Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I've been quoting these verses for years but discovered today that they are about God's quest to restore prodigals!

The first part is rather obvious.

"Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6, 7).

The very next verses are often quoted separately and used in all types of situations. " 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,' says the LORD. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts' " (vv. 8, 9). These words are true in all situations, but God's desire is that His people return to Him so that He can have mercy on them and abundantly pardon them, but they do have to forsake ways and thoughts that are not in harmony with His.

Then the very next verses talk about God's plan to bring back the lost. " 'For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it' " (vv. 10, 11). The rain and the snow accomplish what God sends it to do, and so will the Word. Salvation is accomplished through hearing the Word! Romans 10:13-14 says, "For 'whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?' "

You may be thinking that your prodigal has already heard, but some have even stopped believing in their Creator God. At the very least, they do not trust Him to give them the abundant life that Jesus came to provide. They all need to know Who He is, the God that the Bible reveals Him to be. They need to hear the Word, and they need for the Word they have already heard to accomplish God's purpose in their lives. Let's pray against any hindrance.

The Father wants all to come to Him, to be in fellowship with Him (2 Peter 3:9).

Prayer: Our Father, our prodigals have ways and thoughts that are not in harmony with yours. I thank You that they have had the Word preached to them in times past, and I pray that the Word which they have already heard with take root and grow, producing fruit 30, 60, 100 fold (Matthew 13:8). I also ask that You send laborers each day that will gently speak the Word to them (2 Timothy 2:25). If You want to use me, LORD, give me Your words for that moment and the opportunity. And Holy Spirit, You know the people I will encounter today, and You know the ones with hearts prepared to receive the Word. Give me words and opportunities to speak to them and to be the answer to another mother's/father's prayer. I pray against any hindrance in the lives of our prodigals that may be keeping them from salvation. I pray against "arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of [You]" and that "every thought" will be brought "into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Elastigirl

Elastigirl is Mr. Incredible's wife. Her superpower is stretching. She stretches to reach things that are otherwise unreachable, or to grab someone she loves to save that person from falling, or to hold on to someone for dear life.

That is what standing in the gap for a prodigal sometimes feels like. It feels like you are stretched too thin, so thin that you cannot possibly stretch any further, bridging the gap between God and your prodigal. You pray everything you can think to pray. You fight for time with them. Seeing that loved one in such bad shape hurts your heart horribly. You miss the person they were when they were with Christ. You miss who you know they will be when they accept Christ again. You miss the person that you know God has created them to be.

You want to mend relationships between your prodigal and others that love them so much but may be tired of the fight and the continued rejection received from the prodigal.

It is very difficult. The isolation created by the broken fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ puts a strain on even very special family times.

The word picture of Elastigirl stretched to bridge the vast gulf between God and that prodigal you love so much is exactly how it sometimes feels. The pain is so intense that you may not know how much more you can take.

THEN you read a promise in God's Word.
THEN you hear a song that lifts you.
THEN you are reminded of the personal promise God has given you.
THEN you witness a raindrop.
THEN you are reminded of a name or attribute of God that helps your unbelief or relieves your pain.
THEN you are given the strength to fight another day.

The fight is hard, BUT God is greater.
We sometimes feel weak, BUT He promised to be our strength.
The pain is intense, BUT God is our Healer, our Jehovah Rapha.

HE is our help.
HE is our rest.
HE is our joy.

We will continue to stand in the gap for our prodigals, because God is strong enough to save them.
Nothing is impossible with Him.


"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness' " (2 Corinthians 12:9).

"When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, 'Who then can be saved?' But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible' " (Matthew 19:25-26).


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Drought or Flood?
Sometimes the raindrops come in quick succession. Sometimes there is a flood. But sometimes it feels like a drought, that the heavens are closed up, that there is no evidence of God's hand changing our prodigals and moving them to salvation.
But they're not. The heavens are not closed up! God is working!
Let me give you some scriptures on which to stand.
Job 42:1-2 says, "Then Job answered the LORD and said: 'I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.' "
"So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him" (Isaiah 59:19).
"The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand" (Deuteronomy 28:12).
" 'Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it' " (Isaiah 45:8).
Keep praying! God is working! He promised!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sinews and Flesh

Ezekiel 37:1 tells us of the prophet: "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones" (KJV).

