Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Answered Prayers

I have shared with you about how we have been praying about a clear answer from God about adopting Jacques. On Sunday night my husband and I sat near our computer and prayed that God would make it just really clear. It's funny because God makes it really clear by putting the unexplainable desire on your heart but then the fear sets in with thoughts like "Am I doing this out of emotion or is it really God calling us to do this" or "I feel as if it's so clear that God is calling us but am I just imagining it". So we ask for God to confirm it again and again and He does and then the questions set in and He confirms it again. Good thing He is so faithful and patient! Anyways, like I said, Sunday night we were sitting next to the computer praying and asking God to really make the answer clear and then Monday morning I notice a couple emails in my inbox from a dear friend. I had the feeling that I needed to read them but was looking up something else online so decided I would come back to it and check it later. Then seeing my friends name aroused my curiosity of what she's been up to so I checked her blog before going back to read the devotions she sent just to find the devotions on her blog and the post titled: Devotions that says it all. I want to share with you the devotions and will put in bold the things that just really stood out, and made me want to laugh and say "Okay God, I hear you".

Don’t Send Me to Africa By Lysa TerKeurst
2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
(NIV)Devotion: Since I was a little girl, I’ve had a heart for the people of Africa. To be honest though, I didn’t want to be a missionary who lived in a hut, ate grubs fried on an open flame, and wore tribal headdresses. So, while I prayed for the people of Africa, I would always throw in, “But Lord don’t send me.” I can just imagine God smiling and looking back at me saying, “Really Princess? You don’t want to go to Africa…fine. Then I’ll send Africa to you.”And that’s exactly what He did. One night while attending a concert by the Liberian Boys Choir, God clearly spoke to my heart and told me that two of those boys were mine. I tried to ignore Him, but to no avail. At the end of the concert, two of the boys walked straight up to me, wrapped their arms around me, and called me, “Mom” After months of prayer and piles of paperwork, we went to pick up our two sons, Mark and Jackson…Africa had come to our home.
No longer was the plight of the starving orphans in Africa a nameless face on TV, they were precious children who deserved a second chance. Not only did we think so, but also the people of my church soon felt moved to also adopt children from Liberia. Today, as I walk up to church on Sunday mornings I am always moved by the precious sight I see. A little white hand holding a little black hand, a brother and sister skipping and laughing together! And something in my heart just knows this is the way it’s supposed to be. This is the way the body of Christ is supposed to work. God speaks, we listen, He confirms, we obey, and He gives us the strength to do amazing things. I love the verse, 2 Chronicles 16:9, because it brings a picture to my mind of God standing in front of a crowd of people asking, “Who is willing to do an amazing assignment for me?” Many shrug away and make excuses. But one little girl jumps up and in complete abandon says, “Me Lord! Me! Pick me! I am willing!” Then God smiles, scoops her up, brings her into his loving embrace, and whispers back, “Well done my child…I am so pleased. You have made the good choice. I will give you the strength to do this. Do not be afraid, I will be with you.”
Dear Lord, let me always be that little girl with the up-stretched arm and obedient heart. God give me the wisdom to know Your voice and the courage to say "yes" to whatever You ask of me. My greatest desire is to walk with You all the days of my life. I don’t want to settle for the good life. I want the great life, where I live the adventure You created my soul to live.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps: Look for an opportunity to say “yes” to God today. It might be as simple as writing an encouraging note to a friend or paying for the food of the person behind you in the drive-through. Or maybe it will be the start of something big that you say “yes” to. Either way, start training your heart to recognize God’s divine appointments, and discover the thrill of saying, “Yes.”
Reflections: What are some things you fear saying “yes” to? Why do you fear saying “yes” to those things? What do you think might happen if you said “yes” to them? Is it worth it?

And the other devotion:

Blessings of Obedience Luke 5:1-5 In John 14:15, Jesus said to His disciples, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." He repeated the connection between love and obedience several other times because of its great importance (John 14:23; 1 John 5:3; 2 John 1:6). When we follow God's agenda, we tell Him, "I love You." Obedience is an expression of love toward God. It enables us to endure trials and difficulties. Also, God pours out His blessings on those who obey. Consider Peter's example: Jesus asked to use his boat to preach to the crowd. Peter hadn't caught any fish all night. He could have easily given Jesus an excuse, such as, I'm too tired, too discouraged, and I've got a lot of cleaning up to do. Instead, he said yes to Jesus' request. By doing so, Peter took a step into a life of obedience and blessing. On the surface, lending his boat and helping Jesus didn't appear to be important beyond the moment. But, God had a bigger purpose than a short-term loan. He was going to borrow Peter's life and make him a "fisher of men" (Matthew 4:19). Because we can not always see what our Lord has in mind, we may not comprehend the importance of His requests. We could be tempted to change it to fit our plans, to wait for a more convenient time, or to skip it all together. Those actions are never smart. God rewarded Peter by allowing him to serve in His Kingdom. He wants to do the same for us. How is the Holy Spirit prompting you? What's your response?


Heather said...

Soooooo... come on - I'm dyin' here!
OK, before you spill your guts I should introduce myself. I found your blog through a series of events but then remembered you from the NLL group. I love your "laugh often" philosphy. My husband suffers from chronic pain, and I truly believe laughter gets him through some days. I'm enjoying reading about you. We are also a homeschooling family(:

Angela said...

Hi Heather,

I hope you check this response. :) I'll let you know as soon as I know. I'm convinced that we will be adopting Jacques and my husband is like 90% there but has not said the for sure yes to it yet. I do not worry about that as I know God has confirmed it in me so clearly that He will do the same for my husband in His timing and then we will both be sure. I look forward to making the "official announcement" but it just isn't time yet. I checked out your blog and LOVED it. I would love to be able to email you but could not find an email on your blog so if you read this you can email me at angnjim@sbcglobal.net

Beka said...

I love the saying, "If we want to make God laugh, tell Him our plans!" The devotional that struck you about Africa and God's plan is the same one I read and it struck me as well. God bless you for what you are doing and for being open to His plans. I will pray that you receive a huge blessing today and that you are overwhelmed by God's love.