God answers our prayers in many ways, but not necessarily as we expect. God is God. He has the power and authority to respond to our prayers any way he’d like. What I’ve also come to appreciate is that our God is a big God and is the king of multitasking. God is not just answering my prayers, but millions of prayer requests simultaneously. Most of these requests may appear unrelated, but to God, they all are related. In fact, I picture God in Heaven sitting on His throne with a massive puzzle on an extremely large table in front of Him. He’s moving puzzle pieces around constantly as He responds to individual petitions.
I thought back on one of my recent prayer requests. I realized that a few others were probably praying that same request. In His infinite wisdom, God can respond favorably to all of us, yet yield different results with each of us. That’s because our Daddy will often call others to walk ahead or beside us when fulfilling our prayer requests. Some are there to offer support, while others are there to coach and mentor us until we’re ready to step into the purpose God has for us. God may actually place someone else ahead of us in our purpose. The nerve! God does this because he loves us. He uses the ‘forerunner’ to flush out the problems and prepare the way for us. In the Old Testament, God used the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites and other nations as forerunners to the Israelites. These nations were among many that occupied the Promised Land, preparing the land flowing with milk and honey for the arrival of the Israelites.
As I assessed my recent prayer request, I was humbled to consider the role God would have me play in His answer to my request. I could be designated a forerunner or could very well be providing support to someone else that God places in what I felt was my purpose. God will test our willingness to yield to His will, just as He tested the Israelites.
God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. Despite the miracles witnessed during their journey, the Israelites continued to grumble and complain against God. God said to Moses, “How long shall I bear this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me?” When God has had enough, He moves in mighty ways! God declared that no Israelite over the age of 20 would enter the Promised Land. Rather than leading the group directly to the Promised Land, which was less than a week’s journey, God led them in circles throughout the desert for 40 years, until the last of the original group of Israelites were dead. God tried to reposition the Israelites, they refused to trust and follow His will so God wiped them out.
Romans 12:16 reminds us not to be wise in our own opinion. In spite of our requests, God knows what is best for us. We need to trust God and accept the role God has placed us in for the moment. Our response to God’s decision today will determine the position to which He moves us in tomorrow.