Even though God has told me on three separate occasions that He was going to bless me with a husband, I got weary along the way. It’s been almost twelve years since my divorce and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever marry again.
Maybe God changed His mind.
Maybe you don’t deserve a husband.
Maybe the person God had for you married someone else.
That’s what the enemy was telling me.
I knew the last relationship I was involved in wasn’t going to last because he wasn’t what God described, but because I was tired of waiting and tired of being alone, I settled. I thought God had forgotten about me. I had become this woman that I didn’t like – desperate, begging for love and attention. To be in that relationship, I had to compromise, but what I was doing to please man wasn’t pleasing to God. I made sacrifices hoping to make someone happy, but when was I going to become a sacrifice to God? When was I going to make Him happy?
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1).
God said that if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and He will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). A lot of us want God to hear us when we pray, we want Him to forgive us and to heal us, but some of us only want to pray, but we don’t want to turn.
I repented to God for not trusting Him and for making a decision without consulting Him first.
Although that was good, it wasn’t enough. I had to also turn.
So I let Ishmael go so that what God promised (Isaac) can come.
mindful: careful not to forget; paying close attention to; attentive
God is mindful of us, but help us, Holy Spirit, to be mindful of Him.
What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:4, NKJV)
And I wonder, “Why are people so important to you? Why do you even think about them? Why do you care so much about humans? Why do you even notice them?” (Psalm 8:4, ERV)
One day, the angel appeared to Manoah’s wife. Before he announced what God was going to do for her, he told her about herself. You are barren (Judges 13:3). God wanted her to know that He knew her condition and that He had forgotten about her. The scriptures doesn’t mention whether it was her desire to have children or if she and her husband had prayed for a child. All I know is that God saw a need. He (Samson) shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (vs 5).
To conceive a child seemed impossible. Manoah and his wife had tried for years, but what had been impossible with man was about to become possible with God. He was going to make it happen. There was a problem and God was going to create the solution for that problem.
The angel gave Samson’s mother two promises. First, he promised her that she would conceive. Then, he promised her that she would bear a son. Not everyone that becomes pregnant gives birth, but she was going to do both.
There is a need and the people in your home, on your job and in your community need someone who will pray on their behalf. They need someone who will choose to live holy. And God needs someone who will be consistent, faithful and who will do what He tells them to do.
The angel told Manoah’s wife what not to touch, eat or drink because of what she was carrying inside of her. I don’t think we carefully consider what we are carrying inside of us (the Spirit of God, the word of God, etc). If we did, we would make better choices.
But for the next nine months, she gave up some things. She put away some things. She stopped doing certain things so that the needs of the people would be met. You see, God wasn’t just giving her a son, but He was giving a deliverer to a people that He loved and called His Son (Exodus 4:22).
My prayer for every person who is reading this is that you will not MIS-carry, be MIS-led or MISS what God has for you or what He wants to do through you for His people.
show: to allow something to be seen; make known; to prove; demonstrate
When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges. According to scripture, Joel and Abiah were nothing like their father. They were dishonest, unfair and they took bribes. They loved money more than they loved the people. One day, the elders of Israel went to Samuel and asked for a king.
God wanted the other nations to know that He was the only true God and that there was no one else like Him. He wanted His children to show the other nations their Father. The only way the nations would believe in Israel’s God is if Israel were different, a holy nation and obedient to God. Some will not believe until they see, but Israel wanted to be like the other nations. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations (1 Samuel 8:5).
Samuel took their request personal. It bothered him so much that he talked to the Lord about it. He thought they were rejecting him, but they were really rejecting God. You see, Samuel was only doing what God told him to do. He was only saying what God told him to say so it was actually God who they didn’t want to rule over them. They have rejected Me that I should not reign over them (vs 7). But their rejection of Him didn’t change His love for them. He loved them so much that he told Samuel to warn them. They may have not liked Joel and Abiah’s ways, but the ways of this king were going to be worse.
He will take… (vs 11).
He will take… (vs 13).
He will take… (vs 14).
He will take… (vs 15).
He will take… (vs 16).
He will take… (vs 17).
God loved the world so much that He gave (John 3:16). He didn’t take. Israel thought they were getting an answer, but what they were getting was a problem that would bring along other problems. They really didn’t know what they were asking for. They already had a King and I don’t care how hard you try, you can’t replace God. What they were seeking was going to fail them. This king was going to make them do things they didn’t want to do. They would become his slave and in the end, he was going to make them cry. They had cried in the past and God delivered them (Exodus 2:23-25), but if they refused to heed His warning, they were going to cry again – and this time God wasn’t going to answer them. You will cry out in that day because of YOUR king which YOU have chosen and the Lord will not hear you in that day (vs 18).
When the Israelites rejected (refused to believe) God, they asked Samuel to make them a king. When Moses took too long on the mountain, they asked Aaron to make them gods. One time, they sought help from Assyria. When Assyria let them down, they ran to Egypt for help, but God didn’t allow Israel to get help from them because He wanted to teach them to put their trust in Him.
