Thank You in Advance
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A man stood up across the room during our worship service. He prayed, asking God to heal his aunt who was suffering. In his prayer, he included the words, “and thank you in advance.”
The phrase stuck with me and reminded me of a pivotal time in my life. Thanking God for an answer to prayer before you see the result describes blind faith. That kind of faith changed my life.
You see, I used to sit in my bed reading the Bible while under the influence. It was comfortable to me. Most of my life was spent in an altered state of consciousness. Reading the Bible was the new behavior.
Studying God’s Word intrigued me. I even searched for Bible verses that would give me the green light to keep drinking (after all, I knew Jesus turned the water into wine). But, then I’d stumble on verses like these:
"Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, ..."(NLT)
"There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death."(NLT)
Yes, I had made a decision to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior — I just didn’t know how to let Him BE LORD ... yet. I just kept on reading my Bible, praying, going to Bible studies, and journaling.
However, my addictions still clung to me. The risks I took, the lies I told, and the choices I made were all dragging me down a dark path.
I reached a crossroads. My faith and my addictions were no longer comfortable together. And it was at that intersection that I began to blindly trust God.
My journal entries from those days often included, “Jesus, I know you’re not going to leave me like this — thank you for what you’re going to do” about my addiction.
It didn’t happen overnight. I had to trust that I’d see the day I’d be free and thank Him for it before I could see it. But, I am free now for over 20 years.
My habits were ruining my life. God was changing my life for the better. My future depended on me holding onto the truth and not giving up. I needed more than anything to be able to KNOW that God would complete the task. Thanking Him for what He was doing in me, even though I couldn’t see it, brought hope.
What about you? What’s still holding you back from experiencing God’s best for you? Give it a name. Fear. Doubt. Resentment. Rebelliousness. Addiction. Expose it! And while you study the Bible and pray, ask God to take it from you. Then, believe in your heart that He heard you and thank Him (out loud) in advance for what He’s going to do.
He's already begun ...
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.(NLT)
Revised © 2018 Beth Patch, used with permission.
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