flyingeaglepublications.com http://flyingeaglepublications.com/_rss.blog Blog Rss Feed Beyond Eternal Life: What Jesus' Death Bought You //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/beyond-eternal-life-what-jesus-death-bought-you As Christians we sometimes fail to realize what Jesus’ salvation has won for us. We sit at the cross, mindful of our sin. But Colossians 1:12 says God has made us fit to share in the inheritance of his saints.

 

Most Christians think that inheritance is what is reserved for us in heaven. But the verses in Colossians are part of a prayer Paul was praying for believers to experience on earth. Remember Jesus’ praying that we are to ask for God’s will on earth as it is in heaven? "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10 KJV

 

It is time for us to start asking ourselves what is in heaven that we are suppose to be seeing on earth.

 

 

If you are a born again Christian, you have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light. Young’s Literal Translation reads, “ delivered us out of the authority of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” (Colossians 1:13) Delivered is rhuomai, rescued. Translated is methistēmi to carry away.

 

We have been rescued from a government of oppression, Satan’s dominion, and carried away to a different government, the kingdom of Jesus.

 

When God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, He brought them out. Look what Psalm 105 says He gave them:

"He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes... He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river. For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant. And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness...” Psalm 105: 37-43

 

Being rescued, asking Jesus into your heart, asking Him to forgive you and to become the Lord of your life, opens up a new state of existence for the believer. All that old stuff— failure, oppression, anxiety, confusion, guilt—falls off because you’ve been carried away. You don’t have to pick it up again.

 

You became a citizen of a new government when you became a born again follower of God. Read those verses in Psalm 105 and think about them. This is what God has provided for you when He brought you out of your Egypt:

 

  • He blesses the works of your hands so you will prosper.
  • He strengthens and heals your body.
  • He provides shade, rest, for you.
  • He gives you fire, the Holy Spirit, to give you wisdom and understanding.
  • He lives in you as a light.
  • You ask, He answers.
  • He gives you His Word and His Presence (His bread) to satisfy you.
  • He is able to break the hard places in your life so that you are nourished and supplied.
  • He waters the dry places in your life.
  • He remembers His promise to Abraham and blesses all who trust in Him because they are Abraham’s children (seed and heirs).
  • He gives us His joy and His gladness.

 

The verse says He brought His children out with joy. Praise Him for what is possible in Him. Praise Him in full trust that these things He has provided for you and wants you to have. 

 

He is pure love. There is no darkness in Him. This love that exists in heaven, He wants us to have now. 

Wow. Praising Him with you.

Image by Clem Onojeghuo courtesy of Unsplash

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Wed, 20 Mar 2019 17:20:00 GMT //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/beyond-eternal-life-what-jesus-death-bought-you
6 Keys To Standing On God's Promises: He Is The God Who Heals //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/6-keys-to-standing-on-god-s-word I grew up hearing a message that suffering was good. It made you more spiritual. Jesus suffered, and I needed to suffer just like Him because it would bring Him glory.

 

Suffering for Jesus was a big deal. What I didn’t know is that the Bible doesn’t say it like I learned it.

 

Peter talks about suffering and trials and having the strength to endure them in 1Peter. He was writing to a persecuted church. The suffering these people were experiencing was connected to being persecuted because of their belief in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God who came in the flesh and was resurrected.

 

He says about suffering this type of trial is that it is to be expected because the world persecuted Jesus. Jesus already told us this is the kind of treatment we would get– the world would hate us because it first hated Him.

 

Many of those who heard Peter’s words would die for their beliefs. Some still do. Even Peter did. Persecution came in waves during the early church. Those who survived, and even those who didn’t, had proven their faith in Jesus was unshakable.

 

Persecution was not the type of suffering I was taught I had to endure. It was more about life’s trials. Sickness was definitely in this category. Peter, however, had different words for these kinds of trials. He warned us that we have an enemy and that we are to resist him and whatever he tries to push upon us.

 

“Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset–rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.” (1Peter 5:8-9 AMP)

 

Pathēma is the word used for suffering or afflictions and it also means influence and emotion. Believers are targeted the same way everywhere. Satan is hoping we are influenced by his threats.

