Monday, December 29, 2008

Does God Change His Mind?

Well, no, right? His will is His will. He is in control and sovereign. We are His servants and He is our Master. He tells; we do. He directs; we follow. He plans; we fulfill. He talks; we listen. He instructs; we obey.

Those are the roles of Master and servant. The servant has no control or role in the ultimate plans of the Master, right?

If we had control in what God does then our marriages would be restored when we asked. Our loved ones would be healed from cancer when we asked. Our children would be free from addictions when we asked. Our ministries would be fruitful when we asked. We ask for many "good" and righteous things that would bring God glory. He would be glorified in a productive ministry leading others to Christ. He would be glorified in marriages being restored. He would be glorified in healed bodies. All these good things we ask would show His power in our lives and would be a testimony for all to see. So, why don't they always happen? That is the HUGE mystery of life and one of the greatest questions of so many of His children. So, we sit back and resolve...His Will will be done regardless of what we do. We might as well just do nothing and wait for the Master to do, provide, instruct, lead, heal. Because He is sovereign and we cannot over turn or over power Him or His will that will ultimately be fulfilled, right?

Maybe not...stay with me. God's love for us is so great. We cannot say He acts based on our faith or our petitions because then those unanswered prayers would make us/others feel unloved. Yet, we can see so many times that God does answer the pleas of His children. God does change His mind and His least His initial plans. God has full power and full reign to change His mind midcourse.

God was so moved to change by the pleas of faithful men such as Abraham, Moses, and Jonah. So what makes us think He wouldn't change His mind for another of His faithful people? He may. He can. Would we want to risk being the one for which He would've changed His mind but didn't because we failed to cry out in faith persistently?

Without prayer we have no hope.
No hope of change.
No hope of healing.
No hope of restoration.
No hope of anything.

God told Abraham He would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah unless Abraham could find 50 righteous people. Abraham bantered back and forth with God and God finally said He wouldn't destroy the city if Abraham found 10 righteous people.

Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." Genesis 18:20-21

Abraham's harsh reply: Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25 Wow to be so bold with the Almighty Lord. I admire Abraham's boldness but don't know if I could do such. But then, my relationship with God is far from what Abraham and His was.

After bantering back and forth, the result is this: Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it." Genesis 18:32

God changed His mind.

God was angry at the Israelites as they were impatient waiting for Moses. They melted all their gold into idols. God wanted to destroy the Israelites to burn in His wrath. Moses begged Him not to do such. Moses reminded God of His promise to bring multitudes through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.' " Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. Exodus 32:13-14 God thought twice. Moses was not asking for something of his own but merely reminding God of His promise and plan.

God changed His mind.

When Jonah was in the fish, he urged the people to turn from their ways so that God would change His mind and not destory them. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened. Jonah 3:8-10

God changed His mind.

God in His loving character listened (and listens) to His children's cries for mercy. These scriptures show me to be persistent with God. He shows us He does answer. He does change His mind. He does hear the persistency in us. If we are not persistent on our pleas, then how will we ever know if we stopped our petitions just short of Him answering and changing His mind? How will we know if we stopped believing this side of the miracle?

We may never know why some requests are not answered in the manner we expect. We may never know why He changes His mind in some pleas. We may not understand why He seems to move mountains to change one situation and not another. We do know He will not force His will on us. Many situations involve two or more people. We have to understand that while one person is asking for "this", the other party may not be listening to God and may be drifting in another direction away from God's desires. God will do everything He can to lead that wandering person back onto His course but He will not lean down, pick him up, and place him back on course. He can't. God is love and just as He doesn't force us to love Him, God does not force us to follow Him and His plan. All we can do as the person seeking to obey is to continue to present our requests and believe God will hear our plea and answer. If it can't be in the manner we desire (and He desires) then I believe He will give us something greater. He sees those faithfully trusting and knows many times it takes three to believe. (God, me/you, and the other person.) Yet, God is so merciful that I believe He rewards our faith and knows that we did all that was in "our" control outside of the other person(s) possibly involved.

