Your Will Be Done!
Lately, I have been pretty much beginning my prayers with…” Your will be done, Father because you will most likely say, No!” I cannot believe the cynicism and doubt that has plagued my prayers. There are so many verses in the Bible that encourage asking our heavenly Father for things for ourselves and on the behalf of others, here are just a few…
- “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”” Matthew 21:22 NIV
- “Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 NIV
- “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13 NIV
- “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 16:23 NIV
- “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 NIV
- “…yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” Luke 18:5 ESV
I have begun my own study on what’s happening in my heart with doubting that God will respond “positively” to my requests, especially when they are crucial requests for healing or lifesaving! (There seems to have been so many lately where God said, “No!”) Because of this it seems I was defeated before I even started! I would find myself crying out like the father did for his child saying, “I believe; help my unbelief!”” Mark 9:24 ESV. Then, I asked point blank for a very specific instance in the Bible where a prayer was requested but would not receive a positive (yes) answer. The Holy Spirit wasted no time in reminding me of Jesus praying in the garden. He asked the Father for this cup to pass by Him and His final request being for the Father’s will and not His own.
Jesus knew why He came to earth, yet He still asked for the hatred, torture, disbelief, and cruel death to pass from Him. He knew He could call down legions of angels to save Him and whisk Him back to His safe, heavenly kingdom, but He chose to stay and complete the Father’s will. “Not my will, but yours be done” was not just the classic default statement to – in case you’re not going to say, “Yes”. He knew the task for which He was sent to earth. He already knew it was the Father’s will before He left heaven. He was making a declaration that He was choosing to die for me. He was making a declaration that He was choosing to die for the whole world. His was a purpose He and His Father had already agreed on and He was going to see it to the very end. (Hence, “It is finished!” was so amazingly appropriate!)
When we pray for ourselves and one another we need to remember, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We just need to recognize after making our requests that God already has a plan in mind, and we need to be sure to stand in agreement with our Heavenly Father proclaiming; not my will but yours be done!
Wow! God is good! This was definitely a prayer request our Father God answered quickly with a most positive response as He does not want any of His children coming to Him in doubt and cynicism. Thank you, Father! This will bring new excitement to my prayers!
The matchless grace of Jesus!
When asked, “What’s the single most important thing you do as a leader?” Ray Johnston, in the YouVersion Bible plan, The Hope Quotient answered; “The single most important thing I do is make sure I stay encouraged.”
This, to me, is brilliant! For most of my 70 years I have looked to others for their grace-filled responses to encourage me. When they were few and far between, I became discouraged! I think Pastor Johnston is suggesting that I take away their power over me and look to the Holy Spirit and what God has planned and purposed for me. I must recognize and be thankful for my blessings and the gifts and talents with which God has granted me. I have often looked to do this, but never with the purpose that I remain encouraged. I have never, ever thought that staying encouraged could or should depend on me. From here on out if I should reach a point of discouragement I should only look inward and pray the Lord reveals the plan and purpose I’ve lost sight of, seek His will, and pull myself out of the muck!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. (Psalm 119:71NIV).
POWER IN THE BLOOD
- Study God’s Word
- Change our thinking
- Spurring One Another On
A while ago I read this free little book offered on this website: http://www.diabetesdaily.com/voices/2009/08/review-taming-the-tiger-your-first-year-with-diabetes/ and the author William “Lee” Dubois. It’s a quick read and I sent this link to my doctor’s office. I should have had this book put in my hands the day I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. One thing Mr. Dubois says is that he’s glad he has Diabetes because it has forced him to take better care of himself. “I am healthier with diabetes then I was without it!” I really need to get my head around this way of thinking! I’m not sure I can be glad I have diabetes. Trying to manage it, rearrange my diet, test at the right times, taking medication that tore up my stomach, and watching my family eat what I can’t really has not been fun. While reflecting on my attitude I began to think about how God wants me to handle this disease. A couple verses came to mind:
“Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord….” 2 Corinthians 6:17. Hmmmm! As Christians we should have a different mind-set spiritually and now having this chronic disease puts us in a group that requires very special attention…our own! Mr. Williams also says, “it’s a self-managed disease…I’m in charge…I get to be in the driver’s seat!”. That’s an attitude we should give strong consideration in all areas of our lives!
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. (Psalm 119:71NIV).
In my desire to understand this disease and how to better manage it I have diligently sought God’s thoughts on the subject of perseverance, eating, food, self-control, caring for what he has blessed me with and the list goes on!
