Prayer: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Complaining “God’s Ignoring Me!”

God's Ignoring Me!

Question: “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

In order for God to move and answer our petition prayers, a proper prayer foundation must be made. God isn’t simply a magic genie answering prayers upon command. No, He is a loving Father who takes our requests and graciously answers them in His timing and according to what is best for us. Often we think we know what is best for ourselves, even deceiving ourselves and others into thinking we know better than anyone else in the universe including the Creator. The following are eight questions every Believer should ask themselves, if they find themselves asking “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

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Prayer: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Complaining “God’s Ignoring Me!”

why_me_godQuestion: “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

In order for God to move and answer our petition prayers, a proper prayer foundation must be made. God isn’t simply a magic genie answering prayers upon command. No, He is a loving Father who takes our requests and graciously answers them in His timing and according to what is best for us. Often we think we know what is best for ourselves, even deceiving ourselves and others into thinking we know better than anyone else in the universe including the Creator. The following are eight questions every Believer should ask themselves, if they find themselves saying “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

• Do you believe and accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the only path to eternal life?
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” John 14:6
You may have heard the story of the world religions sharing a “belief” in Jesus with Christians. The Quran states Jesus was born of a virgin, was a revered prophet, was a miracle worker, who ascended to heaven, and will return to earth but is not the son of God. Hinduism states Jesus is a God, was a Holy Man, and was a Wise Teacher. Buddhism states Jesus was an enlightened man, was a wise teacher, was a Holy man, and was a moral teacher. Baha’i states Jesus came from God, was born of a virgin, spoke for God, had a divine and human nature, and was crucified for the atonement of humanity. Yet the difference between the world religions and the Christians is that the Believers in Christ Jesus firmly believe and rightly know that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, part of the triune God, is the only deity that leads to the eternal life. There are no other paths or gods that will lead to heaven.

• Are you born again?
“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:22-23
Jesus shared a prophetic vision in Matthew 25 of “Believers” in Christ meeting Him at the end of the age and being shockingly turned away from the Kingdom of God. Jesus clearly spelled out it was not belief alone that granted eternal life, it was the ongoing demonstration of His character to others in need. The man and woman turned away were the ones who did not feed the hungry, did not give drink to the thirsty, did not give clothes to the naked, did not care for the sick, and did not visit the imprisoned. Their apathy to the needy was also apathy towards God. Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

• Have you received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He (Holy Spirit) had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-17

Paul said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism”. Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him (Jesus) who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they (acknowledged) were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. Acts 19:2-6

And I remembered the Word of the Lord, how He used to say, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 11:16

“For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:5

Might you wonder why scripture references Baptisms in the plural and not singular (see Baptism of Repentance, Baptism of Water, Baptism of the Holy Spirit). There are many who have performed the act of the Baptism of Water but do not know Christ Jesus. They have performed the physical declaration of faith but have not followed through in the daily transformational process of sanctification. The Believer in Christ Jesus must have the Holy Spirit living within them. When the Holy Spirit lives inside of the Believer, you will see manifestations of God’s Fruit or Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not complicated and only requires a simple prayer between two Believers in Christ Jesus such as “Leah, I declare in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that you receive the Baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit work within her and transform her daily into being your daughter. Amen.

• Do you have any unconfessed/unrepented sin?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 Johns 1:9

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16

• Do you hold any bitterness or unforgiveness towards anyone?
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:24-25

• Do you believe in God’s will for your perfect health (or other request)?
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19

“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5

• Do you agree with your prayer partner for healing (or other request)?
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:24-25

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:19-20

• Are you praying for God’s will or your own?
There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30

Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand. Proverbs 19:21

The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:1

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23

The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. Psalm 33:10

Lord, thank you for the universal Body of Christ and your revelations. Help us to examine ourselves closely, show us personal roadblocks, and help us to move into your perfect will of obedience. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen

Resources: IAHR; The Name of Jesus; World Religions
Related Posts: Answered Prayers
Photo Credit: Bing

Discernment: What do you Treasure?

Treasure ChartQuestion: What do you treasure?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Social media is an excellent tool for exchanging ideas, promoting projects, or promoting self. It very clearly magnifies what is most important to us. For some, its business and culture that are core values, for others its politics, for others it is God and His statues, and yet for others its family and friends.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37

Part of the Christ centered life is the ongoing evaluation of what matters to us…the most. God wants to ensure that He has our complete heart. He wants no competing idols. Though we may not be worshipping a golden calf like the Israelites (Exodus 32), we may be unknowingly worshipping the various idols of life.

