“God’s Will in Prayer”

How to know the will of God” was a question I ask myself over and over again, until I heard a sermon; “God’s Will in Prayer” on March 14, 2006.  After that message, I started digging into the Word, uncovering supporting evidence that believers in Christ can actually know God’s will when they pray.  “REALLY?”  YES, really!

Turn to 1 John 5:14-15 and read along with me. These two verses, is where my investigation first began.

Verse 14,  “And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.”

Verse 15,  “And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the request made of Him.”

The Will of God is the Word of God.  How did I come to this revelation? In the Amplified Version of verse 14, the translators put “in agreement with His plan” in parentheses (    ). That signifies additional phases of meaning included in the original word, phrase, or clause of the original language.  God’s plan can be found in His Word; therefore, I can say that the Will of God is His Word [His plan].  Taking that evidence further; knowing the Will or Word gives you confidence.  1 John 5:14 tells us that God will hear us if…we ask in His Word or His Will. With that established,  “When doesn’t God hear us?”  When we pray without boldness or confidence.  Pray His Word and God will grant our request, not with “maybe” or “no, not now” but with an absolute knowledge, that anything that we ask for, He will grant it to us!

Where does “CONFIDENCE” come from?  Romans 10:17 says,  “So FAITH comes by hearing [what is told]…”  and Psalm 119:105, 13o say that, “the Word of God is light”.  Never pray in weakness or darkness. I have learned over the past few years, by experience and by God’s answers, to go to God’s Word before I pray. See what God has to say about it. Now if you are in your car driving and Holy Spirit ask you to pray as you drive, you won’t have a bible to read.  BUT…if you have God’s Word planted in your heart as word-seed, you can bring it to harvest, in any circumstance.

Go to Mark 1 and see how a leper came to Jesus and asked Him to be healed. See if you can pick out some of the clues I found regarding healing. I used this verse when my wife was told that she had breast cancer.

Verse 40,  “And a leper came to Him (Jesus), begging Him on his knees and saying to Him, If you are willing, You are able to make me clean.”

Verse 41,  “And being moved with pity and sympathy, Jesus reach out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be made clean!”

Verse 42,  “And at once the leprosy [completely] left him and he was made clean [by being healed].”

Well, what clues did you find in Mark 1:40-41 concerning the leper’s healing request?  “…if you are willing” can also read, “…if you are pleased to”.  And Jesus’ answer, “I AM willing”.

I have heard this next prayer request in churches for years. Praying for the “lost” or the “un-saved”, if it be in God’s will.  The prayer might sound like this,  “If it be your will Lord, save him or them!”.  That is not the correct prayer as I look into “the will of God” concerning salvation.

2 Peter 3:9 says,  “The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, BUT He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring [willing] that any should perish, but that ALL should turn to repentance.”

Acts 16:31,  “And they answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself to His keeping] and you will be saved…” 

The correct prayer would to be in praying God’s Word.  It might sound like this:  “Father, send laborers… for the Harvest is ready. Your Word say’s so Father and I have faith and confidence that you will grant my request stated in 1 John 5:14-15.”  Do you see the difference in those two prayers?  

I have kept hand-written notes on word studies in spiral wound notebooks for years. They are invaluable to a “Word Detective”; uncovering forgotten evidence about truths in God’s Word [Bible]. I found the following clues in knowing “God’s Will in Prayer”, dated February 7, 2007.  It’s based on The Word spoken in Mark 9:22-23.

Verse 23,  “And Jesus said, [You can say to Me], If You can do anything?  [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes.”

What is God’s will in prayer? Jesus says, “ALL things can be (are possible)…”  IF, you believeIt isconditional“.  Are you a “Possibility Thinker”? Don’t limit God by “impossibility thinking”; “If it be your will Lord…”  His WILL is His Word and His Word says, “BELIEVE” and anything and everything is possible. You are going to have to re-arrange your thinking when you ask in Jesus Name. I am “practicing what I am preaching” here folks.  We don’t have to wait for God to do it.!

