Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Walking by faith and under precise direction

Matthew 7:7-8
7 “Ask (Keep on asking), and it will be given to you; seek (keep on seeking), and you will find; knock (keep on knocking), and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

That is Jesus' instruction to his disciples. For these promises to be fulfilled, it is implied that one is walking in the will of God and is his child able to receive his precise direction (Romans 8:9; 14-17).

Faith comes by hearing, so we have made an audio (mp3) version of this message available for download:

1 John 5:14-15
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

John 15:7-8
7 If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you. 8 In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

John 16:24
Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.


Receiving precise instruction:

John 21:3-6
3 Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They told him, “We are also coming with you.” They went out, and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing. 4 But when day had already come, Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus therefore said to them, “Children, have you anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “CAST THE NET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BOAT, AND YOU WILL FIND.” They cast it therefore, and now they weren’t able to draw it in for the multitude of fish.

Remember, Jesus said, "Seek and you shall find" (Matthew 7:7). So He is there also to direct you if your life is submitted to Him. The right place and the right time are not things to fret about when you have believed in God for something. No need to "put yourself out there" where you have not been called to be, or even to "sell yourself" (sadly, we speak in those terms when we walk in darkness and may not even know what light looks like!) But God is above time and space. You cannot miss what He has in store for you because He cannot miss you (He cannot fail to find you in the place or the situation you are in). It's up to Him to place you where you need to be and in the circumstances that you need to be in. Yes, that does sound like you aren't the one in control here, and that's exactly how it works with Him who is called your "Lord" that you have submitted your life to. He is in control and He is not limited by anything other than your own faith and willingness to cooperate (obey) to bring something to pass in your life about which you are holding on to his promise. Be diligent only to ensure that you have ears to hear Him and that you do all under his direction.

In the example above with Jesus and the disciples who were fishing, his instruction that He gave them was to be obeyed immediately, not the next day, in a week or six months later. But it must be noted that typically, while a promise of God will involve precise instructions to you as the beneficiary, it will also involve a waiting time that may be longer than the time it took the disciples to draw a net full of fish for instance. That waiting time will be for your preparation. Even if you think you are ready, you may want to be praying to God to make you ready and you should stand ready to receive wisdom. As you are waiting on God's promise, you may need to learn to be still and rest in Him, and so prove that you believe and trust Him to do the walk with Him and won't run to "other options" like Abraham did (Genesis 15, 16, 17, 18:1-15). What you have believed in must be already a reality to you in your heart (Mark 11:24; Hebrews 11:1). You should have an increasing sense of that as you go on praying. Your faith will increase and you will reach points of no return in it. That will come only with fervent prayer. And you will stand and wait on God (Isiah 40:31) like there is no other option, and also will stand in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3) like you are assured that it's only a matter of time before you see what God will do in your life. You must be thus strengthened and made ready so your catch* does not break your net** or your net does not ruin the catch in some way. Those scenarios would not be in God's perfect plan so He would make you ready according to his perfect will. That would involve trials to refine you, transform you by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-2), and thus conform you to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

* ** We use "catch" as an analogy to God's promise applicable to you and "net" as an analogy to your state of readiness to receive the blessing and be a blessing yourself (with God, the purpose of being blessed, even with a unique blessing applicable to unique you is never selfish).

Walking by faith:

Your faith really will be the bright light that will lighten your path as you are waiting on God. As God calls you to a walk of faith, don't go and do things without faith and sin and have Jesus reproach you, saying: "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:31) You may lack faith (e.g. have fears) or lack patience. Both are fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). You will need both to remain standing where and how you need to be standing. Laboring in prayer will strengthen your core. For instance, you can pray Ephesians 3:14-19 for yourself, at the first person, to help with your walk.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Going God's way:

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

Be praying also that God does not let you go a way that only seems right to you! That is easy if indeed Jesus is your Lord (and you are not trying to be lord of your own life). If rather than denying yourself (Luke 9:23) and decreasing (John 3:30), you are boasting about "being you" and "doing you" as they say, God will surely resist you, for He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5-7; Matthew 23:12). If you have repented and followed Jesus, then you know God, you have no "trust issues" with Him and no doubts that He wants your best. You must believe Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to those who love God, whatever you may see or go through, and give God thanks always (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Don't doubt after you have believed (Mark 11:24) and don't quit praying as taught by Jesus (e.g. Luke 11:5-13; Luke 18:1-8). Remember, you are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). And you need to have a heart that is ready to obey God in all.

Obeying the Gospel / Following Jesus:

Mark 1:14-15
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.”

Luke 9:23
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Luke 6:46
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?

Seek God first:

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (you need) shall be added to you.

Psalm 143:10
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.

Psalm 23:1-3
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

John 8:12
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Have the right heart before God:

Psalm 26:2
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.

James 4:2-4
2 You desire, and do not have. You kill, covet, and cannot obtain. You fight and make war. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask, and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures. 4 You adulterers and adulteresses (spiritually unfaithful towards God), do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God (1 John 2:15-17)?

But let this be your testimony, dear beloved:
"I have asked. I have believed. I have received!"

So be busy praying and bringing God's will to happen in your life for his glory!

John 9:31
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.

If you identify yourself as a sinner to this day ("saved by grace" or otherwise), please see this post:

May Jesus bless you!


See also:
Asking, not chasing

Asking, seeking and knocking, with faith and patience

Perseverance, Persistence, Patience (a word study)

Love not the world (If you are worldly, you are not spiritual)

I can't

Pray and hope for the best

Faith in Jesus

Abiding in the Teaching of Christ

Hearing half the Gospel message

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