As hammers were banging and drills were drilling I felt the vibration of my phone. Thank goodness it was on vibrate because I would have never heard the ring. My sister and I were on a renovation site meeting with a contractor so I stepped away to answer. The call came from a former Sunday school teacher, mentor, friend and someone I have looked up to for 25 years. We don’t often talk on the phone…maybe a text here and there…so it was unusual for her to be calling me.
The call was an answer to a request I had made in prayer on a Monday and the answer just happened to come on the following Friday morning. The caller had a question but before she asked her question…she said, “I first feel I need to tell you something.” Hahaha! That something was the answer to the request I had made to God on Monday.
This person, you see, was God’s vessel. It was clear to me for many reasons. First, she is sincere and her motives can be trusted. Second, she loves and has served Christ faithfully for all the years I have known her and watched her, which is half of my life. Third, in the past several years since God called me to start Back 9 Ministries…she has been encouraging me in God’s call on my life.
Her words were so specific to the things I had asked God about and if I could have picked any vessel for His answer to come from….she is above and beyond great…the “best of the best” vessels.
The one thing I want to point out here..to anyone about God answering prayer…is this…I prayed and asked…I have learned to expect an answer but the timing thing? I leave it up to God.
I have learned from a very dedicated prayer life that has become a very intimate time with God…that His timing is SPECIFIC to HIS timing, not mine. When I ask…I have to be willing to accept HIS answer even if it is not what I want to hear. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 1:6). Even if it doesn’t look like what I had in mind. That is called Trust and a continual understanding that “His ways aren’t my ways” as described in Isaiah 55:8.
Sometimes when I ask God for something….it is immediate…especially if it is for guidance or direction. At 52…there are things I have asked for and prayed for that He either hasn’t answered or granted…yet…but I haven’t stopped asking. I so believe in petitioning God daily, especially for the salvation of others, for future spouses for my kids and others, health, comfort and ongoing care and provisions for my family and others.
On Monday…my request to God was for direction for Back 9…and the things I was currently writing, editing and the booked speaking engagements. I was looking for a head nod from God…a “keep on keeping on” or “you might need to rethink and here’s why…..” The individual’s words…..were so specific…to my request of God….I knew it was from Him through her….WOW….WOW…. WOW!
After she said what she said….she then asked her question. It took me a few minutes to pay attention to her question. I was still marveling over God’s awesomeness in His answer, His vessel…and the timing …. HIS. TIMING. IS. PERFECT!
I continue to pray that I was adequately able to answer her question. Funny, it pertained to how God speaks to me and if I heard Him in my quiet time every day. I told her I definitely hear Him every day through reading His Word…but sometimes the way He speaks to me personally is throughout my day…after my quiet time.
You see, a quiet time first thing in the morning…makes me sensitive to His voice all day long, and at 52, I have come to realize He speaks through others and circumstances…during my days and weeks. If I haven’t given Him the first fruit of my day, for me, it is harder to hear Him and see Him. There is just something special about giving God the first part of your day…praying about things…talking to Him about even the smallest, simplest things. Then you go about your day knowing the intimacy of your prayer, your requests, your ongoing petitions and your heart…then when you start getting the answers…it draws you closer to God because you know it was just you and HIM.
The friend/mentor/woman of God had NO IDEA what I had asked God for on Monday….none…and there it was on Friday. Don’t you see HOW I saw God?! I was able to then share with her about God speaking to me….and that it didn’t just happen in my quiet time. I was also able to ask her about my daily posts. I am aware she reads them only because she retweets them or favors them often….so I knew she would be a great one to ask for an opinion.
You see, one person who I dearly love, a year ago, suggested that I shorten the length of the Back 9 daily posts. Her reasons, she explained, was to reach more people who may take the time to read them if they were shorter. I took that great advice before God a year ago as God pleaser, not a man pleaser anymore. So even if someone who I love and consider to give great Godly counsel makes a suggestion, I have to take it to the GREATEST COUNSELOR–CHRIST. When I did, God simply impressed upon me to write what He told me to write regardless of the length. And He reminded me that I was writing for Him and to entrust to Him who would be led to read them…that the number didn’t matter as much as the “WHO”. He would orchestrate the “who,” not me!
Because of who made that suggestion…a person who gives great advice…I decided to ask the caller on Friday for her opinion on the length of the posts. Her answer was very detailed and continued to validate what God had originally said about the length. She elaborated on how thoroughly I explained topics at times so that no one who actually read the whole blog would walk away misunderstanding the point God was making through my post. I wasn’t second guessing God but it had been a year since the original advice was given about the length of the posts…so I just thought I would ask…it was simply continued confirmation of His original answer to me.
Ok. I was just “fixin to end this post” but I just had another awesome answer to prayer…happen just now…A GOD THING for sure. So bear with me while I share briefly what just happened.
As I am writing this, it is Monday, 7 a.m. On the previous Friday, I realized that the credit card I use for Back 9 Ministries had been compromised. This is the third time this year (I consider it spiritual warfare). I called the credit card services and they canceled the card and said they would send a new one. The only thing I asked was if I could get it overnighted. The service representative said no. The soonest the company could get it to me was Monday and they could not guarantee the time. I would have to be there all day to receive it. They wouldn’t leave just leave it without me being there.
At that point on Friday…God just spoke to my spirit…”I’ve got this, you know I do.” With that, I told the lady thank you and hung up. Speed back up to Monday morning, the card just came at 8 a.m. You see, God knew what this Monday looked like. He knew I couldn’t stay home all day. He knew I had things on the calendar I HAD committed to do. He KNEW I needed the card so that I could purchase some things for Back 9 that had to be purchased this a.m. to meet a deadline.
Don’t you see….I want everyone to experience INTIMACY with GOD… a walking on water daily. Doesn’t mean every day will be “hunky dory,” but it does mean it can be full of PEACE, JOY and TRUST that God has you, especially on the stormy days.
Friday was a stormy day…and it wasn’t just the compromised credit card…it was many things…but I have learned to live Jeremiah 29:12, “‘Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.”
Point of post…Get up in the morning…seek God first….filter everything through HIM…then look…expecting Him to show up. Being willing to do what He says and trusting Him completely with the OUTCOMES. He will fulfill Romans 8:28 in your life, “And we know that in all things God works for good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Remember….we all have been created by God and He has called us….we just have to answer HIS CALL!