Quit looking in the “natural” to see if it is going to work. You have to talk faith with your mouth, NOT doubt. If you pray with any doubt in your thinking, then it is called “fear based prayer”. Don’t manifest your fears with “if’s” in your asking. Most people (not ALL people) ask people to pray for them because their confidence isn’t there.

The next time you pray by yourself or in a prayer circle, remember this important, word based fact:  “Don’t cancel out your prayer with fear and doubt”.  Confidence comes from your faith belief [FAITH can be defined as “the practical expression of the confidence in God and in His Word.”]

If I decided, looking in the bathroom mirror after showering in the morning,  “Mel, you need to go to the gym and start working out!”.  I go to work out and decide that I will look more physically fit if I lift 500 pound weights rather than 5-lb. weights. I think that is the reason someone named weights, “dumb-bells”.  A trainer will tell you, to start with smaller weights first, then build your self up to the larger weights. Excercise does lead to development and exercising your confidence works in the same way.

The next time you are praying, keep this principle in you “thinker” and “knower”.

#1.  “I prayed it…”

#2.  “He heard it…”

#3.  “I’ve got it…!”

How do you feel after this work out today?

“God’s Will in Prayer”

I am beginning my detective work today regarding our words when we pray.  Like, “Father, if it be Your will…”  What does praying in God’s will mean?   I have uncovered clues already that might make you curious about effective prayers. Are you as interested as I am? Here is a sampling to get you thinking,  “Am I getting answers to my prayersevery time?” If your answer is, “sometimes” or “no”, then you need to follow along in the upcoming “Word Detective” blog, “God’s Will in Prayer”.

Don’t cancel out your prayers with fear and doubt! I will start out my next blog with; what God’s Word says about that “canceling out your prayers”.

“Supportive Roles in Marriage”—“LOVE can only be known by the action it prompts”

I have been blogging the last few days about LOVE in a marriage; “supportive roles” of the husband and wife.  The detective work was centered in 1 Peter 3:1-7.  Todays investigation, will focus on family and church relationships; along with individual roles in the marriage relationship. As believers in Christ, we need to take a stand in our marriages. I found a quote in researching words this morning. It said, “If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything“. With those words in mind, turn to Ephesians 5:21-33 and we will try to uncover some important clues.

Verse 21 says,  “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  God starts us out in the following verses by giving all of His instructions to us believers.  Whatever God instructs us to do, “submit or “be subject to” is for others; not for our sake but for Christ sake! That clue is vital for each role in the church and family; wife, husband, parent, fellow believer. This clue doesn’t “just happen” in our every day life. We all have to “exercise” or “practice” being who God intended us to be (see Romans 12:1-3).

That thought is carried through to Verse 22, saying  “Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.”   sub” means under his mission. The Amplified Bible uses the word “adaptable“. You hear and read about words thrown out of the mouths of celebrities in the world. “They are sure to both sign a pre-nuptial marriage agreement before getting married”. “Pre-nuptials” are contracts which protect each of your rights.  Marriages, on the other hand should be a covenant between husband and wife. Covenants are giving up your rights to one another. It becomes an “investment of power” in “submission“. Our lives as Christians should be a living epistle.  Respect and honor should be mans number one need.

Ephesians 5:23 deals next with the “HUSBANDS“: Specific instructions of the “why’s” and “how’s”of being supportive to our wives.

“For the HUSBAND is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the Church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.”  The husband should show leadership in a supportive role in marriage. “Leadership” in the “headship”; or demonstrating your “headship” by your “leadership”. A godly leader doesn’t use ones authority for control. That is dictatorship and doesn’t benefit anyone in the relationship.

HUSBANDS are to be a living epistle, an open letter; not to only to your wife but to your family. Looking back at my life as a father, I didn’t do a very good job as “a living epistle”. I based my leadership on age-old strongholds taught to me by my parents. “They don’t write books on parenting” I thought. Oh but they do; it’s called the Bible or God’s instructions. I was immature in Christ and showed it. I have repented from those mis-understandings, of what role a father is responsible for to his children.

