“A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them *permission*.”—Luke 8:32 (NKJV)
“A person will be called to account on Judgment Day for every permissible thing he might have enjoyed but did not.”—Talmud
SPECIAL NOTE: I do quite a bit of fasting (Matthew 17:20-21). This was actually written last February for one fast that the Lord led me to…but I recently shared it with the “On Fire” fasting women (a fast that I do on FB. If you’d like more info, let me know). I think you all will appreciate it too. I really do. ENJOY!
Whew! Fast participators, is it just me or is God really moving on our behalf?
You know, many months ago, as I was focusing on the lead Scripture for our fast (Matthew 17:20-22), the Holy Spirit revealed to me that due to “mustard seed faith”, some mountains are moved all at once…but many are moved one rock at a time. For some of us, it’s not the moving of the mountain that we should question because he promised us that (2 Corinthians 1:20); it’s the method/timing that God chooses. And, with as much as I’ve been repeating it, we should be able to say it altogether now: TIMING IS THE FATHER’S BUSINESS! (Acts 1:7-Message) These days, I’m just now learning to ask God daily to “…turn my ear to wisdom and my heart to understanding” (Proverbs 2:2) so that when the “spiritual alarm clock” so-to-speak sounds, I will be able—mind, body and spirit—to hear it!
One of my favorite chick flicks of all time is “Definitely, Maybe” starring Ryan Reynolds and Isla Fisher. (Love…love…LOVE IT!) Anyway, there is a scene in it where he is “rehearsing” his proposal in front of her in preparation for his girlfriend’s arrival. As he begins, April (Isla’s character) says to William (Ryan), “Wait…you’ve got to get on your knee.”
His response? “I’m not getting on my knee.”
“Oh, but she’ll love it…she’ll love it if you get on your knee,” insists April.
“I am *not* getting on my knee.”
“Big mistake,” she chides. “Big!”
As he goes into the proposal, he says, “Emily, will you…um…marry me?”
Immediately, April lets him have it! “Is that it? (Paraphrasing here) You’re asking me to give up my freedom…for ‘Um…will you marry me?!?’”
They immediately go back-and-forth on the matter until they both become frustrated and April says, “Well, you shoulda got on your knee!”
There is an order to everything, isn’t there? Different methods often bring about very different results. What I am about to share is (relatively) short, sweet and to the point, but if you really pay attention… LIFE-CHANGING.
Last night, as I was “prayer journaling” to the Father in my black pen, in the red one (what I believe the Father was saying back to me), I wrote, “You have my PERMISSION to desire that.”
WHAT?!? I have never heard God use that word with me—and certainly not in that way! You all know that I am a wordy gal and so immediately, I went to the dictionary to look up synonyms, and antonyms, on the word:
Permission: acceptance, acknowledgment, acquiescence, admission, agreement, allowance, approbation, approval, assent, avowal, canonization, carte blanche*, concession, concurrence, condonance, condonation, dispensation, empowerment, endorsement, freedom, imprimatur, indulgence, leave, letting, liberty, license, okay, permit, privilege, promise, recognition, rubber stamp*, sanctification, sanction, stamp of approval, sufferance, tolerance, toleration, verification, warrant
Antonyms: denial, prohibition, veto (and I can attest to the fact that there are times when he will flat out “veto” a petition!)
We all quote that if we delight in the Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4) We all are familiar with if we ask, seek and knock that things will be given, we will find and doors will be opened.(Matthew 7:7) But, how many of us, while making our requests known, have considered asking for PERMISSION to ask…and to have?
Immediately, I thought about being a child in my mother’s kitchen and wanting a cookie before dinner. The cookies are already in the house. SHE BOUGHT THEM TO SHARE WITH ME. Oh, but let me roll up in there and take one. It’s on and poppin’! She bought them…she’s the Mama…she knows what’s best for me. I always had to ask for permission….if it was “OK” to partake in such a treat—first.
Catch this: That was a standard in our home. However, there were times when I would ask, but when she would say, “Not right now” or “After dinner” (which isn’t a “no”; it’s a “wait”), I would find myself, at the very least, frustrated. I didn’t want to wait…I wanted it NOW. And so, sometimes, I would sneak and take it. 8 times out of 10, she would find out, but even when she didn’t, there was usually a consequence…it would make me feel bad. I would spend so much energy covering up my lust that I couldn’t even really enjoy it. What a waste of time and effort…to get what I wanted the wrong way and then not even be able to enjoy it. (Whole ‘nother message!)
I realize in the spirit realm, this is what God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, was revealing to me and wanted me to share with you. (Luke 12:12) Psalm 24:1 (NKJV) tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” Because of this, that is why we should pray on a regular basis, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10-NKJV)) *Everything belongs to God*. If there is something that we want, we shouldn’t just “take” it or try and find a way around his timing. As a child (Romans 8:16) honoring our Father, it is a sign of respect, humility (James 4:6) and divine order to ask for permission for whatever it is that we desire from him, *first*.
That’s deep,ain’t it? What really blew my mind is that when we do so, look at all that is afforded to us: agreement, empowerment, freedom, license (you get in trouble for driving…moving forward without a license, right?), privilege, recognition, SANCTIFICATION (I Corinthians 1:30), warrant
Warrant: something that serves to give reliable or formal assurance of something; guarantee, pledge, or security
You make God happy when you ask for permission rather than trying to manipulate him or assuming that you can have “it” just because you want it. For one, it shows him that you know it belongs to him, first. Secondly, it keeps you focused on the fact that just because you want it, that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you (Isaiah 55:8-9); just because you want it when you want it, doesn’t mean it’s the ideal time. Oh, but when you get the Father’s PERMISSION? Whenever you get it…however you get it, there is a peace that comes in the meantime because you know (Psalm 46:10) that it’s on the way. And not only that, but you have HIS BLESSING (Proverbs 10:6) when it comes to having it. Awesome!
Isn’t it amazing that we, as followers of Christ, don’t have this “permission thing” down but, as the lead Scripture suggests, the DEMONS do? I recall once having a conversation with a young woman who said she studied witchcraft. I wanted to run right then and there, but there was a message that God had for me (because even she belongs to him):
“Sure, I can cast spells and all of that, but that is not what makes us powerful. It’s that we believe the power of our words…you guys don’t.”
Whew! In the same mindset, the demons know the power of God…they reverence it more than most of us do. No wonder some of us live stagnant and powerless lives!
And so, for the fasters, whatever you are petitioning God about, please ask him for permission, *first*. If God be for us, who can be against us, right? (Romans 8:31) When it comes to accessing the Kingdom of Heaven, you need him on your side. Besides, I don’t know about you, but I WANT God to say to me, after making my request(s) known:
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”—Matthew 18:18-19 (NKJV)
And for the rest of the crew (those on the fast see-saw), I believe the reason why April wanted William on his knee was because it was a sign of humility. He was humbling himself enough to say that he loved a woman enough to want to spend the rest of his life with her. Even with all that he had, without her, it wasn’t enough. (Luke 14:11, Proverbs 18:22)
Asking for permission from God for something is basically accomplishing the same thing. It is humbly saying, “Look God, I would really like to have this, but I know it is yours and without your blessing, it isn’t for my best. Are you OK with me having it? Because if you’re not OK, I’m not OK.”
My mom used to tell me that I could have almost anything I wanted if I asked…the right way; that I would only hear a “no” if it was going to bring me harm.
Today, I think God is telling us the exact same thing—and I don’t know about you…but I am listening.
©Shellie R. Warren/2009