There was something that needed to be repaired in my home so I went to the person who I knew could help me. I didn’t ask this person to repair what was broken nor did I ask for money to get the repairs fixed. I just needed him to contact someone to fix the problem for me or he could have given me the name and number and I would have made the call myself.
I don’t know if the individual wasn’t feeling well or maybe going through a rough time or just didn’t feel like being bothered, but he didn’t help me. At first, I was very disappointed, but then I stopped focusing on the hurt and I began to examine myself.
Was there someone around me hurting or frustrated or feeling hopeless – waiting for me to help them, but hadn’t received my help because I too busy feeling sorry for myself or because I didn’t feel like being bothered today?
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none (Ezekiel 22:30).
There were plenty of men in the land, but no one made himself available. God wasn’t looking for men. He was only looking for a man and yet He couldn’t find one. And because He couldn’t find one, many were destroyed in the land.
I don’t want that to be said about me – that God looked for me, but He couldn’t find me. I don’t want Him calling out to me like He did to Adam in the garden asking, Where are you?
So, I am asking God to show me one person every day that I can help – and I pray that I’ll make myself available and be faithful, committed and obedient when He shows me.
Withhold not good from them to who it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it (Proverbs 3:27, KJV).
Never walk away from someone who deserves your help; your hand is God’s hand for that person (Proverbs 3:27, MSG).
The angels warned Lot to get out of the city before God destroyed it. Although Lot heard what the angels said, he still had to make a decision. Either he would choose to stay or choose to leave.
The scripture tells us that Lot lingered, which means he stayed in that place or in that condition longer than he should have. God told him that his time in that city was up, but he wouldn’t leave. He wouldn’t let it go. He thought he had a little more time. (The word, linger, also means to remain present while gradually dying).
Because of the prayer of the righteous (Abraham), God showed mercy and saved them. He used angels to take Abraham and his family by their hands to bring them out of what should have destroyed them.
There are some things that we have been in for far too long and we need God’s help because we don’t have as much time as we think we do.
May God be merciful to you today. May the same angels that God used to deliver Lot and his family, be released in your life. May they take you by your hand and pull you out of what should be behind you so that you may see what is before you. May they pull you out of your past and bring you into your future. And may God heal and deliver you from the thing that you keep looking back at – the past hurts, past relationships, past disappointments, and past mistakes – so that it will not destroy you.
And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take your wife, and your two daughters, which are here; lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth and set him outside the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for your life; look not behind you, neither stay in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed (Genesis 19:15-17).
Nehemiah made a decision to rebuild the wall. The moment he decided to do something for the Lord and His people, opposition came.
The enemy came in the form of men. The enemy called Nehemiah and the people weak. The enemy mocked them. The enemy told them what they couldn’t do. The enemy sent threats. The enemy tried to set a meeting with Nehemiah to harm him. The enemy even lied on him. But despite all of this, Nehemiah and the people finished rebuilding the wall.
Some of the people that came into your life were not sent by God. They were sent by the enemy to distract you, cause you to lose focus, get you sidetracked, slow you down, stop you, get you discouraged, bring fear and to stop you from finishing what you started. They were also sent to pull you away from God and good works rather than push you toward Him.
We all have lost focus at one time or another. I know I have, but if you’ve lost it, you can get it back.
If your right hand makes you stumble and leads you to sin, cut it off (Matthew 5:30, AMP).
We have to learn to cut off anything that keeps us from finishing. I know what it’s like to hold on to relationships because I didn’t want to be alone or because I wanted to feel accepted or loved. I was so afraid of losing something that I began to lose the joy and peace that God gave me as well as respect for myself. And unfortunately, I began to spend less and less time with God.
The distraction doesn’t always come in the form of a person, but whatever the distraction is – if ‘it’ causes you to sin, if it causes you to disobey God, if it takes you away from spending time with God – cut it off!
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk (Acts 3:1-6).
The lame man asked with expectation for alms, but Peter and John wanted to give him something better – something that would last. Had Peter and John given the lame man gold and silver, how long do you think that would have lasted? At some point, he would have run out of money and the only choice he would have had was to go back into the lifestyle that he thought he left. He would return to begging.
This man had a problem, but what he was asking for was not the solution to his problem. Just like the lame man, I was sitting at the gate of Beautiful. As a result of when I went through, I was crippled with fear, unbelief and doubt. I was sitting in pity when I should have been walking in power. I was on the outside when I should have been in the inside.
