"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24 King James Version
When I was praying and asking God what He wanted me to write in today’s devotion, God spoke to my heart and said "Tell them that I said, when someone asks Me to save somebody, I start knocking very loudly on the door to the person’s heart immediately. However, many times the person refuses to open the door to his or her heart".
What a loving Heavenly Father we have! What grace, mercy and kindness He bestows upon us. Yes, He hears our prayers and He always answers our prayers. He either says "yes", "no", or "wait". However, there are times when He will not hear our prayers because our hearts are not right before Him.
We read in the Bible "Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59: 1, 2).
We must do a heart checkup and ask Him to please forgive us for failing and hurting Him before we ask Him for anything. Our dear Heavenly Father is a Holy God and we need to treat Him with the respect that He deserves. How dare you and I ask God for anything if we have not first asked Him to remove anything in our hearts that offends and hurts Him.
Just as our Heavenly Father hears us and answers us the same day so we must also hear and answer when someone asks us for help the same day. Ten years ago, I was in a very difficult situation. It was an emergency situation and I called someone and asked for help. The person didn’t do anything to help me that day or even the next day. It was almost two weeks before the person responded to my emergency situation. When the person did respond, the remark was made "You expect me to drop everything and come to your aid the next day".
What I expected was for the person to respond to my need the same day. When people tell us that they are in the middle of a crisis and need help, we should not wait until the next day to help them. How sad, dear people, that we have become so indifferent to a cry for help that we would neglect our families, our loved ones and our friends when they are hurting and in the middle of an emergency situation.
One day, we may be the ones who need help and if we aren’t loving and giving to people who come to us for encouragement and help, it is doubtful that we will receive help when we need help. I’m sure that you have heard the saying "You get back what you give out." That is a true statement.
How is your heart today? If Jesus were to look into your heart right this minute, would He find it filled with bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, sarcasm, criticism and hatred for others, or would He find it filled with unconditional love for others?
If we expect our Heavenly Father who is a Holy God to answer our prayers the same day, then you and I need to respond the same day when someone comes to us for help. I don’t know about you, but the hardest thing I ever have to do is to ask for help. I don’t do it often. I only do it when it is a real emergency. If you have ever had to humble yourself and ask someone for help, then you understand how I feel.
When we ask Jesus to forgive us, He forgives us the same day. He doesn’t make us wait until we have proved to Him that we have changed. He forgives us and never holds it against us again. Oh, that you and I would follow the example of our precious Saviour and forgive the ones that have hurt us the same day they ask for forgiveness. So many times, we tell people that we forgive them, but our hearts are still filled with resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness. Until we forgive others from our hearts, just as Jesus forgives us from His heart, we have not forgiven them.
Let’s start forgiving people the same day they ask us to forgive them and let’s start responding to a desperate cry for help the same day. It will make Jesus very happy. Remember, when we do something for others, we are doing it for Jesus. We read in the Bible "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25: 40). What have you done for Jesus today?
Copyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.