You may know the story of the valley of dry bones, how that they came alive again and were raised up to become a mighty army. But. . .

Before the breath came into them, "there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. . . . The flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above" (Ezekiel 37:7-8 KJV). However, they were still dead.

Perhaps our prodigals are in varying parts of this process. Perhaps their bones are coming together. Perhaps they already have sinews, or maybe their flesh is appearing again.

It is true that God can radically save a prodigal, but some seem to go through a preparation process before they give their life back to God.

This is exciting! I believe our prodigals are being prepared for salvation. God is answering our prayers on their behalf. We prayerfully await the day when the breath of God is breathed back into them and they are alive in Christ, part of "an exceeding great army" (v. 10 KJV).

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A friend sent this to me (posted with her permission):

“For the past month, I’ve found an excuse every Saturday morning to skip my workout to exercise videos. This morning, I decided to mow the lawn for my exercise. As I walked out on the lawn, I felt raindrops, and my first thought was to go back inside. Then I reminded myself that I just ate, so could not do my ‘regular’ exercise. I was determined to get some exercise today, so I made a decision to mow until the raindrops turned to shower. For the 50 minutes that I was outside there were intermittent raindrops, but no shower. The thought occurred to me that so many times, we ask God to provide showers of blessings, when all along he’s been providing raindrops of blessings. I thought the raindrops began as soon as I stepped outside, but it had been going on long before I got outside, and I just couldn’t see. Lord, please help me to be thankful for the raindrops, while you hold the showers for a later time.”
Isn't that good?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

You have known me to say, "Circumstances do not change the promise."

One day this week, God set me up.

I was preparing to take my morning prayer walk, and I felt God pulling me to go ahead and "read the red" before my walk. (If you normally read my blog, you know that I read a verse or more of the words of Jesus at morning and bedtime.) The verse that I read was Mark 5:39: "Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth" (KJV). The New King James Version reads, " 'Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.' "

What I did not know was that the moment I stepped out of my house I would step into circumstances that challenged God's promises to me and the overwhelming evidence that He has been answering prayers. My normal response to such evidence is to panic and worry that things are worse than I thought. I would usually go into intense prayer, begging God and trying to manipulate Him into doing things my way to make things "better."

A few seconds into my working into a frenzy, I remembered the verse and God's preparing me. Why was I extremely close to making a commotion? I have prayed and prayed, and God has answered in more ways that I know. I KNOW that He has this, that He is Faithful, and that I can trust Him.

There is no reason to panic! My prodigal "is not dead, but sleeping!"

That particular morning, I was reminded that I do not have to panic, I do not have to beg, and I do not have to manipulate. I simply have to ask. God is my Father. He loves me, and He has promised to give good gifts to me!

"Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Do not be afraid; only believe" (Mark 5:36).

These words have increased my faith.

In verse 22 of Mark 5, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came to Jesus to ask healing for his little girl. He actually fell at Jesus' feet and begged Him. So Jesus went with Jairus to his house.

On the way, Jesus was delayed by the woman who touched the hem of His garment, and while He was talking to her, someone from Jairus' house came to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" (Mark 5:35).

Does this sound familiar? Does satan lie to you saying there is no need to pray, that your prodigal is too far gone away from God, that he or she can never be saved, that you are wasting your time when you pray for him or her?

When Jesus heard those words, He said to Jairus, "Do not be afraid; only believe."

We've prayed. Jesus has been invited to work in the lives of our prodigals. When our faith is low, we just have to remember these words: "Do not be afraid; only believe." That is what Jesus said.

That is what He says to us. Do not be afraid; only believe.

When Jesus arrived at Jairus' house, there was a commotion, as we would expect. He said, "Why make this commotion and weep?" (Verse 39). Why do we trouble ourselves and fret when Jesus is on the job?

We know what He did next. He told the little girl to arise, and SHE DID!

I believe the LORD is saying that to all of our prodigals: "ARISE! Come back to life!"

And they will.

But in the meantime, do not be afraid. ONLY BELIEVE!