If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you, (John 15:7, NIV).
I am blessed with some very special nieces and nephews. One of my favorite people in the world is my niece, Grace Anne. After college, Grace Anne served two years with a mission organization, teaching Physical Education in the Dominican Republic. Those two years were very different and difficult for Gracie. She didn’t have the luxury of hot showers, fast food, or texting. Her apartment was sparse, her friends were few, and her trips to the mall were non-existent.
(My son, Steven, and Grace Anne in picture.)
But while Grace Anne didn’t have the luxuries and modern conveniences that we so take for granted, she did have the indulgence of a quieter life, a beautiful mountainous vista, and an increased proclivity to hearing God’s voice without the carnal clattering of our fast-paced society.
One day, Grace Anne e-mailed me about what God was teaching her. Let me share these wise words from one so young.
Hi Aunt Sharon,
I hope your Monday morning is going well so far! I haven’t started having class yet, so I thought that I would share with you something I have been reminded of lately.
I was reading Streams in the Desert the other day and read the scripture from Genesis 24:15, 26-27. “Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder…Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, saying, ‘Praise be to the Lord … who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness.'”
I couldn’t remember the whole story from that scripture so I looked it up and was reminded of the great story of Abraham’s servant being obedient and putting his faith in God to provide a wife for Isaac.
Before the servant was even finished praying his request to God, God answered the prayer! I was reminded, “When we ask in faith and in Christ’s name–that is, in oneness with Him and His will–it will be given you,” (John 15:7). Since God’s Word cannot fail, whenever we meet these simple conditions, the answer to our prayer has already been granted and is complete in heaven as we pray, even though it may not be revealed on earth until much later. When we believe God for a blessing, we must have an attitude of faith and begin to act and pray as if the blessing were already ours.”
Reading this was such an encouraging reminder for me that when I make a request to God, I shouldn’t pray and then say to myself, “I hope that gets taken care of,” or “I hope it works out.” I should have confidence that “even before I am finished making my request, the Lord has already answered it.” I just need to wait patiently!
Well, I guess I needed to be reminded of it again, because this morning was touching on the same subject. The Scripture was, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this,” (Psalm 37:5). The author of Streams in the Desert says, “The literal meaning of this verse is “Roll your way onto Jehovah and trust upon Him, and He works. This brings to our attention the immediacy of God’s action once we commit, or ‘roll’ any burdens of any kind from our hands to His.”
But if we don’t commit and trust that when we roll it over to him it will be taken care of, He cannot do this. He goes on to say, “Our expectation that He will work is the very thing enabling the Holy Spirit to accomplish what we have ‘rolled’ onto Him.’ At that point it is out of our grasp, and we are not to try to do it ourselves! HE WORKS! Take comfort from this and do not try to PICK IT UP AGAIN! What a relief it is knowing that He really is at work on our difficulty.”
How many times I try to pick up that “thing” again once I have already prayed about it. Why in the world? I have no idea!
Psalm 57:2 says “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.” Another translation says, “He will perform the cause I hold in my hand.” So the very thing “I hold in my hand,” my classes today, preparing to come home in the summer, getting this new apartment, worrying about my finances, “this is what I can ‘cry out’ for Him to do ‘for me’, with the calm assurance He will perform it.”
Oh how I love this girl. And how I love our LORD who is using her to teach the world, and her Aunt Sharon, to have a greater faith in God.
Dear Lord, Help me to have faith to believe that even as I utter a prayer, You are in the process of answering. Thank you for caring about the smallest details of my life. Fulfill Your purpose in me, and give me the faith to be a willing vessel.
In Jesus’ Name,
What do You Think?
As you read this devotion, did you see areas that you had not completely given to the Lord?
Do you tend to pray for God to take control, and yet continue to attempt to make things move along on your own?
When you pray, do you truly believe that God will answer? If not, what stands in your way of believing God?
Write ten on-going prayer requests that you have in your life. Now, beside each one write today’s truth.
Now, leave a comment and say, “I rolled my burdens from my hands to His.”
Rolling our burdens from our hands to God’s hands is all about trust. And here’s the thing, you don’t have to understand all there is to know about God to trust Him! Mary, Gwen and I have written a 12-week devotional book titled Trusting God. We also have free videos to go along with each week on our website at www.girlfriendsinGod.com. This book is the perfect book to study with a friend or a group of friends. Check it out at www.localhost/sjold.