 

 Peter says about sickness that by Jesus’ stripes, His suffering, you were healed. He was quoting Isaiah 53:5. “... He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His wounds we ourselves are healed.” (LITV) But he changed the tense of the verb from are to were.

 

When he wrote the verse he changed the tense because it–the healing–was accomplished. “…who ‘Himself carried up in His body our sins’ onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness, of whom ‘by His wound you were healed [iaomai: made whole].’” (1 Peter 2:24 LITV) Remember, Jesus treated sin and sickness the same: He healed and removed them.

 

For this kind of sickness type of suffering, and I think any kind, Peter was telling us to stand and to stand firmly in opposition.  In 2 Peter 1:3-4 he tells us that our knowledge of God’s promises is the path by which we live in the divine nature. It would help us to meditate on these verses.

 

I heard Tim Born give a message on James 1:17 (Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above) that is so simple you have to try to mistunderstand it. He said, "God is good. The devil is bad. If something is good, it is from God. If it is bad, it is from the devil."

 

Here are 6 keys to standing on God's Promises. 

  • Receive what Jesus has already done for you.  (You are saved, healed and delivered.)
  • Meditate on His promises to you.
  • Speak the promises outloud because faith comes by hearing.
  • Be of ONE opinion (James 1:8) not considering or dwelling on defeat.
  • Stand. Put your weight on God's word, His promises. 
  • Remain in this place of standing.

 

This week I want to share with you the testimony of a man who experienced a dramatic healing. It amazed and inspired me, and I hope it does the same for you. Jesus is still the God who heals today.  Click here to listen to his story.

 

If the post was helpful, please share it with a friend.

Image Alex Green courtesy of Unsplash

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Thu, 21 Feb 2019 20:14:00 GMT //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/6-keys-to-standing-on-god-s-word
How To Continue To Hope In God's Word When Storms Chase You Down //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/how-to-continue-to-hope-in-god-s-word Hope is a life-giving force— you know when you have it and you know when you don’t.

The Bible says hope deferred makes the heart sick. This is an observation of human nature; when what we are hoping to happen, believing to happen, suffers a setback then depression, sadness and tears overtake us. All this can smolder into a wildfire if we allow it, setting ablaze dry weeds of fear hiding in the corners of our mind. Destruction, the tearing down of dreams and faith, is sure to follow.
 
Are you wallowing under the weight of setbacks? Matthew 8 and Luke 8 show us how Jesus handled them and the method He modeled for us.

In Luke 1:3, Luke says that he investigated all the accounts concerning Jesus which means he sought out eye witnesses like an investigative reporter to write his portion of the New Testament. Let’s put Luke’s and Matthew’s accounts together and study what happened when Jesus decided to visit the region of ten city-states known as the Decapolis, specifically the area near Gadara on the east side of the Jordan River (Umm Qais in modern day Jordan) and on the southeast shore of the Sea of Galilee in the Golan Heights.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us go over unto the other side of the lake.” 

So the disciples got into the boat and set out. The seasoned fishermen among them sensed nothing out of the ordinary like cooler east winds foretelling a storm, and Peter would have said if he did because the lake is twelve miles long and eight miles wide, nothing to smirk at when trying to navigate a boat in the violent storms caused by cool air sweeping over the eastern mountains and dropping onto the water.

But without a warning “there arose a great tempest [seismos].” Seimos is a commotion in the air like a gale or on the ground like in an earthquake. Luke called the storm lailaps, a whirlwind, and described it with the word anemos which means from the four quarters of the earth. This wasn’t an ordinary storm.

Enter setback number one.

Waves swept over the boat and threatened to drown the sailors in the 200 foot depths. The disciples seemed to be in a dangerous position.

“Seemed?” you shout. “Look at what’s just happened to me!” 

Satan likes to give us something to look at, and it was Satan and his rulers and principalities of the air behind that wind. He likes to push bad reports in our face. An X-ray, lab test, job evaluation, conversation, test, phone call, e-mail, text, bank report, forecast of any kind, etc. He wants us to engage with his news.

