Saturday, November 1, 2008

He listens

Judges 13:9 ESV
And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field. But Manoah her husband was not with her. (emphasis mine)

I have to teach on Samson tomorrow in preschool. Man I wish I could really get into it (the teaching part) but they are 3. The passages on the life of Samson are so rich. I have found myself studying him and praying that unlike him I would be faithful and set apart to the Lord. He was to be a Nazirite set apart from birth and he broke all of the Nazirite vows in his lifetime (he drank wine, a razor touched his head, and he was defiled by touching what was unclean). God used him to accomplish his purposes yet his life ended so sadly. There is so much you can pull out but the verse above just keeps on ministering to me.
You know the scene:
The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years. Manoah's wife was barren and the angel of YAHWEH appeared to his wife and I love what he says: 3 And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.
Don't you know she was like of course I know I am barren how could I be reminded any more. This was a miracle. She was indeed a barren woman. So, the angel of the LORD tells her some other things about this pregnancy...he was to be a Nazirite from the womb (which is interesting because you could take a voluntary Nazirite vow...but no he was to be set apart from the womb...this just goes to show again the importance that life starts at conception). There were also some do not's for his mom and dad they were not to drink wine or other strong drink, and eat nothing unclean because he was to be set apart from the womb and whatever she was to eat or drink obviously affected that child. If any of you have been pregnant you know the importance of taking care of yourself for the sake of your child. There is so much you could unpack in that whole idea. I want to be the person that is concerned over what I do now affecting my child and the generations behind me. I will never be perfect but I want to be set apart for the sake of my own testimony and for the sake of my child.

So, the angel appears to her and speaks with her. Especially since women were seen as second class (and still are in parts of the world today for that matter) I love that the angel of the LORD, the Most High God, THE I AM, appeared to this woman. Then, she goes back and tells her man and then he wants to get in on it because of course they wanted a child. He prays that the angel of the LORD would come back and teach them what they are to do with the child that is to be born. Then the verse that I can't get out of my mind v 9 and God listened to the voice of Manoah...
God hears us. He listens to us. God the ruler and creator, the Most High, the Ancient of Days, the author and perfecter of the Universe, the Omnipotent One, the One who is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, stoops down and listens to man. Who is man that You are mindful of us oh LORD?

This morning I just had to break my journal out and ask God to reveal things to me that I needed to confess. I asked Him to really point or search out the why's to the origin of my sin. Why do I continue a certain pattern in some areas? I wanted to get to the guts of it...and I began to confess knowing that HE HEARS, HE LISTENS. Your prayers DO NOT FALL ON DEAF EARS. When no one else listens HE DOES. Yet why is He the last one we run to talk to at times when we have exhausted all of our other human resources?

God listens to Manoah and sends the angel of God again...but where was Manoah? The angel appears to her as she is sitting in the field. I am going out on my own here but I feel like she was obviously in the posture of prayer. Just like Isaac was meditating in the field when his wife showed up I am just guessing maybe she was in the field marveling and in a posture to receive. I could be wrong. When the angel of God appears his wife had to literally RUN and go get him. Who's prayer was it that he would return? Manoahs. But where was he? And why did he appear to the woman? This is me again just thinking on my own...but don't you think sometimes we pray things and don't really expect God to answer so we aren't in the posture to receive or wait in expectation on the Lord. I am not ever talking about an inactive waiting on the LORD. We all can't just go sit in a field and pray until He shows up. We have got to be going about life. But my question is one of: Are our minds set on things above or on the below?

I have not shared about this yet in written form but I have a quick story. I could testify to answered specific prayers in so many ways that you would not have time to hear. The point of prayer is not for God. He doesn't need us to do anything for Him but He delights in our relationship with Him. He takes delight in us. God did not create us out of any need. He created us because He wanted to. He sent His only Son for us to reconcile us to Him. He did not have to. We all deserve death and destruction before a Holy God...but He made a way: The Cross of Christ.

Anyway, I felt worn out a few weeks ago and just prayed that God would allow me some time to get away with Him that was not so rushed. I loved going to San Antonio and how I prayed to go there and the Lord sent me an anonymous money order (without me asking anyone but God) in the exact amount I needed to go. I had the money but I had no peace about spending that on myself. So, Tammy at Grateful in GA emails me about the Breaking Free taping in New Orleans and said that she was hosting a giveaway for some of the tickets she had purchased. Long story short I was like there is no way I could go on this for a week. What about Morgan? What about spending all of the money for a flight and room and etc.? I just looked up the flights just in case and I found a round trip special for $78 dollars plus tax. Then, Tammy told me how her sweet husband was cashing in his reward points and that my stay would be free, then she said she even had a rental car. So, not knowing if I could win a ticket the Lord totally reminded me of my prayer to get away with Him. In faith I purchased my airline ticket, called my mother-in-law and asked if she could keep Morgan (she said yes), and got Rod's blessing. He really never cares what I do but nevertheless.
So, I get to go!!! I was never expecting it but God heard and He provided even though I told Him I deserve nothing. The beauty of it is my journey with the Lord really began when I did that study back in 99. Almost ten years later, and after doing the study like six more times, I get to go to the re-taping. To say I bawled my eyes out is an understatement. This is getting so long. I praise Him that after all of this time He is still contending with me, fellowshiping (not a word) with me, after all of my sin. I have no words that are eloquent to describe Him or what He means to me and how alive and active He is. I praise You Father for calling me out of darkness into your marvelous light.

I tell none of this to act like I am some spiritual prayer giant that just snaps her fingers and God dare me if I would portray that. I am just in awe that He still is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still hears...he still listens to our cries. So lets pray and know that He listens and be in a posture to expect Him to answer. Even if the answer is painful let us keep entrusting ourselves to the One who is Faithful.


Patty said...

I wish that I could tell you how much this means to me today. I really needed to hear ALL of this today. At this very moment and I thank God for all He does for you and for all of us. I am beyond excited that you get to go to the taping. I would ask you one thing, would you chronicle the entire thing on the Siesta blog? I think it would bless so many.

Without going into detail, would you pray for me? God knows what is going on and what I need. :)

I will be praying for you and Tammy at the taping. Tammy has such a generous heart and you all will be blessed beyond anything you cam imagine!!

Much love,

Cheryl said...

This is a great post! You are a very good teacher girl! I love your writing. I thank God also for all HE does for me. God Blessyou~~

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

YOu have the sweetest most sincere heart. I enjoyed this post so much and I'm going to be looking for your darling self in those videos. :))

Faith said...

This whole entry really spoke to me today. Thank you so much, sweet Jenny. I love the insights the Lord gave you into the story of Samson and his parents, and I love how He is providing for you. What a wonderful treat from Him that you get to go to the re-taping! That study had a profound effect on me as well, and I'll be praying for God to richly bless this time away with Him that He has so graciously provided for! Girl I am so excited for you!