In college and/or professional school many of us learned about the benefits of time management. Some of us even received presentations on the Time Management Pie Chart or what I call the Treasure Chart. The purpose of the chart is to help us identify where our time goes or Biblically speaking what we treasure. It’s a simple visual tool to help us identify what really is number one in our daily lives. For example, if our Treasure Chart shows that 50% of our pie is allocated to social media, 25% is allocated to school, 10% is allocated to sleep, 10% is allocated to socializing with Christian friends sans Abba focused, and 5% is allocated to God (i.e. worship, accountability groups/Bible study, discipleship, service, prayer), we could clearly see that despite our strong feelings that God is number one in our lives, our Treasure Chart hints that our time may actually be skewed towards other things and not God.

Question: How do you identify what you Treasure the most?

Take an inventory of how you spend your time using the Treasure Chart
For instance, in one 48 hour period you spent 8 hours watching television, 4 hours gardening, 4 hours on social media, 16 hours sleeping, 3 hours eating, 8 hours clubbing, 2 hours cleaning, 2 hours working out, and 1 hour honoring God (i.e. worship, accountability/Bible study, discipleship, service, prayer). Then simply divide the number of hours you spent on a particular task by 48 hours. That will be the percentage of time you spent on that particular task. The task(s) with the highest percentages suggest these are the tasks you value or Treasure the most.
Examine your use of Social Media
Look back at your postings over the last one to six months and examine if the majority of your picture and/or article postings on Social Media promote the Gospel of Christ Jesus, your “smokin” hot abs of steel, your incredible lifestyle, or political happenings.
Ask a Biblical friend and/or mentor
These individuals know you the best and live a lifestyle that is a walking billboard for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are the Biblical counsel referenced in Proverbs 15:22. They will be honest and help steer you towards the Cross.
Ask God
You cannot underestimate the value of prayer and Bible study with God. Daily ask God for wisdom and He will answer as James 1:5 declares.

There are many more ways you can examine if God is the number one Treasure of your heart. The key is that you take steps to identify where God lies. Some of you are thinking, “We all spend more time sleeping, eating, and working in a day than we do Bible study or prayer. Does that mean sleeping, eating, and working are number one in our hearts?” NO! God actually values work (see 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Proverbs 31), as it is necessary for earning fruit to maintain the home and supporting the Kingdom. God also values sleep as it is another opportunity for Him to communicate to us (see Psalm 16:7). God is simply asking us to be aware of how we use our time and take the necessary steps to bring Him to the top of our Treasure list. One can work while demonstrating the Believer’s lifestyle of service and love. One can clean the home while meditating on God’s scripture or silently praying to God about the days ahead. One can use social media to share the Gospel of Christ Jesus via words of strengthening, encouraging, and comforting others (1 Corinthians 14:3).

God repeatedly declares that Believers should treasure nothing above Him, not even parents or children (Matthew 10:37). So the challenge to each Believer in Yeshua is to ask yourself, “What do I treasure?” and then the take all the necessary steps to make God number one. AMEN

Abba, we confess and repent of all the idols of the world we have placed before you. We lay the idols of work, of self, of husbands/wives, of friends, of children, and of materialism on the altar and thank you Jesus Christ of Nazareth for sacrificing yourself for us. Holy Spirit come and transform us from the inside out. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. AMEN

Photo Credit: FE
Related Post: Pastor Joe

Dating & Marriage 101: Single Christian Men Speak on What they Want from You

weddedImmediately, my heart filled with the desire to meet their fathers. If the daughters of God proved married or otherwise espoused, I would inquire about sisters. In these dark days when immorality runs rampant in the Church, we Christian men who are inclined toward marriage and mindful of the importance of choosing the best mothers for our future children look for ladies of virtue, for true daughters of the Most High.” – On Modesty & Servant Leaders

I think many people feel that it lessens a woman’s credibility because she’s sending the wrong signals. Respect me, but I don’t respect myself.” – On Immodesty

As a man who strives to be godly, I deliberately avoided considering the ladies who did not dress modestly. Ladies who did dress modestly — especially those who wore headcoverings — immediately seemed to surpass all other ladies, so much that everyone else in the room became invisible.” – On Modesty

I think some women have no idea how much influence they can hold. I find them captivating.” – On Servant Leaders

