Knock, Knock! Is Anybody There? Part 3

But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you,’
(Jeremiah 7:23 NASB).

 Two Blogs ago,  I wrote about my little neighbor who had a tendency to walk into our house whenever he wanted to. After teaching him to knock first, if no one answered, he’d walk in anyway. It was a fun story. If you missed it, you can read it on my blog at . Look for parts 1 and 2. I want to visit this one more time.

So what do we do when we knock on God’s door and we don’t hear an answer right away? We looked at various options, but one thing is for certain, silence from God cannot be interpreted as a “yes.” “Well, God didn’t tell me ‘no,’ so I went on ahead.” That’s not going to work. It could be that God is waiting for us to obey what He already HAS told us, before He gives further direction.

Let me share a story about a time when God was silent in my life. After my sophomore year in college, I decided to take a break and work for a year or so. After the first year, I felt an urge to go back to college, but my prayer for direction was met with silence. So I continued in my job.

When the next spring came around, my desire to return to school resurfaced. The confusion about what to do and where to go resurfaced as well.

I went to visit a man who had been a spiritual mentor to me during my teenage years. I told him about my confusion about college. Mr. Thorp decided that we should read some scripture about prayer before we prayed for God’s direction.

First he turned to Matthew 6:8-15.

For your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray: `Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Then he turned to Matthew 18:19.

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Each time Mr. Thorp turned to a passage about God answering prayer, there was one about forgiveness either before or after it.

“Sharon,” he said, “I sense that God is telling you that you have unforgiveness toward your father. Is that true?”

I wanted to say, “Wait a minute. I came here to ask for prayer about my future, not about my past.” But God was showing me that unforgiveness in my past was blocking His work in my future.

I had a very tumultuous childhood. My father had become a Christian when I was twenty, but I had yet to forgive him for all the pain he had caused. I knew God had instructed me to forgive, but I had not obeyed.

So that night, I forgave my father for everything he had ever done. Really. When I did, God set me free, and my life moved to a new and deeper level with Him. (That is what God really wants from us most of all.)

Interestingly, the next day, the cloud of confusion lifted. I knew exactly what to do. I applied to college, was accepted a few months later, resigned from my job, and began classes in the fall. I met my husband four weeks later, and soon became his wife.

I am not saying that obedience in one area will make you’ll strike it rich, find the man of your dreams, or live happily ever after. However, I do believe that sometimes God’s silence is due to the fact that He is waiting for us to obey what we do know before He gives us more direction.  .

So go ahead and knock! Ask! Pray! But make sure that you are doing what you do know has told you to do first.

Let me  pray for us.
Dear Lord, I pray that You will show me any areas of my life where I have not obeyed or am not obeying You. I’ll admit, there are some areas You don’t even need to tell me about. I know I haven’t obeyed. There are things in my life that You’ve told me to let go of and I’ve held onto them. There are people that You have told me to reach out to whom I’ve ignored. There are steps of faith that You’ve called me to take and I’ve hung back. Show me, Lord. And give me the courage to live in obedience to what I DO KNOW, before asking for direction in areas that I DON”T.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Some of you are mad at me right now. I don’t blame you. This is a hard lesson. Philip didn’t like it and honestly, sometimes I don’t like I either. But I love you too much to tickle your ears with fluff rather than give you meat to chew.

So here we go: Is there any area of your life where you know that you are living in disobedience to God. Are you willing to make a change? If so, click on the comment box and write “yes.” Let the typing of that 1 little word begin the journey of obeying what you know to do.

Want more?
To learn more about living fully and free in Christ, see my book, Becoming Spiritually Beautiful. While you’re there, check out all the free resources of the Free Resource page.

 

73 Responses to Knock, Knock! Is Anybody There? Part 3

  1. Krystal Hunter April 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Yes

  2. Danielle April 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Yes

  3. Amanda Larmer April 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Yes

  4. Stacey Jackson April 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    YES!!!!!

  5. Karla April 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Yes!

  6. Cyn April 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Yes

    • Simon r.pam June 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      Yes

  7. Ester April 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Yes! Thank you for that great lesson. Probably many have told you the same, but God has really used your hands to write with His healing and liberating power on them. God bless you.

