Closing The Gaps

The enemy of our soul hates it when the gaps he made are detected, and the work has begun to close those gaps. We see this in Nehemiah 4:7 when their enemies heard what they were doing. It says, “…heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, they became very angry.”

What are gaps? They are demonic infiltrations to control. Isaiah 7:6 says, “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them…”

Is it any different in our day? No. We have gaps in our nation. The Lord called for intercessors back in Israel’s day. He is still calling for intercessors. Ezekiel 22:30 says, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”

Let me take you back to chapter 8. The Lord showed Ezekiel a hole in the wall. He instructed him to dig into the wall where he found a door. Verse 9 says, “…Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.” In God’s temple they were worshipping the sun and other abominations.

You can read the chapter for yourself. In Ezekiel 9 the Lord had a man do his work. Verse 2 says that he was clothed in linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. Verse 4 says, “…put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over the abominations that are done within it.” Verse 6 says, “…do not come near anyone on whom is the mark…” Everyone else was killed, “…So they began with the elders who were before the temple.” In chapter 10 the glory of the Lord departed.

I’m sure you have had this happen to you, or you know of others. They gain great victory. The gaps are beginning to close, and then the enemy comes in to trouble them. Fiery darts fly left and right. Their minds are attacked with a barrage of lies.

The work of an intercessor is never done. The Lord chooses us, mere humans, to do His work. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

The word ‘mighty’ in Hebrew is better understood through the words ‘isolated’ or ‘inaccessible.’ The Lord shows us the hidden that He desires to show us, so that we are able to pray more effectively.

Let’s go back to the word ‘paga’ that I wrote about weeks ago. It means that the Lord intercepts our thought process to impart information to utilize in our intercession. We do not know, but He does and reveals them to us for strategic warfare.

Our part is to be attentive. The Jews who were rebuilding the wall had to keep their weapon in one hand and their tools in the other. The enemy was determined they would not do the work that the Lord had called them to do.

It is the same with us. We are His instruments. He uses our readiness to set up ambushes through prayer. There is nothing like concerted prayer. He calls His intercessors from all over, and unites us with His purpose, in the moment of the call. Let us be attentive and ready when our paga comes.

Steadfast And Immovable

Nehemiah was given great favor by the king he served. Nehemiah explained why he was sad. Nehemiah 2:4 says, “Then the king said to me, What do you request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.” Nehemiah laid out his needs before the king.

Verse 8 says, “…And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.” Immediately opposition arose. Verse 10 says of the governors, “…they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to see the well-being of the children of Israel.”

Throughout the book of Nehemiah we read that no matter what was happening, Nehemiah’s character never faltered. He remained steadfast and immoveable in the face each opposition.

The governors heard about the plan to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Verse 19 says, “…they laughed at us and despised us…” Nehemiah made a faith declaration in verse 20. He said, “…The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem.”

What is our heritage? Isaiah 54:17 says, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.”

Can you hear the echo from the backdrop of our nation? We must walk in 1 Corinthians 15:58. It says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

We have a secret weapon. We have a King who will give us every request that is in accord with His will. There are good works He has preordained, before the beginning of time, that are for us to walk in.

Think back to the enemy in Jesus’ day. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 says, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

The enemy of our soul does not know what God has planned and will execute for this nation that He founded. Our part is to prepare our hearts to walk in what He has called us to walk in.

When we are opposed, 1 Peter 5:9 is our marching orders. It says, “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 

We must continually sink the roots of our faith deeply into God’s word. He cannot lie. His promises are based on Who He is at all times. Circumstances cannot change His purposes. His way was charted before He created this earth for man to dwell on.

I encourage you to meditate on 2 Chronicles 29:36. It says, “Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.” Let us prepare our heart to obey, no matter what the Lord calls us to do. Suddenly means that we have no time to vacillate. We must always be walking in faith that is steadfast and immoveable. May we be ready when His suddenly comes.

Our Face Reflects Our Heart

I’m reading the book of Nehemiah right now. Chapter two verse two is so descriptive. The king immediately picked up on something. Let’s read his question to his trusted servant. The verse says, “…Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart…”

Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer. Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer. The cupbearer was responsible for selecting and serving the king’s wine. He had to taste it first to make sure that it was not poisoned. He also was a trusted companion. 

