Tag Archives: walk with him wednesdays
Easter is coming and as churches prepare for the big day and Christians around the world partake in lent, I find myself a wee bit frustrated. Though I am suppose to be reflecting on the great sacrifice Jesus made for me, I AM MAD @ God. GASP, did she just say that? Isn’t that a sin? Yes, I am not too pleased with God this morning. It happens whenever I am faced with so many trials that I almost feel like I can no longer breathe. (can you relate?)
As I write this devotional, I have so many matters and issues to deal with that my mind feels like it is on a merry go round. In the midst of my storm, I ask God Why? Where are you? and When will you deliver me? It’s extremely difficult to stay positive sometimes when life keeps hitting you with a ton of bricks. But as I reflect on my situation, I am taken to the Garden of Gethsemane. Here I witness the agony felt by Jesus. He pleads with God for deliverance but then says something that hits home for me.
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. – Luke 22:42
Our lives should always revolve around the will of God. No matter how rough the situations may appear. No matter how burdensome they may feel, we must remain in line with the will of God. He sees the bigger picture and is guiding us accordingly. Sometimes his will for us at the moment just won’t make any human sense. We must remember that our human sense is common sense and we serve a God who is not common. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. There is nothing common about him. Therefore, his ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. We can not even begin to understand the things God is protecting us from or preparing us for.
Because we do not know what our future holds, we must develop a level of faith that will follow his will even when it feels like we are headed the wrong way. He knows where he is leading us and when we get there we will understand the journey. Jesus went through the agony. Jesus was led to Calvary. Jesus was hung on a tree. BUT, today Jesus is seated on the right hand of God in honor and glory.
We too can make it but we must first decide to follow the plan he has laid out for us. It feels crazy but it is for our good. It seems backward but it will take us forward. So, yes I was mad @ God this morning but Jesus reminded me that he too suffered even worse hardships but God was faithful. Now, my anger has been replaced with worship because I know God is faithful and that where I am now is but for a minute. He will answer my prayers when the appointed time has come. In the meantime, I will praise him in advance.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name – 1 Peter 4:12-14, 16
Forgive me for my human faults. Help me to understand that you know what is best for me and have a plan for my life. Teach me how to be patient in tribulation knowing that you will never steer me wrong..
Lord, please! Father, I have been praying for so long. Why haven’t you heard my cry? All I want is a child of own. Hannah must have had this conversation with God a thousand times. Although Hannah’s husband adored her, she didn’t feel fulfilled because she was barren. She wanted a child and pleaded with the Lord to receive one.
Hannah was a perseverant woman. She prayed that prayer day in and day out. She pleaded with God and brought her petition before Him. Hannah made the conscious decision that she wasn’t going to stop until God answered her prayer. Hannah had learned how to P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens. There are some requests that require more than a microwave-minute prayer. Some requests require some reciting of scriptures, some hymns, fasting, etc. Some things require some REAL time with God. As a matter of fact, this season of Lent is a great time to spend some time with the Lord through fasting and prayer.
The story goes on to say that Hannah spent so much time pleading with Lord that the Prophet Eli thought she was drunk and rebuked her. No, I am not drunk. I am just praying that the Lord bless my womb with a child. Eli blesses her and tells her that by this time next year she will bring forth a child. Hannah vowed that if this were to come to pass, she would bring the child to the temple and dedicate him to the Lord’s service. Months later, Eli’s blessing came to pass and Hannah became the mother of the child who would become the great Prophet Samuel.
Have you ever prayed so hard for something that you have become consumed by it? Have you ever prayed so hard that you have nothing left to say but to just lay there in His presence? I have! I would like to think that that is what happened with Hannah. She spent so many hours before the Lord that she just layed there and cried. She just laid there and balanced from side to side waiting for a word from God. Despite the silence, Hannah did not let up.
Hannah continued in prayer. She persevered in prayer. She was a P.U.S.H. warrior. Because of this, the Lord ended up blessing her through the Prophet. Not only did she receive her answer, but she received a two-fold blessing. Hannah now had a son and a servant of the Most High God. Hannah’s persevering spirit eventually paid off and it paid off big.
Have you been praying for something for decades? years? month? days? hours? minutes? seconds? Has it been answered? If not, Are you still praying or have you given up? How much do you really want that blessing? When there is something that you truly desire, you need to make it known to the Lord and P.U.S.H.. Don’t stop praying until something happens. Sometimes God just wants to see how bad you want that blessing. He wants to know that you acknowledge that only He can provide for you. Don’t throw in the towel! Keep praying, keep pushing and keep expecting your blessing.