  8. Joy-Lynn Murphy April 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Yes

  9. SueAnn April 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    yes

  10. tammie April 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    yes

  11. Nancy April 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Yes!

  12. Carla Robinson April 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    yes

  13. Mia April 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Yes

  14. Judy April 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Yes ….thank you Sharon

  15. Melissa April 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    yes

  16. Lisa April 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Yes

  17. willa eklund April 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Yes

  18. Jackie Ree April 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Yes !

  19. Emily April 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    yes

  20. yes April 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Authorine April 17,2012

  21. Misti Langley April 17, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    yes

  22. Sharon April 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Dear Sharon, love your name!! My parents named me after the Rose of Sharon in the Bible. I’ve always loved my name because of that. I do have a comment or maybe a question about Knock Knock part1. Are you saying that we as believers always need to wait on the Lord before we go or do? I want to make sure I understood it correctly. I have been a believer for 29 years and do believe we always need to take everything to the Lord in prayer and supplication and get confirmation in HIS WORD, but I believe many believers have taken scripture and used it for an excuse or crutch NOT to do or go because they are “waiting on the Lord to tell them what to do”. The Lord tells us to GO and DO in HIS NAME. He will bless whatever we do if we are doing it wholeheartedly for HIM and furthering HIS kingdom. That being said does not mean we don’t go to the Lord first as I mentioned above but if we are believers, we are in God’s Sovereign will 24-7. Thank you for your time, your amazing love for God and the amazing devotionals you put forth. They are truly a huge blessing in my life and many others. I forward them to many family and friends. Sincerely in HIM, Sharon

  23. veronica ndiranguj April 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    YES

  24. Mary April 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Yes, thankyou for this great lesson.

  25. lorna April 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    My husband has been having an affair for three years and I have stood by him and praye3d for him everyday. He now wants a divorce but still live together. I have asked God what to do and He has finally said to begin tough love with my husband.It is extremely difficult for me to do this but I am trusting that God will get me through this and hopefully restore my marriage with a wonderful man I call MY HUSBAND.

  26. Delores April 18, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    YES

  27. nina April 18, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Yes!

  28. Carole April 18, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    YES

  29. Winnie April 18, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    YES

  30. Elaine April 18, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Yes. I have been encouraged by God through your lesson, to obey that which He has already asked me to do…

  31. TJ April 18, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    YES

  32. Lynda April 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    YES!

  33. Shelley April 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I was reading today’s blog on girlfriends, and can relate to the thought of praise helping David to overcome his foes, BUT…what about when God’s will seems to be the foe? He could help me through, but he chooses not to. I know I don’t deserve any special treatment, I’m no David…but it’s hard to praise when you feel like no one is on your side, not even The Father.
    Guess I should sign this–Debbie Downer…AKA Jobette

    • Sharon April 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      The thing is, God IS on your side. He is always working in your best interest, even though it may not feel like it. Joseph’s life is a great example. He was thrown in a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of attempted rape, thrown into prision, and forgotten by his freed inmates. However, the Bible says that God was with Him the whole time. He finally ended up being the second in command in Egypt. The govenor, so to speak. God had a plan all along. His troubles and trials are what He used to build his character and get him where he needed to be. Check it out. Great story. Genesis 39-50.

  34. michele April 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    YES, YES

  35. Detria April 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Yes! I always enjoy reading your emails!

  36. Annalisa April 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    I’ve read several of your books and have gleaned much from them. Unfortunately, I read them AFTER my marriage was a casualty of divorce. Former spouse decided a girlfriend would be a good idea, but I pushed him towards her in my behavior. The thing is, I sometimes delete your devos, because I feel like I screwed up and am not worthy, since I’m no longer married. I’m glad I’ve been reading the ones on God not answering a prayer. I had to go to work, for the first time in my married life, because former spouse left me, with the kids and bills. I have hated my job since the day I got it. I’ve been praying for at least a year for God to provide a different one for me. I’m a Christian, attend church and try to do the right things in life. Why wasn’t God answering my prayer? After reading your devo, I decided to see what I was NOT doing right first. How about cussing at work? That’s HUGE for someone who professes to be a Christian! So, thank God, I haven’t cussed since Easter. Wow, a whole week! Not much to be proud of, but I’m hoping by at least trying to do the right thing, God will lead me to another job that I really enjoy going to… Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Sharon April 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      You go girl! Not cussing for a whole week when that has been your MO is huge. What comes out of our mouths is so important. I’d like to send you a copy of The Power of a Woman’s Words as a gift to celebrate with you! Email me your address at sharon@localhost/sjold and I’ll send it to you right away!

  37. Anissa April 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    yes!!

  38. nan April 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Yes

  39. HaydenMango April 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Yes

  40. Toni April 19, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    Yes.. only with you Lord by my side. I believe you will restore my marriage and you want me to stand for my marriage. I will..

  41. Cristy April 19, 2012 at 2:51 am #

    Yes…

  42. ann April 19, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    yes, there are alot of things that i have to give to god, i am just learning all the important things about being a christian. I was saved last year thanks to my mom. She invited me to go to her church and see what i thought of it. The very first time i went i felt like everything our pastor was saying was directed at me. It all hit home with me. My daughter now goes with us as well and she is learning as well, she goes to teen group, bible study on sunday mornings before service and also bible study on thursday nights as well, she is even involved in the soup kitchen at our church, she is only 13 but it is amazing the difference not only in myself but my daughter as well. God really is amazing.

