The Saddest Sight Of All Is The Pacing Of The Caged Lion.
The Lion The King Of The Jungle!
Lions, they are no doubt one of the most magnificent of creatures. Even the Lord referred to Himself as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The lion is an animal so powerfully built, so capable, so beautiful, and awe-inspiring that it was chosen to be a type of the Messiah.
Some even travel on safari trips into the African jungle or veld to view this monarch of all animals in its natural environment. The photos such travelers bring home capture the heart of its viewers.
One of the saddest things to see is this noble creature pacing the floor inside of a steel cage. Back and forth, back and forth it goes looking for a way out. Occasionally it may stop to bite the bars and roar out of frustration.
- It sees others free outside the cage and wants to be free too.
- It wasn’t born to live on concrete.
- It wasn’t created to live in a steel showcase.
- It’s potential and strengths are forever confined.
- Its power will never really be known.
- It’s only a shadow of what could have been.
- It’s a caged lion.
- It’s a pacing caged lion wanting to be free.
- It’s a pacing caged lion looking for a way out.
- It’s a pacing caged lion.
The Caged Lion
No one has to go to the City Zoo to see the pacing of caged lions. They can be seen in many of our homes and most of our churches!
They are beautiful creatures of God with amazing potentials and abilities. Yet they live a life of meager existence. They watch others enjoy freedoms in God that they cannot. They are limited to what lengths they can even go because of their steel bars.
- People come by and look at them.
- Some point and make comments to their friends.
- Some take pictures of what they see.
- The similarities to the caged lion are there for all to see.
- The spirit of unrest.
- The pacing of the caged creature back and forth, back and forth.
- The frustration.
- The caged look.
- The biting at the bars.
- The occasional roars from the soul.
Every one is handicapped to help. Multitudes read the warning signs and keep their distance. They look and then they move on.
What Put The Lion In This Cage? Who Put The Lion In This Cage?
Were they captured in a snare or trap? Were they injured, found and then brought here? Did the lion walk inside willingly and let himself be lock in the cage? Is this cage real or imagined? What happened? No one really knows the whole story. All that is known is that something happened.
- Was it Condemnation?
- Was it a Personal Failure?
- Was it an Addiction?
- Was it an Attitude?
- Was it Rebellion?
- Was it a Rumor?
- Was it an Indiscretion?
- Was it Disobedience?
- Was it Bitterness?
- Was it a Past Injury?
Did Sin Make The Bars Or Were The Bars Man Made?
How Did This Happen?
Every day, everywhere, caged lions are seen. I watch them in churches. The potential for better things is obvious to all who see them. But their actions aren’t much different from the caged king of the jungle.
I watch them pace and hear them roar. They are still caged and confined by the events of the present and the past. They are held captive by things real and things imagined. They barely exist.
I watch them try to worship and they cannot. They try to pray and it sounds empty and hollow, but mostly just quiet. Occasionally they will roar out loud, but their roar does not threaten Hell.
They smile but they are not happy. They raise their hands, but never seem to touch Heaven. They keep their head down in despair while praying. They never feel worthy.
If they are called on to testify. It is a quick, low-voiced attempt that may last only ten seconds or so.
- They watch others worship and shout, but they don’t.
- They watch others sing from the soul, but they are still in a cage.
- They watch others pray with liberty and freedom, but their prayers are caged.
- They see their friends be used of God, while they pace back and forth.
- The bars keep them from doing what they really want to do.
- The bars keep them from being what they really want to be.
If I Could Talk To The Spiritually Caged And Pacing Lion…
I Would Share Four Passages Of Scripture To Give Them Hope.
God NEVER meant for His children to live a cage. He never meant for us to exist just pacing behind bars, a spectacle for all to see. A could-have-been. No matter who made the bars, or how the lion got inside, there is a way out for all.
1. Every One Has A Past. Understand That God Doesn’t Want Your Past To Be Your Future Or Hold You Captive. No Matter What You Have Done Or What You Have Been, There Is Hope.
1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
2. Paul Even Felt Caged By His Past.
(Roman law allowed the dead victim to be tied to the back of the murderer. In it’s decaying state, the worms slowly ate into and killed the killer. Paul felt his past tied to his back, eating away at him. Condemnation is a killer. So he wrote:
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
But Something Happened To Paul Between Chapter Seven And Chapter Eight. When He Broke Free He Wrote Anew…
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
3. Jesus Came Down To Earth To Unlock Your Cage
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Dear Child Of God!
