Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 85

Answered Prayers continued...

Daniel 2:20-22, “Daniel answered and said: ‘Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him.”

Daniel 4:35, “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, no one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘what have You done?’”

Two very different men speak of God, as they perceive Him, and they both come to the same conclusion. First, Daniel speaks of the Lord, and sees Him as He rightly is, the One who changes the times and the seasons, who removes and raises up kings, who reveals deep and secret things, and knows what is in the darkness.

The second man to speak of God was Nebuchadnezzar, a man who had just spent an unknown amount of time having his wits and mind taken from him, becoming insane in word and deed, eating grass like oxen until his hair grew like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Since it will inevitably be pointed out, yes, Daniel did say that seven periods of time would pass over Nebuchadnezzar, but we cannot say with certainty that these periods of time are years. Although the accepted theory is that Nebuchadnezzar spent seven years roaming about in his insanity, what we know with certainty is that it was a long enough stretch of time wherein his hair grew long, and his nails became as claws.

The conclusion Nebuchadnezzar comes to after being humbled, sounds very similar to that which Daniel had come to, in that God does according to His will, and no one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘what have You done?’.

Yes, God is sovereign, meaning He possesses supreme and ultimate power, and permanent authority.

Knowing that God changes not, we can readily conclude He is the same God today, as He was in Daniel’s time, the God who possesses the selfsame power and authority as He did then.

Who can restrain His hand? Who can dictate, or demand of He who is eternally and perpetually sovereign?

Yes, we’re still on this particular tangential topic, because it is one that is making its rounds throughout the household of faith with disturbing consistency.

God does according to His will and not according to the whims, wants and desires of you or I.

The fact that He hears our prayers and answers them, the fact that His love is such that He cares for us and provides for our needs, is grace in its purest form – but we are neither entitled to or deserving of the grace that is shown us by the omnipotent God of all.

I cannot twist God’s arm into answering my prayer, I cannot threaten God into answering my prayer, nor can I browbeat God into answering my prayer. What I can do is pray according to His will and purpose for my life, and accept that which He gives me as what’s best for me even if my flesh might disagree.

We trust in His strength, knowing He is able. We trust in His wisdom, knowing He will never steer us wrong. And we trust in His love, knowing He makes all things beautiful in their time.

In order for me to pray in the name of Jesus, and in accordance with the will of the Father, I must first and foremost know the will of the Father. God has a moral standard which is in conformity with His character. From the beginning, God established and defined the path upon which He expects all those who call on His name to walk.

We discover God’s standard, as well as the path He has traced for us in His word, and as such no man can justify or excuse his choice to disregard or otherwise abandon God’s pre-established boundaries.

In knowing the moral will of God, His answer to our prayers will always be in conformity with His character.

Simply put, if I believe God to be eternal, and I believe His will to likewise be eternal, then the answer He will give to my prayers will inevitably be through the prism of eternity. God’s answer to prayer is not limited to the temporal or temporary, and so He does not answer prayers through the prism of the temporal. He is eternal, His will is eternal, and as such He answers prayers through the prism of eternity.

God will answer a prayer in such a way wherein the answer will be to our eternal benefit, and not our temporary profit.

Another of God’s attributes, and an indispensable part of His character, is His holiness. The Bible speaks of God’s holiness often, and very poignantly, and as such when He answers our prayers, we already know that He will do so through the prism of His holiness.

We also know that God is just, and in possessing this knowledge, we already know that God will answer our prayers in accordance with His justice.

We cannot petition God for something, pray that His will be done, and expect Him to answer our petition when that which we asked for was not in accordance with His holiness, His justice, and had no eternal underpinnings. When we pray in accordance with God’s will, our prayers must be in harmony with God’s character and nature, for His will, His character, and His nature are one.

Psalm 11:7, “For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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