    • Sharon April 19, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      That is awesome! What a great mom!

  43. Onaola April 19, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    YES

  44. Margie M April 19, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    YES

  45. Marie April 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Yes

  46. Carla April 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Yes

  47. Marjorie April 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    yes,,he knows and always kows where and when I need him most,

  48. Marjorie April 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    yes,,he knows and always knows where and when I need him most,

  49. Marjorie April 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    yes.

  50. Sharla April 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Yes, tithing I have a big family and my money always seem to be shorter than r needs and wants. So I am always afraid to tithe. I don’t mind giving some but not the whole ten percent but I am going to try this paycheck.

  51. Joni April 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    yes…….

  52. Jo Ann April 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    YES

  53. Keo April 24, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Yes!!God has long told me to forgive my sister and make peace with her.but each time i tell myself that i am going to do so,something gets in the way or i simply lack the courage to confront her.but after reading this,i felt that god is yet again saying something to me,that not only do i need to do it but that i should also be mindful of time.thank you so much,i feel inspired.god bless you:)

  54. Sheila April 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Yes…..

  55. lje April 25, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    yes

  56. Shuquin F. April 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    YES

  57. Patrice April 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Yes

  58. Judy mutuku April 26, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Yes.My life had been hell since childhood,brought up by a single father then later a step mom comes in.She makes ma life even harder….i feel that my heart is coated wit….i don know wat to say….hatred or something.Now am 24 n i got saved ’10 but things r still goin in a wrong way.Last yr i was to get married but the mans parent got in,they had a negative perspective of me,we separeted but i still love him…he was confused too but later said that was goin to listen to his parents.since then i lost my job then him now am very confused n i also have many unanswerd question .I always wish that one could b having a face to face comm with the most High coz am very prayerful n many things am not answered.

  59. Ann April 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Yes, I truly want the Lord to answer my prayers about my family. I love my husbad and chiildren & grandchildren. And I think my husband (who is a believer) does too but not enough to make things right. He has distanced himself from them but does not keep me from being with them. (And they are there for him at times of illness.) There is an issue in his life that he has been confronted with by the family, church staff and even casual accquantances have noticed. But he says he is misunderstood and has done nothing wrong. He has turned away from a wonderful Bible church that we have gone to for a long time. However he does attend another good church.
    We all have prayed for the last five years but God seems silent.
    As far as I know I am living for the Lord and in obedience but sometimes we don’t really see ourselves as we should. Ann

  60. Donna May 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    yes

  61. ester May 2, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    YES

  62. kate May 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    There was a very close friend of mine that was like sister to me, always having problems with her husband.I use to encourage her,telling her never to leave her husband,and I have never said any bad thing against her husband but encouraging her with bible quotations, all of a sudden,she and her same husband starded insulting me face to face, I BECAME confused.I ask her please have I DONE anything rong?She replied agrasively not and so what.Later I started hearing many things about me that I know very well that it was only her that I told.I went again and ask her, she wanted to fight with me.Please help me in prayers so that I can forgget about this confusions.Thanks.

  63. Cheri McDonald May 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Yes

  64. Rita-Ann May 8, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Yes

  65. ROSLYN WRIGHT May 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    YES

  66. McKenzie B May 17, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    Yes!!!
    I have suffered from anxiety attacks in the past that usually come on at night resulting in a dependency on Tylenol Pm to avoid any possibilities. God has slowly brought me to a place of realizing He is the only thing I should depend on. He is so faithful. Tonight will be my first night without it!! And Sharon thank you so much not only for this lesson but your entire series on taking every thought captive. My mind is definitely where the devil attacks me and his lies are what brings on my attacks. Girlfriends in God has helped so much in my struggle!! Truly grateful! God bless!

  67. Sheryl June 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Yes

  68. Venus July 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I can’t tell you how timely this was and how much it was needed!! God is good. I can’t wait to meet you at our conference in September!!

  69. Dawnette Palfrey May 5, 2016 at 10:05 am #

    Sharon,

    Well I do believe that what I said in response to Part 2 about this being the devotional God has me reading now instead of back in 2012 is more true than ever!! My things that I am praying for primarily being centered around forgiveness and your words in part 3 literally took my breath away as I read them. I will be changing the way I pray for these areas of forgiveness as I believe that forgiving someone that isn’t asking for it is that hardest forgiveness to give and for that I need to pray for the ability and compassion to give this uninvited forgiveness. How to feel worthy or how to pray for this is beyond me so I guess that is what I will pray for….Him to change my thinking and truly feel that I am worthy. Thank you for your words and beautiful devotionals, you are truly a gift to me from God.

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