others assume the worst because of your adversity and times of suffering.  They have all the answers as to why you’re suffering..   I can even relate to his wife’s disgust with the whole ordeal, which negatively influenced her attitude (Job 2:9).  However, Job didn’t accept her solution to “curse” (renounce) God and die.  Instead, Job said, “You speak as one of the impious and foolish women would speak. What? Shall we accept only good at the hand of God and shall we not accept also misfortune and what is of a bad nature? (Job 2:10).

What’s more important in this lesson is summarized in Job’s declaration, “I know that my Redeemer lives…and after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!  I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!”   (Job 19:25-27). Regardless of his devastating and painful reality, he stayed grounded in what he believed.  His thoughts were on his expected future rather than his present reality.  Job’s assurance in the powerful existence of his Redeemer was such that he was convinced God would have the last say about his situation.  This is our hope as well —our Redeemer is alive! Regardless of what you are facing for whatever reason, if Jesus Christ is your Redeemer (Vindicator), (Savior) you can be assured He has the last say.

Job shows us how to keep hope alive even when despair, destruction, devastation, interruptions, and even death shake our very foundation. In the midst of his deepest agony, he expressed astonishing words of hope. He did not try to hide his despair and anguish. The book of Job shows us our trials should never crush our hope and trust in the Sovereign Lord who allowed you to be tested because he “trusted” you, knowing you wouldn’t give up on Him.

Believe. Hope. Faith.

God is on our side!

Oh, how I love the word of God.  I have put my hope in God’s word; therefore, it is my comfort in sorrow.  It is my strength in weakness.  It is my light in darkness. It is my song of victory!

 Do you recall how it made you feel when you knew someone was on your side?  A more modern term now is “got your back.” There’s a sense of boldness, defiance, and confidence that escalates when you know someone’s got your back, and you don’t have to face the enemy alone. 

 I recall my school days when occasionally I’d get into an altercation with a peer.  Thankfully, it was not a way of life for me.  Nevertheless, it was the seldom occasion that being an only child was a disadvantage.  However, I did have an ally that I could depend on.  I knew my cousin, Joe, was on my side, and was well able to throw a good punch in my defense.

Usually after-school showdowns were planned in advance.  Advance planning allowed for a build up of assurance and confidence as well. It helped you to prepare mentally.  Although this was many years ago, I still recall the positive affect that having support had on me when facing a challenging encounter.

 Consequently, when I read Psalm 124, I could easily relate to how the Israelites could prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for worship.  What an assurance to know that God is on our side.  This particular song was one that the Israelites sang as they made their pilgrimage to the temple centuries ago. Yet, it is relevant today.

These are difficult times, and yet glorious times for the people of God.   How reassuring it is to know that God is on our side.  God’s got your back! We don’t have to face the enemy alone.  He has provided an arsenal for defense, and a physical location that we can gather to be restored, or regroup, and refuel to continue walking in purpose and pursuing destiny.

 Ah! The Temple. The Church House. The House of Prayer. The Sanctuary. God’s house. The local assembly…. Or, whatever you choose to call it.  It should be the place where Christians gather—the Church—the “called out” gather in one place with one purpose—to experience the Presence of God.  It is the place where “like-minded” people of faith come to give thanks and praise to their God for being on our side, and not allowing the enemy, or the storms of life overtake us.

 Each week, as we prepare for the Sabbath Day of worship, we should plan in advance through meditation, prayer and devotion, and private worship.  And when we meet our sisters and brothers, we will be ready…having one mind; assembled for one purpose—a corporate worship experience as we reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of our God saying with one voice, “If the LORD had not been on our side…Praise be to the LORD! Our help is from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth.

God Still Answers Prayer

pen&checkDo we have a “blank check” to ask God for any and everything we want and should we expect to receive it?

I recall how Mark 11:24 became alive in me years ago; it changed my perception on prayer. It was the “seed” that produced the faith I needed to rise up and pursue a consistent and fervent life of prayer. This shifted my prayer life to the higher dimension for which I had been called. I now know that God still does answer prayer.

Here is what Jesus said, “For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that is granted to you, and you will [get it]” Mark 11:24, Amplified).

Sure it may appear to be a blank check, but it is not. There are two prerequisites in these passages that are essential to answered prayers; they are: Faith and Forgiveness.

First, let’s recap the scenario and circumstances surrounding this declaration. After Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, He and the disciples went out to Bethany. The next day upon leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry and saw a fig tree with leaves from a distance, which ordinarily meant there were figs on the tree. However, when He reached the tree there were no figs only leaves because “it was not the season for figs.”

