And the LORD said…
Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved.
How long will your wicked thoughts lodge within you?
Matthew 7:7-8 – NASB
I’ve become a little hard pressed to believe that God will ever answer my prayers the way I would hope.
I’m not saying I don’t pray or that I’ve lost my belief in God. I do pray, and I do believe in God, but what I’m saying is that God has put so many stipulations on prayer that I’m not sure that God will answer my requests the way I hope because when I pray, I don’t meet the stipulations that He set for when we pray.
Here are some of the stipulations that I’m talking about…
I didn’t list those in any particular order, just listed off at random as they came to mind, but they are stipulations God has placed on how we make requests to Him and whether or not those requests will be answered.
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that God will never answer prayers…Far from it. He does answer prayers, but what I am saying is that I don’t know if He’ll ever answer mine because I’ve failed to meet the stipulations He’s set for my prayers to be answered.
More importantly, I doubt that God will answer me because of a sincere lack of faith and thankfulness based on past experiences and past requests that never got answered over the years.
(Yeah… yeah… yeah…’don’t live in the past’…blah, blah, blah… Preaching to the choir, people!)
But seriously, I always thought and believed that my past prayers were made in faith, in the name of Jesus, with others who were like-minded, with an attitude of thanksgiving in my heart and a hope that God would answer in the affirmative; consequently, God saw fit to have me sit back and watch while He gave what I requested for myself to other people. Therefore, my prayers didn’t get answered as I had hoped.
Am I admitting my selfishness and pride here? I suppose I am. Which leads to one more reason that God didn’t answer my prayers the way I had hoped. After all, God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6).
Was I deserving of those things I requested? — Maybe. Maybe not. — I won’t know the answer until I come face to face with God, and even then He probably won’t tell me because at that point…it won’t matter.
However, that hasn’t stopped me from developing excuses and rationalizations as to ‘why’ God won’t or hasn’t answered my prayers the way I had hoped.
Excuses such as: “Maybe I wasn’t ready to receive the gift…”, “Maybe it was because of sin…”, “Maybe I didn’t deserve something that wonderful…”, “Maybe I’m not worthy…”, “Maybe God’s got something better…” , “Maybe my motives are incorrect…”, “Maybe there isn’t anything better…” or “Maybe all of the above…??”
All of these excuses have set in motion a downward spiral of introspection which has ultimately led to self-judging, self-loathing and self-condemnation. All of which have slowly encased my heart in a shell of petrified callousness and led me to a sincere distrust of whether or not the almighty will ever answer my prayers in the manner of which I hope.
Truth be told… I have a broken heart.
Ironically, even though my prayers haven’t been answered the way I hoped, I still pray and make requests to God all the time.
I’m constantly pouring out my feelings and desires to Him while requesting things with a sincere belief in the power of Jesus Christ that God will answer me; however, when I pray, the doubt remains that God will never grant my request in the manner in which I hope.
Therefore, thankfulness is a distant memory, and any faith that might have assisted in my prayers being answered is lacking a solid foundation.
Please know that I do believe that God exists . . . I do . . . but quite frankly I’m not confident He really does reward all those who seek Him.
I know I’m not alone. There are many in this world who have the same doubts about their prayers ever being answered or whether God will ever bless them again.
Heck, even the prophets in the old testament were given over to wonder if God was hearing them or if they would ever be answered. Some even felt deceived by God.
Look at the words of Job (13:24-28):
“Why do You hide Your face and consider me Your enemy? Will You cause a driven leaf to tremble? Or will You pursue the dry chaff?
“For You write bitter things against me and make me to inherit the iniquities of my youth. You put my feet in the stocks and watch all my paths; You set a limit for the soles of my feet, while I am decaying like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.”
And then Jeremiah, a prophet of God’s very own choosing, writes:
“Why has my pain been perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream with water that is unreliable?” (Jeremiah 15:18)
“O Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived; You have overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, because for me the word of the Lord has resulted In reproach and derision all day long.” (Jeremiah 20:7-8)
Both prophets went through a period of time where they struggled to believe that God was listening to their requests or that He would answer their requests the way they hoped.