Do not allow your self, your sin, or your past to keep you in a cage. Believe in God’s Mercy, His Grace, and His Forgiveness. Accept It.
- The Door Is Unlocked And Open.
- The Cage No Longer Can Hold You Unless You Let It.
- Freedom Is God’s Gift To You.
4. The Door Is Open. God Didn’t Save You To Keep You In A Cage.
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:
When I was a small lad of ten or so, my father, Evangelist Carl Ballestero preached a revival in Texas City, Texas for a Pastor Titus McDonald. My memories of those days are faded somewhat with time. But I remember being there.
I remember also meeting Brother Titus McDonald’s son, Rodney. He was about my age. I never dreamed that someday we both would find ourselves in the ministry and that I would preach for him like my father preached for his father, and later preach revivals for his son.
In the early sixties, I attended Western Apostolic Bible College in Stockton, CA. That is where I met Bishop Rodney McDonald’s lovely future bride. Her name then was Sister Karen Hedger.
Imagine my surprise years later to find out that my old acquaintance was married to someone I had met out in California years ago.
Over the last decade or so our paths have crossed with the McDonald family quite frequently. It has been my great honor to preach several revivals for Pastor Nathan McDonald, their son. The church is in great hands with his leadership and is experiencing a wonderful move of the Lord.
Last month, I preached a revival at their church and one afternoon was honored to go out to eat lunch with the Bishop and his wife in downtown Oklahoma City. No one knew that it was to be one of my last moments to be with them together.
I was awaken with the news today of his impending passing. He was given “minutes or maybe hours” to live. My heart hurt with the news. I became overwhelmed with emotion.
This morning Bishop Rodney McDonald went from this life into the Glory World. He had struggled with health issues for several years now, and it hurt to even watch him try to breathe on his bad days.
I Salute Him and Honor Him.
- The Godliest of men.
- Pristine in his principles and motives.
- A man of honorable ethics.
- Accurate in doctrine.
- Devoted to his wife.
- Devoted to God.
- He gave his life to the Work of God
- A Preacher’s Preacher
- He held fast to the Old Paths.
- He lived what he preached.
- He was given to hospitality.
- Everyone that knew him loved him.
Goodbye My Dear Friend. I Love You!
I will always treasure our moments, meals, and the memories we made. We were just together a few short weeks ago. It doesn’t seem possible!
Join with me in prayers and support for the whole family, especially Sister Karen McDonald, their son Pastor Nathan McDonald and church, Apostolic Faith Tabernacle, Oklahoma City, OK.
Forty Years Of What’s This?
Imagine living with “I don’t know what this is” situation for nearly a lifetime. Israel did in the wilderness. They woke up one morning and were presented with something they had never seen or ever heard about. It didn’t go away. It perplexed them.
Manna – What Is This?
Exo. 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
Jubilee Bible 2000
Exo. 16:15 And when the sons of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna (What is it?): for they did not know what it was. Then Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.
New International Version
Exo. 16:14 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.
Living With Things We Don’t Understand May Be What God Gave Us To Eat For Now.
- Some of us live a lifetime with I Don’t Know.
- We all have lived with things we don’t understand.
- We all are asked to partake of things that don’t make sense.
- We live a life surrounded by perplexing things.
The Very Thing They Didn’t Understand And Got Tired Of… Was The Thing That Preserved And Sustained Them In The Wilderness.
- Complainers are everywhere.
- Some would rather have the leeks and garlic diet of Egypt.
- They wanted things like it used to be.
- All of them wanted meat and not more of What’s This?
How Long Have You Gone Through Something And Didn’t Know When Or If It Would Ever End?
- You couldn’t see the purpose or benefit?
- Health issues.
- Financial problems.
- Marriage problems.
- And besides, you would have rather have any thing else but this.
Once Israel Reached The Place God Promised Them, The Manna Ceased
Joshua 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
- There was a day when it ended for them. There will be a day when yours ends too.
What Israel Didn’t Know.
- The thing they complained about.
- The thing some even refused to eat.
- The thing they felt forced to live with for forty years…
…Was Angel Food
Psa 78:25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.
- Be careful about your complaints to God.
