Abide In Him
Are my prayers and confessions in vain?
“Why do I cry out and it seems like God does not hear?
Why do I pray when it seems like the God of heaven does not answer?
Why do I confess His promises, yet they do not manifest in my life?”
“Is God’s word untrue? Untrustworthy?” “Is my faith to small?” or “am I in sin?”
These are the questions that many of us have. They pose both a sense of longing and confusion in each of our hearts. A yearning to understand and receive His promises yet confused by the lack of fulfillment of the blessed proclaimed word. We pray, we stand, we claim and confess.. yet nothing. Or at least at times, we get nothing. Since we know that God is good, and all the promises are yes and Amen, then why do things happen that seem contradictory to what we have been praying, believing and confessing?
Over the years I have watched, witnessed and experienced myself, heartache and sorrow over prayers and proclamations that seemed to have gone unheard by a loving hearing Father. People that we think die before their time. Some get healed, while others don't. People who prosper while poverty strikes another. Raging fists pointed upward to the heavens, as tragedy strikes while claiming the word of God. Backslidden Christians, broken promises left unfulfilled. Dismay in the hearts of people led to believe that all of God’s promises are yes and amen. But what if, perhaps we’ve missed the mark? What if we’ve lacked a key that opens the door to answered prayer and settled hearts? What if we’ve prayed our desires and not God’s?
2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (italics mine). All the promises of God are not yes and amen as I have heard preached and misquoted (as I did above). Instead, all the promises of God IN HIM are yes, and IN HIM amen, to the glory of God through us. IN HIM is what is missing, and to His glory--not ours. That word in is the word en, which means in, by, with… a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e., a relation of rest. In Him is a position, a place of rest. And it is only in Jesus that we find rest--no matter the situation. And it is just as we surrender to His will for His glory that our hearts are settled.
So what is the key I was talking about? Jesus. Jesus is the key that opens the door to answered prayer and settled hearts. He is the key of David found in Isaiah 22:22 & Rev 3:7. And rest is a place of worship—intimate communication of healing restorative prayer where we dwell or abide in Jesus and His word, then wait for Him to personally and individually reveal His promise to us for our specific situation. We HEAR what He says to our circumstance. We WAIT for His word to be breathed into our hearts THEN we stand, and confess until it manifests! Or we surrender, not my will but thy will be done. This differs from us searching the scriptures for what we want to happen in our life or for how we want God to answer. Naming and claiming our desires doesn’t work no matter how many times we confess it. This doesn't mean, however, that we cease from memorizing or meditating in Scripture as these Christian disciplines have significant value in growing our faith and sowing seeds into our hearts. Any seed that we have sown, the Holy Spirit can breathe on, taking it from head knowledge to heart revelation. Nevertheless, the practice I am talking about is a more profound intimacy with the Father where we invite His direct counsel into the very situation that we are faced with--so we wait, and we listen. This also differs from us doing all the talking or from praying how we think God should answer.
One thing we forget, God is Sovereign.