Wednesday, September 19, 2012
He takes what is used!
He takes what is used
masked and well hidden
binds every chord
and nail deeply drive.
stanza taken from "It was no mistake" by Paula Warkentin
What happens when we don't see the fruit of our faithful prayers? When the loved ones we so desparately pray for, seem so distant and far off? When our minds go to "whats the use anyway?'
Our hearts become cold and indifferent and its now easy to turn our blame toward God and insist that He just hasn't done it to our satisfaction nor our liking. Why is it so difficult? Why isn't God answering? WHY GOD WHY?
To be honest, I don't have the answer. I'd like to think that no one has the answer, or at least not a pat answer to make someone who is in the place feel better. I ponder this though, because I see prayers not answered all the time, or at least not the way we want them answered.
God in his sovereignty is in control of everything. He is the most powerful Creator that has ever existed and who will ever exist...for all eternity. If we believe this, we can also believe that because of his sovereignty that everything passes through his hands. Be it the good, bad and ugly. Does it mean he is indifferent or uncaring? Does it mean that he turns his eyes when bad things happen or when people make choices that are not the best ones to make?
We all are a product of the fall. We are born into sin. So right from the beginning that is our inherent struggle. Not so that we can make light of sin or blame something or someone else, but rather it's important to understand that to some degree, this is our human heritage. Our flesh wages war with the spirit. We do the things we don't want to do and we don't do the things we want to do. Simple yet so complex in many ways.
Couple this with the cultural influences and the spirits and authorities that also wage war on our souls, we are fighting a bigger fight than maybe we even realize. We fight this war in our own lives and for those we pray and fast for. When our prayers seemingly do not go answered, the enemy can have a party with our mind and heart. Bringing doubts that nothing is happening, that we are ineffective, that there must be something wrong with us, that God is silent and disinterested in our prayers or our loved one. Our hearts can grow bitter, cold, angry toward God.
In reality...GOD IS NOT SILENT. Everything passes through God's hands and so everything is purposeful...even the bad, horrible things that happen. If he knows the number of stars, the amount of hair on our heads. If he imagined us even before our parents ever did, do you not think he cares? He is a just God who allows us to walk in the freedom of choice and free will, not wanting us to be robots or puppets in his hand, he gives us that freedom with hopes that when we reach maturity that we are sold out for his purposes in our lives and we serve him whole heartedly for the rest of our lives.
Sound idealistic? Euphoric even? Maybe too good to be true? For many of us, we struggle with emotioanal and relational deficits in our lives that cause us to grow up with deep needs still unmet. If we are not given the opportunity for God to come in and heal and fill those areas we will fill them ourselves. With many things that are good for us, and many things that aren't. If God isn't the center of that deficit, we miss the mark. It's not so much that God is silent, rather we have taken our neediness into our own hands, numbing our emotions so that we have a very hard time hearing God and that still small voice speaking to us.
I can look at the many ways I silenced that voice in my life, the voice of my heavenly Father calling me, speaking to me, telling me truth about who I was as his son and my value and worth to him. Rather than listen, I listened to myself, I listened to the enemy of my soul, the one who comes to kill and destroy, the one who prowls around like a hungry lion, waiting for someone to devour. I got eaten, chewed up, and spit out...but I wasn't dead? I felt dead, I acted dead, but I wasn't. God was still speaking...and many people continued to pray...long and hard for me, not giving up, even though they may have felt like it. I eventually heard his voice and he is now cleaning me up from years of yuck, grim and lies that were fed to me and ones I believed.
I continue to pray for friends, family and even those to whom I have never met who are caught up in identities and actions that are far from the best for them. Who have been lied to, cheated, and robbed, not by God, but rather by an enemy who hates them. I pray without ceasing and long for the day when one, two, three...and many more come to know who they truly are, loved sons and daughters of the most high King, the creator of everything. That they know that nothing has been wasted and that God will and does use everything the enemy meant for harm...for HIS GOOD and for HIS GLORY.
Let's remember to keep praying, to keep fasting and keep believing God's promises are true, that He does answer prayer and that through Jesus, He does redeem lives.
James 5:16 (NLT)
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.