Friday, April 10, 2015

Let it Rain

It was about 5 A.M. when I heard this roaring sound … it was my stomach growling insisting to be fed.

Gently rubbing my tummy to persuade it to calm down, I gave assurance it would eat soon.  Not willing to wait, my intolerant stomach dragged me out of bed and forced me to open the refrigerator. (Go with it OK.) 

Palming through all the bottles, cartons and containers I made a yogurt selection, regardless to what my brain and abdomen had in mind.  Sitting down in a dimly lit room I heard another sound.   

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Here Comes the Rain 

“Here comes the rain, and I say, “It’s alright.”  OK, so that’s not the line in a popular song but it is close, and reminded me that rain is a sign something is about to happen.   

I listened as drops of rain hit the roof in the wee hours of the morning like little pattering feet.  The rain didn’t come all at once, but gently fell until there was a full downpour.  Crashing thunder rolled and rolled like the sound of bowling pins falling one by one off in the distance.  

After a while, it tapered off and once more became a trickle until it finally stopped.  It was dawn by now and the sun began making her appearance over the horizon.  Slumped over my sink window with my elbows supporting my weary head, I watched the birds begin to congregate around the feeding area and dance on the edge of the bird bath.   

There was a clean smell in the air, you know, only the kind that comes after an early spring storm.  It was over now and a new day had begun.  The earth has been bathed in splendor and now we wait to see what was affected by the night’s activities. 

If there is one thing that I’ve learned from spring thunderstorms, it's that they don’t last and always bring change.  It’s the change that seems to bother us the most, because we’re not always prepared for what has been left in the wake of the storm. 

Getting Better Eye Sight 

Some storms we see building; we know to brace ourselves and are prepared, while others come unexpectedly. Thunderstorms (literal and emotional) came at all times of the day over the past few weeks.  When one was over another one popped up, day after day.  It gave the impression that the sun had disappeared. 

Sometimes it seems like there’s too much to handle. We feel guilty if we complain, “Lord this is too overwhelming. You have to do something!” 
 
In reality we want the storms to stop, but truth be told, without them we couldn’t experience the calm that brings the rainbow.  We’d never see how God is washing away the debris and cleansing what was dirty in our unbelieving hearts.   

I could see a weakening spirit in my husband a while back.  When I asked him what was wrong he said it was a feeling of brokenness.  Sure with all the medications his emotions were as flighty as a woman going through menopause (oh my, he’s going to read this!), but this had gone much deeper. 

We needed a new approach on how we were dealing with all the changes in our lives, and that meant looking beyond what we saw with our natural eye.  Spiritual eyes were now gazing upon the situation. 

Looking Back on A.N.A. 

April has been a stormy month for us, but God always sends good in the middle of bad.  We need to look for those rays of hope and keep believing anyway.  

The car broke down, the mower quit, a friend’s husband left for Heaven, then the report of my husband needing another operation.  There were other things, but why dwell on things that are subject to change? 

Remembering back to our challenges in 2013-2014 God has shown us that our approach to any matter determines its outcome. So this is how I assessed matters. 

Yes, the car broke down causing added stress, but the Lord provided a vehicle.  That person has now “aligned” themselves (car pun intended) in the pathway of God for a blessing to come their way, because they loaned us their vehicle until ours was repaired.  They sowed the car for God’s use so favor must go to them according to scripture.  Plus we paid the bill without going into debt.   

Use your spiritual eyes and look at it like this. Mowers (things) can be repaired or replaced, God’s children change location by forwarding to Heaven, and the doctor’s see healing they cannot explain.  All these things must come for a reason; to help people believe in God and draw them to Him.  The best thing is that He chooses to let us be part of His plan. 

Unseen Storms 

Storms in life allow God’s people to converge (come together over the same point/situation, but from various places or directions) on the devil in prayer and action according to the Word.  Scripture declares that after Jesus was crucified, He was active in ways we couldn’t see.  

When Jesus died on the cross, the unseen world experienced its own storm.   Jesus entered the gates of Hell, and stripped satan of any power or victory.  That power is still active through the work of the Holy Spirit no matter how tumultuous things may seem. 

Look Beyond the Storm 

Jesus believed He would be raised from the dead.  He believed in God’s Word and ability to change a situation so there would be a new side to what the world called “a tragedy”. 
 
