Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Questions Asked by God, Questions 6-10

I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Job 40:7
When God asks us questions He is not giving us an intellectual quiz. God is not trying to see how smart we are or how well we can study or cram for an exam. His questions are usually short, simple, and direct. God asks us questions, not to test our IQ, but to test our hearts, to have us examine our ways, and to bring change to our lives.
Here are 5 more questions asked by God. Even though God asked these questions to others, we can all think about how we would answer these questions if God directed them to us.
6. The Lord said to Eli, “Why do you honor your sons above Me?” 1 Samuel 2:29
We must all guard against the sin of honoring something or someone above the Lord in our lives. Anyone or anything that has first place in our lives has taken the wrong place in our hearts. We often hear the statement, “------- is my life.” The blank can be filled in by such words as “my kids” “my career” “my ministry.” Paul said, “Christ is my life.” That is the place all of us must come to if we are going to honor the Lord above all.
7. The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask! What shall I give you?" I Kings 3:5
This question would be a challenge for any of us to answer. Solomon answered it perfectly and in a way that God could honor. We often don’t know our own hearts and what is best for us. At times, we may ask God for things that we expect He will answer “yes” to, and then become disappointed when we discover His answer is “no.” His “no” is a “no” of wisdom. It is out of His mercies for us that He does not answer every prayer with a “yes.” One day we will fully know how blessed we were when God answered certain prayers with a “no” and kept us from harm and ruin.
8. When Elijah heard it…he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" I Kings 19:13
Have you ever heard the voice of the Lord ask you this question? It is an important one for us to recognize and answer. We need to know not only that we are in God’s place for us, doing what God has asked us to do, but we also need to know we are doing His will in a manner and with a disposition that is pleasing to Him.
Linda, one of our readers to Meet Me in the Meadow, recently shared in her comment, “Yesterday at church God asked me the question, "What were you doing in the cave of doubt last week?" We may be busy with a lot of things but not being obedient to the specific thing God has asked us to do. We may be carrying a wrong attitude or have given in to a wrong emotion that has allowed us to be overcome with discouragement, doubt, or despair. As followers of the Lord we must be careful to guard our hearts and not be overcome with moping, self-pity, or “singing the blues.”
9. The Lord said to Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth. Tell Me, if you have understanding?” Job 38:4
Sometimes God asks us a question to clear up our perspective and to help us see things clearly, from His point of view. It’s a good thing to step back from our own sense of importance and realize that God is God and is in control. It will take a big load off our shoulders when we stop trying to control things and people; when we stop thinking we are indispensable and that others cannot get along without us; when we acknowledge that it is only by the grace of God that we are what we are.
10.  I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us? Isaiah 6:8
This question reveals to us the heart of the Lord of the harvest who is looking for laborers to send forth into His fields of harvest. This question will go on being asked until the Gospel is preached throughout the whole earth and the Lord returns to establish His kingdom. S.D. Gordon reminds us, “God has a plan for each life. He needs us in His plan for the world…it’s the use of our lives in His great purpose in the earth. The one condition that He requires is that we follow fully, not only in our choice of right, but in our choice of His plans.”

Questions Asked by God, Questions 1-5

Questions Asked by God, Questions 1-5

I will question you, and you shall answer Me: Job 40:7

When God asks us questions He is not giving us an intellectual quiz. God is not trying to see how smart we are or how well we can study or cram for an exam. His questions are usually short, simple, and direct. God asks us questions, not to test our IQ, but to test our hearts, to have us examine our ways, and to bring change to our lives.

Here are 5 questions asked by God. Even though God asked these questions to others, we can all think about how we would answer these questions if God directed them to us.

God asked this question to Adam, not because God did not know where Adam was hiding, but because He wanted Adam to face his disobedience. God was asking Adam, “Where are you in your relationship to me?” That is the question God wants every person to answer.
Are we hiding or are we walking in the light?

2. The Lord said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper? And [the Lord] said, What have you done? Genesis 4:9-10

God’s questions to Cain have to do with the area of personal responsibility. Today, it is common for people to blame everything that is wrong with them on someone else. If people have problems at work they blame it on the boss; if they have problems at home, they blame it on their parents or siblings; if they have problems at school they blame it on their teachers or classmates. God’s question to Cain was not, “What did Abel do to you?” but, “what did you do to Abel?”

3. The Lord asked Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really bear a child when I am so old? Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? Genesis 18:13-14

This was a question that addressed the area of doubt to the promise God gave about Sarah giving birth in her old age. God answers His own question with a question by telling Abraham that there is no reason to doubt His promises because nothing is too hard or marvelous for the Lord to do. For the believer in Christ, the attitude of the heart toward God’s promises should not be, “This promise is too good to be true,” but rather, “This promise is too good not to be true.”

