Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Long Wait

Genesis 6: (7-8) "And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (13-15a) "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of..." (17-18) "And behold, I, even, I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife and thy sons' wives with thee." (22) "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."

So God told Noah to build a boat in preparation for some miraculous event that had not yet been seen by mankind. God told Noah that he was going to destroy the earth and all the breathing creatures on it. But Noah found grace and favor  in the eyes of God so he and his family, God was going to save. Then God gave him a command, "build an ark." We do not know if Noah was a carpenter or a scholar. Perhaps Noah and his sons worked with animals or perhaps they were builders of cities. We do not know the qualifications that Noah had but we do know that God said, "build an ark" and that is what he did. Year after year after year Noah worked on this ark that God told him to build, during this time it is not recorded that God spoke with him, encouraged him or performed wonders and miracles. Finally after decades of building this ark for an event that had never happened or even been thought of, Noah finished the boat. When he finally finished it God commanded him to enter the ark along with his family and all the beasts of the earth according to what God had commanded. It was then that the miraculous happened, water fell from the sky and the flood waters rose and destroyed all living things on the earth but Noah, his wife, sons and his sons' wives were saved because Noah did all that God commanded.

The wickedness of the world was very great in those days. They had no regard for God or man and their thoughts were on evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Yet God waited 100 years until Noah finished what he was commanded to do. God waited as Noah, with the help of 3 young men, built a boat bigger than the size of a football field. Day after day God watched Noah cut down trees, drag them to the site, skin them, cut them and put it together as God commanded. Days turned into weeks and then months and then years and then decades... yet God waited. God waited until it could be said, "And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him." (Genesis 7:5) Day by day, year by year the world became more and more evil yet God waited.  What if God hadn't waited until Noah finished? What if Noah took his time and didn't put the ark at the top of his priority list and God decided not to wait on him any longer? The miracle would have come but at the cost of total destruction.

Many times we find ourselves waiting for God to fulfill the miracle that he has promised. We wait and wait for God to deliver on the dreams that he gave us. We beg and plead with God to do a quick work in our lives all the while we are just waiting, hoping, believing, praying yet not doing anything. We may have a calling to go to the foreign mission field yet we do not go to get our passport because God hasn't done the miracle yet. Perhaps our dream is to write a book or own a business and we are just waiting on God to bring us the right publisher or the right investor or the right building. There are as many dreams and callings as there are people and I do not know your dream, calling or ministry but I have to ask, are you waiting on God to do the miraculous? Are you waiting on God to do his part? Are you standing firm on all the scriptures that tell you, "wait on the Lord"? Do you find yourself simply waiting and waiting and waiting growing more frustrated and aggravated with the seeming delay on God's part. Perhaps, just perhaps we have it a little wrong. Perhaps there are times that God is waiting on us to do our part. Maybe God has told you to get your passport and your house in order. Maybe God told you to declutter your life from the stuff that hinders you from moving into the ministry that He has called you to and He is waiting until you do it. Maybe God is waiting on you to write the book or write a business plan before he brings the publisher, the investor or the building. What if God did the miraculous before you did your part? What if he brought a publisher but you didn't even have an outline for a book? What if an investor came by with a building but you hadn't done your due-diligence so you had no plan to offer. What if he opens the field of ministry but you are so cluttered with cares of this life and ill-prepared that you can't act upon the opportunity. What if God doing his miraculous part would destroy you if He did it before you did  your part?

What if, just what if God is waiting on us. ""Which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." I Peter 3:20

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A God Sized Dream

For the past week or so I have been reading and following "Draw the Circle, The 40 Prayer Challenge" in the Circle Maker series. If you aren't familiar with the "Circle Maker" book, it is about circling your God given dreams and promises in prayer. When I started it I had no clue what I was to draw a circle around. Sure I have needs and desires that I want God to supply and bring to fruition but I wasn't sure if they were my own desires and dreams or if they were God's. Being unsure but knowing that they weren't bad or sinful dreams I started circling them in prayer. Perhaps the first few days were tentative but the more I prayed the more confident I became. As each day went by I noticed that my circle was getting bigger. One day a person that I came in contact with at work became part of my circle. Then a lady asked me to pray for her children and they made their way into my circle. Then I came in contact with another person and another person. Before I knew it my circle was more about others than about me. Last night I noticed that I managed to put my own personal desires at the very end. This morning, before the fog of sleep was fully out of gone from my mind I found myself praying. My prayer that my heart was crying out was "change me." Change me so that I see the need and I allow the Holy Spirit to flow through me to minister to that need. Change me so that when financial short falls happen I know without any doubt that you are my sustainer. Change me so that I don't see my short-comings but your anointing. Change me so that I see your limitlessness resources and not my limited ones. Change me so that I see your mercy and grace and not my failings. Change me so that I can live above offense. Change me so that I become a doer of the Word and not just one that lives in the realm of "I wish I could". Change me so that I live in the power of the Holy Spirit so that the lame can walk and the blind can see. Change me so that people see Christ in me. Change me, Lord.Change me so that it is no longer about me but all about you.

I think I know the God-sized dream I am suppose to circle. The dream of being changed. A dream of fulfilling the calling and anointing that God places on those who are willing. A dream of being a vessel that God can use to minister to the hurting, scared, lonely and the desperate. A dream of being a living testimony. A dream of allowing God to freely move through me. I am certain that on day 41 or on day 536, I will still be circling this dream of being changed to be more like my God and Savior.