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Learning from Habakkuk, Part 3 (Conclusion)

Objectives:

1) To provide prayer coaching insights to inspire and encourage you to keep praying in spite of external circumstances and even though present conditions seems to worsen;

2) Enhance your knowledge about your position, perspective and perception of prayer;

3) Provide wisdom and understanding to new converts struggling to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life;

In part two we learned that after God shared His plan with the prophet, he repented for being rash in his approach and dialogue with God. Although he didn’t understand God’s plan to use the Chaldeans (Babylonians) to chastise the nation of Judah, he accepted God’s decision and would have to TRUST God.

We learned that we should get in position , watch and pray to see and hear from God. Now, here we are at the conclusion of the lessons to be learned from Habakkuk. 

After God shared with Habakkuk what was ahead for Babylon—destruction even for the wicked nation He used to chastise Judah, the prophet understood that no one is exempt from God’s judgment.  In chapter three, we find the prophet praying in sung.  Yes. His prayer was sung. It was a plea for mercy!  At the core of intercessory prayer is the cry for God’s mercy. After his plea for mercy the prophet concluded with praise for the Mighty God (3:1-2).

So often, we don’t understand or like how God brings about justice, or works to bring His plans and purposes to pass. Yet when we see the outcome, or even grab hold to the promise of a victorious outcome, we can only marvel at His wonderous works and give Him praise.  This was the case with Habakkuk. Again, this is why prayer is so important.  Having a relationship with Him where you can approach Him and have dialogue. Communicating with the Almighty God positions you; more important, it conditions you to agree with His plan and trust Him to always do what is just and right for everyone concerned.  And the one thing that helps condition you to say, “Yes” to His will and way of doing things is PRAISE!

In all your prayers always praise!  In essence, Habakkuk concluded by saying, all that I’ve heard that’s going to happen is fearful, but I’m going to wait in expectation of what God has said. Although disaster and destruction is coming, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength!  He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights (Habakkuk 3:16-19).

What can we learn from this? Align and agree with God’s will and the plan He uses to fulfill His purposes. Posture yourself in prayer to be conditioned for whatever He allows. Even if disaster and destruction comes upon us, know that God is just.  Because of your relationship with Him, you can trust His plan even if what He has shared has terror shaking consequences.  Nevertheless, give God praise for He is Sovereign and He is your strength.

Remember when praying always praise!

 

 

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Learning from Habakkuk, Part 2

Objectives:

1) To provide prayer coaching insights to inspire and encourage you to keep praying in spite of external circumstances and even though present conditions seems to worsen;

2) Enhance your knowledge about your position, perspective and perception of prayer;

3) Provide wisdom and understanding to new converts struggling to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life;

In part one we know that the prophet Habakkuk poured out his complaint to God concerning the conditions in Judah…the sin, idolatry, violence and wickedness that had become the “norm” for God’s people.  His major complaint was God was doing nothing about the sin and lawlessness that was going on (so he thought).  However, God did answer in a vision and told Habakkuk His plan to use the Chaldeans (Babylonians) to chastise the nation of Judah.  In Habakkuk’s dialogue with God, a vivid descriptions of the Babylonian’s characteristics were given—bitter and impetuous (hasty), scoffers, proud, takers, dreadful and violent.  God told Habakkuk what the Babylonians would do—they would march through the breadth of the land to take possession of dwelling places that didn’t belong to them…they would take prisoners and destroy.  They would be no match for Judah nor the surrounding nations. Of course, this plan of God bothered Habakkuk even more.

