Unanswered Prayers

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 WEB

There were many times in my life that I worked something out in my mind, planned the way that it should go, and then watched it as it went the other way. As a business owner, at times it was frustrating. I felt that I needed to be in control. Sometimes I became angry because I felt that it could have been a good break for us. Like Martha, I would ask God 'Lord, don't You care?'

Time and time again I saw that God had other plans for me. Many times He just kept me from making a bad choice, though it looked really good at the time. He could see further down the road than I could. Thank God for those unanswered prayers.

Many times He was preparing me for the next stage of my journey, and His next project. While I was working hard on 'My plans,' He was busy steering me to where I needed to be next. His plans sometimes involved being laid off, mistreated, and offended. At least that was my perception. In reality, it was mostly my pride that got hurt, and fairly often. God will discipline His children (Hebrews 12:7).

If my prayers had been answered, then I would not be a pastor, nor writing this. For we prayed, and we fasted, and we gave, and we begged God to bless our computer business, but He had bigger plans and could see further down the road than we could. He had prepared us to work for Him in the ministry, and when the time came, He squeezed us out of the old so that we would accept the new. I am happy to be here now, and it is better than I ever thought possible, but His thoughts were well beyond my thoughts. I didn't care for the squeezing either.

Disappointment often comes when our plans do not line up with His plans. We struggle and strive to make a business work only to find that He is trying to move us into something better. We kick and fight and scream to hold onto the past when He is trying to gently pull it away so that He can get us to take the next step. It is like holding on to a bad tooth. God is always preparing you for the next stage of your life. What you are doing now is preparing you for what is coming. He will make it all worth it and one day looking back, it will make sense.

I am writing this to those that have submitted their lives to God as the Bible teaches us, because that is who the promises are for. 'In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will direct your paths' (Proverbs 3:6). 'Delight yourself in the Lord, And He will give you the desires of your heart' (Psalms 37:4). 'You shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart' (Jeremiah 29:13). 'If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land' (Isaiah 1:19).

All these verses state 'If you do this' then 'this will happen.' Jesus Himself said, 'Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things which I say?' (Luke 6:46). Our obedience is what actually makes Him our Lord and activates the promises of God in our life. Who shall eat the good of the land? The willing and obedient. Who will have the desires of their heart? Those who delight themselves in the Lord.

I have spent years of my life that were not submitted to God and He let me roam like a wild weed, doing whatever I chose, and reaping the consequences. My progress in life stalled, and years were lost. The Father did not stop the prodigal son from leaving His house (Luke 15:13), nor will the Lord stop you when you fully understand what you are doing, and choose to do it anyway. When the party is over though, we are always welcome to come home to Him.

When I began to intentionally seek God daily, tried to live right, laid on the carpet and poured out my heart to Him, then things began to change in my life for the better. Does the way that we live affect the blessing of God on our lives? Absolutely. 'Don't be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap' (Galatians 6:7).

Submit yourselves to God and He will make your life worth living. He can fill the empty places. He can turn poverty into an abundance. He can surround the lonely with friends. He levels the playing field and brings the lowly up, and the haughty down. His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts, but if we spend time with Him in prayer, He will share His thoughts with us. When we finally line our will up with His, then great things will happen, in us, to us, and through us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I submit my life to You. Use me as You will and put me where I need to be. Please share Your thoughts and plans with me so that I can be in tune with You. May Your will be done on earth, and in my life, as it is in heaven. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!

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