And to your wife…you need to let her know where you are and when you will be in a certain place. At the beginning of our marriage, Dianne and I made an agreement. If we were out of the house and it was 10 P.M., we would call and check in with one another, NO matter what the circumstances were! We still do, to this day. It is called “respect” and “honor” in the relationship. The “body” needs to know where the “head” is men and visa versa.

About three years ago, I made an important decision in my marriage. Dianne always made out the budget, paid the bills, and balanced the check book. I needed to be a participant in the “Supportive Roles in Marriage”; leadership in the financial areas. Once a month now, we both sit down together at the kitchen table and pay the bills together. I can look at each bill and see where the money is going and when the payment is due. My mother had handled everything in the family regarding budgeting and money distribution. I never remembered my dad even writing a check…until my mother got sick. He had no other choice but to take over that responsibility in their marriage; mom didn’t have the mental capacity to handle it any longer. Dad tried, but things just got worst. After being married for over 70 years, dad tried but couldn’t take the financial leadership role. If you husbands find yourself in a non-leadership in the financial areas of your marriage…STOP! Sit down with your wife and explain that you need to be supportive to her. She might not want to give up this task completely, but tell her you just want to be a godly leader as a husband.

There are four basic needs in marriage and in all human life. God does know all your needs (Philippians 4:19) and His Spirit will prompt you to remember what is lacking in your relationship.

1.  Acceptance.  Know that your loved and needed by other people.

2.  Identity.   Knowing you are significantly needed and are special.

3.  Security.  Knowing women, that you are provided for and protected.

4.  Purpose.  Knowing you have a reason for life. Christians have purpose.

All family relationships should have results to those basic needs. Friendship is a “covenant word“. True friendship is giving up your needs for others. I often have heard a marriage partner say, “My wife/husband is my best friend!”  That is a great claim to make in a marriage IF…you are willing to give up your own needs. “I thought marriage was a 50/50, give and take relationship?” Sorry, it’s not! It’s a 100% giving from the husband and 100% giving from the wife. Your friendship to your marriage partner or between someone else, should be a blessing; not what you can get from the relationship but what they receive from you. Don’t just settle.

Knowing  these basic needs,I want you to turn back to Ephesians 5:21:  “Be subject to one another…”  God’s Word tells  me that “being subject to“; is what He told me to do as a husband ( wives too). Will you be “subject to” Christ? Will you be obedient to His instructions?

I hope all the evidence presented, will help you understand more clearly your roles in marriage, your role as parents and your role in the family of God. It starts out with “exercising” God’s principles. Being “Doers” of the Word,not just listeners. Remember… “EXERCISE CAUSES DEVELOPEMENT“; developement of the “Supportive Roles in Marriage”–How does it work?

 

Husbands…Your Supportive Role in Marriage”–How does it work?

“Husbands and wives are co-rulers in a marriage”. 

In my last blog, I made a bold statement to husbands; before uncovering clues on how, “Supportive Roles in Marriage” work. I mentioned that in 1 Peter 3:1-6, God’s Word is speaking to wives, NOT to husbands! No looking over their shoulders men, grinning about what God wants wives to be in verse 1, “…be submissive to your own husbands“. Today, I will be speaking directly to “Husbands“. So ladies, find something to occupy yourselves and no looking over your husband’s shoulder. Lets get started men.

In 2 Peter 1:5-7, I discovered some very important evidence about exercising;  “exercise causes development”.  In these three verses in 2 Peter, God is telling all of us, husbands and wives that exercising your faith developesvirtue“. There are “7Christian virtues” listed in verses 5-7. The developement is in “excellence, resolution and Christian energy” and the development doesn’t just happen. It has to be exercised. Let me share what is found in exercisingour faith and how these Christian virtues come into clarity as a “supportive husband” in relationship.