I guess it has been good having diabetes! As I seek to learn more about this disease, I have learned more about myself but best of all more about God and His Word for me!
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Psalms 32:8
POWER IN THE BLOOD
- Study God’s Word
- Change our thinking
- Spurring One Another On
I’m not sure I have ever read this verse and seen so many lessons. I need to ask myself or better yet ask the Lord which part of this verse do I need most today?
Where do you want me to focus my attention, Father?
Do I recognize and praise you knowing you are instructing me?
Do I even listen to your instruction and wise counsel?
Do I trust that your eye is upon me every minute of everyday?
Do I find peace in this truth?
Am I being like the horse or mule in some area of my life?
Am I so stubborn and uncontrolled that I don’t understand that my safest and greatest place is by your side and seek to remain there or do I need your bit and bridle to keep me reigned in?
Why do we run from a good thing? What is it in the horse or mule that gives them such a wondering spirit? I don’t know much about the nature of a horse or mule but if I take it from this passage they sound like a creature that needs to be tethered or they wonder off to who knows where? It sounds like they don’t even know, they just wander away…around!
The Merriam Webster definition of wander is: 1: to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal; to go idly about : ramble. 2 : to follow a winding course : meander. 3 a : to go astray (as from a course) : stray. None of these sound like a good thing.
In my attempts at managing this diabetes stuff I have meandered and rambled in my attempts of a healthier life style. Frankly, I have been down right stubborn totally denying the truth of having this disease making it that much harder to reign it in! Lately, the Lord has allowed me to recognize where I need to be and not require that bit and bridle…so much! I recognize wise counsel in this area and take heed. Most of all, my favorite place to be is by His side, in His Word, surrounded by His love and grace. No need for bit and bridle here….well most of the time! Thank you, Father for instructing and teaching me which way to go! Blessings fellow equine!
The Lord is filling me to overflowing reminding me of things He has taught me over the years and He’s motivating me to press on in the race He has given me. I just found this reminder in reading through my journaling. God is so good to bring this to my mind and heart. It was written some time ago.
What are three things for which you are grateful? Let’s agree that our salvation in Christ, and our families are a given. NOW, list three other things: #1 our home, I am thankful for a warm or cool, comfortable, and safe place to be throughout my day. When I get in bed at night, I thank the Lord for my comfortable, cozy bed! (Until I’ve been in it too long then it stops being cozy!) 😁 #2 the enjoyable hobbies of writing, website design and my aquarium. I do find these relaxing and challenging at the same time. It’s the first time I have ever had this come to mind, but #3 – I’m thankful for the minutia of finding my place in the church. Again, it is challenging and sometimes sad as I often feel unsettled in my sense of belonging, but then maybe having a heart that hasn’t quit trying is something for which to be so very thankful. I pray I never become apathetic and lethargic in my walk and fellowship with other believers. I’m finding my purpose in THE church not just A church. (I’d like to go on record that since writing this particular journal item I have found an amazing body of believers and I do believe I’m home, at least on this side of heaven!)
I’m sooooo thankful that I have this passion for journaling my thoughts. God is so good to remind me of things He’s put on my heart as I have prayed prayers throughout my walk with Him but then quickly forgotten what I asked for and moved on to the next thing. But God doesn’t forget my prayers. He brings me back to them to reignite that sweet desire.
I’m not sure why I’m sharing all this with you. I guess it’s to say that God is dealing with me, and I’m making changes in my life, schedule, and commitments so I can focus on what God laid on my heart so many years ago.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
What career would you realistically pursue if you wanted the most money?
What career would you realistically pursue if you wanted the biggest impact?
What career would you realistically pursue if you wanted to have the most fun?
What career offers the best mix? *James Clear’s newsletter,
I recently asked my supervisor to be allowed to work from home only because of my current, life season, mobility issues make it painfully difficult getting to and from work. The answer to working remotely has been “no” both times I’ve asked, explaining that my job description requires my presence as the office receptionist. For the past few months, I have contemplated retirement and in preparation of that possibility, I have begun to search the internet for a new, remote part-time job. Nothing I saw sounded as fun or the least bit as impactful as what I currently do!
