Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Download MP3 (right click to save)
My daughter wanted to put her fingers in the fan. Oh, she was a very little girl at the time. I said, "No." She cried. I think she thought I didn't love her and if I loved her I'd let her put her fingers in the fan. She really wanted to check it out!
It was sitting in the kitchen in our little house, rumbling along because it was the only ventilation in the house, one of those big exhaust fans. And I walked into the kitchen and I found her making her way toward it with her hand extended, wanting to check it out. Now, I could have said, "Oh, Honey, let me explain to you how many revolutions per minute those blades are turning and why it is going to cut off your fingers." She didn't know what cut meant...off, fingers, or any of that. All she knew was, she'd been told, "No" and she didn't like it.
You know, fathers have to do things like that because they love their children. God's a father, too. I'm so glad He's called that in the Bible, and He too has children who have their hearts set on something. But when He says, "No," we don't understand and we don't like it. But see, we wouldn't understand even if He did explain. If He tried to say, "Well, you're going to hurt yourself if you stick your fingers in that fan," because the fan just looks so good to us.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 'Yes,' the 'No,' and the 'Wait' of God."
Well, we're talking about the "yes," the "no," and the "wait" of God. Those times when He says, "Yes" to us when we pray; those times when we're headed for a fan and we're ready to stick our fingers in the fan. We don't even know that's going to hurt us, and He says, "No." And at times He says, "Wait." Now, I'll bet you in your life right now, in your praying, you have some "Yes's," you have some "No's," and you have some "Wait's."
Our word today from the Word of God, Psalm 37:4, 7, David says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Okay, that's "yes." I like that, don't you? Now listen to verse 7: "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret."
Well, that's not that immediate "yes." That's more like, "wait" or even "no." And I think it's very encouraging when you understand how God works in our life, using a creative tension. And that creative tension is between answered and unanswered prayer.
At any moment in your life it is His will, I believe, that you have some of both. Yes you get to "delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." On the other hand, there are the "Wait for the Lord" kinds of answers as well, because that tension of answered and unanswered prayer is what helps you grow in Christ.
In other words, you need enough "yes's" to keep you going—to let you know that He is on your case. But you need enough "no's" and "wait's" to keep you growing so that you hang onto Him. Now, He will say, "Yes" to you and may have said, "Yes" recently. I'm sure He has. I'm sure you could look back and see prayer that He has recently answered. Well, that "yes" is to let you feel His interest in you, to feel His love, to feel His power, His personal involvement in the everyday things of your life. Take a good long look at it, and draw faith, and courage, and determination from those memories; from those yes's.
But He's also given you enough "no's" to keep you trusting Him. And those "no's," like the one a Daddy said one time to his little daughter are, "For your good." Strangely, all green lights make us self-sufficient. And if we get self-sufficient, that's the beginning of big trouble. God knows exactly how much you need of each and He knows when to give them to you. So draw strength from the answered prayer, learn faith from the unanswered prayer, and God will always keep that blessed tension in your life.
Like my daughter with all her fingers, you'll one day thank your Father for the things He denied or the things He postponed for your good. Relax, let your Father drive. You'll love the destination.