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The Twenty-Third (Timing)

This time we're talking about timing. Specifically, the timing of the Almighty Yehovah.

Especially in this day in age, mankind has been brainwashed into wanting things now now now. People don't even consider online purchases unless it's scheduled to come in a day or two. Sometimes, they even arrive within hours of purchase! The ability to have what we want when we want it is so ingrained it's easy to get frustrated when things don't happen when we expect them to. Our laptop takes a few extra seconds to load a webpage and we can't stand the wait so we are compelled to do something else like scroll Facebook.

It's easy to look at that situation and minimalize it away. It's no big deal if we have to be doing something all the time, right? Well my personal belief is that it's another front that Satan uses to try to drive us away from Jesus. How many times have you prayed for something and it seems it was never granted? Or at least it wasn't granted when you wanted/expected it to be? It takes a person strong in faith to continue praying for something without giving up. It's easy for someone to just assume that's not what God wanted for them (or even give up on God!). However, that is not the promise Jesus gave.

In Matthew 21:22 and Mark 11:24, Jesus tells His disciples that whatever you desire when you pray you'll have it if you believe you will receive it. Make sure you read those words carefully. Anything you desire. The Greek word translated to desire is aiteo, and it's translated in other places to beg, crave, and require. There's no limit placed on this promise. But it's also important to recognize there's no timeline either. He didn't say, "you will receive them when you want them."

Before we jump to the timing piece, let's take a look at the context of that verse, because context is always important when it comes to interpreting scripture. This statement was made by Jesus after his triumphant entry in to Jerusalem on the colt and following the trip He made with the disciples to Bethany and back. In fact, we talked about this trip in a previous newsletter. This was the time when Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered from the root. Peter pointed it out on the way back from Bethany and what did Jesus say? "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22). Like they didn't already? No, they did, He just takes it a step further and says, whoever tells this mountain to move into the sea and has no doubt in his heart, it shall come to pass (Mark 11:23). Then He tells them whatever they want if they pray it, it will be given to them if they believe. And what's the only qualifying factor? Verses 25 and 26 close this scene out, and He tells them they must forgive others so they can be forgiven. That's it!

So how long will it take to get these that we desire? As long as it takes! That's where His timing comes in. Isaiah 55:9 tells us His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. We are nowhere close to seeing the bigger picture like He is. In fact, we may be praying a desire and He seeks to give us something even better, and in a better way! A way that edifies us and glorifies Him that we can use to show His goodness and spread His gospel.

Psalm 37:7 tells us to wait patiently for Yehovah. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to trust in Him and not our own understanding. Remember Jairus and his daughter? He implored Jesus to heal his daughter (Mark 5:23). So Jesus went to heal her but along the way a woman touched His cloak to be healed. He could have easily kept walking to heal this dying girl, knowing this woman was already healed. She was hoping she wouldn't be noticed with all the crowd of people anyway. But He stopped to find out who it was. And why? He wanted to make sure she understood the true reason why she was healed. It wasn't a piece of His clothing. It wasn't even just Him. Her faith had made her whole (Mark 5:34) and He wanted to make sure she knew it as well as anyone else in this crowd that was close enough to hear.

Meanwhile, Jairus' daughter died. Someone from his house came and said, why are you bothering Jesus anymore, your daughter is dead (Mark 5:35). What a way to find out your daughter died! But Jesus told Jairus, don't be afraid, just believe (Mark 5:36). What's the word used for believe? Pisteuo, from pistis: faith. The same word for believe Jesus used in Mark 11:24. Don't be afraid, just have faith.

Jairus came to Jesus, essentially praying, for the healing of his daughter before she died of her sickness. When Jesus agreed, Jairus fully expected his prayer would be answered by her being healed within that timeframe. I'm sure he was verging on hopelessness at hearing of his daughter's death. He needed to continue in faith and belief despite this, and how much more faith do we need since we don't have Jesus in front of us telling us this!

Now I want to be clear on something before I close. No, I'm not saying if you pray for a million dollars God will just give it to you. A part of this promise from Jesus involves the Holy Spirit. The full faith and belief in what you desire coming to pass is part your faith and part faith supplied by the Holy Spirit. As you learn more about what the Holy Spirit is speaking and moving in you, you'll start to hear or feel the things you should pray and desire. So listen for that still voice, or that feeling that comes from peace. The Holy Spirit shows or tells us things to pray as It makes intercession for us and other saints according to Yehovah's will (Romans 8:26,27).

I'm sure everyone has prayed for something and it seems it never came. For some, it may have been a desired outcome for a recent election! Know that God hears all prayers, and delights in those of the righteous (Proverbs 15:8). He just may have bigger plans for your prayer request than you think, and they may not fit in to your timeline!

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

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