1.  “Exercising your faith, developes virtue.”  Verse 5.

2.  “Developing knowledge (intelligence)” in a supportive role. Verse 5.

3.  “Developing self-control”  Verse 6.

4.  “Developing steadfastness (patience, endurance).” Verse 6

5.  “Developing godliness (piety)”.  Verse 6.

6.  “Developing brotherly affection”.  Verse 7.

7.  “Developing Christian love.”  Verse 7.

Each of the 7 virtues that are exercised, leads to the developement of the next virtue. Write them down and put them close by men. That is because, when your anger rises up in selfishness over a particular issue between you and your wife, you will know that you have become lax in exercise. You must make an investment in your supportive role; investing your time in marriage. A lawyer goes to law school to practice law. A doctor goes to medical school before practicing medicine. If you want to make the statement to others, “I have a prosperous marriage”, then you have to educate yourselves in marriage. I will start in 1 Peter.

Go with me to 1 Peter 3:6, to see how understanding our roles as husbands, leads to maturity in marital relationship. You will learn to develop your thinking; that your ‘knower’ knows, that you know what your supportive role is in marriage.

1 Peter 3:6,  “It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters IF you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].”

Husbands, don’t get puffed up when you read this verse. “Honey, come in and read what Peter has to say about obedience”, or “What’s this verse have to do with me?” I love the Amplified version of this verse. In this translation, “brackets [   ]  contain justified clarifying words or comments not actually expressed in the immediate original text, as well a definitions of Hebrew and Greek names.” That explanation is provided in the preface of The Amplified Bible.

Husbands are to educate themselves in marriage. In leadership, your roles and duties before your wife acknowledges your role as headship of the marriage. By the way guys, just a personal note I have learned over the years in my marriage. Your wife responds to your physical needs, not by your snide comments about sex, but to your “godliness” in your marriage. Develope that principle, and be successful. That can be categorized as “exercising steadfastness [develops] godliness.”

Husbands are not just partners in marriage but partnership in everything.

1 Peter 3:7 says,  “In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the womans as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are ‘joint heirs’ of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]”

There are no “my’s” in your roles as husband. It should be verbalised as, “it’s ours”. “How about my wife’s saying “my this” and “my thats’?  According to verse 7, you are “heirs together”; ‘joint heirs’.  Excercising ways in showing your wife that you value or appreciate her. A walk in the park or along a seaside beach. Fixing supper for the both of you one night a week or asking her how her day went. If you are already doing and showing her appreciation, remember what happens when you stop exercising. You can get flabby, stiff-necked and just plain sore! If you don’t think you have the time for such non-sense, verse 7 gives you a warning.  “…your prayers might be hindered and cut off” and [“otherwise you cannot pray effectively”].

Husbands need knowing how to have relationships according to what God says; not what the world says. Relationships are “bridges” in life. You can apply this truth in evangelism in your city and in your marriage.

I once was a part of a “dicipleship training’ program that” Campus Crusade for Christ” held at a church I attended in Southern California. They taught that when you witness for Christ, it wasn’t like living behind walls of your castle-church. You have decided as a group, you need to go into the surrounding villages and tell them about Jesus. You let down the draw bridge, cross the dangerous moat and tell everyone that they need Christ. Then you run into resistance in your telling and run back to the castle, pulling up the draw bridge behind you. “We will have to do that “witnessing thing” again someday”.

Why did I go down that rabbit trail? “You don’t go out witnessing; you witness as you go”. Your “supportive role” in marriage is an every moment, everyday exercise. It is not only taking your wife to dinner on your anniversary and on her birthday. That is appreciative, but it is another two raids to the outskirts of town?  A visit to a restaurant, then pulling up the draw bridge behind you when you get back to your home-castle and saying, “There, I have completed the task in front of me”. King Arthur might pat you on the back but King Jesus will shake his head and smile saying, “our relationship and communication might be hindered. Try bridging your relationship with your wife”.

