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As By Fire

I realized that I was to face God soon and answer to Him for what I had done with my life. I wasn't sure how I stood, but I realized that there was nothing that I could do now to change the record. My life was there as well and all my thoughts were known by God. My actions were bad enough at times, but my thoughts...

I knew it was going to be hard. I wasn't sure, and in fact, I was concerned that I hadn't taken the time to confess all to God. What had I left out? Could there be any part of my life that had earned rewards? Or was my life all for naught and for my own gain and selfish reasons?

Lael noticed my concern and told me that my record was there. Soon I would have the answers to my questions. He also said I was right in my assumption that it was too late, for indeed it was.

If I had only thought about it on earth and realized the seriousness of every thought and deed. I would have done differently, I know I would have. Now my life was gone and I had to live with the results of my actions. I had to live with them forever.

A life that should be full of adventure and achievements for God, a full record so to speak, might only have a few brief excerpts that were acceptable. Sin in my life could have and maybe had, for that matter, marred my eternal well-being. There were so many short logs. So many lives with little left to show their Maker. What was mine like? I would have to give that some thought. I definitely wanted to know before I came before God.

"What will be will be," said Lael. "There is no changing it now."

"I know."

"Then at least relax and be thankful that you are here in this eternal place. So few people have made the right decision, as you can see from their tapes."

"Yes, that's true. Thank you, Lael."

"There's no need for thanks. I was merely pointing out the obvious. There is no room for self-pity here."

"I understand."

"Do you?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Good. Shall we continue?"

"You mean there's more?"


"Then let's go on."

I was still quite reserved and very concerned, but what Lael showed me next was a large bank of additional recorders which were linked into the masterworks.

"What are these for, Lael?"



"Yes, prayer. When a request is made it is logged into the memory, checked against the log of the one requesting and then answered if the criteria are met."

"What criteria?"

"No unconfessed sin and no lack of belief."

"That's all?"

"Yes. But isn't that enough?"

"I don't understand."

"Well, God wants you to have whatever you want. Remember He promised to give you the desires of your heart."

"But I always thought that there was a catch to it. Certain requirements. Something like His will or something."

"And what is the will of God?"

"I don't really know."

"Don't You?"

" I'm not sure."

"Think about it. What does the Word say?"

"That every Christian should go to Africa and be a missionary or become a pastor?"

"No. That's not what it says, nor is that necessarily the will of God, although most people think so."

"Then what is it, Lael? Tell me."

"Well, first of all it's not God's will that any should perish, but He wants every man to be saved."

"OK, I remember that, but all men won't be saved, they just won't believe."

"True, but that doesn't alter God's will. He still wants all men to come to Him. Like I said, that's what the general will of God is, that no one should perish, but that all should come to repentance"

"All right. But what about the Christian, the one who has accepted Jesus Christ?"

"The will of God is the same. That he live his life in fellowship with God and be available to accomplish the greater goal of bringing men and women to repentance."

"Then they have to be missionaries or preachers to be in His will."

"No. Every Christian is already a missionary or a bearer of the Good News. What he does with the gospel and how he shares it is the criterion for reward for faithful service. And again, unconfessed sin is the key. If you are living your life in fellowship with God, you are in His will and available to His service because you are attuned to His desire and are thus in His will."

"And how does this relate to prayer?"

"It's simple, really. For one who is in fellowship with God can have that which he wants, simply by asking God for it and believing that God will give it to him."


"Yes, anything. If you believe it, it's yours."

"Then why didn't I have..."

"Did you ask?"


"But did you believe?"

"I don't know."

"Well, did you ask for the same thing every day?"

"In a way, yes."

"Didn't you realize that every time you asked for the same thing again and again you were admitting to God that you didn't believe the first time. You see, your repetition only showed your unbelief. Had you prayed to God believing, you would have thanked Him and praised Him for the answer you knew He was sending."

"You really mean that?"

"Yes. I see it in action constantly. You see, when a prayer comes to God, He hears it. He knows the heart of the individual and whether it is pure or not. Also He knows the mind of the individual and his attitudes. He can tell if you believe or are just reciting words or wishes. If you believe, and ask He will answer you. This is His promise. When you ask, He hears it and sends the answer."

"Then I could have had anything if only I believed and asked."

"Yes. That was His promise."

"But so many people say that God answers prayers by saying yes, no, or wait."

"Did you notice you said, `people say'?"


"Well, that's the problem. People say a lot of things, but it's only what God says that matters. He says ask believing and you shall receive that which you have asked for. That's all there is to it."

"It all sounds so simple."

"It is. Only man makes things difficult. Somehow he can't bring himself to trust God and believe what God says."

These last words of Lael's really struck home with me. I realized how much I had listened to man and failed to believe that God would and could supply all my needs, had I only taken the time to seek Him. It was sad to find out that God had the power and that all His power, might and resources were at my disposal if I had only believed.

Now that I was here, I could easily see what I had missed, because I had limited God and listened to man. I would love to try again, have a second chance knowing what I know now. But, it was too late.

Even Lael knew that since he had reminded me once before. Still I couldn't help wondering what my life could have been like if I had only known before. Lael's next comment really shook me.

"You could have known," he said as if he knew my thoughts.


"I said, you could have known, for all I have told you was in His Word all the time. All you had to do was listen, accept what you read, and apply it."

"Yes, but..."

"That was your problem. There are no `buts' with the Bible. You are simply to accept what God said and live as if you believed His every word. I'm sure you've heard preachers preach about belief, but I'm afraid even many of them have a head belief only. They never truly took the words of God to heart and applied them to themselves."

I had to admit that what Lael had just said was true. Very true indeed. I had heard the words, I had even read them, but I never really applied them to my life or felt that they were intended for me.

I never felt I was good enough to have God bless me. It was all right to hear of God performing miracles for someone else, but I never applied what I heard to my own life. It was always for someone else. I never applied the knowledge I had of God to my own situation. I somehow thought I could make it on my own.

I knew now how wrong I was and what a terrible fool I had been to refuse to use that which God intended for me to use, and have.

As I pondered these things and considered my folly, Lael motioned for me to follow him, and so I did.

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