Jeremiah and Job were dedicated servants of God and they humbly performed every task that God asked of them, yet there was a time in their lives they both struggled with doubt and thought that God had pulled the proverbial rug out from under their feet.
Interestingly, both of these men provide a great example of how doubting God can lead to anguish and self-depreciation. The struggles both men had with doubt cause each of them to curse the day he was born (read Job 3 & Jeremiah 20:14-18).
My point here is that every human being, even those who were specifically appointed by the LORD Jesus and God the Father, can and will doubt that God will answer their prayers they way they were hoping.
As for my situation, I began having doubts that my prayers to the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth have never gone further than the ceiling of my home after decades of the same failures. And…If by some strange miracle the words I directed towards God did reach Heaven’s doorstep, I fear those words never made it past His threshold!
From a very young age I’ve attempted to live a life that follows the narrow path. I found the words of God, and I ate them; and they became for me a joy and delight of my heart. I believed that I was called by God’s holy name and His eternal word into an eternal hope of salvation through the LORD Jesus Christ. Therefore, I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, nor did I show or feel elation or jubilation as the result of any success I may have experienced.
I’ve tried to rejoice with others in their successes. I’ve tried to mourn and encourage those in their failures and losses. And yet…because of God’s hand upon me, I sit alone. Filled with the contempt, anger and annoyance provoked by what I perceive as unfair treatment from others in this world.
I’ve asked God why my perpetual pain never ends. Why the internal wound is incurable, refusing to be healed.
I wonder and ask God if He has deceived me by providing hope to promises that would never come to pass, but He remains silent on the matter.
Yet…once again…like a trained animal who knows and fears his master, I bow my head…I bend my knee…I lay myself prostrate before the throne of the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth, and I open my mouth once more to make a simple request of God with hope that He might hear me and answer me with blessings of good things.
I wait longingly and patiently for His reply. Hoping that the answer will finally melt my hardened, callous heart and sorrow would be replaced with joy and gladness.
I don’t know if any of you can understand just how agonizing the thirst for God to answer my prayer really is.
In all honesty I long for God to dip His finger in water and just touch the tip of my tongue to quench the thirst my desires bring. To give me a sign that He hears me. That He accepts me and that my requests are a fragrant aroma, not filled with putrefaction which cause Him to turn His face away and reject me.
To let me know that He delights in me, and my heartfelt requests aren’t falling on deaf ears.
But I’m reminded of the words of Job…
“But the falling mountain crumbles away, and the rock moves from its place.
Water wears away stones, its torrents wash away the dust of the earth; so You destroy man’s hope.
You forever overpower him and he departs.
You change his appearance and send him away.
His sons achieve honor, but he does not know it; or they become insignificant, but he does not perceive it.
But his body pains him, and he mourns only for himself.” (Job 14:18-22)
That quote is one of the best explanations of how man’s hope can erode over time by the many tribulations that engulf us. Tribulations that can change our focus and cause our thoughts, our attentions and our prayers to become more self-centered and less altruistic.
In those difficult moments we take our sights off the finish line and the rewards to come. We lose sight of the truth. We stop running the race. We forget who God is.
We forget His mercies never fail.
We forget He’s never stopped loving us.
We forget that God’s best is not the same as what we perceive as the best for ourselves.
We forget that He’s never walked away from us.
We forget how to be thankful in all things.
We forget how to be content.
It’s pathetic that after all that I still don’t know if God will ever delight in me enough to answer my prayers the way I hope He will.
I guess I’ll pray about it.
Wounds of the wounded are never to heal. They are spent days, mostly in anguish and lost in translation to their maker.
You live your life as that of a harlot. Spreading your legs for all men to view your nakedness. To have their way with you at every turn.
You drink strong wine and alcohol to numb the pain of your ways, hoping that the drug of choice will finally bring an end to your regret and sorrows.
Yet, it does nothing but cause more sadness.
Your actions are those of a harlot. One who spends her days enticing the naive and feeble minded, attempting to find joy when there is none to obtain.
