A Faithful Inquirer by Carrie Forman
I’ve been putting the majority of my focus into finishing my next book. During my breaks and quiet time my heart was pulled toward writing another blog. Although, while I had the desire to sit down and start typing, I honestly had not received direction from YHWH on what He wanted me to write about, that is until last week.
My friend Stacey (and blog contributor to my webpage) was the vessel used to give me a clear answer. She and I communicate through different means based on what is available and in reach at the time. Sometimes via email if I’m at my desk or sometimes via text on my phone if I need to send a quick message. Otherwise, when there is more free time for both of us, we will use Marco Polo as a video platform to give lengthy updates. And “lengthy” can be an understatement, just ask my husband Victor. He has commented many times, “Are you still talking?” It’s quite hilarious, and while I do not do it daily (maybe once every 1 or 2 weeks) there is a lot to update in that time period.
This past week was one of those lengthy moments. I was updating Stacey on a story of how YHWH is so faithful and clear when He answers. Come to find out, she gleaned from my personal story, and I assume without even thinking but being led she said, “You need to make that a blog!” So, here we are.
As indicated by the title, this blog is a study of becoming and then remaining a faithful inquirer. In other words, do we ask YHWH first before hitting the ground running? According to Webster an inquirer is: someone who asks a question or seeks to learn about something, often someone whose character it is to do so. To put it plainly, it is a person who is seeking an answer or direction. I really like the latter end of that definition – someone whose character it is to do so. Meaning, they make this a habit in their daily lives, it is the very nature of the individual.
I have always considered myself to be quite spontaneous. For most of my life’s decisions, I could quickly and easily choose a path and just start doing it. I have never really taken a long pause period of waiting, considering or evaluating a choice… I just do.
While in some “success” circles that could sound logical, I have to admit there are times it has bitten me in the butt and I’ve had to pay the price for many years on hasty decisions. An old business associate said to me years ago, “The decisions we make more than any other factor, determine our destiny.” And that concept always stuck in my gut until one day I realized it could easily be implemented spiritually and in my walk with YHWH.
A consistent behavior to inquire of YHWH, seeking His answer to determine which way we should go is something we all need to practice and make a daily part of our lives. While there are very clear answers in His Word about being set-apart, honoring the Sabbath, revering His Name, etc.… those topics are secure, immovable and are not up for debate. I am simply referring to everyday type events, things that come up that aren’t so cut and dry. Things like travel plans, relationships, responses, large purchases, where to live, and on and on.
Our society has become so fast-paced that sometimes our decision making can also go with this fast-paced flow. We have become accustomed to a drive-thru mentality, and while it is convenient and a blessing in some ways, I believe it has also become a detriment in others. Let’s think for a moment how many times we have made plans without stopping, looking up and waiting for guidance - to inquire of YHWH what is His will for our lives, and where and how He wants to guide us.
I can clearly see where I failed by being my own guide for many years. Thankfully there were times I received a gentle nudge, however other times I had to go through a period of discipline and pain for excluding Him in my decision making. While that correction and pain can hurt, hopefully it is understood that we can learn and be refined in the process.
Learning from others’ mistakes
As I’ve discussed many times in other blogs and my books, we can also learn from past mistakes of others throughout Scripture. His Word has so many lessons that can hopefully teach us before a mistake is made. Here are some examples of people who did not inquire of YHWH.
“And I shall stretch out My hand against Yahudah, and against all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, and cut off every trace of Ba’al from this place, the names of the idolatrous priests, with the kohenim, and those bowing down to the host of the shamayim on the house-tops and those bowing themselves, swearing by YHWH and swearing by Malkam; and those who turn away from following YHWH, and who have not sought YHWH or inquired of Him.” Zephaniah 1:4-6
There is a lot to take in here. At first glance the focus is naturally on their conduct of worshipping other gods. But if we look closer, we can see different descriptions and specific conduct that brought about YHWH’s anger. Notice some were bowing down to the hosts of heaven. Bowing is shachah in Hebrew and it means to prostrate and humbly beseech. And beseech is to implore urgently. So, they were inquiring, but not inquiring of YHWH. This reminds me of many in our society looking to horoscopes (hosts of heaven) for guidance to their future, looking to creation rather than the Creator.