Matthew 6:31-34, talks about what NOT to do and what TO do in your role as a husband in marriage. Read God’s word and write down all the clues you can find about your role.

“How about Ephesians 5, concerning “Your Supportive Role in Marriage”–How does it work? ” series. That is where I am doing my  investigative study for the next blog.  We will look at family and church relationships and where we husbands are to take a supporting role in the family.

“Supportive Roles in Marriage”—How does it work?

This September 26th, 2011; Dianne and I will have been married 47 years.  47 years of practical experience should give me plenty of understanding in “Supportive Roles in Marriage” and How it works!  Besides, after that many years of marriage, we still can hang wall paper together, without yelling and shouting at each other! PTL

I discovered through my investigation four needs that are essential to all life; especially in marriage.

#1.  Acceptance

#2.  Identity

#3.  Security

#4.  Purpose

Keep those four needs close by as look to uncover God’s Word in being supportive in marriage. 

Turn to 1 Peter 3:1-8 ; looking at some clues we might not have uncovered in the past.  I use the Amplified Version of scripture, not because I think it is the best translation, but because it gives me insight in my detective work and Holy Spirit does the rest. I will start the research in verse 1.

“IN LIKE manner, you married women…”  Alright husbands, God’s Word IS NOT talking to you here; that’s later. So find something else to do until I get to verse 7.  Okay, lets continue reading verse 1.

“…be submissive to your husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependant on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives.”

The King James version uses the word “subjection“, where other translations of the Bible use “submissive“.  The Greek word for both words is, “hupotasso” ; from two words, “Hupeo”, under; and “tasso”, arrange or to put in order. So with the original Greek in mind, keep your place in 1 Peter and go to 1 Timothy 3:4 to look at “hupotasso”, or “subjection”.  A better understanding in “WORD STUDY” often comes from comparing scripture verses.

Verse 4 in the King James says,  “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection (“hupotasso”) with all gravity;”  The word “subjection”  in this verse, is dealing with relationships; of parents and children. 

One more look at the word “hupotasso” in Luke 2:51,  “And He (Jesus) went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto (“obedient” Amplified and the NIV; “subjection” NAS) them; but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”  [KJV Version]

Since Jesus had volunteered to His Father in Heaven, the authority given to Him was set in motion. Now, go back to 1 Peter 3:1 with me and I will uncover something I thought was very interesting.  Are you ready for this wives?  No where could I find in the New Testament, where the Word says that a wife is to love their husband.  In Titus 2:4, Paul urges the older women to “wisely train the young womento love their husbands and their children.”  That was the only verse I could find in that regard. God’s Word says, wives are to be “supportive” to their husbands. If the wife is going to be “supportive”, by building their husbands up, then this communicates her love for him. It separates the roles in the marriage.

I love the Amplified Version of the next verse, in 1 Peter 3:2.

When they (husbands) observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].”

Ladies, that verse should reveal to you, how to use your authority [delegated “power”]; in seeing a change in your husband. If some of you wives are reading this blog for the first time and are thinking, “If you think I am going be “obedient, “submissive” or in “subjection” to my husband…You are NUTS!”  Might “selfishness” be sitting on the throne in your life instead of “LOVE”? Remember, you are being “subject to” or “under” the authority of Christ. There is NO room for both!   “LOVE” is the Law of the Spirit of life; “SELFISHNESS” is the “Law of sin and death.”– Romans 8:1-2.  That is why you are to be in obedience to “support“; “be subject to” or “hupotasso” your husband.

In verses 3 thru 4, the requirement says that women should be a “living epistle” in order to be a supportive wife. God’s Word tell you, don’t be like the Greek and Roman women in history; spending all or too much time investing in their outward appearance.  You’re to beautify your inward spirit. God says, your “inward beauty” affects your “outward beauty”. You might not be able to see it in the mirror but your husband will see it. It should become a manner of “inside-out” living.  I read a good illustration of this “inside-out” type of living.

