unbelief

The Answer Has Already Been Released

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Here I was asking God why He hadn’t done certain things in my life.

God, don’t you care?

You said You would take care of me.

Then an opportunity that I missed years ago came around again. 

And now I realize that God had answered my prayer years ago, but when the answer came, I didn’t recognize it because all I could see was fear and unbelief.

I’m not smart enough.

This is too good to be true.

I was like the church who was constantly praying for Peter to be released from prison, but when God released the answer – when the answer to their prayer knocked on the door, they didn’t open the door because they didn’t believe. Rhoda, a servant girl – a slave girl, recognized the answer. Not the church. And she just didn’t believe that it was Peter, but she knew his voice.

But thank God Peter knocked and knocked again until they opened the door.

And thank God that He caused the opportunity that I missed last time to knock again – until I opened the door.

For some of us, the answer has already been released and I pray that we all recognize it when it comes.

 

[Reference scripture: Acts 12:5-16]

While You’re Waiting

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The Lord told Joshua that he was giving him and the children of Israel the city of Jericho, but how was this going to happen? The walls were high, the gates were tightly shut, and the children of Israel were unable to enter in. 

After God told them what He was going to do, He told them what they needed to do.  Every day for six days, they had to go around the city one time. They could not shout or make any noise.  They didn’t complain about what they had to do every day.  They didn’t complain about what hadn’t happened yet.  They didn’t speak in unbelief.  They believed what God told them and remained silent for six days.

They got up early in the morning, marched and then returned to the camp.  They did the same thing every day – over and over again. They kept obeying God. They didn’t quit.  They were consistent.  They remained faithful even when it seemed like nothing was going to happen. 

But the wall was still standing.

I know a lot of us don’t like to wait for anything, but there will always be something you have to wait for.  You have to wait in line. You have to wait until the light turns green. You have to wait in traffic.  You have to wait until the food is prepared.

The Israelites had to wait patiently for the walls of Jericho to fall.  Hebrews 6:12 tells us that we must imitate or follow those who inherited the promises of God through faith and patience.  Maybe you haven’t received some things (yet) because you won’t let patience have its perfect work.  

Lord, when are you going to do it? I’m tired of this. I’m ready for this to be over. You’re taking too long 

If you can endure and learn to wait, James 1:4 tells you all the things that you will become.  But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  Change will take place. You will be spiritually mature. You will grow from what you’re going through. Your faith will be fully developed and you will be ready to receive those things you have been waiting for. 

On the seventh day, the children of Israel didn’t march around the city one time.  They marched seven times, the priests blew their trumpets, the people shouted, and the wall fell down flat.  

I know some of you want to give up, but I pray that God won’t let you. You’re probably doing everything you can to get out of your current situation.  You’re trying to move.  You are looking for a new job every day, but nothing is happening.  That’s because God is not going to let you get out of this one prematurely.  That situation that you don’t like is the very thing that is helping you to grow.  God allowed Joseph to be placed in the pit and he couldn’t get out until someone lifted him out of it.  God also allowed him to be placed in prison and Joseph had to stay there until someone released him. 

The quicker you can humble yourself, the quicker God can exalt you. 

Joshua and the children of Israel taught us what to do while we are waiting – obey God.  Some of you know what God said, but you are not looking at the word.  You are looking at your situation.  You are looking at the environment you live in and it looks like what God said will never happen, but it doesn’t matter who is occupying the city right now or how long they have been there.  It doesn’t matter how wide or how high the walls appear.  Don’t worry about how long it’s been or how long you’ve been waiting.  No matter how securely shut the gates are, nothing can keep God’s promises out.

So don’t be impatient, don’t be anxious and don’t give up. Wait on the Lord, and while you’re waiting, encourage yourself, encourage others and God will strengthen you as you obey Him.