It is because of this belief and faith that I personally feel I cannot give up on my God and what He can do...and prayerfully will do. We never know how hard He is working to move in a situation. But like I said, He will not lean down and swoop the person or persons to work in one accord...that is for each person to decide. He calls us to believe and our mountains will be thrown into the sea.

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:21-22

Believe and not doubt.

I cannot tell you how much that scripture convicts me. Especially since I know what I'm asking and believing lines up with God's divine Word. I feel I cannot escape what His Word says in black and white...and so clearly. I can't escape the conviction of this scripture and many others. How can I justify walking away from my stand, my beliefs, my petitions?

I never want to find myself on a different path than what I'm believing now and then hear this from the Lord. Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:21.

When this scripture was the second hit on my search on, I was immediately succom to tears. I don't want to turn from the beliefs of restoration, head down another path (possibly even a happy one), and hear these words from my Lord. Yet, I'm also torn because I'm so tired of standing. I feel I've lost the strength to believe with such faith. I want complete healing but can't receive it while in limbo waiting...wondering...not if God will perform a mighty miracle but if others will heed to His calling and His instructions.

One of my devotionals put it this way. "By the way, unless you know everything that God knows, please do not write and tell us, 'Nothing is happening in our marriage.' The One who makes toys* is at work, year around, on the opposite side of your mountain of circumstances." *The Letters stand for "Thinking of You" and the toys are what our Lord God is giving to us for Christmas. (RM, 12/23/08)

"From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth - He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do." Psalm 33:13-15

Believing with Hope,


HIS Daughter said...

That is beautiful, precious One!

GOD knows your heart and every tear that falls down those cheeks. HE is your ultimate bridegroom and HE wants nothing less than someone who is HIS "imago dei" as your real life husband in this world.

Someone that is made in HIS image and likeness and will love you as your Bridegroom loves HIS bride...Christ and you as part of HIS church.

HE will not give HIS daughter away at a marriage that is not fit for a Princess. Don't stop praying and don't let anyone talk you into thinking you have to settle or sell out.

You are Precious in HIS sight!
Love and blessings,

Schotzy said...

So wonderful! I believe it and am convinced that even though he is omnipotent and sovereign on all things, His love for us is so great he will look down from heaven and have mercy! But oh my goodness it is not for some small thing. What an awesome place to stand before Him pleading for Him to change His mind. He can search us and know our heart, our motive and then sovereignly decide what is best for his plan to be accomplished. Hallelujah, what God, Saviour, and King we serve!

Nicole said...

Beautiful my friend! Thinking on this...

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!


Laura said...

Oh, Paula. I am standing with you. I believe, I hope, I pray. You are precious to me, dear one.

I have not gotten any emails from you...I still can't figure out why my home computer blocks them! I am working tomorrow and will check there.

Still praying...


JnL4God said...

HI Sweets,
Keep following God. Remember, there are other wills invoved. If you turn and head down another path possibly a happy one, and that is not what God wants for you, He will let you know. I know you well enough to know you seek Him in all you do. But if you hold back because you think you're not in faith, you could be missing a blessing He wants to give you.
Because of our free will and changing our minds, I think God has to be constantly shifting gears or "changing His mind". But as long as you are listening to His instructions, you will know.
God wants you to be happy and blessed more than you do.
Love ya,

CathM said...

Hello there. Thank you so much for this post which I have read again and again. A reminder of the relationship heart of God... something that God has been convicting me of in recent weeks. He is a God that wants to be...IS (if we let him)... actively involved and engaged in every detail of our lives. There’s that great paradox of biblical truth... God doesn’t need us but he chooses to work in relationship with us... that privilege that has been offered all mankind to enter into, and be in relationship with Him. And how do we develop that relationship with Him? As you point out - through FAITH and PRAYER (our conversation with God). I have been struggling (even stuck) with/in my relationship with God for many years now... in the respect of how do I move from a ‘head’ relationship to a ‘heart’ relationship with God. Put another way, moving from a relationship of FEAR to one of FAITH... from brokenness to healing... maturing into: a ‘real and honest’ relationship with God. And, once again through many things that I am reflecting on such as your blog – God is challenging me about the possibility of having a fulfilling ‘relationship’ which ‘prayer’ UNLOCKS – if I believe and trust that He is indeed ‘perfect Love and Goodness’. I need to ‘take God at His word’! Thank you for your post and especially this reminder:

Without prayer we have no hope.
No hope of change.
No hope of healing.
No hope of restoration.
No hope of anything.