A born-again wife in England wanted to go out to a ladies evening bible study. Her non-believing husband told her that she was not to go out. She tried to explain to him that it was important for her to be at church that particular night. His answer: “If you leave tonight when I told you not to go out, I will lock the door behind you!”  The wife tells him politely,that she is still going to bible study.  When she returned home that night, it was snowing and very cold. She went to the door and sure enough, it was locked as her husband said he was going to do. She sat down on the front stoop, staying in that position all night, in the freezing cold. The next morning, she slowly stood and knocked on the front door, her husband eventually opening it. Was she angry at her husbands stubbornness? Did she pout and shout obscenities? Did she rush into the kitchen to find a weapon to use? This was her exact words, as she smiled while entering the fire-place heated room:  “Honey, what would you like for me to fix you for breakfast this morning?” She said nothing to him about her experience of being locked out of the house in the snow. Her husband couldn’t speak!  A month or so later, he went to church on Sunday morning with his wife and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.  His name was Smith Wigglesworth, who later became a Pastor of that same church and world known author.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “MEEK”?  In Matthew 5, we can see and hear Jesus seated on a mountain teaching all of us who and how to be “BLESSED“. The Amplified defines “to be Blessed” as, (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions). Verse 5 reads, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  The next question for you wives is. what comes to mind when you hear or see the word, “PEACEMAKERS”? Still in Matthew 5, look at verse 9:  “BLESSED are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called sons (and daughters) of God!” Keeping these two verses in mind, turn back now to 1 Peter 3:4 and do some comparisons.

“BUT let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle [meek] and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.”

“MEEK” in the Greek language says it is an “attitude”. Friendly, warm, kind, gentle, forgiving; it’s power under control. And “PEACEMAKERS’ isn’t an option in “Supportive Roles in Marriage”. It is a required quality by God along with being “MEEK” in the relationship. Go to Ephesians 4:2-3:

“[Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.  Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.”

If your husband is a believer in Christ Jesus as you are, remember you are more than husband and wife. You are brothers and sisters  in Christ Jesus.  “Anger” in a marriage role, is the opposite of all the qualities I have uncovered in God’s Word. It is an emotion that can “boil” over out of your “selfishness”. The reason God gave Adam Eve was because Adam had become a “self-centered” male being. Selfishness is not a “supportive” position to take in a marriage and it works both ways. If  wives strive to reach the  required qualities in 1 Peter 3:1-4,  then your supportive role in marriage reaches maturity in Christ. That is how it works! It comes with a price as it did with Mrs. Wigglesworth; “Let it be an inward adorning and beauty of the hidden heart…” which is a sacrifice; not for your husband’s sake but for the LOVE you have for Christ.  By observation, your husbands will see and know how much you them through your relationship with the Father.

Okay husbands, I need your attention next as I continue with your “Supportive Role in Marriage“.  Know this, “Husbands and Wives are corulers in a marriage!  

 

I Am Getting Older and “It’s the Pits!”—“Old Age is Good”—Part II

Yesterday, I mentioned the “phone call”  Hezekiah made to the Lord; all right, it wasn’t an actual “phone call”.  Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed and asked God for answers. “Hello, God…are You there?” He reminded the Lord of his faithfulness and his devoted heart towards what was good (Isaiah 38:23).  Have you ever asked God in prayer for a healing, then started the conversation with the words in verse 3?  “…REMEMBER [earnestly] now, O Lord…”  I never had, until I read and mediated on this verse during my wife”s bout with cancer. It sure brought the results to Hezekiah’s dilemma and Dianne too!

Isaiah 38:4-5 response,  “Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father;  I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add to your life fifteen years.”

I have learned an important lesson through my years of discovery; how valuable faithfulness in prayer and dependence on God’s Word is.  When heart disease is diagnosed and cancer is diagnosed, your choice of words can determine the outcome. Dianne and I  planted word-seed in our spirit by saying,  “There is no disease in my body. It might visit, BUT it can’t stay!”

