Have you ever prayed incessantly for something and wonder if God would ever deliver?
Could it be that we get in the way of what he is trying to say to us?
The Eagle and the Arrow
A bowman took aim at an eagle and hit it in the heart. As the eagle turned its head in the agonies of death, it saw that the arrow was winged with its own feathers. “How much sharper,” said the eagle, “are the wounds made by weapons which we have supplied?”
Like the arrow made of the eagle’s wing, is it possible that in seeking to connect with God, we inflict self-damage which diminishes God’s impact in our lives? Our arrogance, impatience, self-determined agendas get in the way of a direct dialogue with God. They become the weapons that separate us from God!
Some people ask why is God so hard to read? Why does he seem so far away? Why can’t I see and hear him like I see and hear you? It is because effective and real interaction with God is a process. It is not an incident nor an accident. As a result, I discuss three steps to improving our effectiveness in God.
First, clearing the pathway.
Sometimes we want to get away to clear our minds to – think more deeply – away from distractions – away from pressures. We clear the way so that we have a more intense spiritual or intellectual walk.
In the same way, we need to clear the pathway so that God can have pure and direct connections with us. Willful sin or iniquity is our first task of concern if we are to connect with God. According to Psalm 66:18-20 KJV, If I regard iniquity (willful, immorality, injustice, wickedness) in my heart, The Lord will not hear me. Iniquity is the wrong that we do even when we know it is wrong. It is deliberate wrongdoing.
As it relates to willful sin, some make many excuses: I know this is wrong, but God knows and understands my weakness; I am only human.
I am not trying to judge anyone; all I am asking is for each person to search his or her heart to determine the presence of willful wrongdoing and refrain from such behavior. While Jesus did not judge or condemn the harlot caught-in-the-act of prostitution, nor did he condone her behavior, he said to her “stop sinning”. So, abstaining from iniquity is the first step in the process of seeing God more personally.
Second, exercise patience and wait for God.
Patience sets a wheel in motion that brings us closer to God. Patience is the process of holding out on your desires for long enough so that God’s will can take over your desires (Stanley). As it refers to patience Paul the Apostle wrote: More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope – a progression takes place when one engages patience. In the same vein he said, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” The process of patience brings one progressively nearer to God. The more you are willing to wait upon the Lord, the more likely you are to walk with the lord. It has a way of uniting our desires with God’s will. When we wait upon the lord, we build endurance, good character, and God provides everything we need. We become more effective in God. You cannot walk faster than the lord and retain your strength. Why should a weak or lame person try to walk faster that his help? You cannot walk ahead of the lord and get his wisdom, nor would you see him for who he is.
Finally, ask God for his way not yours:
Jesus said, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He is asserting that there is a distinct way to God. God sets the blueprint for that way and that Jesus is it. When we elect to follow his teachings or his life, we are opting to give up our way for his. Once we choose that option, God himself direct our steps to him. You see, “the steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand” (Ps 37:23-24).
As the word of this song says:
Order my steps in Your Word, Dear Lord
Lead me, guide me every day
Send Your anointing, Father, I pray
Order my steps in Your Word, YES
Humbly I ask Thee, teach me Thy will
While You are working, I will keep still
Satan is busy, God is real
Order my steps in Your Word, YES
Order my steps in Your Word
Our prayer today should be: Teach me thy will o lord – I will commit to learning the way of God.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing (Psalm 143:10).
So, what am I saying? In order to have a more effectual walk with God and to see him more clearly, we ought to do right, be eager to wait on God and commit to learning how he leads us – get rid of the self-defeating habits that impede our own salvation.