But Jesus didn’t take the bait. I heard Audrey Mack say that symptoms are to sickness what temptation is to sin. Is temptation sin? No, it is the bait. Jesus wasn’t moved by the symptoms of a setback. He was sleeping. He knew what His will was: He was going to Gadera, and it only seemed like Satan and his demonic wind was going to kill them.

The freaked out disciples had swallowed the bait and already imagined their deaths by drowning—and they would have. They were amazed at Jesus’ behavior and reaction. He responded to their fear by telling them they had only a little faith. Like the believers in Matthew 13:21-20, they surrendered His spoken word, Let’s cross to the other side, when trouble was pushed in front of their face. 

But Satan wasn’t done.

When they arrived onshore two men met them. Luke speaks of one, the one he investigated, the one Jesus sent to go back to his home. Jesus and his disciples had landed onshore in a rural area near a cemetery. The two men were out of their minds. Luke’s man informs us he was naked and lived an animal like existence among the tombs. People tried to chain him up, but he broke the chains. The two men were so aggressive, so violent; no one could pass through that area. 

Enter setback number two. 

Can you imagine the disciples’ faces as they took in the sight of these guys running towards them? How many of us would’ve run back to the boat? How many of us absorb the bad report and sink into a whatamigonnadonow syndrome?

Jesus stood His ground, and when the men took note of Him, they fell at His feet. They knew a Higher Authority when they saw it. That Authority lives in you and has been given to you to trample over all the works of Satan. (Luke 10:19)

But Satan wasn’t done.

After Jesus had healed the men, the pig herders in the area who had seen the whole situation play out ran into the town and brought back a crowd. The people were amazed. But they were afraid of Jesus.

Enter setback number three. 

Fear stirred in them like the whirlwind on the lake and blinded them. They begged Jesus to leave. This was the end of the road. The trip was over. It seemed Jesus had hurdled stumbling block after stumbling block only to be defeated after all.

But Jesus knew the gates of hell could not prevail against the Church.

He sent at least one of the men back to Gadara. “And he went and began to proclaim in Decapolis what Jesus did to him. And all marveled.” (Mark 5:20  LITV) The message of salvation, healing and wholeness spread.

God’s word and His will prevailed that day despite what it seemed like, and it can prevail in our lives too, if we don’t take the bait Satan pushes in our face. Hope deferred does not mean all hope is gone; it means we make our enemy nervous. It means he is hoping we fail at faith and receive his lie: symptoms, reports, imaginations. Don't quit, and don't let go of your hope in the goodness of God and the power of His word.

What is the nature of the image of the defeat being pushed in your face? Don’t swallow its bait. Find verses dealing with the issue and stand on them, fall asleep resting on them until the squall blows itself out, and make sure there is no unforgiveness in your life giving Satan fuel for his flash fires. 

Setbacks, trouble, hindrances are nothing new to believers. They shouldn’t surprise us and they shouldn’t unnerve our trust in God or cancel the plans God has for us. What needs to be new is how we handle them and how high we esteem God's word, scriptures He's given to build our hope. 

Praying for you, and myself because renewing our minds and building ourselves up in our most holy faith is a life-long process.

 

Photo by Tulen Travel on Unsplash

 


                   

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Fri, 15 Feb 2019 22:35:00 GMT //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/how-to-continue-to-hope-in-god-s-word
Did Abraham Really Have Camels? //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/did-abraham-really-have-camels  

I do love research. Here is a fun question to ask if the conversation lags at your next get-together.

Did Abraham really have camels?

In Genesis 12:16 Abraham was given camels by an Egyptian king. “The king was good to Abram because of Sarai, and Abram was given sheep, cattle, donkeys, slaves, and camels.” Later Abraham's servant takes ten camels from his flock and heads out to get his son Isaac a wife.

The problem is scholars believe camels were not domesticated in Canaan until much later. Two archaeologists from Tel Aviv University, Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen, stated that accoding to their research, camels were not domesticated in Canaan (Israel) until the late tenth century BC (900 BC). Abraham lived around 2000 BC and the Mari Texts back that up.

