This morning, I felt the Lord's heart concerning certain things being said about Him. Specifically the thought that when we go to the courts of heaven to pray on behalf of someone, that we are not to pray based on a person's need, but on God's purposes being fulfilled in them. I understand why people say this. I've said it myself. Its true that people need to discover His purposes for them, but when we tell people not to appeal to Him on the basis of their need, but on His purposes only, it makes Him appear selfish when He is not. It makes it look like He doesn't care about people's needs, which He does.
We've heard it said that God doesn't answer prayer on the basis of need alone, but the reason this appears to be true is because we don't always perceive what the true need is or how that need should best be met. Scripture that came to mind as I was talking with the Lord about this--
- God supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)
- Let us come boldly, or with confidence, to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need (Hebrew 4:16).
- He knows what you need before you ask Him (Matthew 6:8).
- If He clothes the grass and feeds the sparrow, how much more will He take care of you? (Matthew 6:26-33).
- God is able to make all grace abound towards you so you having all sufficiency in everything, have an abundance for every good deed (2 Corinthians 9:8).
He cared so much about our need for salvation that He sacrificed Himself, His only son, to take care of our need. This is quite contrary to putting His own purposes above the needs of others. He sacrificed Himself for the needs of others.
People don't always know what their true needs are. There may be times it looks like He is not meeting needs, but He really is. He knows how to meet that need so it is truly met. Sometimes we are looking for Him to treat our symptoms, but not a real cure. He is interested in curing us, healing us, meeting the real need. We need to seek Him to find out what the real cure is and how its to come.
In John 11 when Jesus got word that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two more days. By the time He got there Lazarus had died. It looked like He delayed and the need wasn't met. They said, 'If You would have been here he wouldn't have died.' But yes, He did meet the need. He just didn't do it in the way, or in the timing, they were expecting. He sees the big picture. He is in the eternal realm. He may not do it "instantly" according to our timeline, but He does have the love and compassion to meet our needs, wants them to be met, and will meet them if we let Him.
There may be various reasons for having needs. The enemy may steal from us, we may open a door through sin or carelessness, or we are in a period of growth or change that causes new needs. We might pray and there are times it may appear as if He is not meeting the need. But are we really seeing things from His point of view? He may be setting things in motion to meet the need but we don't see it.
It's also true that we might not really need what we're asking for. He may be drawing us closer to Him, trying to teach us His way more accurately. We may simply need to trust Him and wait for Him. There may be a source of our provision that He is trying to change. He might be trying to get our attention to show us these things but we are distracted. We might jump to conclusions and say, "God, You failed. You didn't meet my need," when actually He is trying to meet your true need. He is trying to cure, not just treat a symptom.
We might be expecting our need is going to be met in a certain way at a certain time. This may not be the case. This is why we need to seek Him because there might be something we need to do before it will ever be met. We might need an attitude adjustment first. We might need to do some certain thing.
Jesus didn't show up so Lazarus died. In the mind of Lazarus' family, He failed them. But He didn't fail them. Yes, He went past their deadline, but whose deadline was it? We set up deadlines, but they are not God's deadlines. We need to seek Him, and trust Him. They didn't even consider Lazarus being raised from the dead as an option. Sometimes we are blind to the option that God is trying to get us to look at. We are too narrow minded.
Jesus wept (John 11:35). He cared about Lazarus and the family. Even though the need wasn't met when and how they expected, He always cared for them.
Father, we pray that the people of Waterford and this region come to an understanding that You do care about them. Just because their needs haven't been met in the timing or manner they are expecting, we pray that they know You still care for them. You care. We pray they come to trust You, to seek You. That they discover what the true need is, and don't just look for treatment of the symptoms, or a quick and temporary fix.
Let this understanding come. Let it be released now in Jesus' Name. Let it be preached and understood. So they no longer accuse You of not caring when You really do care. That they don't give up on You, but press in and seek You. That they are not discouraged or feel hopeless, trying to solve it in their own way. We release this understanding now in Jesus' Name.
He cares. He wants to meet your needs. But you need to trust Him. You need to seek Him. You need to understand His ways--His timing and purposes.
He won't cater to sinful whims. Prayer is not answered if they are lustful prayers contrary to His ways. We ask and don't receive when we ask with wrong motives (James 4:3) Sometimes its the motivation of our heart that keeps needs from being met. He will not compromise His integrity, righteousness, or His purposes to answer a sinful, lustful heart. Like a parent knows, sometimes kids ask for things that aren't good for them. Maybe the timing is off. Maybe they can get the cookie after dinner, but they want the cookie right now and don't understand why you say no. They accuse you of being mean. On the contrary, the Bible tells us:
He doesn't quit caring when you are suffering through a need. He is not condemning you. He is trying to help you. Seek Him to find your answer! He has your eternal good in mind. Like the old saying, "Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." He's trying to meet your need in such a way that you learn something valuable that will continue to sustain you.
- Cast your care upon Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7).
- Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (1 Peter 5:7, Amplified Bible).
- Cast your burden on Him and He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Psalm 55:22).
Pride can blind us from seeing the truth to the point where we blame God instead of seeing where we are missing it. But God is good. He is always good. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). He is always right. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God so He may exalt you at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6). There's attitude, and there's timing. But there's always an answer. There's always a way out. No situation is hopeless. Go to Him.
We know that one aspect of faith is that what you look at is what will happen. Quantum physics tells us that when you're watching, things behave differently then when you are not watching. So, if you're looking at something and its not acting the way its "supposed" to --the outcome you want is not occurring, then you need to look at something different. Go back to the promise of God. Go back to His Word. What exactly did He say? Seek Him. Let Him show you what He wants you to "look at," the direction you should go. He knows where, when, and how your true need will be met.
The parable of the friend at midnight. (Luke 11:5-8) and the woman and the unjust judge. (Luke 18:1-8) both tell us that we need to be persistent. Persistent in going to Him. Ask. Seek. Knock (Matthew 7:7). Don't give up on Him. Don't think He doesn't care. Don't accuse Him and get mad at Him. Don't get arrogant about it. Don't think you're all alone. He loves you and He cares. Keep going to Him until you can clearly hear Him give you the answer.
He really does care about you!