Instrument, bass guitar

The Story of a Returned Instrument.

Many years ago I had a bass guitar stolen from our church. The church’s insurance didn’t cover the instrument so I lost a guitar that I really enjoyed, and it was somewhat unusual.

My wife and I prayed, and asked God that the guitar be returned. We checked the want-ads from time to time in the newspaper to see if the thief was selling the instrument. And, one day we saw a bass guitar that seemed to fit the description.

It turned out to be my guitar. The police recovered it and returned it to us. I don’t think there were any repercussions for the guy that was selling it.

The Holy Spirit’s urge was an opportunity.

Would the instrument have been recovered without prayer? I don’t think so. The Holy Spirit’s urge was an opportunity. Prayer is contrary to this world’s religion of “everything that happens because it was meant to be.” Prayer always changes things; often, it changes the ones who pray.

My guess is that you can write a list of answered prayers as long or longer than mine. Isn’t that marvelous? Doesn’t that stir up joy within us? Time after time after time after time, we have prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus, and God has changed times and circumstances.

As I’ve written before, the fourteenth chapter of the book of John is a place where we can find refuge when we’re in the midst of a storm. In this chapter, Jesus tells us that we have a home waiting for us in heaven, that we have not been left as orphans, and he promises us the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gave us His name to use.

In John 14:21 (ESV), Jesus says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.

And in John 16:23-24 (ESV), Jesus says, “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

Jesus gave us His name to use when asking of the Father. If we are found to be embezzling from God, then our prayers become powerless because we’ve lost our credibility. But, if we obey the commands of Jesus and we walk circumspectly (Ephesians 5:15) then when we pray in the name of Jesus we will witness things beyond what we would ever ask or think. Don’t let the world lock you in: “It was meant to be.” Prayer truly changes things.

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The back story of Genesis 24:57-59 is terrific. The Scripture states, “Then they said, ‘Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.’ So, they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ ‘I will go,’ she said. So, they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.”  

I understand the moral imperative of asking a woman if she will marry a man is Jewish teaching based on Genesis 24:57-59. This passage of Scripture is where the servant of Abraham asked Rebekah if she would go to be the wife of Isaac. She said, “yes.” 

Within God, there’s compelling respect for choice. He made mankind “free moral agents,” meaning He has given us the freedom to choose. What we choose reveals our character, who we trust, and who we love. Every choice carries an aspect of morality. It’s like the French language, which has gender characteristics to its words, so our choices carry moral characteristics. God gave us the freedom to choose even when our choice can harm us and others. And, He holds us accountable for our choices.  

God doesn’t do evil; we do evil because we can. God can and will stop evil, but this usually requires much prayer from His children. Not until there is a unity of God’s people asking Him to intervene in the affairs of mankind does He step in and say, “No more!” This truth is one of the reasons we are admonished to pray for our leaders: leaders in the church, government, and all positions of authority.  

As I mentioned, every choice has a moral imperative – an immediate moral impact from our choice. God seems to hold this freedom so highly that nothing He does will override our freedom in this life. People can even choose to shoot people, steal money or reject Jesus – each carries a moral impact.  

Jesus tells us to: “ask and ye shall receive.” Asking changes our direction, from selfishness to surrender. That very act of asking, of surrendering, is a recognition that God has something you don’t have. The power of asking is underappreciated. All around the world today, somewhere, a young man will ask a young woman to marry him. He may not know it, but he is following the tradition outlined in Genesis chapter 24. If she says “yes,” then they are bound by moral commitment to fulfill that to which they have committed. Rebekah committed herself to marrying Isaac. I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life, so I committed myself to yield to Christ’s will. I hope the same is true for you!

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Who am I to ask the God of all creation?

Who am I to ask the God of all creation for anything?
Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Who am I to ask the God of all creation to let me speak to His words.
Luke 9:26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Who am I to ask the God of all creation to anoint me to me proclaim Your gospel?
Romans 10:14-16 (NIV) How then can they call on the One in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all of them welcomed the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”

Who am I to ask the God of all creation what I should do?
Proverbs 2:6-8 (NIV) 6) For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7) He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8) for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Who am I to ask the God of all creation to meet my needs?
Philippians 4:19 (ESV) And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Who am I to ask the God of all creation for what my heart desires?
Psalm 37:4 (NIV) Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

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