So—

Many use this information to conclude the events in Genesis were written during a later time period from oral traditions and some information, like owning camels, was added to the story and made up. It’s an effort to claim the Bible is inaccurate and National Geographic noted that in their headline. "Domesticated Camels Came to Israel in 930 B.C., Centuries Later Than Bible Says."

But—

Here is the truth. Abraham got the camels in question from an Egyptian not a Canaanite. Abraham was not a Canaanite. He came from Ur, where camels were domesticated and apparently he knew what to do with them because he may have already had them.

It is an archaeological fact that two humped camels were in use near modern day Turkmenistan and in Mesopotamia’s Ur region in Abraham’s lifetime. They are referred to as elephants of the road, elephants of the mountain and donkeys of the sea in ancient inscriptions. These camels were in use in modern day Pakistan and Iran and some scholars think these camels may have been the source of the Egyptian king’s camels! Martin Heide has written about it here.   

Does this prove the research by Yosef and Sapir-Hen wrong? No. Domesticated camels do not seem to have been common in Canaan or owned by Canaanites, and the Bible never said they were. 

A Canaanite king also gave Abraham livestock. He gave him sheep and goats. Not camels. “And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men-servants and women-servants, and gave them to Abraham.” (Genesis 20:14) Abraham’s son Isaac never left Canaan and he is only mentioned as having large flocks of sheep and goats.

But his grandson Jacob traveled back to northern Mesopotamia near the Syrian Turkey border and became the owner of camels. "In this way Jacob became very rich. He had large flocks, many servants, camels, and donkeys. " (Genesis 30:43 ERV) He didn’t have camels before because in Genesis 32:10 he said all he had owned was a walking stick but by verse 14 he’s counting out over thirty camels to give his brother.

Whether Isaac sold Abraham’s camels or Abraham's other sons inherited them, Isaac may not have kept camels but Jacob did, and he had to bring them back into Canaan from Mesopotamia.

The moral of this tale is

The Bible accurately shows which cultures were using camels, what regions they were getting them from and what type of camel was domesticated long before the archaeological data was unearthed. That is more detail than anyone realized.

 

Why that’s important: You can rely on God’s word to be truth.

 

What are you hoping to be true in God’s word concerning you? He has said all His promises are, “Yes and so be it.” Don’t let doubt steal what can be yours. 


P.S. Sign up for our e-mail list to get a preview copy of the book Abraham when it is available.

 

Photo by Jessica Arias on Unsplash

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Sat, 02 Feb 2019 18:59:00 GMT //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/did-abraham-really-have-camels
Does God Answer Prayers...Fast? //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/does-god-answer-prayers-fast The answer according to the Bible is yes. But a few things depend on you. Maybe even someone else. Let’s talk about you first.

 

I am writing this post to believers. If you want to know about the prayers of “unbelievers” click here.

 

This post is not about the answers to spiritual growth prayers. These are considered guaranteed to get answers, and you can read a post from Carrie Lowrance on Crosswalk about those prayers here.

 

I am assuming this question is dealing with life problems that have you backed into a corner.

 

When we read the miracles Jesus worked in the Bible Jesus said to many of those He healed, “According to your faith...”  Matthew 9 records examples of this.

 

First a paralyzed man is brought to Jesus by four of his friends. Matthew 9:2 states, “And seeing their faith, Jesus” ended up healing the man. Then a woman who had suffered for years and went broke going from doctor to doctor was told her “faith... made [her] well.”  (Also in Mark 5:25-34)

 

A man whose daughter Jesus raised from the dead was told to just believe, also recorded in Mark 5:36, and two blind men were told, “According to your faith let it be to you.”

 

To others He said, “You have great faith.” The centurion amazed Jesus in Luke 7:9 and the Gentile woman’s faith impressed Him: “O woman, great is your faith; let it be to you as you desire. And her daughter was healed from that hour.” (Matthew 15:28 LITV)

 

 In Acts 14:9 Paul healed a man when he saw he had faith to be healed. So, in all these examples you see that faith is involved and you have a part to play in getting your prayers answered.

