Posted by: Brad Stanford | November 3, 2009


So, living in dairy country, we have flies. I don’t mean you hear flies constantly buzzing in the field around the cows. I mean that when it cools off, the flies are attracted to anything warm. Woodpiles, buildings, windows – wherever there’s a source of heat, flies will go to it.

I understand the Egyptian plague of flies a little too well now. We have already seen days here where the flies covered the porch ceiling from end to to end, making it black. Those of you who remember the movie The Amityville Horror will know what I’m talking about. When your romantic wrap around porch is covered in flies, it loses some, if not all, of its romance. Indeed, it becomes impossible to enjoy the sunset from the porch when flies find you warmer than the next nearest object.

Worse, though, is the fact that doors heat up rather easily. This means that there will be flies buzzing around any door that’s been in the sun for awhile. So when kids hold the door open for two minutes trying to decide if there is anything to do outside, the flies come in the house, tipping their hats to the child as they go. At night, you can get a pretty good count of the flies in the house, as they settle on the kitchen and dining room ceilings. Some days I have counted no less than 30 in one room. I have heard much worse from others who have lived here longer.

There are times where I will come in to pour a glass of tea or make a sandwich, only to spend 30 minutes swatting flies. Usually, I can get around 20 in a session like that. That scares the rest of the flies away long enough to allow me to fulfill my sustenance needs before the next fly patrol gets sent out. And there’s no eating at the dining room table on days like these. When you sit down and find 8 flies sitting next to you with little bibs tied to their necks, you tend to think twice about opening your mouth.

We’ve purchased all sorts of fly strips with varying results – some good! – but nothing to stop the continual flow of flies coming in from the fields after a hard days work of bothering cows and eating poop. They love our house, our garage, our vehicles, everything. Finally we purchased a granular poison for around the house. Supposedly, the flies are attracted to it, they eat it, and immediately fall dead in their tracks. Now, I don’t like this as a long term solution, but I was desperate to try anything to help the problem go away.

Two days later (after forgetting about that purchase) I was out at the prayer platform. I told God that I understood that I was in dary country, but I just needed a day off from the flies. At that moment, my wife came out to test the poison. Now, honestly, my first reaction was, “That’s lame. I wanted a miraculous miracle, and for the flies to just go away.” But God reminded me of the story of Naaman who was told to dip in the Jordan river seven times to get rid of his leprosy. Naaman balked – the Jordan was nasty. But his servant talked sense to him: why does the method matter, as long as it brings the results you were after?

And what about our participation in miracles? Was feeding the 5,000+ less of a miracle because Jesus started with someone else’s lunch? No. The Kingdom principle is the same throughout scripture: bring your mustard-seed faith to God, and let Him multiply it. This is one of the ways God makes the weak strong: he multiplies what strength they have.

So I was fine with the idea of us bringing our five loaves and two fish worth of chemicals to God, and saying, “This is what I have”.

We sprinkled some test areas: a two-inch by ten foot swath on the porch, and a two-inch by twenty foot swath down one fence line by the cow pasture, leaving one fence line untouched. Nothing anywhere else around the house or property. We watched as a fly or two swooped down for the goods, and fell over dead, sometimes in cartoon fashion. Two hours later, there were 25 or so dead flies. At this rate, it appeared that we would be able to get about half the flies in a day, so it would lower the count of flies coming in our door. That was a very acceptable result, and I was thankful.

The next day, there were no flies. Zero. None on the house. None on the garage. None on the vehicles. Nothing. OK – there was one, sitting on the trash can lid, which is perfectly acceptable to me. But everywhere else I looked, there was neither the site nor sound of flies. God immediately spoke to me: “This is the power that I’ve given you right now. Does it matter that you bought poison and I multiplied its effect? Don’t concern yourself with how I do my job. Understand that you have the power to speak things into reality. So who are you going to pray for? What are you going to ask me for? ”

This is another Kingdom principle. God never answers your prayer, and then leaves it at that. An answered prayer is a moment in which faith is high. So God pushes you into the next level.

He did with this Abraham. After waiting for twenty-five years for God to fulfill His promise of having a son, and descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, God shows up at Abraham’s door. They fellowship all day. As God is leaving, He says, “By this time next year, you’ll have a son.” Abraham at this point, is relieved to get the answer he has been seeking for so long. God immediately redefines Abraham’s role: “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do, since He will be the father of nations?” God then tells Abraham that He is going down to destroy Sodom, drawing Abraham into a much greater role than just being a dad, causing Abraham to act in a fatherly way towards the people of Sodom.

What flies do you have in your life that you have been praying about for a long time, and they’re still there? Rest assured, deliverance is coming. But don’t think that deliverance is the destination. It is simply the doorway. God’s not going to answer your prayer like He is your butler. He’s going to answer it because it will open the door to something you haven’t been ready to step into yet. Your desperation is just as much a part of the miracle as your five loaves and two fish. As Jesus would tell another father on a different occasion: “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”



  1. This post reminds me of a quote from my favorite missionary testimony – Darlene (Deibler) Rose –
    “flies by the illions”
    She was in a Japanese internment camp. They had to show the camp commander (count out) that they had killed at least 100 flies a day.

    Maybe you could have your kids do that? They could line them up in rows of ten and ‘skip count’!

    Love reading about how y’all are doing.

  2. […] more here:  Flies Posted in Jesus Will Answer | Tags: been-ready, Christ, door, heavenly-father, Lord, […]

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