- Be careful of your attitude when you live with things you don’t understand.
It Could Just Be That God Is Giving You Angel Food.
Unusual Remedies That Work
Riding horses cross-country with friends was something I’ve enjoyed doing for nearly fifty years. I am not really a horseman, but my friends are. I am just a rider.
One year a dozen or more of us were camped at the Horseman’s Camp in Brown County State Park in Indiana. One of the riders, Jack Cunningham, cut the palm of his hand very deep while out on the trail.
We all searched our saddlebags but none of us had any antibiotic, gauze or Band-Aids. With his uninjured hand, Jack found a roll of masking tape in bottom of his saddlebag. “Here, this will work perfectly,” he said with great assurance.
I argued with him and said that it wasn’t made for healing or wrapping wounds, but for construction use.
Jack said, “I’m a carpenter. One day at work I cut myself. There were no supplies there either and all I had was this tape. I used it and the next morning, my cut was healed.”
“This cut in my palm will be completely closed and only a pink line will be showing in the morning. You’ll see.”
The next morning we all gathered around as he removed to tape to see for ourselves if this remedy worked or not. To our astonishment, the cut was closed and a pink line looked back at us. We shook our heads in amazement.
Unusual Home Remedies Are Nothing New.
We’ve Used Them Most Of Our Lives.
Hairspray To Remove Pencil Or Ink
I use hairspray to take pencil markings off of the wall, or ink out of my white shirt. After spraying the area, I rub it with a rough cloth similar to a washcloth.
Stop Hiccups With Sugar
Our family has used sugar to immediately stop the hiccups in infants, children and adults for many years.
(A teaspoon of sugar swallowed dry can stop hiccups in minutes, says Andre Dubois, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine in the emerging infectious diseases graduate program at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. – http://www.prevention.com)
Books Are Written About Man’s Unusual Remedies.
Some of them work. Some of them don’t.
A Book Has Already Been Written About God’s Unusual Remedies.
- He always has unusual solutions to our everyday problems.
- Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
- Job 9:10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
- His remedies catch us off guard
Here Are A Sampling Of God’s Unusual Remedies
Israel Had No Weapons To Defend Them In Battle.
- No problem! God sent hornets and drove the enemy off.
- Exodus 23:28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
Gideon? You Have Only 300 Armed Men Against 100,000 Armed Midianites?
- No problem! Get 300 trumpets, pitchers and lamps and you’ll be fine.
- Judges 7:16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
Your Borrowed Axe Head Flew Off The Handle Into The Bottom Of The Lake?
- No Problem. Throw in this stick and the axe head will float to the top.
- 2 Kings 6:5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
- 2 Kings 6:6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
You Got A Wall Six Feet Wide And Fifty Feet Tall That Is Keeping You From Being Blessed?
No Problem. Walk around it once a day for six days and on the seventh day walk around it seven times. Don’t say a word the whole time. Then after the seventh time around on the last day… When the trumpet sounds, lift up your voices and shout. The wall will come down.
You’ve Got 5,000 Hungry Men Plus Women And Children Here With No Food!
- No problem. These five loaves of bread and two little fish will be enough.
- Mark 6:41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
You Have The Palsy And Can’t Move Or Walk?
- No Problem. I’ll forgive your sins and you will be made normal.
- Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Are You Barely Able To Get By On Your Paycheck?
- No problem, God says give Him 10% of your increase and He will make the 90% that is left go further than the 100% you originally had.
- Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Do You Need A Financial Blessing?
- Give and it shall be given to you.
- Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Sir, You’re Blind And You Can’t See?
- No Problem. Here, let me spit on the ground make it into clay and rub it in your eye.
- John 9:6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
- John 9:7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Have You Run Out Of Wine For The Wedding Celebration?
- No problem. Fill up those jugs with water. And go pour them into the cups.
- John 2:7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
- John 2:8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
Haven’t Caught Anything?
- No problem. Cast your nets on the right side of the boat.
- John 21:5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
- John 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
Are You Bleeding To Death And The Doctors Can’t Help You?
- No problem. Just touch the hem of my robe.
- Matthew 9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
- Matthew 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
- Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Can’t Pay The Taxes?
- No problem. Go fishing and I will put a fish on your hook that has money in it’s mouth.
- Matthew 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Preacher Are You Hungry?