Your problems and painful experiences may have brought you to the gate, but it can’t stop you from going through the gate.
I was praying for money, but money wasn’t my problem. My problem was that I didn’t trust God. When Peter told the man to look on him and John, the man immediately looked at them to be his source. And that was me. I was looking to my job to be my source when I should have been looking to God to be my Source. The man was looking at their hands, but Peter wanted him to know that what he needed wasn’t in his hand, but in his mouth. In his mouth was the power to command things, to prophesy, and to change his situation.
I thought it was money that I needed, but I needed wisdom. If I have wisdom, I have riches (Proverbs 8:18). I thought I needed money, but it is healing that I need. God never hurt me and He never disappointed me, but I know that I don’t have the trust in Him that I once had and I need God to build up what the enemy tried to tear down. I need Him to restore that childlike faith.
The lame man spent most of his life depending on people, but God wanted him to depend on Him. When Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up, it took trust and faith to believe not only that he could rise, but to do something he had not been able to do since birth – walk.
But one thing is needful (Luke 10:42).
What I need and what God wants is for me to seek a better relationship with Him. It’s time to go from begging to believing.
I’ve been giving Him my hands (seeking a handout), but what God really wants is my heart.
make time: to find time to do something or be with someone in spite of being busy (Macmillan Dictionary)
I remember one day I shared with an individual that I wanted to do some things, but I didn’t know how to get started. At that very moment, the young man began to tell me all the things I could do, but every time he gave a suggestion, I gave an excuse.
After the last excuse, the young man said, ‘Then, you really don’t want it’. And he said no more.
My feelings were hurt. How could he say that I didn’t want it? But sometime later, I realized he was right. It’s not that I didn’t want what I was asking for. It’s just that I wanted it to come easy. I wanted it, but without the work.
For six days, God didn’t just speak creation into existence with His mouth, but He also worked with His hands.
God made the firmament and divided the waters (Genesis 1:7).
God made two great lights (sun and moon). He made the stars also (Genesis 1:16).
God created every living creature that moves (Genesis 1:21).
God made the beast, cattle and every creeping thing after its kind (Genesis 1:25).
God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him (Genesis 1:27).
I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens (Isaiah 45:12).
My hand has made all those things (Isaiah 66:2).
We all are the work of Your hand (Isaiah 64:8).
God not only said things, but He did things. I was saying things, but I was doing nothing – or I was just doing enough to say I was doing something.
The heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day, God ended his work which he had made and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made (Genesis 1:1-2).
After God worked, He rested. Some of us want the rest, but without the work – and it doesn’t work that way.
You and I will never inherit the promises through laziness, but it will be through patience and faith, but you must show your faith by your works and by your actions.
This may consist of early mornings and late nights. And some of you may say, ‘I don’t have time’, but we can’t use that excuse anymore because we all make time for the things we want to do and for the people we want to spend time with.
The question isn’t, Do you have time?
The question is, Will you make time?
Some of us are like Martha. She received Jesus into her home. We received the gift of salvation. We asked him to come into our hearts. Our bodies became His home, but then we stopped right there.
We received him as our Savior, but we never received him as our Friend, Deliverer, Shepherd or Healer. We never learned how to trust or depend on him because for most of our lives we’ve been trying to ‘fix it’ in our own strength. What are some of the things we were trying to fix? The people that we hurt. The past that we couldn’t let go of. Or we tried to fix or fill the emptiness and loneliness we feel at times.
Martha was in the kitchen one day trying to fix some things and the more she tried, the more troubled and worried she became. She was trying to please Jesus with her works, but all he wanted to see was her faith.
Like Martha, we have either blamed God or blamed people when things didn’t go the way that we thought they should. She was upset because she thought Jesus didn’t care and she was upset that Mary left her to serve alone.
Martha was burdened, anxious and troubled because of Who she left, not because of who she thought left her. This is exactly what happens when we spend less and less time with God through prayer and reading of His word. She invited Jesus into her home, yet she never spent any time with him and when she finally spoke to him, it was only because she had had enough, she was frustrated, and she wanted help. Tell her to help me (Luke 10:40). But what Martha tried to get from Mary’s hand, Mary got at Jesus’ feet.
The areas where Martha felt ‘alone’ were the areas that she refused to give to God. Those are the areas that we refuse to trust God with. Those are the areas that we don’t allow God to fill with His Spirit. She didn’t understand it then and sometimes we miss it too, but what we do FOR God, can only be done WITH God.
You are not alone.