Throughout Old Testament history and prophecies, the fig tree and its fruit (fig) were associated with God’s promises of prosperity and carried prophetic warnings. The fig tree was a symbol of long-continued well-being and prosperity. Therefore, to have leaves but no figs was to be out of divine order, and unproductive in accordance with God’s purpose and promises. Also, note this was the condition of the Jewish leaders (Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes) at that time—unproductive and not aligned with God’s purpose and promises. This tree represented creative deception (false advertisement, if you will). So Jesus made a prophetic declaration in faith (cursed) against the tree. He said to the tree, “No one ever again shall eat fruit from you” (Mark 11:14).
At this point, it was an object lesson for the apostles, and an impartation that released the power of the spoken word (prophetic declaration). This is just as relevant for us today. However, please note that EVERTHING declared must align with the order of God, and anything that personify deception, or opposes God’s promises and the productivity that He has ordained must not be allowed to remain.

It was Peter who observed the withered fig tree. But Jesus’ reply to Peter’s observation appears unrelated and definitely unexpected. He said, “Have faith in God.” What does a withered fig tree have to do with faith in God? I’m glad you ask. The withered tree is the manifestation of a declaration of faith that was in agreement with the will, design and order of God.

This kind of faith is supernatural and progressive—faith in the power of God so much so that what you say is aligned with what you know to be His purpose will come to pass. Your faith must be evident by what you say and do. Jesus demonstrated the “power” of the spoken word against something that is not aligned with the will of God. Specifically, the tree was planted to bear fruit for food (Genesis 2:9a). If there were leaves on the tree there should have been fruit. Having leaves and no fruit was deceptive in nature and against God’s divine order. Again, this was an object lesson for the disciples because they didn’t have that level of faith yet. However, Jesus imparted this knowledge unto them—A key to prayers being answered is having faith in God and speaking. Believing that what you say will happen, it will be done for you as long as it is in agreement with God’s will, way and word. Wow!

“…whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident that is granted to you, and you will [get it]” Mark 11:24, Amplified).

Have you prayed for anything? Do you believe you will receive it, or do you believe you have already received it? queenprayingTo believe you have received it is to believe your request has been granted in the Spirit realm before it’s manifested in the natural.

This is why many of our prayers are not answered, or should I say not being manifested in the natural. We don’t make faith declarations, neither do we believe until we see the manifestation in the natural. NOW faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]” Hebrew 11:, Amplified.

At the moment Jesus spoke to the tree, he knew his prayer was heard and answered by God the Father and would be manifested in the natural. Another example is in John 11:41-42. Jesus’ prayer for the resurrection of Lazarus had already been answered. How do we know? “And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [and You have made Me Your Messenger].” When you pray with confidence that your prayer is already answered, the manifestation of it is for the benefit of others so that they will believe. Therefore, your petition or requests should always be aligned with God’s will. Lazarus being raised from the dead was already God’s desire (John 11:4). When we pray for what we know is God’s will, we should also expect our prayer to be answered simply for the purpose of bringing glory to God through our faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” I John 5:14-15

The second prerequisite is forgiveness. Jesus makes it clear to the disciples that forgiveness is a necessity for answered prayer. Forgiveness is a fundamental principle in the kingdom of God (Matthew 18:21-35). After all, forgiveness is central to the plan of salvation. Because the Father forgives us, we must forgive others. Forgiveness is a matter of the heart, and the condition of our heart determines the truth about our relationship with the Lord as well as others. Basically, our relationship with others is just as important as our relationship with the Lord when it comes to answered prayer.

Therefore, if we want our prayers answered, we must keep our hearts pure. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop” (Mark 11:25, Amplified). Ultimately, not only does unforgiveness hinder answers to prayer, it severs our connection with the Father. There can be no bitterness or resentment to block the lines of communication and fellowship with God.

What assurance to know that our prayers are answered because of our faith in God. However, to live with the assurance of answered prayer, we must guard our heart from the pollutions of the world and the lustful desires of our sin nature. We must rely on the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus to purify our heart that we may be able to freely forgive others and receive forgiveness from our Father.

The good news is God still answers prayer today! Don’t give up! What are you praying for? Do you believe your prayer will be answered, or is already answered and you’re waiting on the manifestation? If you believe it’s already answered and you’re just waiting for the manifestation, then you should be saying as Jesus said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard me…”

Dearly beloved, for God not to answer prayer would be to deny Himself glory. Therefore, the real question is why do you want God to answer your prayer?

©2007 Queen E. F. Phillips. 

©2009 Queen E. F. Phillips.  Revised.  All rights reserved.  Permission granted to distribute for nonprofit purposes only with credit given to copyright owner.