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The Word For Today

Understanding how God works



'Because you say so, I will.' Luke 5:5 NIV

The Bible says: 'When he [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will"... When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break... When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees... For he and all his companions were astonished...Then Jesus said..."Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So they...left everything and followed him' (Luke 5:4-11 NIV).

The real test of your faith comes when nothing you've tried has worked, and God tells you to do something that stretches your faith to its limit. At that point you have the choice: give in to your doubts, or say with Peter, 'Because you say so, I will.'

This story teaches us God works in three ways: (1) He uses the common to do the uncommon. In their workplace where nothing special ever seemed to happen, Jesus showed up, called them, and changed their lives. So, look for God in your daily routine, and don't be surprised when he surprises you. (2) He moves you out from the security of the shallow to the risks of the deep. The great catches and the great storms are both in the same sea. If you want one, you have to contend with the other. No risk, no reward. (3) He involves you in one thing to teach you another. Christ's plan for these men was to involve them in an even greater miracle: fishing for souls. Today that's his plan for you too. And it begins when you say, 'Lord, because You say so, I will.'

Soulfood: 2 Chr 12-15, Mark 6:14- 29, Ps 119:105-112, Prov 21:28-31

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'Lord where are you' 2



'He will bring justice if you will only wait.' Job 35:14 NLT

Have you ever tried to sit and watch a seed sprout? You can't, can you? It stays in the ground until the time is right for it to emerge. There's a lesson here. God has planted certain things within you, and you must wait for them to take root and grow. And the unresolved issues of your past can undermine this process. Often it takes prayer and counselling to bring these issues to the surface so that you can effectively deal with them.

With God, a delay is not a denial. When speaking to Job, his friend Elihu said, 'It is wrong to say God doesn't listen, to say the Almighty isn't concerned. You say you can't see him, but he will bring justice if you will only wait' (Job 35:13-14 NLT). What great advice! Charles Trumbull said, 'God knows when to withhold or grant visible signs of encouragement. It's good when he sends confirmation, but we grow faster when we've trusted him without it. Those who do, always receive the greatest visible evidence of his love.'

God answers every prayer; it's just that across some he writes, 'The time is not right yet.' Job basically asks, 'How long will this trial last? Why doesn't God answer?' Because it takes as long as it takes and usually feels uncomfortable the whole time. But there's good news. Eventually your prayers become less about getting answers and more about connecting with God. By letting him work: (1) You begin to realise that he is with you. (2) You develop a deeper level of intimacy with him. (3) You discover you can trust him for the entire trip.

Soulfood: 2 Chr 8-11, Mark 6:1-13, Ps 119:97-104, Prov 21:24-27

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'Lord where are you' 1



'I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer.' Job 30:20 NIV

Do you feel like God isn't answering your prayers? Job the patriarch felt the same way: 'I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me... When I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness' (Job 30:20; 26 NIV). All of us go through times when it feels like God has moved and left no forwarding address. What's he up to? Why doesn't he respond? There are some lessons you only learn when God is silent:

(1) Silence isn't absence. An old proverb says, 'Speech is silver, silence is gold!' Sometimes God says to you, 'Be still, and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10 NIV). You have to be really secure with somebody to just sit quietly with them. Silence takes the emphasis off words and builds a level of intimacy where they're no longer necessary. If you want to be comfortable with God, learn to enter into meditation and silence with him.

(2) Silence tests your faith. How much faith is actually involved when somebody's coaching your every step? It's like a parent running alongside a child who's learning to ride a bike. Right now, the child lacks confidence, but they're going to look strange at age twenty if that parent is still trotting along beside them! At some point God takes his hands off the wheel to see how far you've progressed. And for a while it can be a wobbly ride. That's when you demonstrate how far you've come, and where you're placing your trust.

Soulfood: 2 Chr 5-7, Mark 5:31-43, Ps 119:89-96, Prov 21:20-23

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