19th September 2020
'for every urgent need ?'
Do you pray out of desperation?
Only when it's an emergency
and you need God right here,
Why is that?
Does it seem like your prayers don't affect change;
as if they don't always matter?
What if you believed
that they did impact heaven and impact earth?
How would you pray differently?
God is unreasonably patient and merciful.
He's there for every urgent need and any sudden spell,
but an A and E relationship with God
is not the psalmist's idea of a firm place to stand.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
.... Psalm 40:2
He's not a drive-thru pharmacy.
Desperate people pray.
They pray without thinking about it;
they pray even if they are not sure
who they're praying to,
or if anyone out there is listening at all.
People in foxholes pray.
So do people who go through divorce,
have children that run away,
or hear from a doctor
that the lab results say the growth is malignant.
They say there are no atheists on a sinking ship!
One of God's most amazing attributes is that
He is always faithful and ever loving;
enough to accept people when they turn to Him
in sheer desperation,
even when they have been ignoring Him for years.
When we reach the limit of our resources,
we pray instinctively, reflexively -
like the way a man lacking oxygen gasps
for breath and the way a man who is falling
reaches out for something to grab.
It is not bad to pray in a time of crisis.
The problem is,
life on Earth consists of one crisis after another.
If our souls had no enemy,
life would still be hard.
But the fact is we do have an enemy,
and he formulates one scheme after another.
He finds our Achilles' heel,
and that's where he aims his darts.
And if he's anything at all, he's a great shot.
If our victory depends on the right circumstances,
we may as well wave the white flag
and surrender to defeat;
but we could make up our minds
that we're committed to God,
standing upon that rock,
for the rest of our days.
The apostle Paul called it
'being found in Christ.'
8 Not only those things;
I reckon everything as complete loss
for the sake of what is so much more valuable,
the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have thrown everything away;
I consider it all as mere rubbish,
so that I may gain Christ
9 and be completely united with him.
I no longer have a righteousness of my own,
the kind that is gained by obeying the Law.
I now have the righteousness
that is given through faith in Christ,
the righteousness that comes from God
and is based on faith.
.... Philippians 3:9 (GNT)
When we've made that decision
and given our heart, mind, and soul
and when we've given our past,
present, and future
"to Him who is able
to keep you from falling"
.... (Jude 1:24)
and when we know
we're absolutely committed,
come what may...
we will be out of the pit with our feet on a rock.
Having a firm place to stand
doesn't mean life isn't hard
and temptations don't come;
it doesn't mean we get everything right;
it doesn't mean we don't mess up.
It just means we know what we are going to do
no matter what comes our way;
we may waver but once we've decided
where we're putting your feet;
on the rock of faith;
we'll find it's a
reassuringly firm place to stand.