Also notice those who were “swearing by YHWH and swearing by Malkam”, a foreign god. This is known as syncretism, and it has sadly been a continuous theme throughout the pages of Scripture as well as today. It is the mixing of pagan traditions and rituals with our heavenly Father. It’s also like mixing the ways of this world with the ways of YHWH. You can read more about syncretism in my blog “Identifying a god”.
Lastly, YHWH proclaims through the prophet Zephaniah “and those who have not sought YHWH or inquired of Him” - those who have chosen their own path either by direction from false gods or their own self-guidance without looking to Him.
Another example is in the book of Joshua. While the children of Yisra’el had finally made it to the Promised Land, they were given specific instructions about “who’s who” and the determined outcome of the nations around them. It states that the inhabitants of Gib’on acted slyly and “pretended to be envoys” to Joshua and the men of Yisra’el.
“And the men of Yisra’el took some of their food, but they did not ask the word of YHWH.” Joshua 9:14
The children of Yisra’el were fooled and they had made a covenant with these pretenders which they couldn’t break. Yet, if they had sought YHWH about these people and whether they should covenant with them, they would have received the right answer and the guidance they needed. Interestingly, David is adamant in Psalms 26:4 “I have not sat with men of falsehood, nor do I enter with pretenders.”
This event makes me think of relationships in our lives that only after hindsight do we learn that we should have never opened that door to begin with. As YHWH instructs, we need to always be on guard (shemar) to protect our families and to protect us from someone who is not good for us.
This was one hard lesson I had to learn which I briefly shared in my biography of the webpage. Here is a glimpse… “I still had a personal stumbling block in my life that was hindering me from being set free to live for Him. That became my 2nd distinct moment of discovering and shifting priorities. I was in a very "challenging" marriage for 17 years. I use that word loosely as through the pains of being unequally yoked, we learn a lot about the true desires of the partner that "we" picked. I realized in the last 5 years of that marriage that Yah did not pick that spouse for me, I did. I knew I needed to feel His reproof and experience years of pain based on the decisions I made (without Him).”
Choosing a life partner is one of the biggest decisions one can make, and sadly I did not inquire of YHWH. I did not look up, inquire, and then wait. I acted hastily and thought I knew best. Years of spiritual growth has truly revealed that He always knows best. If we just wait and don’t expect drive-thru service, He promises to answer – in His time, not ours.
A perfect example
Just as we can learn from the mistakes of others, we can also learn from those who did it right, and David is a great example.
“I sought YHWH, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Tehillim (Psalms) 34:4
I read the above words of David and think, “That is simply put.” It’s as easy as enquiring then He answers and delivers… boom. Well, at times it could be that easy, other times we are required to trust, to wait and to listen. That can be challenging as our personal worlds can get noisy, busy, and chaotic leading us to decide quickly rather than inquiring first. But once we have become a faithful inquirer, we then need to be faithful in waiting and listening for a reply.
It reminds me of times when Victor and I experience days of go, go, go! Run here, run there only so much time to get things done until my stomach reminds me that it needs some nutritional substance to keep going at that pace. I then start getting a stomachache and headache and my mood is a bit compromised, to put it lightly. I just need a quick answer to beat this hunger and most times when you are on the road, a quick answer is not so good for you. But I can’t wait any longer and I end up eating something fast that I shouldn’t have. And like clockwork, an hour later I go through the pains of that hasty decision. Not just the physical pains but also regret and anger at myself for not taking the time to find food that was good for me. I should have been patient and found food that might take longer but gives me what my body needs, the right answer.