Like a wailing Jackal in the wilderness who has lost her young, your desires are not fulfilled.
I have set a Standard in the high places. One on whom you can look and be fulfilled, but instead, you spend your wasted days looking to the fields which cannot fulfill; looking to the weeds which cannot produce fruit.
Turn to the Lord, the God of Heaven, and He will give you the rest you seek, but your head will not turn, your eye will not move.
Look to the One who’s mercy and love will never end, but your eye has found another lover and your heart has lost its way.
You! The harlot of your people. You seek to raise children and offspring who will worship God, but in spite of all your work, you only raise up more harlots among your family.
Your children are harlots of harlotry! Cursed among the people and left to their own desires.
They are far worse than you as they have no one to guide them for the blind guides which I have not sent, lead them down the wide road of destruction.
Their mouth is filled with indecency. They are not chaste. They have not learned righteousness or how to be holy as I AM.
They stretch out their hands to the wicked and beg for unrighteousness. Their plea to those who can never bring justice is futile.
The wickedness of their hearts is against Me, says the Lord of Heaven and Earth.
How would you want me to answer you? How would you desire that I set you free from this bondage?
Have I not provided a way in which to release you? Have I not been open and truthful about My plans and purposes?
I gave you a key to freedom and what did you do? How did you react?
I provide a way of escape and what was your decision?
You blame Me for your faults and your lack of fair judgement, but am I not the one who is innocent in this matter? Haven’t I answered you in the past and given you freedom?
Yet, you rejected My free gift. You spit in My face. You mocked Me. I set you free and you cursed Me.
You did not want My abundance. You did not want Me to be your savior.
Because of your pride and arrogance, you looked to the stars to save you. You looked to men, who cannot save, because they have muscles and pretty eyes, a flashy smile.
Have I not told you that this life is not for the swift of foot, nor is it for the strong or self-willed? Have I not informed you that horses and chariots will never save you in a time of battle?
Many days have gone by and My patience is wearing thin with this obstinate people.
I will not contend with you forever.
You have prostituted yourself to other gods which are not gods at all, and your children have followed in your footsteps. They too have become harlots just as their parents before them, yet they are worse.
How should I deal with your disobedience? Should I not judge you with righteous judgement?
Should I, the Lord of all creation, not have the right to lift My hand against you for your disobedience?
State your case that it may fall on My ears so I can hear your rationale.
If I did not let My people, Israel, go free from their iniquity which they committed against Me, then why should I let you go free?
The days are coming, declares the Lord of hosts, that I will judge the whole earth for its deeds. The great and small will stand before the judgement seat of My calling and I will either be their end, or I will be their life.
Choose wisely, oh sheep.
Make haste to wash yourselves in the pool of my radiance, for I can make you clean. I can wash away every stain from your soul.
Your name will be changed to a righteous name if you would only look to me and turn from your wickedness.
I Am the Lord. The Son of the Living God. The One who is and who is to come.
My name is Holy.
Be holy, for I Am Holy!
Between 2002 and 2007 there was a drought in Nebraska.
It was so bad that the water level in the largest man-made lake in Nebraska was determined to be at catastrophic levels and…according to experts…the lake would not be filled up again for nearly a century.
— that’s right. . .100 years.
Which caused a lot of stress and worry among the many farmers and ranchers who use the water in the lake for irrigation and watering livestock.
However…just when the ‘experts’ began to throw their proverbial nonsense around, it started to rain and snow in Western and Central Nebraska.
And while the rains and snows kept falling in Western and Central Nebraska, the water levels in the largest lake in Nebraska kept rising.
So much rain fell that within a couple years the lake was so full that the so-called ‘experts’ had to open the spillways that hadn’t been opened in roughly 40 years.
Here’s a quick review…
2007 – Lake McConaughy at lowest levels recorded in 60+ years. — “Experts” at numerous Universities and geological institutions predict that because of drought conditions and high water use for irrigation, it’ll take 100 years or more to fill up again.