He viewed things from the other side of the storm with spiritual eyes and kept believing despite what he saw, felt or thought in the flesh.  He chose to see beyond the storm. 

People think that the storm Jesus experienced on the cross lasted three days, but it didn’t.  They could only see what He was doing in the present.  The storm had stopped and new things were being set in motion.  

The world doesn’t get to see that part, but we have to believe there is something going on in day 2 (the middle) of our storm.  Day three is coming!  It’s good, new and something better than we could have ever hoped for, thought or imagined. (See Ephesians 3)

Appreciate the Mysteries of God 

Is God setting us up for tragedy or bad news to come?  No, but like Jesus, we will go through storms.  He prepared ahead of time through prayer by rejecting fear or doubt to partner with what was to come. He focused on the promise beyond the cross and believed through the storm.  

What the world viewed as a mystery of God, Jesus saw as a promise being fulfilled.   
 
 

There’s A New Dawn Coming 

Good things are coming to God’s kids, but only for those who believe.  Either we are going to stay in hope or get washed away with fear during the storms of life. What is it going to be for you? 

It was dawn when the storm broke on Thursday, allowing the sun to appear and the birds sang.  I imagine it was much like when Jesus said He would arise.  At dawn new mercy came for Him; what He believed the Heavenly Father would do came to pass.  

Psalm 23:6a declares the same promise for us, that with each dawn we are given, it is presented with new mercies and goodness that follow us not only throughout the day, but for all of our lives. That means there is hope when we focus beyond the storms we faced the previous day. 

Only God Can Do His Job 

What are you believing God for in prayer?  Jesus stayed in prayer and let God do what He promised.  In other words, He let God do His job so the promise of resurrection could come. We have to do the same.  

Jesus is alive, active and a new dawn has come to all who believe in the promises spelled out in the Word of God.  Get excited about what God has prepared for you. This storm you are experiencing is almost over; you are about to see a new dawn where the sun will shine bearing glorious blessings in full bloom.   

Recently my sister had a flat tire on her car.  Instead of looking at the circumstances, she began to laugh. Not because the flat wasn’t real or a concern, but she believed in God’s promises to deliver her over what she was looking at on her vehicle. 

God is about to do more than you could have ever dreamed in your life.  Don’t look at what’s happening right now.  Circumstances are about to change if you keep believing.  


So come on … let it rain.  God’s favor is about to be poured out on your circumstances.
 
"Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD.  His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth." (Hosea 6:3 NKJV)

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.



This Week’s Challenge:
"Let it Rain" Prayer 

Believe beyond your circumstance that God’s gates are opening for you to experience greater things for His glory.   

As Jesus prepared for glory to fall on Him, He worshipped, prayed and praised.  His prayers spoke of what He believed.  Jesus didn’t pray “if” or “maybe”, but let it rain prayers, meaning God, bring on the storm because I know You will deliver Me. 

This week’s challenge is to take the same action in prayer as Jesus.  It’s a new day, a new dawn in the life of a believer.  He wants to do bigger things for us; greater than we could even think or ask. 

God promises that when we seek His wisdom in every area of our lives, He will disperse favor on that individual.  Don’t you want to be that person?   

“For whoso (who means whoever, you, me or anyone) finds me (wisdom of God) finds life and shall (a promise assured) obtain (receive) favor of the LORD.” (Proverbs 8:35 NKJV)  

Jesus increased in favor from God and man; so can we if we believe and pray like He did. 

Ask God to use you for whatever He needs this week. That means submitting your will to His no matter what the request may be and seeking His wisdom to carry out the task.  A storm may or may not come.  We’re going to leave all the details in God’s hands and believe there is favor already awaiting us for being obedient.

If you’re too afraid to do this, we’ve identified the problem … you don’t believe what you thought you believed after all.  You don’t really believe in the resurrection side of the cross, and that needs to be dealt with first. 

Something is about to happen:
 
I can feel it coming in my spirit.  Can you hear the rain in the distance? 

In today’s lingo it would be smugly staring at the devil while shouting to God,
 
“Bring it on … let it rain, I already see the rainbow!”  


“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power of the Holy Spirit that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)
 


Until next time, favor dwells in the wisdom of God.

Check Messages throughout the week.


“I will give favor when you seek Me.”
Jesus Christ

 
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Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.

Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Refrigerator  Window View of Rain  Spiritual Eyes  New Dawn New Beginning  Let it Rain Floodgates of Heaven
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

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