Day Na Break [weekly] Devotional (January 22 - 28, 2021)
ONLY BELIEVE! [ Matthew 21:22; James 1:6-8 ]
God detests it so much when people ask Him and don't believe! In fact, God detests that so much so that you will literally miss your RESTORATION if you do not believe. If [a person] asks and does not believe, such a person "should not think he will get anything from the Lord." - James 1:6-7. God is looking for who to RESTORE. Only believe. God works a lot when we believe. Even we as humans, which one of us would like to do anything for someone who does not believe in us? We have the promise of God to RESTORE the years the locust hath eaten. Do you believe that? Some people procrastinate so much that they bring that to their prayer lives. They pray a lot, but they take forever to believe God for what they are praying for. There is no place for doubt in the Kingdom of God. Let us not approach God with that lackadaisical, laissez-faire attitude. In fact, God does not have time for that.
See, when God promised Abraham that he would make him a father of many nations and then blessed him with a son, God later instructed Abraham to go sacrifice that child [Genesis 22:2-18]. Abraham believed what God had told him that he would be the father of many nations that's why he didn't hesitate to carry on God's instruction. Abraham knew that he was already old, so it would have been a bit 'out of order' to kill the miracle baby if he was going to be a father of many nations. However, Abraham knew that the same God who provided that child in his old age was capable enough to do it again. Therefore, if He [God] desired the child be used as a burnt offering, who was he to say no. At the end of the day, it was all just a test. However, because Abraham passed the test, his blessing was confirmed [Genesis 22:17]: "I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore..." Only believe!
When God needed to bring forth His only begotten Son into the world through a human flesh, he contacted the Virgin Mary, via His Angel [Luke 1]. When the news was broken to Mary that she was going to bring forth God's Son through her Virgin body, Mary asked to understand how that was going to happen. What she was told was 'out of the ordinary'. That the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she was going to become pregnant. Mary knew that was not the normal procreation process. However, she didn't say 'hey, stop playing. How is that possible that I would get pregnant whilst I am a virgin?' That's not what Science taught me. No. Mary believed.
Our human mind is such that most of us would have not believed that because that is outside of the natural happenings of life. What we always forget is that what we consider as 'natural occurrences' are things created and designed by God. He alone can reshape any kind of natural occurrence in His world, and make it work the way He so desires at any point in time, for the Glorification of His own name.
It may be natural to go to school, get a Degree, before becoming the owner of multi-million dollars companies. However, God can decide to make you the owner of multi-million dollars companies without you passing through that process. Now, this is not to down play education or some due processes. This is to propagate the message that God works in mysterious ways that sometimes our human nature would not comprehend. All we need to do is believe.
When Mary got the message and the understanding about how she was going to get pregnant and give birth to the Son of God, her response was "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." - Luke 1:18. What happened? Mary's womb carried the Savior of the world and she can be referred to as "Blessed among all women." How marvelous!!! Only believe!
When the Centurion in Capernaum sent some elders of the Jews to beg Jesus to come heal his servant, the Centurion later sent his friends to stop Jesus in His tracks. The second message was that Jesus should not bother to go anymore because his house was not worthy and even he himself was not worthy to send for Jesus to come over to his house. He sent the message that Jesus should just stay where He was and give a command. The Centurion's message was, I myself have authority. When I give command, people obey. When I say to this one 'Go', he goes. I know what it means to have authority and give commands. Just command the sickness, Jesus, and I know it will obey you and flee [Luke 7:1-10]. Jesus was so moved by that. Of course, at the end of the day, the servant was healed, from a distance. Do you see that! Now, those are the kinds of people God works with so fast. Only believe!
We read the story of Lazarus [John 11:1-45]. Lazarus' sisters sent word to Jesus that the man was sick. However, due to some circumstances, Jesus couldn't be there soon enough to heal Lazarus. The story went on to say that Lazarus died. Now, judging from the story about the Centurion's servant [above], one may wonder why is it that Jesus couldn't just send His word to heal Lazarus like He did for the Centurion's servant. This one had to happen this way so that the Son of God would be glorified [John 11:4].
Jesus then told His disciples that they had to go back to Judea because Lazarus had died and that He had to go there to resurrect him. In fact, Jesus referred to Lazarus' death as he being asleep. Jesus got there four days AFTER Lazarus had died and was buried. Four days in the grave!! Now, you know by then Lazarus was rotten and smelly, according to 'natural occurrences'. When Jesus got there, Martha, one of the sisters of Lazarus, went to meet Jesus on the way. The conversation that ensued between the two was very interesting [John 11:21-27]:
Martha: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." [She was quick to add] "But I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask."
Jesus: "Your brother will rise again."
Martha: "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who BELIEVES in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you BELIEVE this?"
Martha: "Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who was to come into the world."
That was all Jesus needed. Jesus then moved towards the grave of Lazarus. He ordered that the stone be rolled away from the grave. This same Martha came in with an interjection..."But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." Jesus said these words...very important. Jesus said: "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"[John 11:40]. The stone was then rolled away from the grave and Jesus commanded the four days old dead, rotten body of Lazarus [John 11"43b]: "Lazarus, come out!" Now, that was a COMMAND!!! And the dead body obeyed and came out of the grave!!! Praise the Lord!! Only believe!
The Bible says, many times we ask for things but we do not get them. You know why? Because we doubt. What's the essence of wasting your time to pray, and even fast, at times, when you are not sure that the God you are praying to would answer you? What's the essence? Imagine somebody walks up to you and goes like, "I need you to please give me some food to eat. I am very hungry...but the way I see you, I doubt you are even capable of owning any food to give me. I am just asking you, but I do not believe you can even give me food." Would you waste your time to grant such a person his/her request, even if you had a pantry full of food? I'm sure you would be like, "Well, OK. Why don't you go along now and stop wasting your time asking me and stop wasting my time also?"
James 1:6-8 says that "if anyone asks and doubts, he is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." It goes on to say that such a man "should not think he will get anything from the Lord." A doubting person is further described as a "double-minded man who is unstable in all his ways." Now, this is how Mark puts it [Mark 11:24]: Whatever you ask for in prayers, believe you have [already] received it [even though you haven't yet received it] and it will be yours. See that? Very true.
Only believe! Jesus said in Matthew 21:22 that "IF you BELIEVE, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." 'IF' is a conditionality. That means you receiving your RESTORATION is based on the fact that you have to believe when you pray. IF YOU BELIEVE.
Like the man in Mark 9:24, we need to pray to God to please help us overcome our unbelief. In Jesus' name. Amen!
God bless you.