Friday, November 6, 2015

Before My Eyes

It had been some time since Lena had seen her precious jewels. 

After moving she needed to find a new location to hide her valuables. The location was rather unique and actually in plain view so no one would think of looking inside of the item.  That turned out to be true, even for her!   

The mystery was growing; someone has stolen her jewelry!  As time went on the woman believed it must have been the cleaning lady she hired after a natural disaster hit her home.  Rather than say anything Lena dismissed the lady and thanked for her services, then gave the matter over to the Lord. 

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As Time Goes By 

Five years had passed and once more the missing jewels came to Lena’s thinking.  It really bothered her that she never found out what happened to her jewelry.  She didn’t really know if the cleaning woman took them, but found it odd that they disappeared.   

What if the lady didn’t steal her jewelry and she blamed her without cause?  What if she accidently threw them away not realizing it because they were hidden in something? Several times more she “tore” the house apart looking everywhere and in everything she could imagine, but they never appeared. 

Wanting to be free of this once more she prayed, but this time a passage of scripture came to mind.  The verse really didn’t have anything to do with missing jewels, but there was something else that made it very visual for Lena. 

Targeted Prayer 

When we ask the Lord for help sometimes the things He shows us or directs us to don’t make a lot of sense.
 
That’s when we are to put our trust in Him and believe our answer is right in front of us.  Take a look at this verse and you’ll see what I mean. 

“Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” (Matthew 17:27 NKJV) 

This verse is talking about having the money made available for taxes not looking for lost treasure.  So what else did Lena learn from this?  Several things came to mind.  First the disciple didn’t question Jesus’ method of provision.  All he had to do was go fishing, which is what he already knew how to do. (No new skills required.)

The second thing she noticed is that the instruction was to look inside the first fish; it would have what was needed. This is what she really saw in that passage.  The Lord would put the fish before his eyes, but he had to go fishing for it and open its mouth. (Believe and take action.) 

Finally, after the obedient disciple got what he needed from the fish he went about the task of business. Notice that he didn’t do this just for himself, but also for Jesus.  “… take that and give it to them for Me and you.” 

This time Lena had a different view of what happened and thought if Jesus could put a fish before the eyes of that disciple to reveal the coin, He could do it for anything. She prayed again, making her request specific and targeted, “Lord, please put my jewelry before my eyes like you did that fish with the money!” 

Show Me the Fish 

One day while cleaning Lena found her jewelry … it was always there in front of her eyes, but she never opened the item to see if there was anything inside.  How many times had she looked at the item or cleaned it?  Lots I’m sure. She needed to take the next step - open something.

What a fantastic place to stash something; one that will remain secret for her sake.  However, I don’t think she used that place again as far as I know. 

It was seventeen years ago since Lena found her missing treasures and learned about asking God to put things before her eyes.  Now I do the same thing, but not only concerning missing things, but for all matters in living wisely before the Lord. 

Open the Eyes of My Heart 

There is no trickery or making a wish on a Jesus genie hoping things will magically appear before our eyes.  Lena learned what the disciples learned, and that is before our eyes can be opened to the mysteries of God, the eyes of our heart have to be opened to the things of God. 

Without fellowship with Jesus we will never be privy to the favor of God or His glorious ways.  He will not reveal the secrets of Heaven to someone that doesn’t believe or follow His direction no matter how far-fetched it may look to us.  Our part is to believe, ask and obey. 

Ever since Lena’s story I have done the same thing when it comes to asking God to put things before my eyes.  It could be my keys, a place, a specific item … anything.  

One instance, OK probably hundreds of times … I have asked the Lord to “Put so-and-so” (referring to one of the cat rescues that hide) before my eyes.  He always does. 

“Before our eyes can be opened to the mysteries of God,
 the eyes of our heart have to be opened to the things of God.”  – quote Favored1
 

An Eye for Favor Sales 

My husband had gone inside the municipal building to pay our utilities bill. While waiting in the car for him I prayed and asked the Lord to put favor sales in front of my eyes. 
 
My request was for discernment and wisdom to know if it was from Him, and not the devil trying to deceive me into buying something I didn’t really need but bought because of the sale price.  Satan will do that to devour your finances and make you think you got a good deal. 

This time hubby would be the one waiting in the car for me to run inside and pay a bill.  I left my purse in the vehicle, because after all I wasn’t buying anything. (What, do I hear comments of disbelief coming from out there? I heard that! No snickering gentlemen – how could I know what God was about to do?) 

Do I See “Fish” 

I went directly to the cashier to pay my bill and saw a 75% clearance sale with about a dozen boxes on the counter.  Most of the items I wasn’t interested in, but browsed while waiting for my turn.  There was only one item of this kind and everything about it was right.  It was a Liz Claiborne piece of jewelry that had a specific alphabet letter on it. Then I thought to myself, “Lord, is this a fish?” (Not a “Jesus fish” folks, but verification of my prayer.) 

Not being sure if I was to take the bait I asked another lady standing in line to confirm it was indeed what I said; she agreed.  Looking for an opportunity to sow a seed, initially when I saw the piece I knew it would look good on a friend of mine.  Leaving the line I went out to the car to get my wallet and told my husband about the sale. 

Upon re-entering the store, directly before my eyes was a small rack of clothes marked down in price.  I hadn’t noticed it the first time, because I walked in and went directly to my left. 

I actually ended up paying .83 each.
With several people in mind I quickly glanced through the selection and found more “fish” for my friends and myself.  Clothing that was $14.00 the day before, turned into a favored price of 97 cents for twelve hours to those who didn’t walk past that tiny display. 

Stepping up to the counter a sales girl I knew opened my mouth to see if there was a coin in it … just checking to see if you’re paying attention. 