Male readers of the Dating & Marriage 101 series have submitted some pretty telling hints regarding what they as single Godly aka Biblical* men, look for in single Godly, Biblical* women. The verdict? “Past performance is a good indicator of future success.” Single Godly men use what they see in you now to measure what you will be like in the future as a wife and mother. Management uses this model in hiring top candidates and men use this model in choosing wives. Let’s take a look at the Occupation of Wife using the “Past Performance” model. Your future husband is the hiring manager and you the woman of God is the candidate. *Reader note: While Godly, Biblical individuals are Christians not all Christians are Godly, Biblical (ie professed, worshipers or believer in Jesus Christ but inconsistent or disobedient in one or more of His commands). All Dating & Marriage 101 series references are of Biblically based women and men.

OCCUPATION: Wife – Helpmate
KEY SKILL SET: Service, Modesty
PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Service – Must be willing to live amongst and serve others including children, men, parents, homeless, impoverished inner city, rural, third world, and/or reservation communities. Must be willing to work long hours without salary and take on unexpected projects weekly if not daily. Must be willing to teach and chauffeur children and parents. Must be willing to clean, garden, sew, and any other tasks required to keep the office (home) in order. Must be willing to entertain passersby not excluding the homeless and abused. Must be willing to put aside all other jobs (ie work, friendships, hobbies) aside to focus on the primary occupation (wife). Must be a helper. For additional details reference Proverbs 31, Matthew 20:28, and Genesis 2:18.

Modesty – Must demonstrate sober mindedness and honor towards her leadership (God, husband) and office (home) she manages. Must wear professional attire (modest) inside and outside of the office representive of the office values (Biblical). Professional attire includes knee length dresses, opaque print (non see through), scarves, shawls, or sweaters to conceal, and comfortable shoes. Figure hugging, low cut tops, high rising dresses, shorts, or skirts, and excessively ornate (bejeweled) styling not allowed. For additional details reference Proverbs 31 and 1 Peter 3:3-4.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE:
Local &/or International Missions – Servant leader, serving/served in third world, inner city, rural, and/or reservation communities; serving/served in Church kids/youth group and/or hospitality ministries

Personal Reference from at least one wise, Godly married woman – Reference indicates the candidate consistently seeks Godly counsel on Biblical womanhood pre marriage (ceremony), consistently seeks and accepts opportunities to serve others (kids, men, parents, impoverished), consistently demonstrates helpmate characteristics by working well with others and not independent minded

APPLICANTS THAT NEED NOT APPLY:
Spectators (unwilling to seek out or accept opportunities to serve others especially the poor; see Proverbs 31 for additional details); Hollywood inspired fashionistas (flesh driven style of dress; see Proverbs 7 for additional details); Ms. Independents (unwilling to be a helpmate; see Genesis 2:18 and Proverbs 31 for additional details).

Tall order? Maybe…maybe not. If you have missed out on previous openings for the Occupation of Wife, no worries opportunities are now available. If you need to build your resume, prayerfully ask God and Godly married women with preferably over five years of fruitful marriage how to become the future wife – helpmate God may be calling you to be. AMEN

Photo Credit: Bing
Related Resources: Fashion Look Book: Modesty Survey; Dating & Marriage 101 Series

Discernment: I Never Knew You

knewWhen you asked me to serve the poor, I said “Sorry I’m going to chill at the beach”.
When you asked me to sell all my possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, I said “Sorry I might need this stuff one day.”
When you asked me to observe the Sabbath, I said “Sorry I need to catch up on my rest.”
When you asked me to read and obey your Word, I said “Sorry I need to catch up on email.”
When you asked me to get ready for the Bride Groom’s return, I said “Sorry I need to get ready for my chance to be a bride.”

These were the thoughts racing through the mind of the Samantha. She had just transitioned from the earthly side of eternity into the next. She was a Christian girl and was confused as to why she was not greeted at the heavenly gates. Instead she was escorted by a grim looking clownish man into an elevator where he proceeded to grab hold of The Lever. It was in that moment she realized that she was not going to God’s eternal glory but instead moments from being released down to the eternal lake of fire.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the NATIONS will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46

