Asked and…


July 12th, 2019

 God answers prayer every day, every hour, every minute and literally every second of every day.

Something interesting about the answers to prayer, some are the result of laying a fleece out the ground, waiting for dew not to be on it and the grass around it soaked. This was Gideon’s confirmation of prayer.

And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.

Judges 6:40 (NKJV)

While Gideon did this, it probably isn’t a good idea to test God’s resolve.

And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

Luke 4:12 (NKJV)

Jesus made it so very clear that he was interested in what the intent of our hearts are, our faith and trust, as well as our commitment to love God and our neighbor.

Let’s consider that ‘faith and trust’ issue.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

What faith in the word of God do you have? Seriously. What do we believe? If our faith, our hope in Jesus are what they really should be, we should have the understanding that Jesus is THE WORD personified. We can’t take passages and put them aside when we can’t figure out how they would work.

Here is what I’m driving at.

Let’s break down this passage in Proverbs a little.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart”; vest your trust in God and what God says.

And lean not on your own understanding”; don’t analyze the situation based on what you know. Know that God knows all there is to know and place your trust in that fact.

In all your ways acknowledge Him”; give God the credit for who he says he is and acknowledge what he says he will do.

And He shall direct your paths.” It’s difficult to say we believe God and then in the next breath suppose that we haven’t heard a response.  That’s just ridiculous.

I give you the early church in Acts.

This was a church communication from the early church surrounding Jerusalem to the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. It seems the situation was that some representatives from the central church had made their way to visit these new churches and were critical of their practices; specifically, not adhering to Jewish law.

The central church prayed about this and then…

For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us

Acts 15:28a (NKJV)

Don’t think I’m taking this out of context. No, I’m focusing in on part of this that applies to every believer who really believes.

What the church did was they took this to God in prayer, asking God for guidance.
This was an important issue in the day. The Jew’s in the church were very comfortable with their religious practices, so they were all about integrating what they knew with this new covenant stuff. They were all about Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life. They surrendered their lives to Christ, but literally thousands of years of practice didn’t go away immediately.

So, some were eager to impose part of the Jewish law on the Gentiles.

After praying about it, they and the Holy Spirit living in them were at peace with the decision to not require these Gentile churches to follow the practice of Jewish law. Instead, they provide some guidance to them.

They consider “to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” (Acts 15:28b-29 NKJV)

They were fine with this decision because they had asked for guidance and had faith that the Spirit would let them know if what they were thinking was outside his will. It “seemed good to the Holy Spirit” and them to back away from imposing the Jewish law upon these Gentile churches, they accepted this as the will of the Spirit.

They were doing exactly what the scripture in Proverbs called for!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

They were not leaning on their own understanding, they had acknowledged God’s promise to direct them when trusting and acknowledging him and when there was no opposition by the Holy Spirit, they interpreted this as the Spirit being ‘good with it’.

Literally doing exactly what is underscored in Proverbs.

Let’s bring this home to us.

When was the last time you asked God for guidance and after doing so you felt like there were crickets singing a concert for you?  It’s happened to me more than a few times. I then spent weeks and at times months wrestling over the decision that I was faced with.

If I REALY believe what the Word tells me and I was doing that, then allowed the enemy to inflict doubt upon me to stall my action, I’ve surrendered authority to the devil.

I know, ouch!

But it’s pretty clear if God tells us, our part of the deal is to trust him, and acknowledge him, and we ask him for the guidance to understand his will, then he doesn’t direct our path anywhere else, then what seems right to the Spirit, and right to us, is what the will of God is. It is just that simple.

Anything else is to say, “Lord, I know that’s what you say but I really can’t trust you, I’m gonna wait for that fleece to be dry in the morning with the ground saturated around it, then I will know!”

A total lack of trust, or maybe we just fell victim to the devil injecting doubt in our walk of faith with the Lord. Don’t beat yourself up too bad about it. We are learning. It’s only a bad thing if we have come to this understanding and yet, we fail to trust God’s Word.

There is a caveat in there that we need to be careful about. The faith demonstrated by the early church in this matter should be no different than our faith. We should be able to pray about things, seeking God’s guidance, and then in faith come to a decision. We shouldn’t be handicapped by fear and doubt. If we trust what God says and his Spirit to guide in this decision, we need to seek that direction and in faith assume if he gives us peace in the matter then it is ’good with the Spirit’.

The flip side, if we really trust he will let us know when something isn’t ‘good’ with him, he will most assuredly do exactly that. If we have asked for this guidance in faith, and then even consider a path outside the Spirit’s will, we WILL know it!

Consider it, asked and “Answered!

In the Grace of Jesus!

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