fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Unanswered Prayer for the Glory of God

Unanswered Prayer for the Glory of God by Julie McAllen

So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. (John 11:3-6)

unanswered prayerAs I was studying the story of Lazarus, I took note of Jesus’ DELAY.

It was about a day’s journey for the message of Lazarus’ illness to get to Jesus. And as soon as he heard his friend was sick, what did Jesus do?

when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was (John 11:6)

Jesus stayed put for 2 more days. He was in no rush. After that 2 day wait, he and his disciples traveled to Bethany where his friend lay. That took another day. All together from the time the word went forth to tell Jesus about Lazarus to the time he arrived it was 4 days. Later, when Jesus called him out of the tomb, we learn that Lazarus had been dead for 4 days.

This got me thinking. Lazarus may have already been dead when Jesus got the message. Yet we learn later, true to Jesus’ word, that the illness would not end in death.

when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (John 11:4)

Jesus loved Lazarus, but His focus was not on healing his friend, it was on THE GLORY OF GOD.

How does this change your perspective in prayer? The two sisters of Lazarus sent a message to Jesus like any one of us might pray to Jesus. When we call out in prayer concerning a sick friend, a need we have, etc. does he WAIT as he did in the case of Lazarus? Does he ALLOW the trial to take place? It’s plainly stated that Jesus made no rush to be there for Lazarus, yet He got the message. And in their frustration and grief, Martha and Mary both griped, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died!”  Likewise, our prayers may appear unanswered when Jesus does not rush to be there as requested, and we may gripe, “Jesus!! where are you?!!” and yet, he does get the message. Our Lord is Sovereign and at times chooses to wait. But why?

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!!

Every prayer is heard, but we can see things only from our own perspective. The Holy Spirit, however, teaches us to persevere in prayer and it’s in that endurance that God can shift our perspective to align with His. We can trust the perfect timing of our Lord, and when the frustration of our waiting beckons us to cry out “Jesus, you should have been there!!” be assured that He knows our need and God is at work conforming us into the likeness of His Son who in perfect alignment with His heavenly Father said,  “Father, not my will but YOURS be done.”

It’s all for the glory of God, my friends, and He is worthy to be praised.

Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie

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January 30, 2013 Posted by | According to Scripture, Expressions | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Unanswered Prayer for the Glory of God

Recognizing God’s Will

Have you ever ran into someone who you recognize, but couldn’t remember their name or who they were? That’s happened to me a couple of times. Being the shy person that I am (yes, I’m shy), I normally wouldn’t say anything until I knew for sure who they were. But to help jolt the memory, I would usually have to clear my mind of everything I was thinking of so I can focus on that person. Sometimes all it really takes is hearing their voice and I can remember everything about them in an instant!

I believe that knowing the will of God is much the same process. When we’re at a loss with our lives, we pray for God to reveal his plan for us but often times don’t see God answering our prayer. Little do we realize that God has already revealed it to us, but we failed to “recognize” it much like we do a long-lost acquaintance.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2. In this verse, we are reminded to “renew our minds” so that we will be able to recognize the will of God for us when He places it in front of us. I don’t believe God plays mind games with us, particularly those seeking to live according to His will – and He wouldn’t hold out on faithful servants who ask in humble prayer. I believe that if God’s word says He imparts wisdom to those who ask, He does. So why don’t we see His will for us when we ask for discernment? Mainly it’s because we don’t recognize it and there may be different reasons why we don’t. For one, we may not agree with His plan for our life, so we choose not to see it and keep asking Him to show us what He already has! Or perhaps our minds are clouded with so many things that are preventing us to see God’s will. In my personal experience, I don’t recognize God’s will when I’m not paying attention. For me, paying attention would require me to be still and wait quietly – only then do I become aware of Him and His will for my life. More than often, God has revealed His plan for me through His word, through a friend, a church sermon and sometimes even through music! Sometimes I can feel God tugging at my heart to notice Him. And even then, I sometimes miss the obvious and find myself on bended knee asking for what He has already revealed. Crazy, isn’t it??

Know this, God has a plan for everyone, including you and me. Jeremiah 29:11, 12 “For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord. Plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.” He is a God of PURPOSE and everything He does is for His Glory. He is a God of divine order and not of confusion. Just look at our universe and how orderly it is! He makes no mistakes in planning out the happenings of each and every day. He orchestrates every aspect of our lives and when you think about it, that’s a very good thing. Personally, I’d rather he plans out my every minute of the day because I’ve been known to make a mess of things!

They say there are two things for sure: death and taxes, but I beg to differ. I say there are three, and the third surety is that God has a plan for everything that is under His creation. So rather than ask the Lord to reveal His will for you, ask Him to help you recognize the will and plan He has already set in place in your life. When He does, obedience must follow your humble request; you must be prepared to be obedient to follow the path He has willed for you; with discernment, He will provide you with the resources to live out His plan for your life. With Him in control, you will never go wrong!

May you continue to abide in God’s Grace, Linda.

(photograph courtesy of Marcene)

October 9, 2011 Posted by | Expressions | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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