Wait for the Lord – Not Everyone else!

Have you ever noticed how much we allow our decisions to be based on what other people are doing? Now some things should be based on others such as not snapping the ball till the quarterback tells you.

But what about our spiritual life? I thought a few stories from the Bible might illustrate the point. David didn’t wait for his family’s permission to fight Goliath. Mary didn’t check in with Joseph before saying yes to the angel. John the Baptist certainly wasn’t chilling out until Herod gave him a parade permit to hold his meetings and Jesus wouldn’t wait for His disciples to understand before He went to the cross.

Part of our problem is that for the big and eternally important choices in life we wait on every one but God. We ask our friends, family and neighbors what they think about a project but how often have we stayed on our knees waiting on God’s opinion? We boldly sail off to the horizon but end up paddling as fast as we can for home at the first sign of trouble. We lack the courage David speaks of in the second half of the verse because God was not the architect of our planning session. But when we have waited on Jesus He will give us joy for the journey He is sending us on. No matter the storm the hour or the current public opinion, it is always the right time to do His will!

I so loved this simple hymn by Brackin and Lindsay with their boys. It is in that quietness and simplicity that God most often speaks if we will take the time to wait.

My Father’s World

Then pray like this: Our Father in Heaven Hallowed Be Your name Your kingdom come Your will be done On earth as it is in Heaven  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.                               Matthew 6:9-13 ESV

 

The hymn, “This is My Father’s World” was written as a poem by Maltbie Babcock and wasn’t set to music until 15 years after his death. If we were to step back we would also see it as a reflection of the Lord’s Prayer. Throughout our current Corona virus crisis this reminds me that in the middle of uncertainty; God never changes. “This is my Father’s world and to my listening ear.”  The first unchangeable truth this song gives us is that, no matter what happens in this world our Father in Heaven is listening but during our time of enforced idleness we might ask, “Are we listening for His voice?”

Secondly; even though God is in charge He gives us a part to play. We are to pray; “Your kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Just as the birds raise their carols in the second verse, our opportunity in this crisis is to praise God as our creator and worship Him in a way that brings heaven’s rule to our own little patch of ground.

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Then we must trust Him even when our world seems dark. “And when the wrong seems oft so strong.”  When we are unable to provide for ourselves as we are accustomed we learn to ask Him to give our daily bread. When we lose patience or fail under pressure; He promises that if only we ask that He will forgive us as we are forgiving of those around us.

“This is my Father’s world, the battle is not done.” Last of all when temptation calls we must depend on God’s help to lead us away and when we are surrounded by our enemies; He promises to deliver us by His cross! “Jesus who died will be satisfied; and earth and heaven be one.”

 

Learning to Pray – Day 2

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10 ESV

Our first step in learning how to pray room begins by becoming God’s child, but the second only happens as we yield our will to His. When we pray your kingdom come and will be done it isn’t about who will win the next election or what laws will be declared constitutional by the courts. God is most interested in His kingdom coming in our own hearts.

Consider the life of Jesus who never sinned, acted from selfish motivations or asked others to do so. He always walked in perfect fellowship with His Father and yet on the night before He was crucified He prayed alone in a garden. He told His disciples to pray with Him because of the weight of His sorrow as He faced the cross.

Then Jesus prayed an astonishing prayer. He asked God to find another way if it were possible for Him to finish His mission on earth. If Jesus had to pray this how much more the rest of us! Even if we did everything right, and avoided breaking even one of God’s rules we still come up short until we are ready to yield our will to His. The old Hymn we learned to sing when we were young declared, “I surrender all” but practically speaking we should have sung, “I surrender some!” Nobody knows this better than Jesus so He includes this part of our prayer: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done”. He wants us to remember that every day we will need His help. And every day He is willing to answer!

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