Today’s exhortation is an outline on how to receive and submit to the will of God as it pertains to our desires. Do you submit yourself to His will or to your own intellect? Can you tell the difference? Here is the challenge—know God AND how to respond to Him appropriately when He says, YES or NO!
Ready? Let’s begin….
God’s Yes is Yes … His No is No—
Here is a strong piece of advice—learn to know when the Lord says ‘no’ … and be content with His answer—His ‘no’ is eternal … He cannot change. We needed to stress this up front because many think God will change His mind from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ but He cannot be intimidated. With God ‘no’ means ‘no’ forever.
It is not difficult to know His will (if you belong to Him, of course). But it may take a little while for it (His will) to manifest itself. God does not operate on our time but by His own will … so hang in there!😊
The pure hearted will know and receive God’s answer—they/we strive to have a firm grip on His—authority, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, grace, word, will, character, and ways … just to name a few of the adjectives He established to help put (and keep) us on track to respond to His will, accordingly. But, there is a qualifier—discipleship.
The Nevertheless Clause—
We know God’s will through discipleship in order to stay far away from what is NOT His will, and be bent closer to His will and grace; we learn to be obedient disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ as we understand His will; we also receive His answer without regard to our own desire.
We like to call it—the nevertheless clause. It is what Jesus asked of the Father in the garden of Gethsemane the night which led to His crucifixion “…let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39). We can ask the Lord for what is desired but His will overrides ours. Why? Well, first and foremost He is God! Second, we have learned to love Him more than our propensities …and… our love for Him is the product of obedience and fear through discipleship.
“And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”
Even if His will is for us to receive our desire, we must wait because:
- we will need to know if He really approved or if we thought He did;
- we may need more knowledge to understand what is His will concerning our request;
- we may need reinforcements to guide us through the fulfillment of His will;
- we will need to rejoice in Him as we wait for the petition we desired of Him to come to pass;
- we may need Him to send a designate to help us understand how to wait….
Simply put, we may need the Lord to take us by the hand and guide us step by step as it was when He led the children of Israel across the Red Sea, and into the wilderness by Moses His servant. Today, the pastors God gives feeds us with knowledge and understanding to endure the waiting periods….
Peace Surrounded By Opposition—
Here is another aspect of the concept stop … that ain’t God perspective. When the Lord’s grace is upon you to receive your request—but not yet. You may feel surrounded by doubt because it is your first time to know His will (or one of the early times) as you wait for it to come to pass; you will be troubled on every side but at peace with Him all at once.
That’s right! You will experience God’s peace which passeth all understanding. He is able to keep your heart and mind safe and sound in Himself while you are seemingly (or actually) surrounded by heated opposition.
One question—if you ask the Lord, how can you be at peace with Him and surrounded by opposition in the same moment? Answer. He gave you His Spirit of grace and His strong confidence to take fast hold of; He also renewed your strength to endure the wait and gave you His peace the world cannot give …and… which passeth all understanding. You see, we waste no time trying to figure this out, but strive to make full use of our confidence in what God said.
Impatient or Hindered—
On the flip side, you may be impatient and attempt to move early. Then the grace will leave (without your knowledge at first) until there seems to be a type of blockage. Well, it is a message from the Lord. Stop … that ain’t God! What ain’t God? It ain’t God to take it upon yourself to move early.
Please know and understand, this is not the same as one hindered by Satan like Paul was on his way to visit the Thessalonians.
“But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.”
—1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
The word ‘hindered’ means, to detain; to impede one’s course by cutting off his way. You probably did not think the Lord would not ever allow His servants to be detained by the devil, but He does (especially His anointed preachers) …and… sometimes it may be coupled with the ‘thorn in the flesh’ they/we must endure (2 Corinthians 12:7).
Obstruction of the Lord’s Justice—
It is the nature of the devil to obstruct the godly works of God’s pulpit leaders. Therefore, we remember to pray for them (the sent by God) that His word will have free course and be glorified in them and in their lives as they minister unto us the word of truth, which is able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus—they preach and teach us in all wisdom; so they (pastor/bishop) may present us perfect in Christ Jesus.
Other times of detainments in scripture came from men motivated by the devil. One example is Daniel—he waited extra time to receive the Lord’s answer.
“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”
The word ‘withstood’ refers to one who sets themself in a place to block another from passing through, which is a prelude to hinderance. The idea is to cause such a delay to dissuade one’s confidence in God’s will—so that they may doubt the fulfillment of His promise. If the enemy can cause the hold up to receive a desire from the Lord to out-last an individual’s life—he will do just that (if it is allowed by the Lord).
God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us. How much of God’s power is at work in you? More than the hinderances of the enemy? Or, have you not yet (in your patience) possessed your soul? Do you know what that means?
It is best if we (with patience) possess our soul (Luke 21:19). The word ’possess’ means to keep oneself under control; it is a precept to ‘keep under our body and bring it into subjection’ (1 Corinthians 9:27). The idea of ‘keep under’ is used (figuratively) to subdue one’s passions. How well one keeps self under control will determine their level of patience. What’s your take?
We know that tribulation worketh patience (Romans 5:3). Yes sir, yes ma’am—to suffer is required while we wait:
- Patience … is one pressure we must endure (and please NEVER ask God for patience … some of us learned that one the hard way).
- Keep under our body and bring it into subjection … is a discipline we must suffer and maintain for good works and necessary uses.
- Works every time!
Learn to love the will of God over-and-above your own will with humility. That’s how Jesus did it; that’s how Moses, the prophets, Paul and the apostles did it. We follow their lead to reap the same results—God glorified AND we reign with Him, forever.
God Nudges Us—
If you get frustrated because your request have not arrived the Lord will (in that tough moment) nudge you to stop … that ain’t God. Worry is NOT an option, folks!
The nudge from the Lord will have you turn off (so to speak) anxiety and frustration; but turn on the joy set before you, and the gladness to know you have the petition you desired of Him AND the endurance to wait with Him for time to catch up to what He said.
The Lord gave (you and I) the figurative concept of wings as an eagle to soar above the ‘snake line’ (if you will) …and… God also renewed our strength to run and not be weary, and to walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Special Note: The concept of the ‘snake line’ typifies the inability of a snake to handle high altitudes—the thin air will eventually cause them to choke to death. They live and thrive in thick air and heated temperatures in lower altitudes. The idea for us is we can wait upon the Lord in a safe place until time catches up to what He said.
Remember those in scripture who “…having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise…”
The anticipation to receive from God is a joyful moment for all who trust in Him AND it is worth the delay. NOW … THAT IS GOD!!!
In Christ We Do Remain
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