Finding Your Faith Part 3 Where is the house God gave us?
Rev. Penny Dean & her children.
This is part 3 of the inspiring, uplifting, true story of faith by Rev. Penny Dean. Where is the house God gave us? The big secret to putting your faith into action is praying for what you need, speaking the words, and believing that you will receive it. However, there are a few catches to getting your prayers answered and one of the biggest ones is believing you will receive what you are asking for. You will not receive what you ask for if you ask the wrong way. If you are asking the Lord to do something out of lust or desire for something and not because it is in line with His will you may not get what you want.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James 4:3
How to ask. You must ask in Jesus name after asking the Lord to forgive you for your sins, (yes, even if you have been saved already), you must ask God to forgive you every time you start your prayer after you greet Him as Jesus greeted Him in the Lord's prayer, "Our Father who art in heaven". The Lord can not hear your prayer if you have unforgiven sin blocking your prayer (we will get into that into another study). You must ask in Jesus Christ's name. You also must ask in Jesus name-Jesus Christ was quite clear and He said it more than once.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it . St. John 14:14
You must also be obedient and keep His commandments.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. St. John 14:15
You must have faith-believing without any doubts
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you. If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea: it shall be done. St. Matt. 21:21
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. St. Matt. 21:22
Where is the house God gave us? After leaving Bay City outrunning a storm and a flood, we stayed in a hotel for two weeks in Mineral Wells, and during that time I prayed and swallowed my pride called churches, Salvation Army, United Way for any possible help I could get, since the house I had arranged to move in fell through, it was not livable when we arrived as there were broken windows, no doors, and trash every where, so that is when I checked us into a hotel in town but the small amount of savings I had and my last paycheck from Whataburger in Bay City was dwindling fast. I managed to get some help. The Mayor paid for two more weeks in the hotel but at the end of the time I was faced with a decision. I only had one more day for the Uhaul trailer and no money to rent it any longer. Do I spend the last of the money for another week in the hotel, or on a storage space for our things and take the kids camping, or go beat the streets and see if I could find a place for us to stay with the bit I had left? I chose the latter. I had a very small amount of money left and some food, it was the middle of summer, so I decided to leave the hotel and took the kids to the river to burn off some of their energy. At the river, we played, I prayed then we all prayed together. I decided it was time to just start driving up and down the street until I found the house God had for us. It was hot and the air conditioner in the car was struggling, gas was getting low. I pulled over on the side of the road and an elderly couple noticed us. They came out of their house and invited us in for lemonade and sandwiches. We went in and got cooled off and ate, I explained our situation, and the fact that I knew in my heart God had a home for us. They were very nice people and we prayed that God would bless them and they prayed for us to find our home before we left. I didn't get too far down the road when I noticed a house with a big shade tree, tall grass which appeared to be empty and chose to park in front of it, simply because I did not know what else to do. Fighting off negative and fearful thoughts, while pleading with the Lord for an answer. Tears filled my eyes and I tried to hide my face from Laurie who was watching the kids play in the tall grass under the shade tree. Laurie asked me, "What's wrong Mom"? I told her I just do not understand why I cannot find the house God has for us. Laurie's answer surprised me. "Why don't you open that Bible you have on the dash and get some answers like you usually do"? I sat there staring at the Bible wondering why I had not done that today. I thought about it for a minute and I knew Laurie (my children's nanny) was right. She was only 16 but wise beyond her years! Laurie had come from a rough home life and came to live with me as a nanny in exchange for a home two years earlier and she loved to pray and read the Bible so I reacted without thinking as I grabbed my bible off the dash and prayed to Jesus with Laurie to plead with the Lord for some answers. I opened my Bible randomly and began to read.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. Isa. 11:6