Are you getting tired of turning over stones in the Old Testament looking for hidden truths:  Is “Old Age” really “Good”?  Okay, go with me now to the New Testament: 2 Corinthians 11:23-21. I like to call these next verses “The Perils of Paul“. Through all of Paul’s physical endangerment and discouragements, Paul made a choice to live.  Philippians 1:21-25 says,  “For me [Paul] to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity].  If, however, it is to be life in the flesh and I am to live on here, that means fruitful service for me; so I can say nothing as to my personal preference.”  In verses 22-23, Paul is having to make a choice and it is a difficult choice. Paul says what his choice is and why he chose it.

Verse 24-25,  “BUT to remain in my body is more needful and essential for your sake.  Since I am convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and stay by you all, to promote your progress and joy in believing.”

There is a reason for saying to others, “Old Age is Good!”  How old was Paul when he made this choice? I don’t really know and to me it really doesn’t matter. I do know that I am 69 years young and God has a plan for me.  Christ is living in me and through me for a reason.

Turn again to the Old Testament, to Psalm 91:1-16 and look at the covenant requirement for a long life. Go ahead and read those verses to yourself… I’ll wait for you.

#1 Requirement is in verse 2,  “I will say of the Lord…”  What you don’t say, you won’t see.  So say it early! Don’t wait till something happens. 

#2 Requirement is in verse 1,  “He who dwells in the secret place…”  Learning the secrets; getting revelation on taking care of yourself; causing you to act or be a “doer” of the word. Causing you to live a long life. JESUS tells all of us, regardless of our age this in John 10:10, “…I came that they (that’s us) may have and enjoy life…”  Jesus made no reference to an age requirement of receiving “having” and “enjoying life”.

#3 Requirement is in verse 15-16,  “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.”  That requirement is pretty self-explanatory! God says He will satisfy us “with long life”. If He says I will be “satisfied in old age”, then I believe it.

Lets start putting all the clues we have found together and proove to ourselves that “Getting Older” isn’t “the Pits!”  Turn to Mark 11.  Have you ever heard or made this statement before? I sure have in my growing up.  “Just saying it doesn’t make it so“. That is what the world says, but what does God say?

Mark 11:23, Jesus says,  “Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.”  Jesus says,  ‘You will have what you say’ , IF…’you don’t doubt it’.  “Longevity” is a covenant [promise] of “a long life”.

What then,are your conclusions about the issue,  “Old Age is Good”?  Can you make a choice between what the world says about mortalityin old age and what God’s plan is for your life? I choose life and if the Lord should tarry in His returning, I say…”I am going to live to the ripe old age of 120!”  Why 120? Because that was the norm of the faithful in the wilderness during Moses leading.

Lets end this investigation, by reviewing God’s clues, His truth, and His wisdom pertaining to “Old Age is Good!”

CLUE #1.  Long life is established in the Word of God. It will give you wisdom and revelation in the “secret place”.

CLUE #2.  Don’t let your mouth agree with the doubters!

CLUE #3.  Practice “I will say…”

There is a difference between information and understanding. The world can give you a lot of information about living a “long life in good health” with statistics and studies. BUTlive long; live strong” comes from the Word of God. It must become a part of your vocabulary.  “No disease in my body. It might visit, but it can’t stay!  Say it and believe it!!

Old Age is Good!

The title of todays blog, “Old Age is Good!” can sound contrary to what society tells everyone. Our American culture is vastly different in their thinking about “Old Age” or “getting older”. I was watching the news last night and heard an example of differing cultural opinions regard “getting older in life”. The singing group, of the ancient past (early 1960’s), tours Japan every year. The group’s name, “The Ventures”. Maybe you have heard of them and maybe not. But the guys have to be in their late sixties. “Boy, is THAT old”, you might be thinking.  How we  accept “older people” in our culture, versus how Japan’s acceptance differs, is completely a reversal in thinking. Maybe it has to do with honor, I am not sure. The news even said that the Emperor of Japan gave “The Ventures” group, a medal of appreciation that had only been handed out 24 times in the last 150 years!  So, is “Old Age” really good where we live? Lets put our detective hats on and look at what God’s Word has to say about “Old Age is Good!”