 

What is faith?

 

The word is pistis. Strong’s G4102 describes it as a strong conviction that God is who He says He is and does what He says He will do; a trust and confidence in God for the same reasons, and a constancy in that profession. It is a firm conviction in the faithfulness and goodness of God.

 

You get faith by hearing the Word and meditating on its truth. In the examples above some had only heard about Jesus, but they made Him their hope and confidence.

 

The question is after they believed and after Jesus told them their faith had made them well, how long did they wait?

 

Trick question. They did not wait because immediately is not waiting. Jesus didn’t have to wait days, months, years when He prayed for people’s healing and neither did anyone in Acts. Jesus didn’t wait years for the fig tree to wither. In Acts no one waited years for their spiritual growth either.

 

So why don’t believers see more immediatelies in their lives?

 

Well, there must be something wrong with our convictions, trust and confidence.

 

Yes, Jesus was with them.Isn't He in us? Yes, Jesus pulled faith from people and bolstered their weaknesses, but doesn't He still do that today? Also, to say immediately passed with the apostles is to deny miracles exist in our generation, the same Church age. The blind are still made to see, the lame to walk, the incurable healed, the jobless employed, the child saved, etc. If you don’t believe this, stop reading. There is a cute kid video here.

 

For those of you still with me, the church has fallen into a state of not trusting in a good God and not taking what He says as TRUTH.

 

Below is a check list to help you stir your faith to see immediatelies in your life. Remember faith comes from hearing and meditating on the Word, and we need to be consistent in our profession of our conviction. I am working on this list too.

 

1. Do you know what belongs to you?

When you received salvation what did you get? A home in heaven? Future wholeness? Yes. But it is also for the present. Crazy, right? I know, but what a revelation if you let the words sink in. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 KJV) Save in this verse is sōzō, to save, protect, and deliver, to heal, to be made whole, to do well. Spiritual salvation is part of the package, but so is healing and wholeness and doing well.

When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in Matthew 6, He included a line we don’t give a lot of attention. He said, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”(KJV)  In earth as it is in heaven. Jesus said to ask the Father that His desires be seen on the earth the same way they are seen in heaven. The question to ask ourselves is what is His will in heaven?

God lists His desires for believers in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and we are qualified to inherit these because of Jesus' work on the cross. (Galatians 3:29)

 

2. Do you know who you are?

We are co-heirs with Jesus and are seated with Him in heavenly places. (Romans 8:17 and Ephesians 2:6) If you are a born again believer, you are an eternal being now because you are a new creation. You have dominion, and Jesus has given you authority to trample over all the works of evil.

This is not authority over people. It is authority over spirits like fear, sickness, addictions, etc. If another person wants to remain addicted, sick, fearful or unsaved, you cannot invoke your will over theirs. But you can stop this activity in your life, and in those persons’ lives who want it to end.

 

3. What is it that you are asking for?

James 4:3 says that we don’t get what we ask of God because we ask amiss or we ask selfishly. If you are praying for more money so you can booze it up on the weekends or you want a car better than your co-worker, you probably won’t get an answer.

But if you are asking for anything that God has already provided in His Word and through Jesus, which includes doing well, and your motives are good, John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the confidence we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (LITV)

Also, sometimes our prayers rely on other people being obedient to God or hearing His direction. That can delay answers.

 

4. What are you speaking?

Faith comes by hearing and that includes what is coming out of your mouth and those around you. Kenneth Hagin said your faith will never rise above your confession. Jesus said He only spoke what He heard His Father speaking. It is wise for us to do the same. Let our words be words that reflect the truth in the Scriptures. Don’t pray for healing and talk illness. Don’t pray for success and talk failure. Don’t take possession of what you do not want.

 

5. Do you know the difference between faith and hope?

Hope is assured but it takes place in the future. If you are hoping to be healed, or anything else God has already done for you, you are not expecting it in the present like the paralyzed man, the blind men, etc. Hoping is a state of being passive. Not one of those in our examples from Matthew was passive. They were expecting.

