If You Have Seen Me

I have spent decades of my life praying for my country. I love the United States of America. It is the greatest country, the most free and diverse land of opportunities. It is a nation that has spent billions of dollars to help less fortunate countries. It is now under attack at its very foundation, so lately I have been praying for her like never before.

A few weeks ago I gathered with others to pray first for many nations around the world, and then to end our days of prayer praying for the United States. During that time of prayer I saw something. I saw in my mind a large stone monument of the Ten Commandments being removed from in front of a government building. I saw the Ten Commandments being removed from classrooms. I saw the Ten Commandments being removed from homes and even some churches. Before the historical monuments were removed, they first removed the Ten Commandments.

I remember hearing people say that the decline of this country began when God was removed from our schools and government. As I prayed I searched for the words to invite God back into this nation. The words that I found caused me to love God even more.

You see laws on a stone monument have never changed a person’s heart. Evil in a person’s heart will not be stopped or changed by a set of laws. We see it everyday as the news is filled with people perpetrating evil in most of the daily headlines. To those who do not already know God, laws on a stone tablet may make them think of a legalistic demanding God. Many think of Him as a vengeful Old Testament God. However, what changed when Jesus came in the flesh?

He introduced us to God as Father. He showed us a compassionate, loving, caring, and merciful Father. So as I prayed I let go of those stone monuments in my heart and I invited God, as Father, back into our schools, government, prisons, hospitals, churches, homes, and hearts.

The people in this nation and throughout the entire earth are in need of a demonstration of the Father’s love. Let’s give it to them. Let it be said of each of us, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

“Jesus replied… Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9)

“…one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.” (Luke 11:1-4)

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

Daddy’s Listening

Yesterday I wrote about talking to the Lord. I know many may say I’d like to talk to Him, but He doesn’t always talk back. I believe He does, but quite often we don’t expect Him to respond. Many times we don’t get still enough and quiet enough to hear that still small voice in our hearts or we don’t┬árecognize His leading and His drawing to His voice in the scriptures.

I talked to Him for years before I ever realized He was actually talking back. That’s when I went from just talking to the Lord to talking with the Lord. But in those years that I didn’t hear His response there was one thing I did believe. I believed He was listening.

I happened upon this scripture this morning from the New Living Translation.

I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! (Psalm 116:1-2)

I love that. “He bends down to listen.” I remember as a young child wanting to get away from the cares of the world. Yes, even young children can have cares. I used to climb into the back of my closet and just sit there talking to God. I really don’t remember Him talking back, but I was always sure He was hearing me and I was always sure He was there in that closet with me.

As I got older I found myself drawn to the chapel at my church. I could sense His Presence there. And I would talk to Him. I was sure He was listening.

Now as I speak, where ever I am, I know my heavenly Father is listening and I usually hear His response in my heart. But whether I hear a response or not I continue to speak because with faith like a child I believe my Daddy is bending down to hear me.