Daily Bread #5
Before They Call I Will Answer – Part 2
Many of us will pause for thanksgiving this morning because we are alive and well. But the believer has all the more reason, and then some, to begin a day like this with a spirit of thanksgiving. There is a quality of life that the believer shares in Christ that every person living does not share. The Bible calls it the redeemed life (Rom. 6:8-11). When our Father gazes at humanity – unredeemed humanity – He sees dead people walking (1Tim. 5:6). Because Christ gave us a new life in Him, God sees us in a different way, alive unto Him. We have all the more reason to live a thankful life today. And so our dependence on God is not for mere association, it is to have a quality of life in Christ that draws us closer to Him as well as the Father.
Speaking of our dependence on God brings us to another powerful example about a people of God rising up to pray to the God of heaven, and He in turn gave them what they were asking for before their prayer ended. The Bible says, “Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church” (Act 12:5 ESV). While the church was praying for Peter, God sends His angel to deliver him form the hands of the enemies. Our God provides, protects and preserves His children in moments of crisis. Now, one might say, “well, God did not provide an escape for Stephen when his attackers came upon him, your God did not protect him from stoning, and most certainly, God did not preserve from death” (Acts 7:57-60).
God teaches us how to look/understand provision, protection and preservation from an eternal perspective. The acts of God in these endeavors transcend, go beyond, that of physical provision, protection and preservation. The apostle Paul was moments away from physical death when he wrote to the young preacher, Timothy (2Tim. 4:6).
He has a testimony for those of us who will follow after: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom” (2Ti 4:1 ESV). Did God actually do that for Paul? Did God rescue and bring him safely into His heavenly kingdom? Paul understood that to be rescued and brought safely into God’s eternal abode was more than a physical rescuing.
Peter, therefore, was being cared for by an angel of God in more than one ways. Peter left the prison where he was being held and went directly to the place where prayer was being made on his behalf. He knocked on the door hoping that someone would let him in. When Rhoda came to the door, she did not look to see who was knocking. She recognized the voice as that of Peter, and with great excitement she ran back to the group with the good news that Peter was at the door. But the praying audience responded to Rhoda with these words, “You are out of your mind” (Acts 12:15).
But Rhoda is sticking to her story while the praying audience refused to believe that God has already answered their prayers. “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” What a mighty God we serve.
1. Somewhere in the life of this church they were doing something right.
2. They were constantly looking out and delivering by means of prayer those who were being held captive by the enemies.
3. They were warriors of prayers and God saw it.
4. If God were to answer all of our prayers base on how much faith we have in our prayers, probably none of our prayer would be answered.
The Beltway Church of Christ is located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in Prince George’s County, MD near Joint Base Andrews.