“I Will Answer You”

God’s command for us to cry out to Him is just as applicable today is it was over 2500 years ago, when He invited Jeremiah, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (33:3, emphasis added).

Knowing He wants to hear from you, respond with full assurance of an answer, which is the affirmation Jeremiah received while locked up in prison. God did not say “I might answer” or “I could answer,” but rather “I will answer”, which brings to mind the promise proclaimed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). 

Incidentally, here’s the rest of the story concerning the Fox News reporter (see June 15 post). With great excitement and anticipation, I called him back and it went to his voice mail three times. I guess he got what he needed from another source because he still hasn’t called me back.

Like me, I’ll bet you can think of phone calls that were never answered, emails not acknowledged, and Facebook friend requests that were ignored or rejected.  Such won’t happen with God. He promises to answer and will. What we must understand, however, is that His answer may not come in our timing. This conflicts with the instant gratification mentality that saturates our society. We flip switches, push buttons and touch screens, expecting immediate results; a mindset that often spills over into our prayer lives.

Joseph Parker, a great British preacher and theologian in the 1800’s, was once discovered by a parishioner pacing back and forth in his office, with his hands clasped tightly behind his back. “Dr. Parker,” he asked, “What’s the problem?” To which the preacher replied, “The problem is I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t.”  

God’s concept of time isn’t the same as ours. “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”(2 Peter 3:8). As has already been determined, He’s Creator-we’re created. Our understanding is limited at best. He can peer into the future and get the big picture.

Whereas there is a gestation period for humans and animals, I believe the same is true with prayer. Answers are conceived in the heart of God and advance to maturity at His discretion. And just like in the physical world, the time of gestation varies in the spiritual realm as well.

Satan also plays a role in holding up answers to prayers. For example, during the reign of Xerxes, the Lord sent Gabriel with an immediate answer to Daniel’s petitions. Yet the angel was delayed 21 days due to spiritual warfare in the invisible realm. It wasn’t until the angel Michael came to assist that he was able to break free to deliver the message (Daniel 10:12-14).

Of course He could answer immediately, yet usually doesn’t, which reminds me of my favorite axiom on the subject: “God’s delays are not God’s denials.” He’s ready anytime. He just wants to make sure we are.

Comments are closed.