4.And the Lord said to Moses, What is that in your hand?” Exodus 4:2

By asking this question, God is pointing us, not to the great things we think we possess, but to the reality of our own emptiness and our inability to carry out His plan for our lives through the things we possess. God’s question pointed Moses to a dead stick he held in his hand, a stick with no life in it. From the moment God asked this question to Moses, Moses knew that if anything was going to happen to redeem God’s people, God’s power would have to do it and not his own abilities or efforts.

5. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. Exodus 14:15

This question drew Moses away from his prayers of pleading and into action. Sometimes God needs to move us from the place of bended knees to the place of moving feet.  It is a good thing for us to call upon the Lord and wait upon the Lord, but when God says “Go” it is time to move out and put into action what He has told us to do.

1. The Lord called out to Adam and said to him, “Where are you? Genesis 3:9

In Just Seven Years

Leonardo Da Vinci, a noted Italian artist painted the Last Supper; and the time engaged for it's completion was seven years. The figures representing the twelve Apostles and Christ himself were painted from living persons. The life-model for the painting of the figure of Jesus was chosen first.

When it was decided that Da Vinci would paint this great picture, hundreds and hundreds of young men were carefully viewed in an endeavor to find a face and personality exhibiting innocence and beauty, free from the scars and signs of dissipation caused by sin.

Finally, after weeks of laborious search, a young man nineteen years of age, was selected as a model for the portrayal of Christ. For six months DaVinci worked on the production of this leading character of his famous painting.

During the next six years DaVinci continued his labors on this sublime work of art. One by one fitting persons were chosen to represent each of the eleven Apostles; space being left for the painting of the figure representing Judas Iscariot as the final task of this masterpiece. This was the Apostle, you remember, who betrayed his Lord for thirty pieces of silver.

For weeks Da Vinci searched for a man with a hard, callous face, with a countenance marked by scars of avarice, deceit, hypocrisy, and crime; a face that would delineate a character who would betray his best friend.

After many discouraging experiences in searching for the type of person required to represent Judas, word came to Da Vinci that a man whose appearance fully met his requirements had been found in a dungeon in Rome, sentenced to die for a life of crime and murder.

Da Vinci made the trip to Rome at once, and this man was brought out from his imprisonment in the dungeon and led out into the light of the sun. There DaVinci saw before him a dark, swarthy man; his long shaggy and unkempt hair sprawled over his face, which betrayed a character of viciousness and complete ruin. At last the famous painter had found the person he wanted to represent the character of Judas in his painting.

By special permission from the king, this prisoner was carried to Milan where the picture was being painted. For months he sat before Da Vinci at appointed hours each day as the gifted artist diligently continued his task of transmitting, to his painting, this base character representing the traitor and betrayer of our Savior. As he finished his last stroke, he turned to the guards and said, 'I have finished. You may take the prisoner away.'
As the guards were leading their prisoner away, he suddenly broke loose from their control and rushed up to Da Vinci, crying as he did so, 'O, Da Vinci, look at me! Do you not know who I am?'

Da Vinci, with the trained eyes of a great character student, carefully scrutinized the man upon whose face he had constantly gazed for six months and replied, 'No, I have never seen you in my life until you were brought before me out of the dungeon in Rome.'

Then, lifting his eyes toward heaven, the prisoner said, 'Oh, God, have I fallen so low?' Then turning his face to the painter he cried, 'Leonardo DaVinci! Look at me again for I am the same man you painted just seven years ago as the figure of Christ.'

This is the true story of the painting of The Last Supper. It teaches so strongly the lesson of the effects of right or wrong thinking on the life of an individual. Here was a young man whose character was so pure, unspoiled by the sins of the world, that he represented a countenance of innocence and beauty fit to be used for the painting of a representation of Christ.

But within seven years, following the thoughts of sin and a life of crime, he was changed into a perfect picture of the most traitorous character ever known in the history of the world. Dear friends, World and its schemes can spoil us like this. It can take out the very expression of Christ from our face, and even from our life. Let us not be conformed to this world. Walk in Spirit, live in Spirit.

A rule I have had for years is to treat the Lord Christ as a personal friend. When I go away from home I bid goodbye; I bid my friends and acquaintances goodbye, but I never heard of a poor backslider going down on his knees and saying, 'I have been near you for ten years; your service has become tedious and monotonous; I have come to bid you farewell. Goodbye, Lord Christ.' I never heard of one doing this. I will tell you how they go: they just run away!

If the spirit of prayer departs, it is a sure indication of a backslidden heart, for while the first love of a Christian continues he is sure to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to wrestle much in prayer.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I am saved" I'm whispering "I get lost!" "That is why I chose this way."

When I say..."I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need someone to be my guide.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are too visible but God believes I'm worth it.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartaches which is why I seek His name.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I do not wish to judge. I have no authority. I only know I'm loved. 