When it comes to prayer, the role of hope is to get a vision of what we want to happen. It helps us have confidence which turns into the substance from which faith is made. (Hebrews 11:1)

 

6. Are you standing?

Jesus said, “If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire you will ask, and it shall happen to you.” (John 15:7 LITV)  This remaining is the patience referred to in James 1:4. It is constancy or continuing in one place. You are not to be the man tossed by waves James 1:6-8 describes. You are to stand as in Ephesians 6.

Notice by the people we’ve talked about that they didn’t fight God. They had to fight unbelief, the friends who told them to be quiet, the world and its theories, the pressures from around them. But God was willing and waiting to answer them and give them what they desired. They came boldly. Be ready to stand boldly.

Faith can accelerate your destiny. The Gentile woman in Matthew 15 who came to Jesus with a request that He heal her daughter was not supposed to get an answer. Jesus was sent to the Jews first and the ministry to the Gentiles would come later. But she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Her faith impressed Jesus and He rewarded it. Before her time. Faith can override time. Today there is nothing standing between God and our answered prayer except our own heart and a defeated enemy.

 

7. Are you trusting God?

Praise equals trust. Praise God for answering your prayer and continue to praise. You don’t have to beg for what He has already given you. Praise shows confidence in God’s Word and His character.

Trust is the absence of fear. When fear and doubt come to assault your mind, direct that chaos to God, as in, “Talk to God, He’s handling that now.” Satan always tries to put the focus on you. Don’t let it happen, and don’t surrender to an enemy Jesus defeated for you.

 

That concludes the checklist. But it is only a beginning isn’t it? My prayer is that we all see more immediatelies in our lives and ministry. Got immediatelies to share? I'd love to hear them!

 

Photo by Elisei Abiculesei on Unsplash

 

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Wed, 23 Jan 2019 22:39:00 GMT //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/does-god-answer-prayers-fast
Will God Answer the Prayers of Unbelievers? //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/will-god-answer-the-prayers-of-unbelievers The quick answer is yes. And no. It seems to depend on the unbelief of the unbeliever.

 

There are different kinds of unbelief. The first kind is what you normally think of when you hear the word unbelief. This unbelief is a flat no way no how type of thinking. It gives no place to the idea of God or whatever His promises are, such as salvation, healing, deliverance, etc. This type may include the firm conviction that God does not exist.

 

You can see this type of belief when Jesus visited His hometown, Nazareth. In Matthew 13:54-58 and Mark 6:1-6, you are introduced to people who believed in the Father God, but refused to believe in Jesus as Messiah God.

 

Jesus went to Nazareth wanting to help people in whatever way they needed Him. But Matthew wrote, “And He did not do many works of power there because of their unbelief.” (Matt 13:58 LITV)  Mark said, “And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. (Mark 6:5 KJV)

 

Only a few believed in Jesus and His message. Luke tells more about the visit in Luke 4:16-30. Keep in mind, Jesus is talking to church goers. They are supposed to believe God words aren’t they? Apparently not all of them did. Jesus reminds those who did not believe Him of instances in the Old Testament when only a widow and a soldier, neither one a Hebrew, qualified for God’s miracle working power.

 

This did not set well with His audience. They considered non-Jews sinners, capital S.

 

Luke goes on to say that the unbelieving church-goers wanted to throw Jesus off a cliff. I would call that rejecting Him wouldn’t you?

 

There are two important things to note in this account. The first is that those who gave Jesus no honor and no credibility blocked Jesus from working among them. The second is that Jesus went there, stood there, willing to help them and wanting to help them.

 

The lesson in those two points? Jesus will not force Himself on you.

 

The second type of unbelief can be seen in various accounts in the Bible, but let’s stick to the two unbelievers Jesus pointed out in the Old Testament, the widow living in Zarephath (north of Tyre, Lebanon) and Naaman, a commander in the Syrian army under King Ben Hadad. Neither were followers of God. But they didn’t reject Him either.

 

In 1Kings 17:8-24, the widow recognized Elijah as a prophet of the Hebrew God. She did not really understand everything he told her to do, but she listened and did what he said. She and her son survived a famine.

