Monday, September 19, 2016
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When our boys were little, did they work ahead on their homework? No! On their chores? Silly question. On their Christmas lists? Oh yeah! For some strange reason they were able to do some serious advance planning when it came to what they wanted for Christmas. I could expect their carefully prepared Christmas list by Thanksgiving at the latest. Their wishes would be listed in priority order, with what they called "the big one" circled and starred in big print at the top. They didn't want me to miss it. For our oldest son one year, it was this spaceship that was the toy of the year, the toy that parents fight over to get the last one in the toy store. You know? Well, I worked ahead that year. Right around Thanksgiving, I went out and bought that ship before toy wars began at the store. I tucked it away safely in my closet. Now my son reminded me of that thing over and over again during December, maybe nagged would be a more accurate verb. He kept on asking, and that was fine. Of course, I had granted his request as soon as he asked the first time. I just waited till the appropriate time to give it to him.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "In the House, But Not in Our Hands."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Mark 11:23-24. And I'll tell you, these are powerful, revealing verses on how prayer works. Here's what Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.' Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Now, that's an interesting little twist in those verbs. "Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." You've got past tense; you've got future tense, which is it? That toy spaceship in the closet that Christmas helped me understand what God is saying to us about powerful praying. I granted my son's request right after he first asked. It might be that God may have done that with something you've been asking Him for. It's done, it's just not delivered. In fact, He wants you to keep trusting Him for it, keep reaching out to your Father with childlike faith, and continue to commit that thing to Him.
But He wants you to come to Him in faith, acting as if it will happen or, from the standpoint of heaven, as if it has already happened if it is the will of God. "Believing you have received it, and it will be yours."
If you're normal, you want your answer right now! My son wanted that gift right then, but I couldn't give him the gift I already had for Him before the right time. If I had given it to Him too soon, it would have ruined it. Often, the time that you want your answer is in the perfect ways of God, too soon. Just because you have to wait for it doesn't mean it isn't coming.
So you can be sure that God is working on what you've asked Him for. He went right to work on it when you began committing it to Him. Will you pray with that kind of confidence, that kind of boldness? And be patient waiting for His perfect time to deliver it within the boundaries of His perfect will for your life. He responds to faith. The Bible says, "Without faith, it is impossible to please Him." First John 5:14-15, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him."
If your Father wants you to have it, it may not be in your hands, but it's already in the closet. He loves to answer the children that He loves so much. Just the right day, that gift will be yours.