Genesis 15:15 says,  “And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old (hoary) age.”

Zechariah 8:4 says,  “Thus says the Lord of Host; Old men and old women shall again dwell in Jerusalem and sit out in the streets (in a place of prominence), every man with his staff in his hand for very [advanced] age.”

Those last two bible verses specifically tell us, “I will have a good old age”.  Do you still have your doubts about living to a good old age? Doubts like, “Things are different now. People don’t live as long as they did way back then”.  And that’s true…to a point! According to AARP, the “U.S. life expectancy surpasses 78, a new record.”  Wikipedia says there were 16 “supercentarians” that have died in 2011 so far; 15 were female and 1 male.  “Eunice Sanborn was born 20 July 1896; Died 31 January 2011–Age 114 years, 195 days.”  The patriarch Abraham died at 175 years of age. [Genesis 25:7]. Is there a difference? Yes, about 60 years. Remember your “attitude determines your altitude” about your aging. 

I want to keep investigating the scripture to see if there are “clues” in uncovering any secrets about, “Old Age is Good!”  Turn with me to 1 Chronicles 29:25-28; Davids age at death:

Verse 28,  “He [David] died in a good old age [his seventy-first year], FULL and satisfied with days, riches, and honor, Solomon his son reigned in his stead.”  Turn next to the Book of Psalms.

Psalm 34:10,  “The young lions lack food and suffer hunger, BUT they who seek (inquire of and require) the Lord [by right of their need and on the authority of His word], none of them shall lack any beneficial thing“.

“Any beneficial or good thing” includes “OLD AGE”, IF…(“if” is a conditional), “they seek the Lord“.  So is the issue of a long life another choice we must make, even when we are young? That choice is found in Deuteronomy 30:19.

Verse 19 says,  “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you (a choice to make)…life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.”

I don’t know about you, but I choose life. “What I have been eating always comes out”; God’s Word or…?

I found more evidence in God’s Word by turning to the Gospel of John regarding “life or death”. John 6:48-50:

“I am the Bread of Life [that gives life–the Living Bread].”   “Your forefathers ate manna in the wilderness and [yet] they died.”  “[BUT] this is the Bread that comes down from heaven, so that [any]one may eat of it and never die.”  Now is Jesus really saying that “Old Age is Good”? What do you think He is talking about regarding our journey of life? Do you ever think you are walking in the wilderness sometimes?  Go back in the Old Testament to King Hezekiah, where he got some bad news.  When my wife received “bad news” over a year ago from her doctor; that she had breast cancer, how did we receive the news? Initially…fear, shock and some specific questions. First things first! What does God’s Word want us to do and how are we going to be “doers”?  The next verses were among the many we looked up in our bibles and read out loud to each other daily. Oh by the way, Dianne is clear of the cancer according to her mammogram of last week! Thank you Jesus.

ISAIAH 38:1-2 says,  “IN THOSE days King Hezekiah of Judah became ill and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him and said, Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.”

Dianne’s doctor didn’t tell her she was going to die like Isaiah told Hezekiah, but in either case; it was BAD NEWS…you are going to die!

Verse 2 continues by saying,  “Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.”  Dianne did the same.

Hezekiah did not die; he made an important phone call.  Psalm 91 continues bringing the “good news” !

Verses 15-16,  “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” 

What a promise to those approaching “old age” or who are already there.  “Call upon Him and He will answer you”.  He will deliver and honor you with a “long life”.  Have you ever prayed that prayer before? If you haven’t, be a “doer” of the Word right now. It’s okay, no one will notice your face is against the wall while you pray. Your confidence is, in your knowing, God will answer you!

Tomorrow, I will give you the evidence that you will need and confess with your mouth, “Old Age IS Good!” Part II.