- No problem, I’ll fly your breakfast right in on raven’s wings.
- 1 Kings 17:5 So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
- 1 Kings 17:6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
If you cannot see the Hand of God working just like you imagined it should to fix your problem. Just trust Him anyway. His ways are above ours. They are past finding out. He will always come through for you.
God Not Only Has THE Remedy For Removing Sin, It Is Always Unusual.
After You Repent: God Will Remove All Of Your Sins, If:
- If you will stand in a pool of water and let the pastor baptize you, (by immersion), while he pronounces the words, “In The Name Of Jesus Christ.” Immediately your sins will be gone!
Jesus Said For His Disciples To Do It.
- Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
- Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Peter Said It And Did It At Pentecost!
- Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Baptism In Jesus Name Will Wash Away Your Sins!
Ananias Said To Paul:
- Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
This is the only cure and it is quite unusual. But, I promise you it will work. It has never failed.
God’s unusual remedy to take away all sin and remove one’s past is to simply let an Apostolic Pastor immerse you in water and say, “In The Name of Jesus,” when he baptizes you.
When you come out of that water, you sins will be gone. God will choose to remember them no more against you. They will be cast behind His back as far as the East is from the West.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
You Can “C” Your Way Through This!
You can get through this trial. You can survive your journey through the valley. There is a way to come through your dry spell. It’s not all that hard. You just have to “C” your way through.
(A few days ago Bro. Ken Bow shared some of these major points with his church while I was there. I took liberties and expounded and added to them. Thanks Elder.)
Like Job, be consistent. Especially during your time of testing never falter in your walk with God.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
What do you do when things are going wrong?
- You keep on praying
- You keep on singing
- You keep on coming to church
- You keep on praising the Lord
- You keep on paying your tithes
- You keep on doing what you know to do.
Be Consistent, be faithful. Never allow yourself to be up and down in and out
If You Are Consistent, You Can “C” Your Way Through This!
Make A Complete Commitment To God.
Make a Commitment. Then keep your promises. Are you a child of God or not? If so, then commit yourself to living in a manner pleasing to Him and not yourself.
Make the commitment now. Don’t delay.
Psalm 57:7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
- Make a commitment to a better prayer life.
- Make a commitment to be a worshipper.
- Make a commitment to holy living.
- Make a commitment to abstain from all ungodliness and impurity.
- Make a commitment to be a faithful tither and a giver.
- Make a commitment to be faithful to every service.
- Make a commitment to visit the prayer room before the church service.
When you make your commitment to Him, like the psalmist did and get your heart fixed, you will feel like singing too!
If You Are Willing To Make The Commitment, You Can “C” Your Way Through This!
You’ve Got To Get Some Convictions For Yourself.
You can’t just live off of the preacher’s convictions or your Grandma’s. However wonderful theirs are, you have to get it in you.
Don’t expect to survive your storm in a boat with no rudder. Determine now your direction and don’t change. Don’t even hang around those who you know would give you bad advice and mislead you in a wrong direction.
Moses Had Conviction.
Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
The Three Hebrew Children Had Conviction.
Daniel 3:6 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Daniel 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
If You Get Strong Convictions About Right And Wrong And Separating Yourself From The World, You Can “C” Your Way Through This!
Be Quick To Repent And Search Your Heart.
The first step in finding God’s approval and favor on your life is being willing to admit all of your failures and ask His forgiveness. It’s important to repent often and sincerely. David Did.
David’s Sins Were Grievous, But He Was Quick To Repent.
As a man David was flawed in several ways. Yet somehow he was known as a man after God’s own heart. How could that happen? How is it that Saul messed up once and God cut him off and yet David has shameful moments more than once and God is merciful to him?
I believe it’s because David was quick to repent. David was willing to admit he was wrong and ask for mercy. He desired to be clean.
Psalm 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Psalm 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: …
Seven people in the Bible said, “I have sinned.” Only two of them found forgiveness: David and the Prodigal Son. These two said, “I have sinned against thee oh Lord.” All sin is against God. Recognize that your sin affects more than just you. Sin is against God.
Be quick to acknowledge your wrong before God. He will forgive you.
If You Will Be Quick To Confess When You Need To, You Can “C” Your Way Through This!
Be Careful Around Sin.
