101 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HEALTH AND WEALTH
January 2015 – Week 5
WORKING WITHIN GOD’S BOUNDARIES
9. Does the word “sovereign” mean that God can do anything He wants, to whomever, whenever? When we look up the word sovereign we see descriptions like supreme, absolute, unlimited, unrestricted and ultimate authority. I realize there are many camps of thought about God’s sovereignty but as we touched on this last week, it seems the bottom line answer would be yes – but within the boundaries of His own truth. In other words, in order for Him to be forever perfect, He will NOT contradict His own principals. It is absolutely correct that we are NOT created to live the way we desire but rather the way HE desires! His general will reveals who He is and what His plans are and His “specific will” leads and guides our moment by moment activity with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a general agreement when our conversation comes to this point but when we go further it becomes more difficult to comprehend. The idea of limitations and boundaries about sickness and poverty creates an array of different opinions and ideas. What many have a difficult time understanding (like we mentioned last week) is the difference between God directly inflicting an individual with suffering and the situation being a “consequence” of intentional sin or the lack of spiritual knowledge. For example, if a Christian man goes to a auto repair place and gets in an argument about what he owes and ends up killing the guy in a fit of rage, we can say with all assurance that it was NOT God’s will that an innocent victim die OR that another individual would suffer the rest of his life in prison. It is a result of an emotional action. If he had learned self-discipline and been led by God’s voice this would NOT have happened. Another example is that many Christians have accepted the teachings that when Jesus and His disciples died, the miracles were completed and passed away. Let’s say that a young mother of four children receives a bad report from the doctor and everyone agrees (without praying or seeking God’s voice) there is no hope and that she is going to die – and she dies shortly thereafter, what do you think they will say? They are going to say it must have been God’s will. But, what people fail to realize is that the principals of God’s Word and the power of faith are REAL and in many cases are the deciding factor of life and death! Jesus declares in Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” This spiritual principal of agreement when combined with the promise in Isaiah 57:19, “I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him” reveals the wisdom of God’s divine reality. Many become sick and die because the living does not understand God or His Word. If we are standing naked and unprepared in the middle of the battlefield we are going to be easily destroyed. Again, it was NOT God’s will that she die but her loss was the result of her and those around her NOT having knowledge. What knowledge? The knowledge of God’s general and specific will. “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge: I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” The miracles and blessings of God are many times conditional upon our obedience. We have been called to devote our entire life to the gospel and allowing our heart to be filled with God’s Spirit of truth. The closer we walk with God the more we will be filled with His wisdom. It is much more than just knowing what He said – it is allowing His Word to become revelation that will change who we are.
10. How do we know when to pray and how to pray in certain situations? God has a plan for each person and everyone is at a different place in their spiritual walk. The day the women reached out and touched the hem of Jesus garment, evidently she was prepared and filled with faith and ready to receive her miracle. I am sure there were many other sick people observing what was going on but they all remained a spectator – and were NOT healed. Why? When we study Jesus and His miracles of healing, we discover they usually do not fall out of the sky but rather are divine appointments that include the perfect timing of faith that has been “preparing” the heart and mind to receive. This is just one explanation why we do not go into the hospital and empty it out and is directly connected to the same reason why many in the hometown of Jesus were NOT healed. What do we learn from this? If someone does not believe that Jesus wants to heal them, they will not receive it! This is very important to us that are in the ministry and are always encountering situations that require praying. Jesus ALWAYS listened to the Father and likewise we are called to do the same. “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42) We learn when and how to pray when we learn how to listen.
If you have been redeemed you have been purchased with the price of Jesus blood. This means we are NOT our own. (I Corinthians 6:19-20). If something is completely yours it only seems logical that you manage it however you wish. Job said in chapter 1, verse 21,”Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” We must assume that God gives and takes and that His sovereignty gives Him every right to ask us and use us to accomplish HIS plans. Our spirits maturity is crucial for trusting God’s decisions but our emotions have a very difficult time accepting our losses and pain. God’s people are all ministers and in a sense they each have a ministry but let us not forget that everything we do must be channeled through God’s perfect agenda. Many times we become overwhelmed from everything we see that needs to be done while actually all that we need to be concerned about is what He is directly speaking to us. It is time to stop trying to do things that He has not said to do. Staying within the boundaries of our personal blueprint is our highest calling and if everyone would do that, His perfect will would be done. Staying in an attitude of prayer creates a constant awareness of His presence that enables us to know what He is saying and how to relay it. If we do not know – we should stay silent.