The Father’s Agenda

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19

When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus we see that he was continually doing what the Father instructed him to do. We could say that Jesus was continually on the father’s agenda. Because of that Jesus did not always react the way we might expect him to react. He waited two days before leaving to visit Lazarus, because he was on his father’s agenda and not his own. Jesus wanted to do the work His father had for him to do, even when that ultimately meant that he had to go through the agony of rejection, crucifixion and death. Jesus listened to the direction of his father and was obedient, obedient to death – even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8).

How did Jesus stay on the Father’s agenda? As we look at the gospels we see that when Jesus chose the 12 disciples he did so after spending time in prayer. When Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ and Jesus explained the necessity of his suffering, death and resurrection. The interaction is done out of a context of prayer (Luke 9:18) Jesus was able to stay upon the Father’s agenda because he spent daily time in prayer with the Father. As he did this he was in continual relationship and was available to receive the directions he required.

“So what do you have for me today, Lord?” has become a frequent line in my prayer journal, its written and prayed in a sense of anticipation and excitement. Quite often there is a glimpse or a hint at what it to come, sometimes just the affirmation “wait and see!” It changes the perspective of the day because there is now an anticipation of what God is going to do. It maybe small but it can at times be big.

On my recent trip to Israel, I had prayed in the morning for God’s direction for the day and the response “I have something for you, wait and see” came back it was a dull and rainy day and as we arrived at a point in Jerusalem overlooking the temple mount abd the Western wall there was this amazing double rainbow arching over the temple mount and mount of Olives. The most vivid of rainbows I have ever seen. God did indeed have something for us and in a big way. He was giving us a sense of affirmation for the ministry we were doing but also just demonstrating his amazing grace to us. An expression of his love..

The rainbow over the temple mount

The Lord wants us to enjoy abundant prayer times with him everyday, where by he is showing us what he is doing and inviting us to join Him in His agenda.

“You Have to Wait!”

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Molly our dog gets fed twice a day, once at 7:15 am and then again at 5:15 pm. But from about 6 am and 4pm onwards she begins to whine. Once you notice her, she will immediately run to her bed and sit up to show us how good she is! Her expectation is that she is being so good she should be rewarded with an early meal. Of course our answer to her every time is; “No, it’s not time for you to be fed. You have to wait!” Even though she gets told this several times in the hour before feeding time, she still continues to do the same thing every day. You would think she would learn she needs to wait till it’s her time to eat. But day after day it’s the same routine. It is funny to watch her go through her routine every day, hoping that at some point someone will cave and give in to her whining. But she always has to wait.

Sometimes we have the same attitude when it comes to our Heavenly Father and to prayer. We ask the Lord for things that we want, and we want them right away. Then when our Father says no or says wait we begin to whine, “God does not answer our prayers.” We can become tempted to stop praying altogether, instead of persevering.

In some ways, Molly is like the persistent widow in the parable Jesus told to show the disciples that they should always pray and never give up (Luke 18:1-8). She is certainly persistent and never gives up reminding us that the time to be fed is almost at hand. But she is also a reminder that the Lord does know what is best for his children and so sometimes that means having to wait or even to be told no. The Lord makes us wait sometimes because he wants the best for us. But what we are asking for is not the best thing for us, even if we think that it is. Sometimes we have to wait because it is not the right time for us to receive what he wants to give us.

For the most part the daily antics of Molly are met with a smile and a laugh, though there are times when it is a little frustrating. But when it comes to our Heavenly Father, He never tires of listening to our prayers, even if his response is “you have to wait!”