He will make a way!

The other day whilst out walking with a friend we got lost.  I thought I knew way…  but it turns out that the path was not as easy to find as I thought..!  So many different tracks, how do you know you are on the right one?

Fortunately we had a map and a compass and we found where we were and roughly where we wanted to get to.  However, what wasn’t completely clear was how to get there! So following the map and various paths and with the use of the compass these two intrepid explorers eventually found their way down!!

A bit like the Christian life, the way isn’t always completely clear nor which is the right path to take.  Other things distract us, things which look like the way aren’t , things we thought were of God turn out to be of man all along and we have wasted unnecessary time & effort to discover that this wasn’t the right path after all!

Oh how often I have taken a wrong turn in my spiritual walk and have had to find my way back to God. Things I thought were of God weren’t and I have found myself so far from Him.  I have had to humble myself, confess to the Lord that I have gone my own way & have ended up in a place I didn’t expect to be in.

Sometimes it is difficult to know the way back or the way out, but once that acknowledgement and confession has been made, the Lord will make a way.  We may feel a bit like the Israelites  who wandered about the wilderness for 40 years, that it was a waste of time, but nothing is ever wasted with the Lord.  Rather these  times are fresh opportunities for God to reveal His loving kindness and amazing grace towards us, a chance for a fresh start, a new walk, a new way with the Lord.

Perhaps if we had followed the map more closely and used the compass in the first place we wouldn’t have got lost.  In the same way, if I follow God’s Word closely and rely on the Holy Spirit through prayer then I am more liable to stay on the right path and not be distracted by the other paths nor following my own whims and fancies, instead I will be acknowledging Him and He will be directing my paths.

Prov 3 6

 

Answered Prayer

I got an answer to prayer yesterday.  It came out of the blue.  It was unexpected .  It was generous.  It was encouraging.  It made me cry.

Thinking about it now makes me wonder (1) if I really expect answers to prayer and (2) do I realise answers when they come, do I return thanks for them?

This particular answer came after a time of extended prayer a couple of months ago. The type of prayer which you carry about with you for a while, which weighs on you.   It  is not that I felt that I had come to a particular break through in prayer, just that I had to leave the matter with God.  I had almost forgotten about it when unexpectedly an answer came.

So do I expect answers?  When I pray am I expecting God to answer me?  Otherwise why pray?  So often, I confess, my prayers may seem like a vain hope.  Hoping something will happen, hoping something will change, hoping the thing I want to happen will happen.  But surely prayer is not just some vain, vague hope, but based on the solid fact that the God of the universe has chosen to set His love upon us and to work for our good and for His glory.  This is what I am to base my prayers on, not my feelings, not my hopes, but on the steadfastness and faithfulness  and love of God alone.

And then there are other times when you are praying for yourself and/or others in their everyday lives, that God would provide, that God would enable and He does.  Faithfully, He does.  But do I acknowledge those answers, do I even see them as answers?  So often I take these things for granted.  God enabled me, God strengthened me to get through a particularly trying day, I prayed for that, I did get through the day, but I don’t acknowledge that and return my thanks.  Shame on me!  Surely I am missing out on the full blessing when I don’t acknowledge before God that He did answer, that He did supply my need and that I am grateful?  Coming with thankfulness is like completing the circle of prayer – coming before God, acknowledging my need, praying for His intervention, receiving the answer and (closing the circle) – thanksgiving.

1-thessalonians-5-16-18