Isn’t it just like us to inquire of the Lord, seek Him for directions, asking to know His plan? Then when He shares the details, or give us a mere glimpse, we don’t like it; we don’t understand it.  So it was with Habakkuk.  This made no sense. Why would a just God use such a wicked nation as Babylon to bring judgment upon wicked Judah?  Probably right here is where I should remind you of what God told the prophet Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways… for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). God has a way of doing things that are beyond our finite comprehension.  If His ways and thoughts were equal to ours, He could not be God!  So, yes His plan to use a cruel and wicked nation to bring judgment against Judah was baffling.  It’s baffling today to see how God chooses to work in the affairs of men.  Too often, we “think” we have the answer; got it all figured out, and He has to show us our limitations without Him as the all-knowing and all-powerful God.

After He shares His plan with Habakkuk, the prophet has a list of “why’s” for a God who is the Holy One from everlasting.  Then he comes to his senses and admits he has been rash in his approach and dialogue with God.  But the lesson we can learn from Habakkuk is to get in position …stand upon your watch…get in place…be a watchman to see and hear from God.  Always be in position for dialogue with the only One who has all the answers, knows everything and is always working out His plan and purpose.  Like Habakkuk, expect God to answer, even if His answer is to reprove you.

Stay tuned for the conclusion….Part 3.

APPLICATION:

What have you been praying about , and when God answered, it was unfavorable, not what you expected or wanted to hear? How did you handle it?

How will you use this lesson from Habakkuk to enhance your prayer life?

Do you consider yourself a “watchman” or do you think it’s a term just for prophets?

What does “get in position” mean to you?

Learning from Habakkuk, Part 1

Objectives:

1) To provide prayer coaching insights to inspire and encourage you to keep praying in spite of external circumstances and even though present conditions seems to worsen;

2) Enhance your knowledge about your position, perspective and perception of prayer; 3) Provide wisdom and understanding to new converts struggling to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life; 4) Give you a Rhema Word from the Lord about prayer.

Hear the Word of the Lord, “Tell my people do not be dismayed by what they see.  My plan is in motion to bring about My purpose. You keep praying, keep asking, keep believing, and keep trusting (resting) in Me.  The Word I have spoken shall stand forever!”

The question many are asking is the same concern the prophet Habakkuk asked God…basically, how long will I have to pray and you don’t answer and do something about all the evil and injustice that’s going on… Read it for yourself, Habakkuk 1:2-4:

How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
3 Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
4 The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.

The first thing I noticed is that God did not rebuke the prophet for his inquiry.  This helps to understand that God does not despise questions when they are brought to him from an honest heart in prayer. The truth is it is the responsibility of the prophet (five-fold ministry leaders), men and women of God to inquire of the Lord.  Address your concerns to Him, and express your innermost thoughts so that you can get “first-hand” knowledge, insight and revelation from the mind of God.  This is what Habakkuk did —went to Adonai, expressed his concerns, presented his case to God from his perspective, based on his perception of present circumstances and waited in confidence for an answer.

NOTICE I said Habakkuk presented his case from his perspective based on his perception of things.  Whenever you go to God with complaints, or concerns that suggest His inactivity, it is usually from your viewpoint because you’re looking at present situations and circumstances that cause you to question God’s control and sovereignty.

Nevertheless, God will answer us.  Although His answer may be perplexing, and His way may not be comprehensible to us, we can rest assured that His purposes will prevail (Proverbs 16:4, 19:21).

I encourage you to study the setting in the Book of Habakkuk to get a better understanding of the conditions.  Basically, Judah had sunken deeper into sin and idolatry. All Habakkuk saw was wickedness and injustice; and it appeared as though God was doing nothing about it.  Not only that, but when God showed Habakkuk his plan, it didn’t make sense to him—using the cruel and wicked, idolatrous Neo-Babylonians to judge His people—using the wicked to punish the wicked.  Although it may seem as though nothing is changing for the better, always know God is working. And His plan is always laid out to bring about redemption, restoration, reconciliation, and relationship.  (Read God’s reply to Habakkuk (1:5-11).

Application:

How can you relate to Habakkuk’s complaints to God ?

What have you been praying about for a long time but have seen no change?

Gleaning from this insight, how will you approach God differently in prayer?

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