Let’s go back and see why Nehemiah was so sad. Verse 3 was the report given to Nehemiah. “…The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”

Verse 4 says that he mourned and wept for many days. His grief caused him to pour out his heart before the Lord. Nehemiah 2:1 says that he had never been sad before the king before. The king instantly recognized Nehemiah’s heart was in deep sorrow.

Here is another tell-tale facial expression that revealed the heart of another king. King Nebuchadnezzar had a huge idol constructed. His orders were for everyone to bow down and worship it. Sadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refused. Daniel 3:19 says, “then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed…” The king commanded that the three Hebrew men be thrown into the fiery furnace ~ heated seven times hotter.

The Lord appeared with them in the fire. Can you just imagine what the king’s face looked like then? According to verse 27, the fire had not touched them, their hair was not singed, and the smell of fire was not on them. Amazing because they were bound in their coats, trousers, turbans, and other garments. Verse 28 was his astonished announcement. “…Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servant who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own.”

There is one more account I want to remind you of. When Stephen was being stoned, what did his face say to his persecutors? Picture Acts 7:54. It says, “…they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. Stephen’s mirror neurons did not pick up on that because his gaze was on the Lord. What a lesson for us! Verse 55 says, “but he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God!”

Here is my take away. No matter how folks are reacting to us in their flesh, we do not have to react. The essential truth is to not react in our flesh, but to come in the opposite spirit. God gives grace to the humble. When someone is angry, we must humble our heart, keep our focus on the Lord, and lean hard on His grace.

Here is another example of coming in the opposite spirit. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” A harsh word is a fleshly reaction. A soft answer comes from a heart that trusts, and is leaning hard on God’s grace to respond and not react. 

Fleshly reactions reveal a heart of pride, arrogance, and a spirit of independence. We can only respond with a gracious attitude and gracious words when our heart’s gaze is on the Lord. Hebrews 11:26 Amplified says of Moses, “…for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.”

Mirror Neurons: God’s Creativity

Psalm 139:14 says, “…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” We have mirror neurons in our brain. I learned about them when I had the last brain injury and could not draw matching sides to my vases. Several years later, the sides may look even to me, but my artist friends have to help me correct one side because I can’t discern the difference.

I asked my doctor about them. She said that when she goes to check out at the grocery store, she looks at the checkers. She chooses the one who is the most cheerful and engaging. Why? She doesn’t want her mirror neurons to pick up on an angry checker.

Here is something I copied from google. Mirror neurons respond both when perceiving an action and while executing an action. They provide a direct internal experience of another person’s actions or emotions.

Matthew 6:22-23 says, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness….”

Have you ever seen the eyes of an angry person, or someone that is really sad? Their eyes are a reflection of their heart. They don’t have to say a word, because their eyes are revealing something hidden.

Our body language reflects our inner being. I have seen this many times when I am talking to someone about the Lord. When they squint their eyes, I know that I’ve lost them because their unbelief has shut down their heart.

Proverbs 6:12-14 was king Solomon’s God-given wisdom. Look for clues through body language. Read these words carefully and you will see body language that exposes a deceptive heart.

It says, “A worthless person, a wicked man walks with a perverse mouth; he winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers. Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord.”

Here is another tell-tale body language of one who walks in hidden sin or shame. They will not look at your eyes as they talk to you. They usually look down at their feet or anywhere but your eyes. Wise words, especially for employers or a father with a prospective son in law.

What is all this saying? Hebrews 1:3 is Jesus’ example of how we are to walk. It says, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

The words ‘express image’ in Greek is charakter. What does that remind you of? Our English word character. It means an exact copy or representation. It is like an engraving, or something stamped or imprinted.

I encourage you to ask yourself this question: Do my eyes reveal a heart that is peaceful and confident because of my relationship with the Lord? We can say one thing and act another. Is our message and messenger the same?

I love Franklin Graham’s statement about his father. He said that his dad was the same in the pulpit as he was at home. Character is what we do behind closed doors when no one else is watching.

What mirror neurons are expressed through your eyes or countenance? Psalm 34:5 says, “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.” We mirror our sinful flesh to others, or our submissive heart to the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:20 called us ambassadors for Christ. May we reflect Him in every aspect of our lives.