Don’t play games with your soul. Please don’t throw away what God has given you. This generation lives too carelessly. Even some Pentecostals who know better are somehow enticed to push the limits of separation from the world and see how close they can get and still feel saved. Why even think like that? The coming of the Lord is so close. This is no time to be careless with your eternity. You are in the world but not of the world.
Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
There’s That “C” Word Again!
Quit trying to see how much of the world you can have and still be a member of the church. That is foolish thinking. Remember this old Sunday School memory verse?
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Ask God to direct all of your steps and only lead you in paths pleasing to him.
Be Careful In Your Daily Life,
- Your speech,
- Your conduct,
- Your entertainment,
- Your hobbies
- Your friends
- Your thoughts
If You’re Careful, You Can “C” Your Way Through This!
Godly Camaraderie With The Saints Is Key To Your Spiritual Welfare And Survival.
I cannot begin to tell you of he great blessing, strength and comfort godly fellowship. It grieves me hear you tell me that they have no friends in the church. That your best friends are in the world.
If that is true, it will only be a matter of time before you are where they are. God places us in His family. The people of the Lord should even be closer to you than your unchurched family. Included along with doctrine and prayers in one verse is this key to your survival.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Your fellowship with God’s people is important and key to your spiritual survival. Minimize your influences from those that refuse to walk in all the light of truth. No matter how nice they are.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
If two people have different destinations then it will just be a matter of time before there is a parting of the ways. If not, then one of them will go where they really didn’t want to go because they refused to break company with their friend who was going in the wrong direction.
If You Surround Yourself With God’s People, You Can “C” Your Way Through This!
Consecrate Yourself To God; Surrender Your Will.
When you consecrate yourself to God. You then pledge to do whatever it takes to please Him. Consecration is about submission to His will and His way. It is saying, not my will but Thine be done.
Don’t wait for someone to tell that it’s time to draw closer to God. You already know. So please don’t delay. If you will draw closer to God, He will draw closer to you. That is His promise.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- Give Him you life.
- Give Him your all.
- Give Him your heart.
- Give Him your willingness.
- Give Him your obedience.
- Give Him your love.
If You Consecrate, You Can “C” Your Way Through This!
The Answered Prayer That Brought Pain
Be careful what you ask for.
Some answered prayers bring much pain.
2 Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
Hezekiah was on his deathbed. He knew he was sick and wasn’t getting better. Everyone in the Palace knew the King was dying. Hezekiah was a fighter and he was struggling to live.
Then unannounced, the Prophet Isaiah walks into his private bedchamber and gives him a word from the Lord.
It wasn’t well received by Hezekiah. He began to think of all that he had done in keeping Israel focused on walking in the ways of the Lord. He reminded God of all of his accomplishments and on the basis of that prayer, the Lord granted him fifteen more years of life.
As he was leaving, Isaiah barely got to the middle court of the Palace before God sent him back with another word.
2 Kings 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
2 Kings 20:6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
Now with more years added to his life, he even fathered another son. His name was Manasseh. There is one phrase in a verse that describes his whole life. “He did evil in the sight of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 33:2
- His life was a series of abominations.
- He lived like the heathens in the nations around him.
- He copied their idolatry.
- He copied their lifestyles.
- He built altars to Baal.
- He offered some of his own children as burnt sacrifices.
- He made them pass through the fire.
- He used enchantments.
- He allowed witchcraft. – 2 Chron. 33:6
- He dealt with familiar spirits. 2 Chron. 33:6
- He put a carved idol in the Temple. – 2 Chron. 33:7
- He made Israel to sin worse than the heathen. 2 Chron. 33:9
- He killed Isaiah, the beloved prophet. History says he was sawn asunder.
Israel became exceedingly cursed because one man’s selfish prayer affected forever the lives of their whole nation.
If Hezekiah had submitted to the original will of the Lord. Manasseh would have never been born. Isaiah would have lived on. The nation of Israel would have no doubt continued on in the direction Hezekiah had led them.
We are often frustrated and disappointed that our prayers are not always answered. We know, or at least think we know, what we need the most. We are intent on telling God how to direct our lives and what wishes, wants and needs of ours He should supply.
Once God has made a decision about your future, please submit to Him. Your prayer then for your sense of personal fulfillment may not be the blessing you had hoped.
Hezekiah got what he prayed for. But, all of Judah and every Godly person suffered because of that one answered prayer.