Waiting for His answer can be similar, and maybe it’s exactly what YHWH wants us to do. Could He be stepping back, watching, and waiting to see if we are truly waiting for Him? Are we able to quiet the world around us and allow Him to lead our decisions and our lives? As the writer of Proverbs reveals “He who is patient has great understanding but he who is short of spirit exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29 Folly comes from the Hebrew ivveleth which means foolishness. So, those who are not patient raise up foolishness. We are susceptible to foolish decisions when not waiting on our Father to guide us.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the counsel of YHWH that stands.” Proverbs 19:21
Let’s look at other accounts where David (a man after YHWH’s own heart – 1 Samuel 13:14) inquired of YHWH.
“So David inquired of YHWH, saying, ‘Shall I go and smite these Pelishtites?’ And YHWH said to David, ‘Go and smite the Pelishtites, and save Qe’ilah.” 1 Shemu’el (Samuel) 23:2
“And David inquired of YHWH once again. And YHWH answered him and said, ‘Arise, go down to Qe’ilah, for I am giving the Pelishtites into your hand.” 1 Shemu’el (Samuel) 23:4
“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the being of all the people grieved, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in YHWH his Elohim. And David said to Ebyathar the kohen, son of Ahimelek, ‘Please bring the shoulder garment here to me.’ So Ebyathar brought the shoulder garment to David. And David inquired of YHWH, saying, ‘Do I pursue this band? Do I overtake them?’ And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall certainly overtake them, and certainly rescue.” 1 Shemu’el (Samuel) 30:6b-8
“And it came to be afterwards that David inquired of YHWH, saying, ‘Do I go up to any of the cities of Yahudah?’ And YHWh said to him, ‘Go up.’ And David said, ‘Where should I go up?’ And He said, ‘To Hebron.” 2 Shemu’el (Samuel) 2:1
Now these were very important decisions that could result in life or death. Seeking the counsel of YHWH before setting a plan to move forward was critical to their survival. David did not want to move off the path that YHWH had paved for Him, trusting that He would give Him the right answer.
“Commit your works to YHWH, and your plans shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3
I’m currently deep into 2 Chronicles for my morning reading. When reading through Chapter 26, there was one word in particular that really spoke volumes. This is the account of Uzziyahu (Uzziah) who became king of Yahudah at sixteen. He was off to a great start as it states that “he did what was right in the eyes of YHWH, according to all that is father Amatsyahu (Amaziah) did.” I find it quite interesting that on every account of every king in both the books of the Chronicles and the Kings, that each account always leads with whether they did right or did evil in the eyes of YHWH.
Okay, so here is Uzziyahu off to a great start and then there is a verse that really stands out.
“And he sought Elohim in the days of Zekaryahu, who had understanding in the visions of Elohim. And while he sought YHWH, Elohim made him prosper.” 2 Chronicles 26:5
“While” is a big and heavy word there. So, while he sought (darash – to seek, or ask, to inquire) YHWH, He would make him prosper. The word “while” seems to be important and can be similar to the word “if”. These two words are like a fork in the road, and our result or outcome depends on what path we choose. Remember the quote I wrote earlier “The decisions we make more than any other factor determine our destiny”? Well, this is a prime example.
“And it shall be that IF you diligently obey My Commands which I command you today, to love YHWH your Elohim and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your being, then I shall give you the rain for your land in its season…” Debarim (Deuteronomy) 11:13,14
They were promised blessings IF they stayed in Covenant and guarded His Commands. Notice how YHWH illustrates even further the outcomes based on what they choose.
“See, I am putting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessings, when you obey the commands of YHWH your Elohim which I command you today; and a curse, if you do not obey the commands of YHWH your Elohim but turn aside from the Way which I command you today, to go after other mighty ones which you have not known.” Debarim (Deuteronomy) 11:25,26
Some might be saying “oh, there she goes again… talking about His Commandments and obedience”… however obedience and inquiring are intimately connected and whether YHWH hears our inquiries (prayers) is dependent on our hearts and obeisance to Him.
Let’s examine a handful of verses that confirm this theme.
“He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we guard His Commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.” 1 Yohanan (John) 3:22
“And we know that Elohim does not hear sinners. But if anyone reveres Elohim and does His desire, He hears him.” Yohanan (John) 9:31
“Because the eyes of YHWH are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers, but the face of YHWH is against those who do evil.” 1 Kepha (Peter) 3:12
YHWH is a compassionate and loving Father. He wants the best for us and knows what’s best for us, but it is our choice and responsibility to be a person after His own heart, like David.