I MUST sustain my relationship with God through a prayerful heart and life. Amen.

krista lee said...

Beautiful post! It can sometimes be so tough praying and praying and praying when it seems like God is not answering. But He does have a plan and how wonderful it is to live it unfolding, even when it may be on a completely different path than we had expected.

Sharon said...

This is beautiful Paula, really touched my heart. God does know our hearts our crys and our prayers! You are so precious not only to him but to me.
God Bless you my sister in Christ
Happy New Year looking forward to sharing more of God's word with you next year!!!

much2ponder said...

Good morning Paula and Wow! Looks like you have been doing some serious studying and thinking. I hear your heart and will continue to pray for the Lord to have His way in your circumstances. I pray that hearts will align with His and that His plans and purposes will prevail. You are loved...xoxo

Anonymous said...

Paula...My dear...We are not servants...we are his friends.
John 15:14-15
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Second Paula...I don't know what has troubled you...I don't know what you are praying for.

Pray with an humble heart...Pray asking God's will be done (and accept it if it's not your will...still glorify the Father for answering the prayer)...

Paula-just don't command God to do what you want him to do...he can see everything to the end of our lives...and if what your desires are does not fit into his plans for you...for a Glory more than granting your desire...then it may not happen the way you want...but in a better way.

I hope that God restores unto you your spirit of Happiness...your spirit of patients...

You never do know what the reasons of Valleys are...but if you hold on to God and be honest with him...from your heart...he WILL see you through.

Pray as long as you feel led to do so...but to quote a line from "Facing the Giants" Brooke Taylor (one of the Characters) prays out loud..."Yes God! I will still Love you."

Maybe that's all he's looking form know that you are still growing and being molded by the Potter...and will still Love him...through it all...The Good times and the Bad times...Through Sickness...through health...and through death.

Prove your LOVE for him.

Yolanda said...

He calls us to believe, hope and obey, doesn't He? And you just keep on keeping on Friend!


Abbasgirl said...

When we really believe Him our faith and hope increases. Such an important part of our walk with Him. Thank you for this beautiful post.

I pray He continues to bless you in a mighty way in 2009.


Liz said...

I love it, because yes, God does sometimes change His mind...we have seen it and you remind us with this post.
There is ALWAYS hope in Him.
I am counting on it and hoping that He will change His mind on some things in my life too...good things, things that would honor Him and bring glory to Him. The door is closed today, but tomorrow is another day. I keep petitioning and I will join you in yours.

andi said...

LOVE the verse from Ps. 33! Blessings to you dear friend!

Amy said...

That was beautiful, Paula!
I have often thought so many of the things that you shared. It is a difficult path to follow sometimes..this road of faith. But in the end, it is the only way to go, amen?
I pray that God pours His blessings over you this upcoming year!
Much love,

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

What a beautiful and thought provoking post Paula. I am believing with you. I am also enjoying the boo you sent me. Thanks again!

In His Graces~Pamela

On Purpose said...

Praying with you and for you Paula, for all our thoughts, questions, doubts, fears, will lead us to His heart...if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us there!

Runner Mom said...

Your post is beautiful and pulls at my heart strings. You have been faithful to Him...Paula, continue to trust in Him. He has a plan for you...a plan to prosper you. His ways are not ours, nor is His timeing ours. Girlfriend...just keep trusting and obeying in our Holy Lord. He loves you SOOoo much!

Much love,

Kristen said...

Keep praying sister! He loves you and will catch those tears! In the storm, He is with you!

For many, many years I prayed for a child. We struggled with infertility (I think you might know this). What I learned was that God did answer my heartfelt pleas for a child! They weren't children of my own body, but nieces, nephews, Godchildren etc. What I learned was to not just ask, but to listen for His answer. I do believe now that He is glorified more by my not having children of my own than if I had children. My witness to God's faithfulness can be seen in the answer I didn't expect!