For the Lord does not want the sinner to die, but to return and live.
There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change.
Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease.
Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside.
For when you turn back and weep, then you will be saved.  


Source:  Inspirit -_- Webdigi Newsletter : 08112010

God Can Turn It Around!

"According to His power that is at work within us."  Ephesians 3:20

When a tragic accident left Will Mitchell with disfiguring burns, he decided to focus on his possibilities, not his problems. Although he'd lost his fingers, he learned to fly an airplane solo.

Then one day while flying from Colorado to California, ice caused his plane to crash. Paralyzed from the waist down (and you think you've got problems), Mitchell was understandably depressed about being confined to a wheelchair for life. Then a friend gave him the same advice he'd earlier given to her:

"It doesn't matter what happens to you. What matters is what you decide to do about it."   So Mitchell adopted the "Triple-A Formula."

1. Accept what has happened.
Otherwise you live in denial, or open yourself to resentment and self-pity.

 2. Appreciate what you can learn from it.
It was darkness that drove Edison to keep searching until he discovered a source of light (and it can do that for you, too). Since then ,Will Mitchell has held public office, found love, and given hundreds of talks.

He says, "Before I was paralyzed there 10,000 things I could do, now there 9,000. Should I focus on 1,000 things I can't do?  No, I'd rather concentrate on 9,000 ways in which life is still good." 

So, whatever we're facing today, it's not too big for God. It can be turned around through "His power that is at work within us."
Built into every painful experience is the potential to be wiser, stronger and more effective for God.

3. Adapt to the new opportunities it presents.

Hanging Out With Sinners

Jesus modeled four things when He lived on the earth that allowed Him to impact other people's lives. I call them the Four B's of transformation.

First, he built a relationship with them. In the marketplace it is rare that you can impact a person without building a relationship first. The old saying, "People don't care what you know until they know that you care" is especially true in the workplace. Jesus modeled this in His life every day of his public ministry.

The second thing Jesus did was he blessed them. He tried to meet a physical need they had. Many times he healed them first, then told them to go and sin no more. He listened to their concerns.

The third thing Jesus did was He began praying for them. He often prayed for deliverance for a person who was demon possessed. He prayed they would know the Father. He prayed for Lazarus to come back from the dead.

Finally, the fourth thing Jesus did was He Brought the Kingdom of God into their lives. He invited people to believe in Him as the Savior of the world and to partake of eternal life.

I decided to test this model with an acquaintance. I intentionally refused to talk about Jesus to this person until I had accomplished the first three steps in my relationship with him. After I had fulfilled the first three steps, I presented Christ to my friend. He received Christ immediately because the soil was prepared and he was ready to receive.

As you consider your ministry at work, consider these four stages of relationship building before you present Christ to others. You will find the fruit of this process will be great.
"When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.' So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner'" (Luke 19:5-7).

Fenelon's Formula for Prayer

'You Will Seek Me And Find Me When You Seek Me With All Your Heart.' Jeremiah 29:13

Is your prayer life consistent? Is it rich and rewarding? Do you see measurable growth in it? If not, Francois Fenelon, a 17th-century Frenchman, tells us how to pray and get results.

It's a tried and true formula worth following:

 'Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend.

 Tell Him your troubles that He may comfort you; tell Him your longings that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes that He may help you conquer them;

 Tell Him your temptations that He may shield you from them;

 Show Him the wounds of your soul that He may heal them;

 Lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved taste for evil, your instability.

 Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride hides you from yourself and from others. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs and troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject, for it is continually being renewed.

People who have no secrets from each other never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words for there is nothing to be held back. Neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of their heart. Without consideration, they simply say just what they think. When they ask, they ask in faith, confident that they will be heard. Blessed are those who attain such familiar, unreserved communication with God.'

David’s Questions

What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? —Psalm 8:4

An African proverb states, “The one who asks questions doesn’t lose his way.” That concept can be helpful as we consider David’s questions in the Psalms. He was clearly seeking God’s guidance for the way he should go.

Look, for example, at some of the questions he asked:
“O Lord—how long?” (6:3). A question of eagerness to see God’s plan accomplished.

“What is man that You are mindful of him?” (8:4). A question of awe that God even cares about sinful man.

“Why do You hide in times of trouble?” (10:1). A question that reveals a longing for God’s presence.

“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” (15:1). The ultimate question of who may live with God.

David had some tough questions for God. He had discovered what it was like to lose his way when he excluded God and followed his own sinful path. But as he penned the Psalms, he was a man in search of godliness, which meant he probed God’s mind about difficult subjects.

Questions. Like David, you have them. Keep asking. Then, through faith in God’s Word and the work of the Holy Spirit, listen as He leads you in His way.
My mind cries its questions,
My longing heart, joining:
O Father, please hear me!
O Spirit, keep teaching! —Verway

It’s good to have questions, but it’s even better to search for God’s answers.

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