 

When her son died, she questioned the goodness of the prophet and his God. She never asked Elijah to heal the boy. In fact, she thought God had punished her for not being one of His people. God answered Elijah’s prayer and raised the boy from the dead.

 

This is what the widow said, “Now I know this, that you are a man of God, and the Word of Jehovah in your mouth is truth.” (1Kings 17:24 LITV)

 

God answered her questions about Him, and she became a believer. He certainly did not kill her son to teach her this, but He used the situation for good. If you have questions about Jesus or know someone who does check out our book Is Jesus God?.

 

In 2Kings 5, you discover that Naaman was a Syrian with a skin disease. He was important because he had won a victory for his country. Some Bible scholars think he may have killed Israel’s King Ahab during a war. (1Kings 22:29-36)

 

 Naaman had a slave who happened to be a Hebrew girl. She told him she wished he could see Elisha, God’s prophet, because God could heal his skin disease.

 

When Naaman heard this, he asked his king for permission to go see the Hebrew prophet. The king wrote him a letter of introduction, and Naaman arrived in Israel. After a miscommunication was resolved, Naaman in all his finery and pomp went to visit the famed prophet.

 

But Elisha did not greet him. He sent his butler of sorts to open the door and give Naaman a message which was to go wash in the Jordan River seven times.

 

Important Naaman was offended. He said he had wanted to see Elisha “stand in front of me and pray to the LORD his God, then wave his hand over my skin and cure me.” (2Kings 5:12 CEV)

 

Instead he was to go wash in Israel’s river. He was annoyed. He said, “Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Shall I not wash in them and be clean? And he turned and went on in fury.” (2Kings 5:12 LITV)

 

His men persuaded him to do as Elisha said, and Naaman was healed. He was also humbled. The man who scorned Israel’s river ended up taking home Israel’s dirt to make an altar to Yaweh, the Hebrew God.

 

He said, “…now I know that there is not a God in all the earth except in Israel.” (2Kings 5:15 LITV)  Also, he would “…not make any more burnt offering and sacrifice to other gods, only to Jehovah.” (2 Kings 5:17 LITV)

 

Naaman had acknowledged the God of the Hebrews among his other gods. He even expected this God to heal. What he didn’t acknowledge was God’s power and character. But he learned humility and how to respect the God over all gods. He too became an enthusiastic believer.

 

So back to our question, “Will God answer the prayers of unbelievers?”

 

 Yes, if they give Him a place in their thinking to allow Him to work. They don’t need to know everything about Him; He will teach them. Just like he taught the widow and Naaman. They also don’t need to be perfect. The widow wasn’t. Naaman wasn’t. In last week’s post we learned God only asks for trust the size of a mustard seed, a speck.

 

But the answer is no if they reject everything about Him like the unbelievers in Nazareth.

 

 Which brings us to another question, “If you are praying to Him, are you really firm in your unbelief?”

 

If you are praying to Him, you must have some slight hope He exists and is listening. Like the widow. Like Naaman.

 

But– what are you going to do if God answers you?

 

If you continue on your way in a lifestyle that rejects Him and only come calling when you are in trouble, your life is going to be chaos. Signs and wonders are for unbelievers. But at some point God is going to ask for more. More obedience. More purity. More of a relationship with Him.

 

Then what? The end result will be up to you.

 

If a person is not really sincere in their prayer or if they just want to witness a performance like that of a magician on the stage, they will probably not get an answer. Herod didn’t. (Luke 23:8-9)

 

The point is God is willing to meet you where you are in your level of trust if you want Him to. But His goal is to move you to a higher level.

 

And that is where you want to be if you are reading this. Me too. It is what we are praying for, not just for ourselves but for friends and family. I hope this study has encouraged you and helps you to minister to those you love.

 

 Next week, I’ll tackle “Does God answer prayers…fast?” This one involves a check list!

 

Photo by Alex Simmons on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

  

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Thu, 17 Jan 2019 04:02:00 GMT //flyingeaglepublications.com/blog/will-god-answer-the-prayers-of-unbelievers