Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You Can't Tell Me There Is No God!

He works on my behalf again.  Encouraged by my brother to tell you this story, I write the details to encourage you.  Do not cease to pray for those you love.  I have a God of wonder, a God of amazing power, and God of infinite influence over man.  I will not doubt Him.  I will praise His name and see Him prove Himself faithful over and over and over again.  He can be your God, too. "...Believe the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:31)

 For years my dear brother has turned his back on God.  Making a profession of faith in Christ alone as a child, he rebelled against him after high school.  All he could see was a list of do's and don'ts and hypocrisy, not a relationship with his Savior.  Of course, this was a concern of mine and other loved ones.  For many years this continued to be the case so much so that I wondered about his conversion.  On one occasion he even stated to me, "I don't want to hear any more of your religious mumbo, jumbo."  Horrified by this statement, I tried to hold back the tears.  Years went by with the statement ringing in my mind.

I would pray for my brother that God would draw my brother to Himself:  a genuine generic prayer, nothing specific.  Holidays came and went with no indication that God was working on my behalf until this Thanksgiving.  My family sat around the dining room table praising God for his blessings.  My brother's wife stated numerous blessings God bestowed upon her and then proceeded to say that she was afraid that God would take them away if she did something wrong.  Immediately I thought, "That's not my God.  She has wrong thinking."  I had to say something, and I did.  I tried to give her comfort in verses like Psalm 34.  It was at that moment my generic prayer changed to something more specific:  There needs to be spiritual growth.  I knew our church was having a Christmas program in December and all my children and I were in it.  If there was ever a time my brother and his wife would come to church, it would be this one time.  In my prayer journal I wrote on November 23, 2012 (the day after Thanksgiving), "E & C come to VBC Christmas Concert."  My children said to me, "they won't come" and I'm thinking "religious mumbo, jumbo" from the past.  Nevertheless, I believe God put it on my heart when he changed my generic prayer to something more specific, and acted on it.  I sent them a Christmas invitation in the mail.  I heard nothing until the night before the program:  They're coming!!!!!  Whew-who!  God worked.  They came.  Seeing this answer was thrilling to me.

Soon 2013 arrived.  My pastor preached a message on "fruit that remains"  and discipleship.  In that message the Holy Spirit was working in my heart and E & C came to mind.  I knew they were fruit that would remain.  In the journal of January 8, 2013 I wrote, "Help me with C.  I will trust you for fruit that remains. Give C a desire to know You better."  I believe God was working on my behalf.  As I continued to pray this way day after day, the Lord changed to prayer to be even more specific.  On January 25, 2013, I wrote, "Lord, please bring E & C to our church.  I believe they are fruit that will remain as You have shown me."  I was so sure that was the case I almost raised my hand in church on a Wednesday evening to ask the church family to pray with me this way.  For some reason I did not do it, and I'm glad I did not.  Meanwhile, unbeknown to me, my brother E was praying on a Friday evening on the very same week I was going to raise my hand to give that specific prayer request something like, "Lord, I want to go to the right church, but I don't know where the right church is.  Please show me."  The very next morning (Saturday) my pastor and his wife visited my brother and his wife.  Shocked by the Lord's complete and direct answer to his prayer, my brother knew God answered his prayer.  Never before had a pastor knocked on his door.  The timing was no coincidence.  He decided to come to my church the next day and has been coming ever since.  What he didn't know at the time was that God had answered my specific prayer as well.  He is presently growing and serving at VBC.  Now what rings in my mind is a quotation from my brother.  "This is exactly what I need.  I'm so glad I decided to come."  Over-joyed and with confidence there is no doubt in his mind or mine that God has heard our very specific, separate prayers.

Only God can forgive sins and give lasting joy.  All praise to God!  I have Him as mine!  You can, too.  I have a God who does miracles.  I tell you I know.  You can, too.  I have a God who loves me in spite of my sinful self.  This I know (John 3:16).  You can, too.  I have a God who paid my sin debt in full (Hebrews 10:6-18).  You can, too.  I have a God who is preparing a home for me in heaven (John 14:2-3).  You can, too.  Believe in only Him, not in self, money, church, works, prestige or appearances.  He alone will save you, too.  "...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble". (James 4:6b)  I will not cease to pray for loved ones who need my God.  Because He is a God to me, You can't tell me there is no God.

"O thou that hearest prayer," (Ps. 65:2) let me praise You forever.  May others see you as God and believe You made them, believe You love them, believe You died and rose again for them, believe You want a relationship with them, and believe You want to be a God to them.  In Jesus precious, precious, precious name, Amen.

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