Nov 13, 2009

Heard of God


     We give praise to God for the life He gives us.  We really wanted to avoid a C-section for this baby.  We prayed for a safe and healthy delivery.  I must admit that as much as I don't like all the unnecessary medical intervention in labor, I am extremely thankful for the necessary medical intervention in labor.  If there were no such thing as C-sections, it is very likely that I would not have a family today.  I give praise to God for being in a place where it is a routine procedure and everything went smooth.  I am very glad we decided to name our son Samuel since God has shown us time and time again how he hears us and answers our prayers.  Often the answers are not exactly what we want but it is obvious that He hears us and is good.
     I have been encouraged lately in reading through the Scriptures.  In attempting to keep up with a daily reading schedule, I am in 2 Chronicles, Daniel and John.  In reading through 2 Chronicles I came across the history of Jehoshaphat.  There came a time when a great army was making their way to attack Judah and Jehoshaphat sought the Lord in prayer for deliverance. In his crying out he said, we are weak and powerless against this great multitude and we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you.  Then God responded by telling him to go out but that God would fight them himself. Before Judah got to them, God had caused them to wipe themselves out.  This reminds me of another rare king in the midst of  2 Chronicles, Asa.  Most of the kings during this time did not seek God but sought other idols and God allowed them to be destroyed.  These two kings were among the few who sought to follow God and honor him.  God blessed them for it.  It wasn't that these men were really great or awesome men. It was just that they sought to follow God and worship Him alone.
  There was another very similar message in reading Daniel chapter 2.  Daniel didn't learn the interpretation of the dream because he was so smart or wise.  He didn't know what it was when the king demanded the wise men to tell him what his dream was.  Daniel decided to ask the one who did know and asked his friends to pray with him and fast.  God revealed the dream to Daniel so he could tell it to the king.  Again, God tells us in Scripture that he answers prayer.
     Again in reading in John there is a very encouraging message about prayer.  Jesus himself is praying to the Father. He just finished telling the disciples that it was necessary for him to leave so he could send the Helper who would convict the world and guide us into all truth.  Then he prays to the Father that those whom He has given Him would be united with Him with the Father in heaven.  How much more if God answered the prayers of Jeshoshaphat or Daniel will he answer his own prayers in Jesus?  We can be certain that though, God may not answer all our prayers as we want Him to, He will answer them. We can also be certain that He will answer the prayers of Jesus in uniting believers with himself and guiding us by the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said to ask in His name and we will receive.
     We are at a point where we are asking a lot.  We have a large amount of money to raise before we can go to Peru.  We believe that it is necessary to leave for Peru in January.  This is not something that we can do on our own. So we cast our eyes on Him and ask you our friends to seek Him for us to move in mighty ways.  While the money is a very tangible thing that we need to get there, we realize that in our need for prayer money is only a small amount of what we need from God.  Much more than money, we need God's Spirit to empower us and help us serve Him and obey Him. We need the Spirit to help us love Him and love our neighbors.
     The most important thing we need from God is His equipping us to serve and His continued grace and lovingkindness.  The most important thing in going to serve Christ is faith and repentance. That is what we ask for.  Without His spirit working through us, we will simply be going to live in another country.  There is nothing special about us that will fix anybody.  Jesus is the one who will fix us and the people we go to serve.  We are only going to Peru because we are certain God wants us to go there, not because we think we are needed there.  I truly believe this, but I realize I need the Spirit to remind me of this every day.  It is something I often forget.