“I YHWH search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 17:10
The pilgrimage feasts are heavy on my heart each and every year. They are the three feasts of the seven where the men of Yisra’el would travel to Jerusalem to celebrate these specific Appointed Times. They are literal annual appointments to go where YHWH put His Name forever (1 Kings 11:36, 1 Kings 14:21, 2 Kings 21:4, 2 Chronicles 6:6, 2 Chronicles 33:4).
So naturally, on my journey of drawing closer to Him I desired to be there and do just as so many of the Patriarchs and Disciples did. However, sometimes the finances don’t match up with the desire. International flights to Israel are not cheap especially if you want to go three times a year.
After all the lockdowns and country closings, my desire to go was even more abundant. Victor and I had planned a trip to Cancun the beginning of the fall season and had bought our airline tickets. However, knowing that Sukkot was coming up in October, I just couldn’t shake that desire out of my spirit. I know there was a reason and after Victor and I discussed the situation, we decided to cancel our trip to Cancun and go to Israel instead. We had made up our minds that we were going to obey His leading.
The following morning, we received an email from the airline we had booked our tickets to Cancun through. They informed us that our flight to Cancun had changed to where we would arrive 15 minutes later than scheduled and because of the change we had the opportunity to receive a full refund on these non-refundable flights. This was clear confirmation and a blessing that He paved the way for His obedient children. We were able to use that money toward our flights to Israel that October.
According to His will
While many will proclaim that we can ask anything in His Name and He will provide, it is vital that we understand it depends on if it aligns with His will.
“And this is the boldness that we have in Him, that if we ask whatever according to His desire, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 Yohanan (John) 5:14,15
John is saying that YHWH will hear us, whatever it is if we ask according to His desire, His will. Yahushua also makes this point clear by the following:
“If you stay in Me, and My Words stay in you, you shall ask whatever you want, and it shall be done for you. In this My Father is esteemed, that you bear much fruit, and you shall be My talmidim. As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Stay in My love. If you guard My Commands, you shall stay in My love, even as I have guarded My Father’s Commands and stay in His love.” Yohanan 15:7-10
There is the “IF” word again… hummmm. These words - “while” and “if” clearly make the outcome contingent based on whether we remain in Him. Yahushua is emphasizing that we need to stay in His love and that love is defined by obedience to His Commands. John also confirms this in the following verse.
“For this is the love for YHWH, that we guard His Commands, and His Commands are not heavy.” 1 Yohanan (John) 5:3
So, let’s take some self-examination and see if we are living our lives according to His will. If we are coming humbly before Him and remain steadfast in our obedience to His Ways, He is faithful to hear our call. When we seek His guidance will we then wait and listen?
This brings me to my original story that I shared with my friend Stacey last week. We had been gone a long time on our adventures in October with a couple unexpected but necessary trips in the mix. To save some time for the reader, I’ll sum it up with - we were gone a long time. Eight weeks total with a periodic few days here and there at home. This is a big deal at our house because we have a paralyzed French bulldog named Bellah.
Bellah needs special care with urine expressions every 3 ½ hours (without fail) and I realized on my long trip that for 6 years now I’ve expressed her over 13,000 times. That puts some major strain on my hand and taking a break from it for 8 weeks made me experience excruciating pain when I started the routine up again. So, Bellah had been fighting a UTI when I returned, thanks to my injured hand. During all this Victor had plans to go up to Seattle again to see his mom. While I wanted to go and see her and be with him, I couldn’t see leaving Bellah again while I was trying to get her back on track.
I told Victor I just need to inquire of YHWH and wait on His answer. A couple weeks had passed and still no answer. We were one week away from Victor going and I needed to give my friend (who normally cares for Bellah when we are away) at least one week’s notice. So, that morning I asked if YHWH could possibly let me know that day in order to be fair to my friend.