What she really did when she saw me, was pulled me half over the table and dumped me upside down looking for loose change … still with me? 

Seriously she latched on to me with a huge hug and began to ring up my articles. While engaging in conversation she rang up the items and said “she could do better".  Smiling she reached under the counter grabbing a store coupon that hadn’t been used and deducted from the bill.  

My $48.00 total (not including tax) was canceled; with God’s favor applied the amount of the four items came to $8.05.  Along with handing me my receipt the sales girl placed a $10.00 coupon in my hand off my next purchase (of $10 or more).   

Thank you Lord for the “favor” fish that doesn’t stink!
 

Target Your Prayers 

It is Biblical to ask God for specific things that you need and it doesn’t matter the size of the request.  God doesn’t say that all prayers are to be recited as, “Lord if it’s Your will …”  

My husband calls those “if” prayers that Christians shouldn’t be praying. In all things though, we want our prayers to be as the Lord wills.  However, if we spend time in God’s Word, we will know what is “His will” for a given situation. 

Like Jesus, John the disciple prayed as his Teacher – the Son of God prayed. His will reflected the Will of the Heavenly Father when he said to the Body of Christ, 

“Beloved (referring to believers), I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2 NKJV) 

That sounds like a targeted prayer to me … targeting that we prosper in all things not just finances and health. He liked them equal to a saved soul (salvation that grants entrance to Heaven based on believing in Jesus as God’s Son). 

Blessings and favor happened the entire evening, because I started out in targeted prayer asking the Lord to put things before my eyes that I may honor Him, my finances and family. 

Lena knew that her prayers were missing the mark, because they weren’t specific or targeted to a certain thing. When she changed her way of thinking, she changed the way she believed and prayed.

Believing that God would put the thing she requested before her eyes, she acted on it in her search. Her belief changed what God could do for her. Lena's spiritual eyes had to be opened to see Jesus more clearly.

If God was willing to do this for the disciples and Lena, He is willing to do it for anyone who asks Him in faith. “Lord, put it before our eyes.” 

I pray target prayers in my study time, whether I’m researching articles, for people, events, music, sales, shopping or practically anything in my life. 

For Me and You “Clause” 

God doesn’t want His children “floundering” around looking for the best answers or “deals” in life.  The Lord isn’t holding back on us; no, we’re the ones who don’t ask Him where we need to look or be at the time He provides the answers. 

Jesus said, “The thief (satan and his workers) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they (who believe in Me) may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

God doesn’t do this just so we’ll live a better life, He answers our prayers and provides so that He will be glorified. (the for “Me and you” clause!)  Did you ever wonder why Jesus kept directing the disciples back to the sea? It’s where the fish were. Every time we ask Christ to meet a need He will always direct us to where the need will be met.

You may argue that this is referring to life in Heaven, but it isn’t.  We won’t have need of anything when we’re with the Lord.  Plus, there won’t be anything or anyone in Heaven stealing or trying to destroy us there.  This promise is for those who live in hope, faith and belief in Christ.   

Church, it’s time we open our eyes of faith to what the Lord is willing to do for His people. 
  

This Week’s Challenge:
Put it Before My Eyes  

Perhaps you think that all this is silly and doesn’t work.  That’s exactly what the devil wants you to believe, and you would be very wrong. 
 
Jesus didn’t die on the cross just so we could be saved.  His death, burial and resurrection included salvation and a whole lot more. 

There is a reason satan wants to steal, kill and destroy us, and that’s so we won’t walk in the benefits of our salvation.  He doesn’t want people to think that God can make things happen merely because they believed what they said they believe, and then acted on it. 

Acting on what we believe and learned from last week’s (October 30th, 2015) challenge “We Can Do Better”, we want to step out further by faith in our prayer life. 

What do you need God to put before your eyes at this very moment? Is it information for a job, a letter or bill, lost keys or that missing sock that mysteriously ended up in the fifth dimension?  

It could be anything from physical, spiritual, financial to emotional.  Maybe you need God to put something before someone else’s eyes on your behalf.  Target that prayer listing the specifics and stand fast in your belief.
 
Our challenge takes us into the throne room of God in making our requests known before Him.  As we open our hearts and eyes to the things of the Lord, by faith in prayer, boldly go before the Lord making this supplication: 

“As Your disciple Lord, I’m asking Your Holy Spirit to put _____
(whatever it is you need) before my eyes,
 and I thank You in advance for answering my request.” 

 

Although I’m a vegetarian, I’ve come to love God’s favored fish in my life. You don’t have to pick out the bones, there’s no after taste and it doesn’t need any dipping sauce!

 
Now that you’ve learned what I’ve come to know as the “Before My Eyes” revelation, make this something you always do and you will find “Daily Favor from the Lord.
 

 

Open the Eyes of My Heart

by Michael W. Smith

 

If this article has encouraged or helped you please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post.
  
Until next time, God’s favor is before your eyes!
 

Check Messages throughout the week.
 

“Open your heart to Me & I’ll put favor before your eyes.”
Jesus Christ
 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1167566&item_no=688669
 
From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies
by Stephan & Alex Kendrick
 
 

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. 
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:  Bag of Jewelry by Bigstockphoto.com  Arrow/Target by Shadesofgrace.org 
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

2 comments:

  1. A wonderful reminder that we should not limit our prayers. The things that cause stress in our lives, such as the lost jewelry or the financial limitations, are things we should feel free to seek help with through prayer. There is no need so small that Christ cannot see it, and no problem so big that He will not help us bare it. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to talk to Him.

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    Replies
    1. Cynthia I absolutely agree. Sometimes it takes a gentle reminder from a friend to let us know that we're not in this world alone or comfortless. Love hearing from you. Thanks so much for visiting.

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