Thursday, June 11th, 2009 Devotion
Delay is not Denial
I have been praying for a while in regards to a certain issue where I really want to know the will of God and get his guidance and the actual direction that He wants me to take. It hasn’t been one day, a week or a month, it has been almost three months and at times, I tend to retreat and give up. At this time, I was in prayer and I remembered this issue and I told God this is the last time I am praying for the issue. If he doesn’t want to answer me, I wasn’t going to pray for the issue anymore. For sure I wasn’t going to pray for the issue again. But the God we serve is an amazing God; He brought this scripture to my mind and reminded me so many things. I do believe that I am not sailing in this boat alone. You might also have had times that you trusted and waited upon the Lord but He seemed not to hear you or even answer you.
I do believe that many are the times that we go before the Lord and we lay our petitions and our hearts desires before him, but he doesn’t answer us as promptly as we want or wish… but we must learn to understand that the way God works is not the way human beings work. He says that his ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9) but this is a principal that we have never understood. God is never late nor is he early, he comes at the appointed time and that’s how he is and he will ever be.
Take a look at these two sisters Mary and Martha. They have lost their brother Lazarus and it is now four days since his death and they had sent a word to Jesus who was Lazarus’ best friend but Jesus didn’t turn up as soon as they had expected him to. After Jesus is notified of Lazarus’ illness, he stays two days more and by this time he dies. Finally when he arrives, Martha meets him and she tells him “if only you were here a little earlier, my brother wouldn’t have died” and Jesus assures her that all will be well and she believes. You know many times that is how we behave. We ask God for something through prayer but what we do is that we want him to answer us immediately. God is not like an ATM machine that will do what you command him to do; he has his own plan and purpose especially for your life and no matter what, he will never change his plan to fit into yours. If he allows things to go by your course, it will be at your loss because there will be a price you will have to pay before you get back on track on his original purpose.
Jesus tells his disciples that all this is for the glory of God. Lazarus death was to glorify God through his son Jesus Christ. The same to us, the situations we go through, if we took time and looked at the bigger picture at the end of everything, it is all for the glory of God. Then, if it is for his glory, do we have to hurry him up before his time? Jesus told his mother at the wedding in Cana of Galilee before he performed his first miracle not to bother him because his time has not yet come (John 2:4). As I said earlier, God will never be in a hurry; he will never come early or late and it is up to us to learn to be patient and wait until his appointed time. This is the hardest thing for a human being to do, but the minute we learn to be patient, the better for us.
Mark 5:21-43 gives us an account of a man by the name Jairus. He had an ailing daughter at the brink of death. He comes and begs Jesus to go with him home so that he could heal his daughter. Jesus agrees but on the way, something happens – A woman with the issue of blood flow cuts short Jesus’ journey to Jairus home. But I am so pleased by Jairus and the way he holds up his cool. All this time round he is there patiently waiting for Jesus. He doesn’t hurry him up – He could have told Jesus “Don’t you care that my daughter will die before we reach home? Bo, he doesn’t. It is at this point that someone comes and tells him that his daughter is dead but again, Jesus comes in hardy and tells Jairus to believe that his daughter will be okay.
Looking at the two incidents, there are several lessons that I can derive from them and how I pray that we will learn this, capture it and run with it and God will see us through and help us to grow in this area.
a) Learn to be patient with God – God will always work at his pace. Learn to walk at his race and thus you will not be hurt and tend to think that he is assuming you. Jairus understood that and he was patient and he received what he had asked for. Mary and Martha on the other hand, they wanted to have Jesus come to their rescue and they forgot that God has his own plan and purposes in all that happens.
b) Remember that everything is unto the glory of God – you may forget that God will always do something that will glorify him. He does everything with a purpose so that mankind will know that He is God and has control over everything that happens. The minute we get this principal, we will not struggle with waiting for God till his appointed hour comes then He answers us. Let’s also learn to understand and know the timing and seasons of God. Remember Elijah with the prophets of Baal at Mt. Camel? He knew God’s time and thus he waited until it was time for the evening sacrifice thus he offered the sacrifice to God and He answered with fire.
c) No matter how long it will take, you will receive your miracle – in both incidents, Jesus took time but at the end of everything, no one was disappointed. God is not there to break your heart and trust in him; no matter how long he will take, he will always hearken to the cry and desire of your heart. All we need to do is learn to be patient and wait on him.
With the two incidents, which one describes you? Are you like Mary and Martha or you are like Jairus? Take time, search your heart and ask God to help you trust in him at all times and wait upon him no matter what the situation. Sometimes we might be in critical situations just like Jairus was, but what God looks for in us is our trust and faith. Do we trust that He can do it or do we have another option just in case he fails us? May God help us to stick unto his word and trust him no matter what comes our way or the time that he takes before He answers our prayers and meets our hearts desires.