As the day progressed, I just had faith that He would tell me whether I should go or stay. It was later that afternoon we were in the kitchen talking and I had commented to Victor that “when he is in Seattle…” and he replied, “When I am in Seattle, no we?” The poor guy had the saddest face as he wanted me to go with him so badly. Mainly because during these uncertain times, we feel it wouldn’t be wise to separate in different countries not knowing the future of government and border shutdowns. Also, this may seem a bit “sappy” to some, but Victor and I have such a close relationship that it is a bear for us to be apart, even for a week. With all this on my mind I told him “I know, but I haven’t gotten my answer yet.”
I then walked in the hallway and immediately in spirit I heard “honor your husband” which stopped me in my tracks. You know those times when you know that you did not just think it? This was my nudge… my answer. Victor was not asking me to do something unrighteous or immoral… he just wanted me to join him in his travels and help be a support. I got my answer and I knew YHWH would work it out from there.
I turned right around and walked back in the kitchen and said, “I just got my answer.” Victor was elated and what is even more amazing… that evening Bellah’s infection was gone. So, I inquired and I waited. I heard His answer, I acted and then He confirmed by smoothing out my path. He is so faithful!!!
Some of you might have read my book “Turn and be Saved.” I share in the beginning of the book the story of my Dad getting pancreatic cancer at the young age of 56. I explain that it was the subject of healing that brought me to my knees in desperation to solve this problem. I really wanted my Dad fixed and healed. That did not happen, but what did happen? It was that very subject that gave me ears to hear for YHWH. He had my full attention for the first time in my life and He slowly revealed Himself and His Ways to me when I was finally ready. It was this topic that allowed me to discover the weightier matters, the pathway to eternal life.
I have some who ask me if I figured out healing yet. Well, my answer is I’m still learning. I know we are all destined to die, (unless we are here and are part of the regathering in the end times to the Promised Land) but if it is our time to die, our hope is that it is not through disease or suffering. I do know that many of us put ourselves in the position of disease and sickness based on how we eat and how we live. We bring it fully upon ourselves when we are unaware of His instructions for eating right and/or not avoiding the things in our society that can do our body damage.
However, amazingly we can read in 2 Kings 13:14 that “Elisha had become sick with the sickness in which he died.” And while Elisha is known for many miracles and healing, he ended up becoming sick and dying from the sickness. This was obviously YHWH’s will. It was his scheduled time, this current chapter had ended and closed, and it seems YHWH used sickness to do the job.
“And so it awaits men to die once, and after this the judgement, so also ha’Mashiach, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to those waiting for Him, unto deliverance.” Hebrews 9:27,28
Regarding Yisra’el (Jacob) it was recorded in Scripture as “the time for Yisra’el to die drew near” (Genesis 47:29) and it was said to Joseph his son, “See, your father is sick.”(Genesis 48:1) And later in the account “the eyes of Yisra’el were dim with age, and he was unable to see.” (Genesis 48:10) Ever since the fall of man, aging became a part of our current life. Death also became a part of our life, and these mortal bodies have an expiration date.
This was the part I hadn’t considered when on my knees begging for healing for my Dad. It was through my father’s death that I learned about deliverance, the ultimate deliverance. Deliverance from eternal death, not our mortal death. Understanding His pathway to eternal life with Him, in His Kingdom and as new beings (2 Corinthians 5:3-5, Rev 21:3,4, Rev 22:14). Not a forever life in this mortal body, a forever life with Him as a transformed creation.
There are times when YHWH grants the request of healing and gives us more time. There are times when He doesn’t but in the end, it is His call – after all, He is sovereign, He is King.
So, while YHWH is faithful to hear the prayers of His servants, He makes the ultimate call and sets the outcome based on His plans. Sometimes that does not line up with our personal desires or what we think is best and sometimes it does, the question is… do we trust Him?
Whether it’s regarding travel plans, career choices, locations to live, relationships or healing - will we faithfully inquire, will we faithfully wait, and will we faithfully accept His answer?
“Your Kingdom come, Your will (desire) be done on earth as it is in the shamayim (heavens).” Mattithyahu 6:10
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