I know it's been a tough time for you dear one... I am lifting you in prayer and like Teri said HE will not give HIS daughter away at a marriage not fit for a Princess! You, sweet one are a Princess!!!!

Laura said...

Hello, sweet friend! Just stopping in to wish you a very special 2009. I know He has amazing plans for you in the coming year!

I did not get your email, and won't be back to work until next tuesday. this is driving me crazy! I just can't figure out what is wrong.

But I am still praying for you, and sending hugs.

Love you, dear one.


HIS Daughter said...

Hey Sweetie..I almost said Sweetpea but that is your name on here!

Yes, Lcintruder1500 is my husband, Mark aka B.D.

Funny, because the name of Lcintruder is the motorcycle he has and loves and B.D. stands for "Big Daddy"..a funny, funny nickname that they call him in the office and it stuck.

The funny part is as a marathon runner, he is 155 pounds at 6 feet tall and that is soaking wet. He is THIN!!!

He doesn't like to blog or post but our daughter wanted him to comment on her running blog so I made him a name so he could.

Now I want him to do a man point of view of "Satan's scheme to get us to destroy our marriages".

Kill, steal and destroy....the accuser of the brethren and sisteren.

I think Mark can help by giving me the "man/male" point of view when they feel justified in doing the rotten things to destroy a marriage.

Pray he might do it..He's not much for that sort of thing..pretty private :-)

Blessings and love Girlie,

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Paula! I love when we think we can figure God out. Are we serious? It's pretty funny when you think about it, yes? Oh, but He loves us so much and I am thankful that He does as I know you are too. :)

Pamela (His maidservant) said...

Paula-I so agree with you in being His maidservant! I am more honored to be His maidservant then His friend.

You are a blessing. I am 3/4th of the way through the book you sent me. I have been thinking alot about you as I read. Praying too!!

In His Graces~Pamela

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

After 42 years of hard living and lavish grace, I'm learning contentment with the answerables. That being said, I pray about everything. I tell God my wants and dreams and deepest desires. I know that he hears me; his word tells me so. I also believe that our prayers influence what happens in this world. More than anything, prayer connects us to the heart of God, and his peace is our promised result when we pray about everything. It doesn't mean it always goes the way we think it should. It simply and profoundly means we can find peace when our questions outweigh the answers.

At the end of the day, to rest in peace if a gift that cannot be bought. It's one I long to open every day of my life.

Praying tonight for you, pilgrim of God.


Joyfulsister said...

Happy New Year Paula,
Just wanted to drop by and say hello. I have so much catching up to do so I'm doing my bloggy rounds *smile*. I know the best is yet to come for all my sistah's, keep writing and sharing your heart. You are a blessing!

Hugz Lorie

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Come get your free David Bowman sign print! The offer ends Mon. Jan. 5th at noon! Hope you are having a beautiful Sunday! ♥ Hugs :) Shauna

Kim said...

I read this somewhere and wanted to share it here: "When you spend all your time desperately hoping that something will happen, you lose sight of the fact that something is happening...and has been happening all along."

Remember that God's ways are not our ways. His ways and his thoughts are higher than our ways and our thoughts. Trust Him to do the work that He has already started.

Love and blessings,


Carol said...

My Dear Paula,
This post struck me with such conviction, why oh why do we doubt sometimes our heavenly father.
I am standing with you in prayer. I know that sometimes we feel we can't continue, but that's when God brings you people to stand beside you and pray. Pray for your strength, your perserverence, and your reconcilation.

Seek Him with all your heart and soul my sister. I thought of you and prayed for you during that time. I'll email you later, sorry for the delay.

Love ya sister.

Angie said...

Oh MY STARS !!! YOU have been doing some MAJOR reading and studying! YOU have got a sermon all wrapped up in a pretty blog!

Totally blessed me!

Sharon said...

Happy New Year!! It's been awhile since u posted and I was checking on you. Missssing You!
Praying for you

littlerad said...

Thank you for the comments on my blog, I am totally loving being near my kids, Christmas was great... I love what you wrote here, I know that God is in control, and I also know that he knows what we as his Children will do, and he always will be glorifided in it.
You are in my prayers...

LATICIA said...