2009 – Moisture begins to fall from the sky in the form of rain and snow. The runoff causes rivers to swell and water to pour into lake McConaughy.
2015 – Lake McConaughy near capacity at 97%.
2017 – Lake McConaughy at normal or above normal levels.
Over the past 5 years a drought in California has caused the water levels in the lakes, rivers and reservoirs to drop to undesirable levels.
“Experts” at numerous universities, climate and geological institutions predict that the water levels are so low and usage is so high (for irrigation) that it will take 100 years or more of constant rains to fill the lakes back to moderate levels again.
However…an interesting thing happened. . .
Over the course of the past two years moisture started falling from the sky and covered the state of California with snow and rain.
As this strange substance continued to fall from the sky and cover the ground in the form of snow and rain, the rivers swelled. . . the lakes filled . . . the streets flooded. . . and the “experts” were once again proven to be unreliable and incorrect in their assumptions about how long it would take for the lakes and rivers to fill up again.
Click here to see before and after photos of the California drought.
So what caused all the rain and snow to fall to make the lakes, rivers and reservoirs rise so rapidly after such unbelievable droughts?
The majority of ‘experts‘ like to say that it was because of strange weather patterns caused by global man-made climate change, but they never give credit where credit is due. Even when proven wrong over and over again.
Experts come and experts go, but God remains forever and He has the whole world held together by the hand of His Son.
You see, all credit belongs to God for filling up the lakes and rivers in such a short period of time.
So, next time a drought occurs in the land, don’t listen to the so-called ‘experts’ telling you how devastating it is or how long it’ll take to fill of the lakes and rivers. Instead, get on your knees and thank the God of Heaven for providing an opportunity to prove the experts wrong and to see how wonderful His miracles really are.
It’s pathetic to follow the ‘experts’ when the ‘experts’ aren’t all that experienced.
I gotta tell ya, I’m really sick and tired of listening to christian radio or watching christian television broadcasts and having 15 minute sermonettes with 15 minute smatterings of book/travel/CD/video promotions.
I remember when christian radio programs were about bible teaching and how to live your life as a dedicated follower of the LORD Jesus, not promotional mediums to sell some fluff-n-stuff that a long-winded pastor wrote while taking an extended vacation to the Holy Land with their devoted supporters.
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We’ll get back to the blog post, ‘Pathetic Promotionals’, in just a minute; but first we’d like to take a minute to inform our readers of a great opportunity.
For a small donation we’ll send you the book about The Book that explains The Book in a way that no other book could ever explain The Book. It’s called, “The Book, and how it makes your life better.”
If you call now and donate $30 or more, you can have the book titled, “The Book, and how it makes your life better”, as a free gift just for donating $30 or more to our cause.
Operators are standing by.
Now, let’s get back to more of our blog post, “Pathetic Promotionals.”
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Radio has been around for many years and with it, the introduction of marketing and promotions. However, since the introduction of television and the internet, pastors and churches are able to reach more homes in less time. This has resulted in pastors hiring marketeers who now use as much pathetic mainstream media to promote the many works of the person behind the pulpit as well as other frivolous items they deem ethical enough to show the world how ‘devoted’ a person is to the LORD Jesus.
Marketing ploys have become more elaborate and devious in recent years. This is done to entice a broader audience into buying something that is pathetically worthless in value, but since preaching is now a place of great profit for the highly educated pastor, it’s a great place to sell goods and services or to promote a creation that will never actually prove to the world how ‘godly’ a person really is.
Quite pathetically, those in the marketing business know how to manipulate the masses of cattle who tend to be really good followers. They cloak their messages around churchian phrases that are misleading to the unsuspecting.
Pathetically, the church has become a place for self-promotion, self-glorification, self-approval and self-satisfaction.
((insert theme music here…and fade out to promotional voice over….))
Wow. What a great message about Pathetic Promotionals. If we really take to heart what’s been said here, I really believe we can learn how to watch and listen for the schemes of the pathetic promotions.
