“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple….” (Malachi 3:1).
“God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.”
God is a God of mystery, as well as a God of surprises. His ways are not always our ways. His timing and seasons are different from ours. He acts in ways that we can hardly predict. Be it with nations or with individuals, God moves and works in mysterious ways; his wonders are beyond human comprehension.
Though we have just ended a 31 days prayer and fasting season, many expectedly are still waiting for answers to their prayers. Such expectation is normal. Though heaven’s response to our petitions may linger, we should not despair and give up. We should not relent, but continue to hope and wait on God. In the words of Jesus in John 6:6, “For he himself knows what to do” about our petitions and he knows when to act. Most times God’s response to our prayers reveal that he is a God of mystery and God of surprises.
WE HAVE FASTED, WE HAVE PRAYED, BUT WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS?
The question in some hearts may be this, “we have fasted, we have prayed, but where are the answers to our prayers?” God will surely answer, but not in the way we expect him to answer. Most times, the way God surprises his children is baffling and stunning. He answers prayers in a most astonishing manner and intervenes in human affairs in mysterious ways.
God’s dealing with Abraham and Isaac is a case in point. When he asked Abraham to go up to mount Moriah, and sacrifice his only son, Isaac, little did Abraham know what God had in mind. Without hesitation, Abraham obeyed. He set out with Isaac and his servant. After a three days journey, Abraham got close to mount Moriah, he advised his servant to stay back and wait while he and Isaac complete the remaining journey to the mount.
Isaac, then asked his father a penetrating question, “Look at the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham’s answer was prophetic. He said, “My son, God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them went together.” Indeed, God did provide for himself a lamb for a burnt offering. When they got to Moriah and Abraham lifted his hand to sacrifice his son, Isaac, God restrained Abraham from doing so. He stunned Abraham and his son, Isaac by mysteriously providing a lamb for the sacrifice. “And he said, ‘ Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me. Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son” (Genesis 22:12,13).
Now this is the surprise God gave to Abraham. He did not stop Abraham from sacrificing his son, Isaac until he lifted his hand. At times, God never intervenes until the zero moment. The question is how did the lamb get into the thicket? Did the lamb stray from an owner into the thicket? Only God knows. Whatever the answer is, God provided a miraculous lamb. God in his peculiar manner surprised Abraham and Isaac. God’s miraculous provision would have let a deep impression in the minds of Isaac and Abraham for a long while.
MASTER OF SURPRISES
God’s dealing with Peter was another occasion where he demonstrated that he was a Master of surprises. When Herod arrested and threw Peter into prison, little did he or Peter have an inkling of how God would let Peter off the hook. Neither did the disciples who were praying ceaselessly for Peter know what plans God had and how he intended to release his disciple. The release of Peter was sudden and unexpected. Both Peter and the disciples were astonished with what God did, and how he did it. Herod did not anticipate how God would deliver Peter. The Jews were also amazed by what God did. The way and manner Peter was released from prison is an example of a divine surprise. God intervened in a way that surprised everyone.
GOD’S WAYS ARE UNFATHOMABLE
Though God is unchanging in his character, yet his ways are unfathomable. His timings, his judgements and his actions cannot be fathomed. He confounds us in his actions. Paul captures the unpredictability of God’s ways in Romans 11:33-34 thus, “Oh, the depth of the riches. And wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, UNSEARCHABLE) are his judgements (his decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are his ways (methods, his paths)! For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood his thoughts, or who has ever been his counsellor?” (Amp).
GOD NEVER FAILS IN HIS PROMISES
The deliverance of the three Hebrew children from the furnace of fire, the deliverance of Daniel from the lion’s den, and the release of Paul and Silas from prison all demonstrate the unpredictability of God’s ways and actions. God never fails in his promises. By faith let us hold on to what he has promised. Child of God, be ready to receive surprises from God in the coming weeks and months! The way he surprised Abraham, the way he delivered the three Hebrew children, the way he dazzled DANIEL, Peter, Paul and Silas, so he will confound you with answers to your prayers.