Salvation Prayer:
Dear Father God and Lord Jesus Christ:
This day I call on you (Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21).
I admit that I am a sinner (1 John 1:8-10).
I ask you to forgive me for all my sins (1 John 1:9).
I believe that you, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, died on the cross at Calvary as a sacrifice for all the sins I have ever committed and will ever commit (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 3:15-16).
You died for me, to save me (John 3:17; Romans 5:8).
I say that you, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, are my Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).
I believe in my heart that God raised you from the dead (Romans 10:9).
I ask you to come into my heart and take control of my life (Galatians 4:6).
I want to start over again. I want a new beginning. I want to be in the family of God (Ephesians 1:5; 1:13-14).
Holy Spirit come and fill me with your presence and attributes (Galatians 5:22-23).
Thank you heavenly Father and all of these things I pray in the name and blood of Christ Jesus. Amen

Photo Credit: Bing

Dating & Marriage 101: The Husband Quest

questQuestion: “Where’s my husband?”

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:10-20

Many of my single friends are on the Husband Quest. They spend a tremendous amount of thought and personal time devoted to finding their husband. Much like many if not most young women in the premarriage season there is a pursuit of various methods to attract their husband’s attention…in the FLESH. Cute dresses, manicures, haircuts, lipstick, batting eyes, attending “Christian” gatherings not in the name of reverence or honor of the Lord but in a personal quest to fulfill their hearts desire to be married.

Here are a few reasons God keeps His single women of God single.
• God purely wants you to be single and devoted to His works
• We ignore the Christian man who is pursuing us because he does not match all the points on “The Checklist”
• We ignore the Christian man who is pursuing us because he does not match personal flesh driven requirements aka looks
• We are unwilling to obey God’s simple but critical command required to be married: serve

Proverbs 31 spends an extensive amount of time describing this honorable woman. The most notable traits are willingness to serve. She serves her husband, serves her family, serves at work, and serves the poor. This woman is not idly sitting at home watching the grass grow or gathering with her girlfriends to chit chat about who’s cute or “define your relationship”. No, this woman is out being busy doing the Lord’s work which is to serve.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

God created Eve and all her descendants to be helpers or helpmates. Helpers are servants. These are the supportive, go to gals who make their husbands’ shine. God requires all Believers including single women to be servants. If you are not willing serve your fellow brother or sister, your Church, your parents, or the poor (which God repeatedly demands), what makes you think you would be willing to serve a husband? Servanthood is one area women on the Husband Quest need to consider. Besides, how’s your Biblical husband going to find you if he never sees you serving? AMEN

He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

Photo Credit: Bing

Spiritual Warfare: Local Missions + At Risk Youth = Deliverance

mentorQuestion: Did you know mentorship of a child is one of the strongest strategies to combat modern social ills affecting youth?

Big Brothers Big Sisters, Intermedia arts programs, school tutoring, and school coaching are great ways to love a child outside of the Church. These programs exist with the purpose of proactively countering the negative environments at risk children often live in. Children are vulnerable and need nurturing in general. Children are even more vulnerable when they have experienced rejection and/or abuse. Bravo Body of Christ for spreading the word about gangs and trafficking of children! Some of you are already personally engaged in countering these social ills through education and financial support. It’s fantastic that we pack out coffee shops and Churches to hear about modern day slavery and gangs. Now we also need a lot of you to take a leap of faith and pack out the local youth mentorship programs. These programs are strategically in place to PREVENTATIVELY curb the gateways to gangs, trafficking/prostitution, and other forms of abuse. The goal is to continually engage positive adult role modeling to at risk youth. At risk = risk for gangs, risk for trafficking/prostitution, risk for abuse. The enemy can maintain a tight grip on these socials ills as long as the Body is inactive in engaging youth outside of the Church. We know you care about these kids. Please join one of the above organizations or others like it to individually counter the works of the enemy. A small minority of the local and larger American Church is involved in one to one or group mentorship of at risk children. Imagine if every healthy adult Believer was involved in a weekly youth mentorship or coaching program. The enemy would surely lose a lot of ground. Trade in one day per week that you might ordinarily devote to other things (i.e. discussion groups, coffee dates, shopping) to mentor a child. You are the very person vulnerable children need to see regularly to counter the garbage the world is offering through gangs, trafficking, and other illicit activities. Many mentorship programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters offer family mentorship options that allow you and your family (children included) to mentor another family or child. This is great exposure and education of your family in how to demonstrate Christ love to others in need. If you don’t know where to start, check out Big Brothers Big Sisters, Volunteermatch.org, local Churches, and/or local school district(s) to get involved today.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Proverbs 31:8

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13

Photo Credits: Mentor; Book