I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE DOING ANYTHING

I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE DOING ANYTHING                                                                  Andy Hollifield 2-9-19

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

How many times have we missed out on blessings that God had for us because we gave up too soon? It is easy to get discouraged because we don’t see anything going on and it may not look like God is doing anything. I heard a story recently of a man who died and went to heaven. As he was being shown around to the various rooms by an angel , he noticed one small room that opened into a warehouse full of packages sitting on shelves with his own name on each of them. When he asked the angel what they were and why they had his name on them the angel replied: “These are all of the blessings that God had for you but you never bothered asking for. He had them ready to send to you.” I know the story may be a little far-fetched but the idea behind it isn’t. Psalms 84:11 says, “The Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Matthew 7:11 says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” One more noteworthy verse is found in Romans 8:32. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not then with him freely give us all things?”

We sometimes have a tendency to be timid when going before the Lord. There is no need for that and it only hurts us. We also tend to think that some things are too silly to take to the throne. I have always believed this, “If it’s big enough to bother you, it’s big enough to bother God with.” Psalms 37:4 says to “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” One scripture that comes to mind that illustrates how that we should never give up is the story of Cornelius in the book of Acts. Chapter 10 tells us that Cornelius was a devout man who feared God, took care of his people and prayed always. He saw God’s angel come to him in a vision. When he inquired about the visit, God told him his prayers had been heard and to send men to Joppa and gave him directions to seek out Peter. Before we get too far, think about this for a minute; I wonder how long Cornelius had been praying without seeing any action. Then, after the visit from the angel, he didn’t know if Peter would come or refuse. What Cornelius had no way of knowing was the next day, before his men got there, God had been dealing with Peter up on the housetop of Simon the tanner’s house. Peter went with the men to Caesarea. Cornelius had gathered his relatives and close friends with him to hear Peter when he got there. While Peter was still preaching Jesus to them, the Holy Ghost fell on all that were gathered. The men that had went with Peter were also surprised that the Holy Ghost had fallen on Gentiles. Consider this: What would have been the fate of all of these folks if Cornelius had given up praying because he didn’t see God doing anything?

Think about King Hezekiah. What would have been his fate if he had of adopted some of our attitudes? Do you think he would have lived those extra years if he had of said “What will be will be?” Or maybe if he said, “There’s nothing I can do about it, so there’s no use worrying about it.” How long do you think he would have lived if he had given up that easy? Hannah would have never had Samuel if she had of accepted things as they were. Read the bible in the history of the Jews and try to imagine it without Samuel. Think about some of the things Samuel did. He was not only the great prophet and priest, but he also anointed King Saul as well as King David. David was the greatest king Israel ever had. That is with the exception of one of David’s descendants of course, Jesus himself. Who would have done all of those things and impacted all of those lives if Hannah had of given up because she didn’t know God was doing anything? Speaking of David, what would have been the fate of the Jews if he had of gotten frustrated and quit living for the Lord?  He had been anointed as king when he was a young man, and it took years for him to ever ascend the throne. All of those years running from Saul who was trying to kill him, can you imagine what might have crossed David’s mind a few times? He sure wasn’t seeing God do anything towards getting him on the throne.

Imagine if you will the frustration that others in the bible must have went through. Noah preached 120 years, the same message, over and over, without even one person getting saved. To make matters worse, it had never rained up until after they went into the ark. I would imagine he was widely regarded as a crackpot. Where would the entire human race be if Noah had of gotten frustrated and quit preaching and building the ark because he didn’t see God doing anything. Then there is Moses. Can you imagine his frustration? Here, God had sent him back into Egypt where he had been a wanted fugitive years before, and had him to go before Pharaoh and make demands from God. After all that God did as far as the plagues, and then Israel wasn’t one day’s journey into the wilderness before they started complaining. Moses risked his life going back into Egypt and all those people could do was complain. I am sure he couldn’t see God doing anything. When he did get them to the outskirts of the promised land, they got scared and refused to go possess it. If Moses had of thrown up his hands and said “I’ve had enough,” would Joshua have been ready to assume command at that age? Probably not, he was still a young man then. How would that have changed Israel’s history?

What about us? What have we missed out on by giving up praying because we haven’t seen anything take place yet? Who else has been affected and will pay the price for us getting frustrated and giving up? That’s something to think about isn’t it? The flip side of that situation is also worth mentioning. How many times have we seen God move after praying and waiting a long time without seeing any results? Have we not all seen impossible situations resolved in an instant when God decided it was time to honor our prayers?

Before we go giving up on something because we’re not seeing God do anything, it would pay us to consider these people. They learned that just because they didn’t see what God was doing, didn’t mean he wasn’t doing anything. Who are we having an impact on in our lives that will be adversely impacted if we get frustrated and give up because we don’t know what God is doing? It would just pay us to be faithful rather than to stand at the judgment and say, “But, I didn’t know you were doing anything.” I can promise you, that excuse won’t work for any of us. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

 

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