Mirror Image

We are to see ourselves through the mirror of God’s word. Do you see yourself as God sees you? David did. Psalm 139:17-18 says, “How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with You.” I like to picture my palm full of sand and the impossibility of counting how many grains.

Isaiah 49:15 says that He will never forget us. Verse 16 says, “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” Have you ever put up emotional walls to keep others out? They are walls built with the figments of our mind. They are not real. They are erroneously built in pride as self-protective measures. They are powerless facades. Every wall and the emotional pain behind them are fully known by Him.

They are works of darkness that suppress the truth. They block our fellowship with the Lord. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” 1 John 2:4 says, “He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Strong words. They clearly expose the lies of the enemy that we are walking in.

I like to think of this verse in Song of Solomon 2:9, in the terms of the Lord seeing everything. This is how I personally read it. I put the Lord into the verse, “My Beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, He stands behind our wall; He is looking in through the windows, gazing through the lattice.”

Emotional walls can be identified through subjects we skirt around or avoid all together. The phrase, “Don’t go there with me” is an example. I’m sure you can think of others that apply in your own life. Walls can also be built through inner vows, such as “I will never…” You can add your own words. Remember that vows are binding. We may think that we are vowing to ourselves. Since we belong to the Lord, we are vowing to Him. Read Ecclesiastes 5:4-5.

Let’s look a moment into the mirror of God’s word. Psalm 119:73 says “Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments.” Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows right well.” Are you thankful for the way the Lord has made you?

I marvel at Jeremiah 1:5 which says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you…” Sanctified means to set apart. What did He set us apart for? Isaiah 43:7 says, “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” In the seed of our conception, God’s plan and purpose for our life was imprinted.

Everything that the Lord created is designed to glorify Him. You might want to refresh your memory with Psalm 148. It begins with “Praise the Lord!” and ends with the same. Bookend declarations.

James 1:23-25 are mirror verses. One who only hears the word but never makes a personal application is like one who looks in the mirror and immediately forgets. Verse 25 is our mandate. It says, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” The hearer is walking in disobedience. The Lord withholds the blessings designed to be theirs.

Psalm 19:14 ended with, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” When we bring God’s word into our heart it will purify our thoughts and our words. It is essential in our progressive sanctification, so that we might mirror His image to others.

Consider The Seeds You Have Sown

The Lord created seed to bear fruit. Genesis 1:29 says, “And God said, See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”

We are created to sow a harvest seed. Within each seed is the ability to produce other seeds in abundance. We may sow one seed, yet the harvest yields multiple seeds. Think about how much harvest there is when sowing one kernel of corn. What are you sowing?

Galatians 6:7-8 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

Let’s consider some types of seed. Proverbs 18:21 called them life and death words. The end of the verse says, “…and those who love it will eat its fruit.” What about grace words? Ephesians 4:29 says that our words should impart grace.

All spoken words are seeds sown. This is a glorious truth! We sow seeds of truth into other’s hearts when we speak the word of God to them. In every conversation, we sow multiple words. They are either life-giving or life-taking.

What happens when we speak death words? I shudder as I type this. Pronouncements spewed with angry and bitter words wound deeply. Has anyone ever said something like this to you? You are no good, you will never amount to anything, you can’t do anything right, or I wish you were never born, etc. Those types of words slam against the walls of our heart, and stick like darts piercing the board. The enemy uses others to shoot his fiery darts through. We must refute the words when they are spoken over us.

Years ago a car accident negatively affected my neurotransmitters. My neurologist said the impact caused some of mine to be repressed. He was going to give me a drug to help release them. He said: You will be on this drug for two years. I said: Oh no I won’t be on this drug for two years! He was shocked, but there was no way I was going to receive that authoritative binding pronouncement! 

What have you allowed to penetrate your heart? Our thoughts all come from our heart. If there are weed seeds that have been sown in our heart, we need to ask the Lord to sterilize them so they don’t keep producing.

We are not the product of other’s words. We are created in the image of God to have intimate communion with Him. His words are always life-giving. They impart truth that sets us free. Our identity is in Him and Him alone. Don’t let others’ death words mark you. I did. I spoke death words over my body for years. One day the Lord took me aside and revealed the hidden roots that were still bearing weed seeds. I repented and my health began to turn around. Be careful what you speak over yourself.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” Honeycomb is meshed the same way that our bones have mesh-like structure. Life words have the ability to build up the structure of another’s heart. Let us use them wisely.