I’m reminded of a man named Joseph. There was a distinction between him and his brothers. He wore a coat that no one else wore. When you read the life of Joseph, it didn’t seem like ‘living right’ was working out for him. His brothers sold him into slavery and even though he turned down the advances of Potiphar’s wife, he was still falsely accused. He was betrayed, lied on and forgotten by people he trusted, but he learned how to trust God. He was hated and misunderstood because he was different, but when the magicians and the wise men could not interpret Pharaoh’s dream, who did they send for? That’s right. Joseph. When there was a famine over all the face of the earth, all countries came to Joseph to buy corn (Genesis 41:57).
When God made you, He made you different. He made you for Him. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t covet what others have. Be grateful for what God gives you. Don’t get discouraged because the gate is narrow and the way is hard. Avoid following the crowd. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it (Matthew 7:13, AMP). Let God prepare you (through the things you must go through) for those who will need what you have.
There are people who are hurting, disappointed, angry and seeking answers and God has blessed you to be a blessing to them. God wants to display His power, might, love and grace through us – to them. You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. You are a people for HIS possession to show others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
Just don’t tell them about the Father. Show them the Father.
Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it. – Charles Kettering
The word, understand, means to grasp the meaning, significance or importance of something you know (information). Jesus and his disciples had just entered the ship to go to the other side. The disciples had forgotten to take some bread and they only had one loaf of bread on the ship. Jesus told them, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. Jesus made this statement because He didn’t want them to be contaminated by people who honored God with their lips, but not with their hearts (Mark 7:6). He didn’t want them to become like those who kept the tradition of men, but refused to keep the commandment of God (Mark 7:9). Instead of asking Jesus for understanding, the disciples reasoned among themselves. They saw when five thousand were fed with only five loaves and two fish and there were twelve baskets of leftovers. They saw when four thousand were fed with only seven loaves and a few small fish and there were seven baskets of leftovers. So, why were they fussing about who forgot to bring bread? There was something they didn’t understand. How is it that you do not understand? (Mark 8:21).
Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews yet he didn’t understand what it meant to be born again. Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things? (John 3:10). Nicodemus thought an old man had to go back into his mother’s womb to be born again. Although his statement didn’t sound intelligent, he was smart enough to ask for understanding. How can these things be? (John 3:9).
When we were in school, some of us raised our hands to ask questions when we weren’t sure of something while others pretended to know or understand what the teacher was saying when they really didn’t. Maybe we just didn’t want to appear stupid or maybe we were just trying to impress someone we liked or maybe we were just trying to fit in. What happened in school is what has been happening in the church. We know lots of scriptures and can quote them, but our life living, our actions and our disobedience are proof that we really don’t understand what we are saying or what we heard. To shun evil is understanding (Job 28:28b, NIV).
There is something I’ve been doing for months now and recently the Lord told me that what I’m doing now is what He wanted me to do all along. Then, He reminded me of the things He told me to do (through men and women of God), but I missed it. All I could do was repent and tell the Lord I was sorry. I really didn’t understand. I heard, but I didn’t understand – neither did I ask for understanding. I was doing, but it wasn’t what God wanted me to do. I was giving, but it wasn’t the gift He required of me. When you are led by your feelings, you are going to either hit or miss, but when you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will never miss. God’s Spirit knows what is in God’s mind. There are things we don’t know, but He knows and understands all things. Nothing is hidden from Him. If you follow Him, He will guide you into all truth. He will let you know what is going to happen. He reveals what has been given to us from God. When He prays, He doesn’t pray amiss.
We are getting a lot of word and we are getting a lot of revelation– and that’s good, but with all your getting, get understanding. Some of us have been going to church most of our lives, yet we are blind. We have eyes, but we really don’t see. We have ears, but we really don’t hear and we forget what we should remember. Jesus doesn’t want us to be like the blind man who was brought to Him in Bethsaida. He wants us to see clearly. He doesn’t want us to be people who are not able to discern between men and trees (Mark 8:24-25). He wants us to recognize and to identify when it’s Him and when it’s the devil. There will always be a way that seems right, but He doesn’t want us to try to figure things out on our own. This is how we miss God. He gave the church true apostles, true prophets, true evangelists, true pastors and true teachers and He gave us the Spirit of Truth so that we wouldn’t be deceived like Eve.
People who are trained to recognize counterfeit money don’t study counterfeit bills. They study and learn every detail of real money so that when the counterfeit appears, they can see (discern) the difference. Let us study the life of Christ so that we will know what is Him and of Him, and what is not.
Prayer: I pray that you receive your sight today. May God anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you may see. May the Spirit of the Lord rest upon you, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:3). Open our understanding that we might understand the scriptures (Luke 24:45). Father, You commanded the light to shine out of darkness. Now command Your light to shine in the hearts and minds of Your people. Thank you for restoring our sight, Amen.