It seems like lately, I have received more than once the gift of the Father’s “No.” Did I receive them willingly? I confess even though I ask for “Thy will be done in my life (and my family’s lives) as it is in heaven,” hearing and accepting “NO” as His will isn’t always easy. I have been guilty of fighting against God’s “No.” I have kicked and cried like a child hoping if my cries were loud enough, it would all go away. Or enough tears would turn the “no” to “yes.” But in the end, there truly is only one choice for a child in a tantrum, and for me – hush, surrender, and accept the answer – no matter the answer.
Help me, Lord, to trust You and Your “no” as much as I do Your “yes.” Help me to receive them as gladly and be just as content knowing they are Your gifts and good will come of each and every “No.” Help me, Father. I ask in Jesus’ Name! Amen!!!
The following picture is from Elisabeth Elliot’s book – A Lamp for My Feet.
1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derisions.5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.6Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.7I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.10Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.11Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. ~ Psalm 2
In Acts 4, the church in Jerusalem faced a crisis. Authorities commanded the Christians not to preach in the name of Jesus. The first response of the church was to pray and when they prayed they prayed boldly! That should be the response of every church and also every believer.
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. ~ Acts 4:31
These early Christians based their prayers on Psalm 2, acknowledging the authorities’ hostility to Jesus while agreeing with the Father’s promise to His Son to receive all nations (the heathen) as His inheritance. Their prayers were bold. They asked God, not to protect, but to empower them to be witnesses in the face of all that came against them. They even asked the Lord to confirm their message with signs and wonders.
God’s answered their prayers. He shook the building, filled them with the Holy Ghost, and they immediately began to speak the Word of God with boldness. Within weeks of this prayer meeting, even their enemies said that they had filled Jerusalem with their teaching.
Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. ~ Acts 5:28
When will the Church today pray such prayers? When will we as individual believers? To do so, we must be a people more interested in growing the Kingdom of God for Jesus’ sake, than our own comfort. We must be more concerned about advancing the cause of Christ than our popularity or bank accounts.
As they prayed, the building shook but so did the circumstances. Are you willing to pray bold prayers that stir the heart of God to shake things? What if the things He shakes first is you? What if He first must shake you so that He can shake the church so that He can shake the World? Will you yield and stay in unity even so? The early believers did and they were not only helped, shaken, and filled – AS THEY PRAYED – but they were empowered to serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Heavenly Father, teach me to pray the Word like the early believers. Please help me to lay aside all fear and apprehension. Help me to pray and preach as they did, with boldness. Lord, help me not to worry about hostility and opposition but to pray in the face of it. Help me not to seek comfort and protection, so much as I seek You. Shake us, Lord! Shake the churches once again with Your power, shake the two or three gathered together in one accord, shake me as I seek Your face alone in the prayer closet!!! Fill me again with Your Holy Ghost so that I may proclaim the word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ boldly. Help us, shake us, fill us today that we may be used of You. Empower us all today that we might serve You with fear and rejoice with trembling. Oh Father, let Your Kingdom come in our lives of prayer, as it is in Heaven. I ask this for Your Glory and in Jesus holy and precious Name. Amen! Amen!
I have been journaling since I was a child but only blogging publicly since the fall of 2017.
Like many things we do, blogging has proven to be awkward and uncomfortable. But, in these last three years, I have gained readers from 134 of the 195 countries of the world. The latest person to join me is from Lesotho. Have you ever heard of it? I hadn’t. It is a tiny African country surrounded by the country of South Africa.
While I have many readers from the USA, the majority are not from the United States. In 2017 most were from Brazil. In 2018 – Canada, 2019 – India, and in 2020 it was France (followed closely by China). I suppose they might enjoy the personal journaling and Bible verse pictures I create, but most come to my website to read the Bible Studies or devotions or for prayer. They are searching for something from the Word of God.
To me, that’s amazing!!! And while it is not about numbers, the numbers do tell a story of their own. What’s their story???
Psalm 2:8 – Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (the nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Jesus also said, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations. (Matt 28:19)
So, I have asked for the nations and I have asked for them all. Sixty-one nations to go!