Faithful God

Good morning, friends! I hope y’all don’t mind me sharing praise and worship songs with you here. My heart has really been drawn closer to the Lord through some of these that I’ve been sharing and as always, I just hope to encourage each of you with things that I find uplifting and helpful. This is one that I shared with my sweet friend yesterday and found myself singing it again this morning and it’s really what prompted this blog post. I hope you listen and enjoy it.

If you heard our podcast yesterday (also found here on the blog), we talked about walking/living in the Spirit and how we can build ourselves up in our faith. We touched on prayer and I made a comment about us “praying expectantly—according to God’s will,” and I also talked about us standing on the character of God and even talking to our own hearts, reminding ourselves of His faithfulness and promises. This is something I want to get into a little more here today.

Firstly, let me say that I am not a person who believes in the prosperity Gospel/word of faith movement (“speak to your mountain and tell it to move and it MUST,” etc.). I do not believe that WE dictate anything to God. He is absolutely, positively, 100% sovereign and in control of His creation (us), and He has every right in the world as our Creator to dictate and decree every single aspect of our lives according to His will. So please don’t misunderstand me on this…God will determine how He answers (or doesn’t answer) our prayers.

Having said this, it is our privilege, right, and duty as children of God to bring Him everything in prayer. As I said in our conversation on the podcast (if you didn’t get to listen, please go do that so you have the reference of all that I’m talking about…it’s really good—we think!), us taking everything to Him in prayer shows our dependence on Him. It says, “not my will, but YOURS be done, Father.” It tells Him we trust Him, not ourselves. And not only that, but that we love Him and value Him. That we WANT and invite His presence into every part of our life. This is the relationship we all should have with Him—Father and son/daughter…the most intimate and loving, dependent relationship we can experience on this earth. And through Jesus, we have 24/7 unhindered, unlimited access to our Daddy and to His throne of grace.

So my point was that our responsibility is to bring all of our requests, needs, burdens, problems, intercession for others to Him knowing that He wants us to and tells us to. We also come to Him in confession and repentance so that we have clean hands and a pure heart before Him. And the most important aspect of our prayer life should be praise and worship for Who He is and thanksgiving for all He’s done, is doing, and will do. (This is not the order of prayer I use, it’s actually backwards but I was building to this point I’m about to make. We will be talking about the “how to” of prayer later today on a YouTube video as we do a prayer walk with all of you…please join us for that!)

We can only come to God expectantly when we truly believe and trust that He is ALWAYS good, ALWAYS faithful, ALWAYS trustworthy, right?? No matter how He chooses to act in response to the prayers we pour out to Him. We EXPECT that He is going to do what HE knows is best. Because we don’t see the big picture, but He does…again, He is sovereign and all-knowing. We are not. There are some things that we pray and ask for in our limited understanding and existence that He knows ultimately isn’t in our best interest in the grand scheme of things, or in the best interest of those that we are praying for. Now, having said that, we all know that salvation prayers are most definitely in His will as He “desires that none should perish but come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), but inside of His will is also OUR free will. Every person has the freedom of choice to believe on the name of Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, confess and follow Him as Lord and Savior for the rest of their days. As those who have made this decision already, our prayers for those who have not yet are invaluable to this end. We get to intercede on their behalf for the absolute most important matter that we can ever bring before our Father in Heaven. Does this mean He’s “obligated” to answer though? No! Of course not. He’s not obligated to do anything. But in His great love and mercy and kindness and grace and compassion toward us, He hears us and He determines how to respond.

I believe that an important part of growing in our prayer life is building trust and confidence in the Lord, REGARDLESS of us seeing prayers answered or not. Again, as I always come back to, we must build ourselves up in our faith by believing He is Who He says He is. He is NOT a genie in a bottle, just there to grant our every request. No! He is Holy, Mighty, Alpha and Omega, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Judge, THE GREAT I AM, so we should only come to Him in awe and reverence and humility.

He is faithful. No matter what. He is good. No matter what. He is true. No matter what. He is loving. No matter what. He is trustworthy. No matter what. He is pure. No matter what. He knows best. No matter what. We do not. Our experiences do not determine His goodness or His sovereignty, in any way. Period.

I speak to my own heart regularly about these matters. I hope and pray this speaks to yours today too and that I’ve given you something to chew on. I have 14 years’ worth of very important (literal life or death) prayers for every one of my most beloved family members-parents, siblings, children, etc.) that have yet to be answered. Have I given up? Absolutely not. I will never. I will go to my grave or meet Jesus one day with all of these prayers still in my heart and pouring them out to Him because I know that He is good, He is listening, and He’s always at work. He’s working in MY heart, growing my dependence on and trust in Him, teaching me patience and endurance. He’s also orchestrating things in their lives to bring them to a place that they are ready to meet Him in brokenness and surrender.

There are many other things that we pray for besides salvation. We pray for healing, deliverance, circumstantial prayers (“please change this, do this, etc.”) and again, we must keep in mind that God wants us to be specific in how we pray to Him, but I also think He wants us to remember that He’s in control and He knows best. So yes, I usually pray “according to Your will, Lord.”

I know this is getting long and I hope I’ve been clear and am well understood in my message today. In all things, let’s remember His goodness and faithfulness. As this song says, are you convinced of this? Are you persuaded? Have you settled this in your heart? We must.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

I am surrounded
On every side, can’t see the light of day
But I am persuaded
Beyond all hope, You won’t let go of me
I stake my claim
On every word You say
You will not be late

I will sing through fire and thunder
Cause You are on my side
I trust You with my life
I know my story, it isn’t over
Even against all odds
You are a faithful God
You’re a faithful God

The darkest of weather
Though I can’t see, I still believe You’re good
So I’m moving forward
Through crashing waves, I know I’m safe with You
You hold my life
You hear my cry
With every breath inside

I will sing through fire and thunder
Cause You are on my side
I trust You with my life
I know my story, it isn’t over
Even against all odds
You are a faithful God
That’s who You are
You are a faithful God

I am convinced
That Your promises will hold together
And I will dwell
In the hope of Your love forever
I am convinced
That Your promises will hold together
And I will dwell in Your love

I will sing through fire and thunder
Cause You are on my side
I trust You with my life
I know my story, it isn’t over
Even against all odds
You are a faithful God
That’s who You are
You are a faithful God
You’re a faithful God

Amen.

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