Consider 2 Corinthians 9:10. Though this was written of finances, we can apply them to the words that we have sown. In the Amplified. It says, “And (God) who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your (resources for) sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness (which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity).”

Where Is Your Seed?

There are two very interesting verses about seeds that help to answer this question. One is found in Haggai 2:19 says, “Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.”

Is your seed still in the barn? When we get discouraged, we quit sowing seeds. Without seed, there is no fruit. What else keeps our seed from bearing fruit? Joel 1:17 says, “The seed shrivels under the clods, storehouses are in shambles; barns are broken down, for the grain has withered.”

There are myriad ‘clods’ that keep our seeds from sprouting. I can’t begin to make an adequate list. However, since yesterday I brought up what happens when we become lax, let’s look at what the Lord spoke through Haggai.

Haggai 1:9 says, “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts, Because of My house that is in ruins, while everyone runs to his own house.”

I want to use the word ‘house’ here as our relationship with the Lord. When He is our first priority, then everything else falls into place. It is when we skip our quiet time with Him, that the things we put our hands to will fail.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Addition means there is something else already in place. Priority means: a thing that is regarded as more important than another.

No matter what the circumstances are in our lives, the Lord must remain as our priority. He dwells in us. Yet our heart can become contaminated or filled with other things. Remember what Mark 4:19 says about the seed of the word sown among thorns. 

Here are the thorns, “And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Read with me how this played out in the heart (vineyard) of a man void of understanding.

Proverbs 24:31 says, “And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.” Are you being diligent to remove the thorns from your life?

I had a back field at my old house. It was full of thistles. I could not pull them up with my bare hands. They grew wild, watered only seasonally by the Lord. They sowed weed seeds into my backyard, garden, and flower beds. They were impossible to contain. Weed seeds were scattered by the winds. They fell on the ground, rooted, and bore thorn-fruits. Weed seeds choke out good seeds.

Mark 4:27 is a universal truth of a farmer’s good seeds as well as weed seeds. It says, “…the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.”

Navigating Discouragement

Whatever God has called us to do, it will never be revoked. Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” Adversity may war against us, but God’s purpose and calling will never change. Job 42:2 says that nothing can thwart Him!

We are called with a holy calling (2 Timothy 1:9) and secured in His love that will never diminish, ebb, or flow. In order to navigate through all adversarial circumstances, we need to remember and stand in what He has said.

The disobedience of the folks who went up to rebuild the temple brought lethargy. Lethargic means dullness, inaction, and inattention. Have you become discouraged? Have you lapsed into complacency? Have you let go of something the Lord has called you to do?

Take heart. The Lord stirred up the spirit of the leaders and the people through Haggai’s word. They rose up to do the work of repairing the temple. The Hebrew word for ‘stirred up’ means to arouse, awaken, excite, raise up; to incite, to arouse to action; to open one’s eyes. If you have become lax in anything, ask the Holy Spirit to stir up your spirit.

Isaiah 50:4 is a great example of being stirred up. It says of the Lord, “The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.” Verse 5 is a good one for us to remember to be ready to respond with an obedient heart. It says, “The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.” 

1 Samuel 12:21 is a warning to us. It says, “And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.” That is exactly what happened to the folks in Haggai. Here are some of the fruits. Haggai 1:5 called them to consider their ways. Verse 6 says, “You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

One of the key ways we turn aside is to go back to our past. This seems especially true when we are discouraged. Have you ever thought something like, “If only…?” That statement can go several ways. We may wish that things were like they used to be. We may wish we hadn’t done something. It’s all in the past. One hour ago is in the past.

We must let go of the past to walk victoriously in the present. The Lord is Ever Present. He is ready to enable us to do what He has called us to do. When discouragement looms like a Jericho wall, we must recognize and affirm who we are in Christ.

Isaiah 54:17 says, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.”

The word ‘formed’ can be likened to forged. In the old days the warriors had heavy metal armor. They needed chicks to help them move and navigate. The enemy would forge a specific weapon that would go into the chink. No matter what our enemy fashions against us it will not prosper!

God’s Masterful Orchestration

I started reading the book of Ezra. I love how the Lord so masterfully orchestrates everything and uses people through strategic interventions. The book of Ezra started out with an amazing orchestration.