As I read these questions from *James Clear’s newsletter, my mind reeled with the reality that the very job I am doing makes an amazing impact. Working alongside some of the best administrators and educators, we collectively strive to help a population of students achieve their career goals! It’s not just a time absorbing, paycheck providing, 9-5 job. (The most money question isn’t really relevant to me, so I don’t speak to that question.) AND, when challenged with the question about my job being “fun” I have to admit my job skill set and capabilities allows me to answer with a resounding, “Yes”! I love technology and software programs that keep organization, communication, and record-keeping flowing. I “get” to do this all day long with a laptop, and not one, but two large monitors in office digs that are just beautiful. Oh, and along with all this wonderful technology I have access to an amazing group of IT troubleshooting experts by just dialing HELP!
So, challenged with these questions of pursuing a fun and impactful career I took time to pause and reflect. I’ve concluded that no pursuit is required. I am already in the “best mix” and as far as the mobility issues, I purchased a scooter and, with a little extra effort of loading and unloading, I’m zooming to, around, and from work!
* Used by permission
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21 NIV
Lately, I have been asked to continually pray for healing for loved ones. I know they ask so that they can have more time with their loved one and not have to experience life without them. My faith and love for God’s will in the matter demands I pray specifically for just that…God’s will. I never want to hurt my friends by not praying for their specific requests for healing. However, we must not ignore the very strong possibility that God is calling His child home. We must recognize our responsibility to include prayer for peace and comfort in preparation for departing this world and facing our creator God.
I wrote a story a few years ago called, “The Elephant in the Room” that speaks on the subject of finding peace and comfort in being prepared for death. I guess my heart continues to lead in that direction of offering prayers of peace and comfort about dying.
Recently, our church (along with thousands of others) prayed for healing for a young lady, with three children under the age of 19, but God said, “I have a different plan!” My son in law, Sam, and I sat discussing God’s decision after her home going was totally baffling. It seemed that God ignored so many people’s prayers for healing. I said, “I’d really like to have a conversation with God about His reasons for not healing our sister in the Lord”. Sam shared how he had prayed for healing for his dad years ago and God didn’t heal him either. Along with our grief for these loved ones we were confused, and questioned our faith and the God we so dearly love.
Then a word in due time came the very next Sunday when our Pastor, Sammy Foster, spoke on this very subject. You would think we had asked him to address our questions, but it was very obvious; we were not the only ones feeling this way.
If you have lost a precious loved one or are currently walking that imminent path questioning God about your unanswered prayers, Pastor Sammy so graciously addresses this topic in this message when “When God Feels Absent”… https://youtu.be/c-GsONl0eM8
As I stated earlier, I always include God’s will in my healing prayers. Pastor Sammy reminds us in such a powerful way that:
“You don’t have to understand the plan to trust God’s purpose.”
“Do not reduce the size of God in your minds eye!” and
“We gotta go with Jesus!”
Photo by Kathy Falke
When we arrived in the early morning the Epcot globe was silver. As we strolled the park at night it changed to such beautiful colors.
Not only did Disney provide spectacular fireworks, but the walls and spires changed colors and reflected images from Disney movies and cartoons.
Epcot Light Show
Epcot’s evening fireworks included water sprays and laser lights.
All We Can Ask or Imagine
At 68 years old I was finally seeing Disney! What a grand time the Lord blessed us with. I knew to expect a castle and Micky Mouse; but boy was I in for a treat, one amazing experience after another.
I am a techy hound. I love computers and apps and love to learn about the back-end and how everything works. As we road rides and watched the Disney Parade and viewed buildings and structures most people we’re awed by what they saw, I certainly joined them in what I saw, but my brain was also saying, “How did they do that?” It brought to mind in God’s Word, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power.” Ephesians 3:20
Disney and his “ imagineers” could certainly imagine fun and amazing things and there wasn’t a place in any park that didn’t excite, teach or inspire! They had an idea, planned it on paper and made it happen. They didn’t stop at fireworks over a castle, they created a light show reflected on the castle walls and spires reflecting images from Disney movies and cartoons and colors changing by the second. Our eyes didn’t know where to look first. The fireworks at Epcot included lighted water spray and laser lights. The Epcot globe, silver by day and multi-colored by night. Nothing was simply done. It was as if so many minds came up with all they each could imagine and instead of going with one or two they said, “let’s do it all”! Our God will do this in our lives as well! If God has laid a plan and/or purpose on your heart, ”go for it”! Stretch yourself and go just a bit further. Nothing we do for our Lord should be boring. If he gave a secular group of folks such imaginations and allowed it to delight and entertain, doesn’t it make sense that Christian ministry should inspire, providing growth, encouragement and excitement to do all we can think or imagine. It will be even “Immeasurably more” great than you can imagine! Go ahead and ask, his Word promises that he is able according to his will and power. Our God is so good and amazing!
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21