The Women who would not Settle for “No”

1a houndWhen my brother and I were in high school we wanted to get a couple of Black and Tan hound dogs to raise and train, but we knew we must first convince our father to let us have them. I remember that night well; my father was tired and wanted to go to bed so we maneuvered in at this most vulnerable time with a double team strategy. We then popped the question on him with smiles from ear to ear, “can we have two hound dogs”? It was a quick “No” at first. Yet, it only provoked a more passionate plea of “Please, dad just two pups”? We debated back-and-forth continuing late in the night asking for his permission. We pled our case and kept pursing his approval. I remember he kept saying, “No”, we don’t need anymore barking dogs”. But even though he was tired, we kept knocking on the door of his heart until he finally said, “OK, and good night”. Looking back to those times I believe he might have regretted that decision, but in the most part it brought some memorable times together and also strengthened our relationship with him.

In Matt 7:7-12 we read Jesus’ interaction with His disciple in the context of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus exhorts them in their prayers to ask, seek and knock. In verse 8 we read, ‘For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” He had just used the illustration of the persistent lady who comes to her neighbor late at night for a loaf of bread for her unexpected guests. He then continues the thought with comparing a child asking their earthly father for a need and receiving his response, to our loving heavenly Father. And in verse 11 it says, “…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him”!

This conversation should fuel our prayer life with power and with confidence as we bring our supplication to God. Unfortunately, many Christians as they stand before the Lord contending for the manifestations of His promises will give up or become offended because of unanswered prayers. Yet, if we interpret Jesus’ word correctly it should instead motivate us to continue fervently. I believe the key to not quitting is developed from having the right perspective of who He is and knowing his heart towards us. We see this message brought out in Matt 15:22-25 where we read the story of a Canaanite women who pursued Jesus in behalf of her daughter that the enemy had in bondage. This woman wouldn’t settle for anything but her daughter’s deliverance! She refused to take “NO” for an answer.

I am convinced this woman was drawn to Jesus by the great things she had probably heard about Him. It is also evident that she was driven by the enormity of her need with the hopes of Jesus being the answer for her daughter. But as we see in this very unusual scene, we quickly come to the conclusion that she had the opportunity to be distracted and discouraged in her pursuit of wholeness for her child. Yet, she would not be discouraged with Jesus’ silence, the contempt by His disciples and the hard doctrine that He declared. Jesus’ action and attitude revealed this women’s tenacious faith and His desire to deliver her child.

Let us learn from Jesus’ words on the mount and through this story become motivated to contend for His goodness to be manifest in the earth and our lives.

 

Thoughts to Ponder:  

  • Think back at a time when you had to really be committed in asking and pursing your parents or someone to get what you wanted and tell the feelings you had and if it made you feel uncomfortable.
  • Have you ever felt put off and belittled?
  • Many times Christian feel it is a lack of Faith to keep asking God about the same unanswered need. Have you ever felt that way or knew anyone that did? Is it a lack of Faith?

Quotes to Tweet:

Many Christians as they stand before the Lord contending for the manifestations of His promises will give up or become offended because of unanswered prayers   –   www.billvirgin.com

Contending and not Settling for anything less than God’s Best      –  www.billvirgin.com

 

#NotSettlingForAnythingLessThanGodsBest              #DontQuickJustBecauseOfDelays

 

 

Advertisements

Quit Giving the Enemy a Foothold in your Life

Nothings worse than standing on one foot trying to balance yourself all the while you’re trying to get out of the pickle your in. Our pasture had a marshy section in it where the creek would over flow and saturate the ground making it hard to walk through with out having some type of a dilemma. At this particular time the suction of the mud monster held onto my rubber boot making my stocking foot come out of the boot. Even though it might be funny, the point is once something or someone gets a foothold on you, you’re either stopped or extremely hindered in your journey.

Paul exhorts the believers in Ephesus as they fulfill the purposes of God in their lives to not make the mistake of giving place or foothold to the enemy. He says, “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. (Eph 4:26-27)

The enemy gets a foothold in our lives when we willfully sin and continue to walk in disobedience, as well as when we are entertaining wrong beliefs and doctrine in our lives that are contrary to God’s word. James teaches us that temptation comes when we are drawn away by our own “desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death”. (James 1:14-15) When we are pulled away by our fleshly desires the enemy waits to ensnare us and fasten his hold on us.

Recently I was in Alaska for a wedding and while heading to our destination on Hwy 1 we were paralleling the Cook Inlet. I was awe struck at the beauty of the mountains cascading into the inlet with a trace of snow up high on the peaks. My driver was explaining how the tide comes in and out at drastic fluctuations levels up to approximately 29 ft. twice a day. When the tide is out, much of it has no water and is just mud. They call it the Mud flats, which have many stories, some fact and some legends of how different ones have gotten stuck.

The mud is supposedly made up of Glacier Silt, which I understand are finer than the sand and are shaped like billions of small angles that lodge together making an airtight seal around anything that happens to penetrate a soft spot. One such story many years ago is of a husband and wife who were going to cross over the mud flats on four wheelers and dredge for gold but in the midst of the process the wife step off into the mud and ended up getting so stuck that they could not get her free before the frigid tide came back in causing her to drown.

Paul encouraged young Timothy to walk worthy before the Lord so not to get ensnared by the devil. (1 Tim 3:7) Jesus said in John 14:30, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. Jesus who is our example shows us that we can follow His example and live without the devil having a foothold in our lives.

Anytime we venture off the beaten path that God has set for us, walking in places we have no business in, we can get caught in the silk of the enemy. In John’s Gospel we read where Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”. Jesus came to set us free from the foothold of the enemy. We read in 1 John 3:8 where it says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil”. So quit giving the enemy a foothold!