As you continue on your journey in 2017, I encourage you to P.U.S.H.!
Yep! That’s right!
I love that phrase! To some it may seem like a cliche, but to me it’s the truth! The first time I heard that phrase, it truly resonated with me! I find that as children of God sometimes we give up on God AND on ourselves too easily! However, what we must understand is that some blessings take more time to manifest than others. We’re on God’s schedule, not our own.
2 Peter 3:8-9:
“8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake.”
So, we may think God is taking too long, but He says He’s right on schedule!
The first word in the acronym (P.U.S.H.) is pray.
What does prayer mean to you personally? In other words, in your heart, what does it mean for you to be able to pray to God? Personally speaking, to be able to pray to God means I’m not alone. I can always talk to Him, day or night. How do I know?
“Indeed, He [God] who watches over Israel [God’s people] never slumbers or sleeps.”
So, I don’t have to feel bad about disturbing God’s sleep when I need to talk. He’s already alert, watching over me.
To be able to pray to God also means I have someone with whom I can share my deepest secrets. How important is that?! And when I share my secrets, I don’t have to worry about being judged or ridiculed. More importantly, when I share my secrets with God I know without any doubt that He won’t tell my business. He won’t get angry with me one day and broadcast what I shared with Him to the entire neighborhood! I can trust Him completely. With God I feel safe.
Let’s consider the dictionary definition of the word pray. I think it’s safe to assume that many people know that to pray means “to communicate with God; to make our petitions (our needs and desires) known to Him.” To take it a step further, as Christians, prayer is part of our covenant relationship with God. In the beginning, we see that God created the first man Adam to have open communication with Him.
Genesis 3:7-10 (This scene takes place after Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil):
“7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the VOICE of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard Thy VOICE in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
When God created Adam and Eve, they automatically had an intimate connection with God. So, when they disobeyed God, they felt compelled to hide once they heard God’s voice. They recognized God’s voice because of their relationship and because they had spent time talking with Him. I compare it to a mother who knows her baby’s cry in the midst of other crying babies or a husband who recognizes his wife’s voice in the crowd.
When Adam and Eve sinned, it caused a rift between God and man and brought sin and death into the world. Nevertheless, we can be thankful for Jesus coming to this earth to serve as our Mediator and for bringing us back in right relationship with God our Father!
A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP
II Corinthians 5:17-18a:
“17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18a And all of this is a gift from God, Who brought us back to Himself through Christ.”
For those of us who now have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus, we have direct access to God. Therefore, God expects and WANTS to hear from us. In fact, He loves it when we spend time with Him.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
In order for any of us to KNOW the voice of God, we must spend considerable time with Him in worship, in studying His Word, and in prayer. If we know God and His voice, then when another voice (like the serpent or Satan ) tries to speak to us, even just through our thoughts, we’ll know it’s not God! That’s why spending time with God in prayer must include LISTENING! Prayer is not a time to present a Christmas list to God as if He’s Santa Claus.
EVEN JESUS PRAYED
“22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”
Just like in the above verses, throughout the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, even JESUS spent time alone praying to God. He always acknowledged His Father and never did anything without His consent. As believers, we should follow His example. We must never get to a place where we think we don’t need to pray all the time or pray at all. Even if everything is going well, we should still honor God in prayer because, again, prayer goes beyond just asking God to bless us. Rather, prayer is a time to also listen to God. I believe Jesus spent time alone with God sometimes just listening. That’s how He stayed connected and in tune with God.
SHARPEN THOSE SPIRITUAL EARS
I know from personal experience that spending time with God in prayer sharpens our spiritual ears. For instance, several years ago I was informed by my doctor that I had to have surgery, which included a six week recovery period. However, there was one problem! I had just started a Statistics course as part of my Masters program. In fact, it was my FINAL class! There was no way I was going to be able to attend class, if I had to be on bed rest! The only logical explanation was to drop the course and pick it up the next quarter which would delay graduation. I didn’t want to delay things, but I couldn’t prolong the surgery. The night before I was going to drop the class, I asked God to tell me what to do. If there was any possible way I could stay in the class, GOD would know! That night as I slept I heard the voice of God say, “Stay in the class. There will be people who will help you.”
When I attended the Statistics class the next day, I informed my professor of my situation. He was extremely understanding and suggested I collect email addresses from some of my classmates, so they could assist me while I was out recovering. Not only were they willing to help me, but the professor decided to allow the class to take the midterm and final exams at home, which meant that I could use my books, notes and receive help from classmates.
I’ll never forget that experience! It blew me away to know that I heard God’s voice that clearly! More importantly, not only did I hear His voice, I obeyed Him. Although I didn’t know how things were going to initially work out, I had to trust Him anyway!
Furthermore, how do you build solid relationships and friendships? You spend time together engaging in meaningful conversations. That’s how you learn each other.
Just like in human relationships, when we spend time with God, we learn Him! To learn God is to know God, and to know God is to love Him even more!
(“The Kimberly Joy Show: P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens”)
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