Questions You Have Asked: Why Do You Need Us, God?

Since You are all-powerful, why do You need us to praise You or prophesy or tell others about You?  Couldn’t you just do anything You needed to to get the word out to people?  Angels?  Words written in the sky?  Why do You need us?

The Psalmist asked this question, too.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? “  Psalm 8:3&4

We can’t always know the “why” of things when it pertains to understanding the mind of God.  All of us have many, many “why”’s which may never be answered in our lifetimes.

But here’s what we can know:  God has made it obvious that He does care about man.  And He does choose to use men in His plan for the earth.   He lets us praise Him.  He lets us prophesy.  He lets us pray.  And He chooses to use all those things to spread His truth.  He could use any number of other spectacular displays of His glory, or methods of communication, and sometimes He does, but mostly, He chooses to use men.

Why?  Just put that on your list of things to ask Him someday when you are kneeling at His throne.

Questions You Have Asked: “Am I a Part of Some Bigger Plan?”

I can unhesitatingly say,  “Yes, you are.  We all are.”

If you read the stories in the Bible of ordinary people who were used in many, many ways as a part of God’s bigger plan, you would be convinced of this, too.

Take,  for instance, the priest Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth in Luke Chapter 1.  They were not powerful or rich or especially smart people.  They were ordinary.  They had wanted a child all their lives but hadn’t been able to have one.  They couldn’t make their own dreams come true.  And even when a real, live angel appeared right before Zacharias’s eyes, he, a religious man, couldn’t muster up the belief to accept what the angel said!

But, even with very weak faith at first, they brought into the world the tiny baby who would grow up to be the one who introduced the long-awaited Messiah to the world.

If you believe God raised Jesus from the dead, you have a part to play in God’s plan for all eternity.   If you don’t believe that yet, take the first step – ask Him to help you believe.  And then Wow!  Wait and see what God has in store for you.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus  for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”  Ephesians 2:10

Questions You Have Asked: Why Hasn’t God Answered My Prayer?

If you stop to think about it, there are many, many times in scripture when God waited a long time to answer prayer.  In fact, what strikes me is that most of the time God does wait a long time to answer!  Waiting seems to be the rule, not the exception.

That’s why Isaiah 40:31 speaks so directly to each of our hearts.  “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Waiting is normal.

But sometimes God hears your prayer, and says “No.”.

  •  God said “No.” to the people of Israel when they longed for the bread and meat pots of Egypt.  Learning to live as free people had turned out to be very, very hard, and they just wanted to go back to their old lives of slavery and quit trying to fight for their freedom.  God said “No.”  (Exodus 16)
  •  God said “No.” when a money-loving little prophet named Balaam wanted to do the wrong thing.  He asked God to bless him as he went about his greedy little business.  God actually spoke that “No!” to that prophet by the voice of a donkey!  (Numbers 22:22-34)
  •  Naomi, I’m sure, prayed for the Lord to spare the life of her husband, but God said “No”.  He died.  And then I’m positive she also prayed for the Lord to spare the lives of both of her sons.  But God said “No.”  They died.  Her bitterness rose up in her at what seemed to be the unfaithfulness of God.  But he wasn’t, was He?  His “No.”  was actually “Not in the way you pictured it.”  (The book of Ruth)
  •  Jeremiah prophesied and prayed for his whole lifetime for the children of Israel to repent and live wholeheartedly for the One, True God.  In Jeremiah’s lifetime they never did.  God said “No”…not yet. Jeremiah, but they will someday.” (The book of Jeremiah)
  •  Habakkuk pleaded with God to not send a horde of bloodthirsty Assyrians down to conquer Israel.  God said “No.”  And then God said “Stop asking, Habakkuk.  I am God.  I will do things My way.”  Habakkuk 2:10
  • The Apostle Paul pleaded with God to take away his affliction.  But God said “No.”  “My grace is sufficient for you.”  (2nd Corinthians 12:9)

So…what conclusions can we come to about unanswered prayer?

  • God always says “No.” to sin.  If you pray for the right to sin, you won’t get an “ok” from God.
  • Sometimes God says “No”, meaning, “Not in the way you pictured it”.
  • Sometimes God isn’t saying “No”, He’s saying “Wait”.
  • And sometimes He says, “Just trust Me.

We are called to pray.  And as we pray we grow in our faith.  Even when God says “No” we grow in our faith.

So if it seems like God is not answering your prayer, wait.   We learn, I think, to pray more and more according to God’s will, when we go through times of waiting and sometimes getting silence when we want answers.  We slowly begin to love to pray not because we think we can force God to do our will, but because we are beginning to love His will so much.

Why Hasn’t God Answered My Prayer?

Here’s the answer:  He is.

 

Questions You Have Asked: How Does God Want Us to Celebrate Christmas?

How Does God Want Us to Celebrate Christmas?

 

How do you celebrate Christmas?  Is it honoring to God?  Do you tell or read the Christmas story every year?  Are your traditions all about the Christmas Tree, ornaments, food, sparkle and presents?

I do wonder what God thinks about our Christmas-time activities. Over the last few years, my husband and I have made a conscious decision to spend much less money than ever before.  Is that what He would want?  I have friends who decided years ago to not even celebrate Christmas, but instead give gifts to each other at Thanksgiving time, communicating to each other their thankfulness for each one’s part in their lives.  Is that what He would want?

I think the best thing to do, if you want to re-think your Christmas plans and traditions, would be to go back to the scriptures which describe the 1st Christmas (in Luke 1&2 and Matthew 1&2) and just soak it all up again – what did they do?  How did they feel?  Then go from there – include a few new things in your Christmas which reflect the 1st Christmas.  Or, eliminate a few things which don’t seem to point to the Christmas story at all.

In light of Mary’s overflowing praise to God (Luke 1:46-56) months before the 1st Christmas,  at a time in her life when she was balancing between childhood and adulthood, tradition and a new kingdom to come, I think I’ll try to add more overflowing praise to my upcoming Christmas season this year.  Not exactly sure how yet – but I’m going to try.

There’s a new DVD and book out by Phil Vischer (creator of Veggie Tales) which deals with Christmas and Christmas traditions.  Click on the following link to check it out.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkQOWkvE_VY&feature=share

 

 

 

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