I like to think of Ephesians 1:11 and how the Lord works everything according to the counsel of His will. Follow along with me. Cyrus was the king of Persia. Read his words. Ezra 1:1 says, “…that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom…”

What was the word? Jeremiah 29:10 says, “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.”

Wow 70 years! When it was time, the Lord moved all the players into place. In Jeremiah 1:11 the Lord asked Jeremiah what he saw. Verse 12 says, “Then the Lord said to me, You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”

We know from Isaiah 55:11 that God’s word will never return to Him void. Think about what this means. A pagan king was commanded by God to join Him in His work to rebuild the temple 70 years later!

Ezra 1:2 says, “…All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.” Then he invited those who wanted to go. He instructed his people to help them with silver, gold, goods, and livestock.

People began to engage in what God was doing. Verse 3 says, “…with all those whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.”

The Lord stirred up the hearts of the people He wanted to get involved. He did the same in Haggai. The folks had gotten lax. They believed the lies of the enemy. Haggai has only two chapters. Chapter one is packed with instructions for us.

In my own recent experience, the Lord stirred my heart to sell my mobile. Honestly, when I moved there in December 2016, I thought I would live and die there. However, the Lord has opened a new mission for me. Though He stirred my heart, it took 58 days before I knew where He wanted me to move to. Until then, there were only closed doors.

He instructed me to memorize and meditate on Psalm 71:1. It became my breath. It says, “In You, O Lord, I put my trust,; never let me be put to shame.” He marvelously orchestrated it all through a split second timing one morning. 

I encourage you to enact Habakkuk 2:1. It says, “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me…” The Lord is always at work in our lives. We need to be attentive so that we can be led by the Holy Spirit to join Him in the work He has preordained for us to walk in. 

Another Life Skill

In September 1996, a friend and I did a workbook together. It changed my life, and my understanding in myriad ways. It is called “Experiencing God” by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King. I highly recommend it. I want to recap one of the units for you. I will paraphrase so I don’t violate any copyright laws. Their church tried to start Bible studies at a college campus in the dorms.

They tried for over a year but nothing worked. One Sunday the pastor pulled his students together and said something like: this week I want you to watch and see what God is doing and join Him.  He explained that no one seeks God on their own. Let me add a few verses to cement this truth. Ephesians 4:18 says, “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God…” Romans 3:11 says that no one seeks God.

He told them to watch and to be attentive. God is at work when someone starts asking spiritual questions. When that happens, cancel what you are doing. Here is what happened. One of the girls said that a girl she had been in class with for two years approached her. She said that she needed to talk to her. Eleven girls had been studying the Bible together, but none of them were Christians. Here was her question: do you know anyone who can lead us in a Bible study? We often try to start something, but fail to see where the Lord is already at work.

For two years the church tried to do something for God and failed. For three days they looked to see what the Lord was doing and joined Him. The result was three Bible studies in the women’s dorm and two in the men’s dorm. This lesson stuck to me like glue and I have implemented it as a life skill. I moved and am in a whole new neighborhood. In my senior mobile park I met my neighbors as I would walk daily. As I met each one I would add them to my prayer list and prayed for them by name.

Day one here the only neighbor I met was a dog. Its bark strongly opposed my presence. Day three it stood and watched me. My eyes are drawn to a neighbor two doors down and across the street where I now live. I’m looking for an opportunity to initiate friendly overtures. The Lord is always at work. As we gain sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s moving, we will be able to readily see what He is doing so we can join Him. I’m asking Him now to show me because I know I will not see it on my own.

Here is Jesus’ example for us. John 5:17 says, “…My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Verse 19 says, “…Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” Jesus saw what the Father was doing and did it.  Verse 20 says, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show greater works than these, that you may marvel.” 

Here is an example of how Jesus worked. John 4:4 says that He needed to go through Samaria. In my mind, I see the whole scene played out first as an exchange between the Father and the Son. The woman came to the well. As Jesus conversed with her, we read how her questions revealed that God was at work.

Verse 9 says, “…How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealing with Samaritans.” Jesus engaged her with words of truth that drew her further into conversation. Verse 11 says, “…Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?” You can read the rest of the encounter for yourself. It was all designed, just like our good works are designed before time began. Let us be about our Father’s business.