He may not answer you right now, but it is on the way. Now when it arrives, take a queue from Hannah. Don’t just grab your blessing and run. Remember to praise the Lord for His faithfulness and keep whatever vows you promised to Him. Don’t make a mockery of God. Many times we ask God for something and we promise Him the moon and the stars. Yet, once we have what we wanted we completely forget our vow and the blessing becomes more important than He who the blessing came from.
Today I encourage you to stay prayed up. P.U.S.H. in every situation. Don’t get weary praying for your breakthrough. God is still on the throne and Jesus is at the right side of God. Press on and pray on. While you P.U.S.H, keep a praise on your lips. Remember when your blessing comes, praise God like Hannah and keep your vows to the Lord. Your blessing is on way just P.U.S.H..
Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies,for I delight in your deliverance. There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2: 1-2
I am sorry that I have grown weary and have given up on my petitions. Teach me how to P.U.S.H daily. I trust you Lord and I know that my blessing is on the way.
The story is told in Luke 19:1-7
And Jesus entered and passeth through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was of little stature.
And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
And he made haste, came down and received Him joyfully.
And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
Why are the children of God so condemning? Although we preach the Salvation message, our self-righteousness threatens to destruct the very message we are trying to relay. Zacchaeus was a publican (collector of the Roman revenue as defined in the Smith’s Bible Dictionary) and because he collected taxes for the Romans from his own people, he was considered a sinner. It was also mentioned that he was rich. It may be that he was believed to have pocketed some of the revenue. Basically, Zacchaeus was not one of the crowd favorites. Matter of fact, he was no where near making the list.
Regardless of his not so favorable reputation, Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was in town and was determined to see the man who has performed all of these miracles. He wanted to SEE Jesus for himself. However, there was a tiny problem (no pun intended…ok maybe a little), Zacchaeus was too short to see over the crowd. What is he to do? Well, Zacchaeus had made up his mind that he was going to see Jesus. So, he came up with the brilliant idea to climb up the sycamore tree. He was sure to at least get a glimpse of the Savior now.
As he scanned through the masses, he could see the shadow of the master coming down the road. “Yes, YES! I can see him.” Zacchaeus said to himself. Before he could even finish that thought, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.” Zacchaeus must have thought to himself, “WHAT! You want to go to my house? Wait, how’d you know my name? and out of all the people here to see you, why’d you pay attention to me?”
Isn’t it amazing how Jesus not only noticed Zacchaeus atop the sycamore tree, He called him by name. Despite the multitude of folks who came to see Jesus, He noticed a tax collecting sinner sitting in the sycamore tree. He told him to come down because he wanted to go to his house and abide (stay a while). This wasn’t a 2 minute walkthrough visit, he got comfortable at Zacchaeus’ house.
While all this is going on, the crowd did what they do best- MURMUR. “What is up with Jesus going to Zacchaeus’ house? Doesn’t he know he is a sinner?”
Ofcourse Jesus knew of Zacchaeus’ past. However, Christ was more concerned about his future. Christ didn’t care whether the crowd murmured, criticized or downright threw tantrums. All that mattered was Zacchaeus sought him out and He intended to “ABIDE” with him.
Zacchaeus’ story teaches us that if we sincerely seek Jesus and commit to let nothing or no one stand in our way, Jesus will call us by name and will come & ABIDE with us. It doesn’t matter what murmurs go on about you, Christ still wants to ABIDE with you. Christ can pinpoint a sincere heart from amongst the masses. God doesn’t look for quantity, he seeks quality. Zacchaeus desired to see Christ and his sincere desire brought him a unexpected, soul saving and life changing guest.
Zacchaeus has also taught us that in order to see Jesus, we need to rise above the noise of the crowd. We must also learn how to not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the masses. Zacchaeus could have easily said I don’t belong here, but he didn’t. When it comes to your relationship with God, there is no one else around but the two of you.
How serious are you about seeing Jesus? What mountains or trees are you willing to climb to see Jesus? All He wants you to do is take the first step towards Him and He will do the rest. Don’t be concerned about the murmuring! It’s about you and Jesus. Don’t be concerned about the noise! It’s about you and Jesus. Don’t be concerned about the condition of your life! It’s about you and Jesus. Jesus has called you down from the sycamore tree. Won’t you take a step for Jesus?
As far as the east is from the west so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
I know I am not perfect, but I really want to know you. Please come into my home (heart) and ABIDE. Like Zacchaeus, I want to make right what I have done wrong and I pray that I too will receive forgiveness from you for…..”