Yes, we sure can! And once again, we’d like to take a minute to remind our readers about the uplifting book titled, “The Book, and how it makes your life better.” We’re so positive that after reading it you’ll want to share it with friends and family so they too can benefit from the extreme life changes this book will bring to their lives and yours.
This book titled, “The Book, and how it makes your life better” will help alter your thoughts and emotions about The Book in a way that no other book could ever do.
And all it takes to get your hands on this book titled, “The Book, and how it makes your life better” is to call now and offer a small donation of $30 or more to our cause.
Please call now. Operators are standing by to take your donations by cash, check or even a major credit card and once processed, we’ll be sure to send you a free copy of the book titled, “The Book, and how it makes your life better” as a free gift for being such devoted partners and supporters of our cause.
Oh! and be sure to ask the operator about our new prayer shoestring. It’s a valuable resource that will help you bow before the Lord in prayer every morning while tying your shoes.
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Have we forgotten the words of the LORD Jesus? Have we become so dull in our hearing, dull in our learning, dull in our service to the God of Heaven that we don’t know when we’re being duped or misled?
As Jesus was quoted in Mark 11:17 saying: “And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.”
Or when the LORD Jesus spoke these words to Isaiah the prophet: “Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” – Isaiah 56:7
By marketing the books and plates and clothes and trips, the house God that was built to be a house of PRAYER has been converted by humans to be a robber’s den!
A den of thieves!!!!
Sadly, the people of this world have fallen away to serve another God that is not the God of Heaven. They serve want and gluttony, pride and arrogance, hopelessness and despair, but they do so to their own folly“…and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. (Heb. 5:11)”
How utterly disappointing that the church has become so very, very commercialized that they have resorted to pathetic promotions and turned the house of God…a house of PRAYER…into a robber’s den.
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Here in the United States we use something called the Electoral college to choose our President.
Each state has a certain number of persons who are called “electors” that make up the Electoral College. They are supposed to cast their vote based on the results of the overall vote count in their state.
Contrary to popular belief, the popular vote actually does come into play, just not in the way most people would like it to, and for that reason the electoral college gets a bad rap.
Some say that it’s outdated, others claim that it’s confusing, unfair or that it should be done away with completely; but I don’t agree because I believe that the electoral college was originally devised and well suited to its purpose.
What purpose is that, you ask? It’s three-fold.
1) To make sure that states with a large population wouldn’t dominate the outcome of every Presidential election.
2) That every single state, no matter the population, would have a voice in who was elected president of the United States of America.
3) That candidates would be forced to campaign in every single state and not just a select few that would give them the popular vote.
And, my dear cattle, Number Three is where Hillary Clinton pathetically failed in her campaign and where Donald Trump pathetically succeeded.
Because even though Hillary had 670,000+ more overall total votes than Donald Trump . . . Trump actually won the popular vote in more states: Trump – 31 versus Clinton – 19, which means, that the Electoral College succeeded in fulfilling purpose #1, purpose #2 and yes, even purpose #3.
Basically, the electoral college comes down to this: Win more states, win the presidency. Lose more states . . . well. . . I think you get the point.
If it were up to the Overall popular vote count alone, states like California, Florida, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas would dominate the elections and the candidates would only campaign in those states where they know they would receive the most votes.
Conversely, smaller populated states like Wyoming, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Idaho and Montana would be left out completely.
I know there are a lot of pathetic followers jumping on the bandwagon of electoral college outdatedness and who think the electoral college is a bad thing; heck, even Donald Trump thinks so . . . or he thought so, I’m not sure at this point . . . but either way the fact still remains, the more populous states shouldn’t have a greater influence in who gets elected and the electoral college works for that very reason!!
Every single state should have a voice!
With that said…I want to add this: I did not vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but IF those individuals who cast a vote in the electoral college don’t or won’t vote the way the citizens in their respective states directed them to vote, then it should be considered an act of treachery against what these United States stand for: a nation of the people, by the people and for the people . . . and that pathetic act of casting a vote against the citizen’s wishes should be considered an act of treason.
Just my pathetic two cents
I remember singing this song many years ago and just as it was then, it’s still one of my favorites.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.