Now, I thought to myself, I must be off track. I knew this verse was referring to the end times and what would happen then. Maybe I had the bible open to the wrong place for my answer. Maybe I need to pray again! The heat was getting worse. My three children were playing happily in the abandoned yard. Still I prayed. Laurie prayed with me. Then I got real serious with God and prayed harder and gathered the children to pray with me, then I waited a few minutes for an answer. In desperation, I jumped out of my car, bible still in hand and hit my knees on the hot cement of the curb. I did not care. I begged the Lord again, pleading with Him letting the Lord know I still believed that (no matter what the evil one who was trying to make me believe that God did not have a home for my children) no matter what it appeared to be. I still had faith in my Lord in heaven to provide for my family in the name of Jesus who lives in me and works through me! I prayed for a long time. The concrete was starting to cool. I felt a cool breeze in my hair and on my face. Someone was touching me. I just knew it was the Lord! Suddenly, I felt a sharp tugging on my sleeve. I looked up to see my oldest boy, (who was about ten years old), saying, “Mommy! Mommy!” I looked at him as if in a daze because I had been praying so fervently. My son said, “What about this house? Could this be God’s house for us? Nobody lives here!” I looked at the nice brick house as if seeing it for the first time. A quick assessment revealed, tall grass, no curtains on the windows, 4 bedrooms, 2 car garage, a fenced yard and the garage door was open! We entered it without even thinking that we might be trespassing. This house was perfect, everything we needed, 4 bedrooms, a fenced back yard, laundry room, garage...and the electricity, air conditioning, and water were on. My faith was strong but I couldn't help feeling doubt trying to creep it's way into my thoughts saying this is way out of my league financially, I fought these negative doubts with stronger thoughts of faith because my God is mighty and He has His ways of making things happen. In the back of my mind I even considered sneaking into the house later that night if I couldn't find a place before then, if all else failed. Quickly I brushed this thought from my mind and focused on the fact that the Lord could make things happen even when we could not see a way. I started to tell the kids, we could not afford it but stopped short and silently wondered if this truly was the house God had for us. I started looking for something in the house with a phone number on it, or some nearby neighbor, who could tell me who owns the house. We could not find anyone home after knocking on several neighbors doors. Finally, the sun had gone down and I told the kid’s we would go to the river or something and we would have to sleep in the car. It was hard to round them up. They did not want to leave. Even stranger, I did not want to leave either. I started to worry. I kept insisting that we should leave because people would be coming home from work soon and we might get in trouble. Sadly, they started to get in the car. That's when I noticed a girl across the street, waving to me. “What are ya’ll doing over there? Ya'll fixin’ to rent that place? she called out with a thick Texas drawl. I looked at her and smiled. “Planning on it but we cannot seem to find out who owns it.” She told me to bring the kids and come over to her house, while her mother calls the owner! Praise God! Still, small doubts kept trying to creep into my mind, like, “How are you going to rent it with no money and no job, you’re stupid.” And “You know you could not afford this place on your best day!” I knew this had to be satan trying to defeat me and I silently prayed that the Lord would protect me from any negative thoughts and again asking Jesus to provide a home for us. I had hope, I had faith and I had the Lord Jesus on my side. I let the evil one know he was already defeated when he was cast out of heaven! Only one third of the angel’s went with him. Two thirds stayed with the Lord. I cried out, “Satan you were outnumbered and out matched from the get go! I bind you and send you back from whence you came in the name of Jesus.” I said, hopefully not loud enough for anyone to hear. “I am with the winning side! My Daddy’s rich! (referring to God). We sit in the cool living room of the neighbor’s house, relieved to be inside. The mother was cooking and the smell of the food was almost tangible. I realized I was hungry. I had given the last of the food to the children. The mother was also decorating a cake at the table. She said it was for a wedding, she decorates and sells cakes. She also told me she left a message on the answering machine for the man who owns the house. Then she told me. “He is a Preacher, good people.” Then she invited us to dinner. During dinner, I told her our story. After dinner the phone rang. She took it too her bedroom. We sit anxiously waiting to see if the Preacher would come. I was afraid that she was telling our story and the fact that I had no money. The mother returned to the room with a smile on her face. She told me the preacher was out of town but would be back tomorrow and we could spend the night at her house and sleep in the living room, they had sleeping bags we could use. I wanted to say no we would sleep in the car, but she would not hear of it. We spent the night in their house. The next day the Preacher came. We entered the house and the kid’s ran around joyfully, telling the Preacher that God gave us this house! I tried to calm them while we were talking but to no avail! Finally, I sent them to the back yard to play. The Preacher told me he would give me the first month free and that the utility’s were all on. The house was ours! I almost dropped to my knees to thank the Lord right in front of the Preacher! He handed me the keys and told me, “Better get that UHaul unloaded so you can take it back. They charge for extra days!!! Well Folks, the moral of this story is Faith! Believing in something even though it looks like it might not happen. Faith is when you believe that it will happen, in spite of the odds stacked against you! What most people call common sense, told me it was impossible but my trust and faith in the Lord told me, anything is possible!