Prayer touches God’s heart. I’ve heard this from many and believe it with all my heart. But sometimes we’re human. Sometimes the circumstances of the world distract us and even paralyze us because of the severity of the issue. There are circumstances that literally cause us to not move, to not think, to keep us speechless. Sickness, death, addiction, children running away, divorce, so many other things happen. Some might say, “That’s life.” It’s true. But when it happens to you, unexpectedly, you’re left wondering. I’ve found myself with my mouth open; even gasping for a breath. I’ve fallen back into a chair as if I passed out. I’ve wept uncontrollably because of what I just heard or experienced.
I have survived all of what I have faced but I have been wounded. Wounded deeply is some cases. Why do I share all of this? Because we have a choice. We can make the best of the situation in our own strength. I’ll tell you, that won’t work. We are imperfect individuals. We don’t have the stamina or even wisdom to fix things ourselves. We might think that we do, but without external strength, we won’t stand. We will fail and that will lead to a death spiral. Some of you know what I am talking about. Some may think that I don’t have a clue. If you believe you can take care of yourself without any help, I applaud you. I’ve seen just the opposite. I am proof of that. My change came at the point of a gun where I had to choose death or eternal help.
I am not embarrassed at all to tell you that my strength comes in the form of Jesus Christ and His grace. The day that I was to take my life, I was prayed for. I was eternally changed. The gun didn’t have any power. My Savior, Jesus Christ, had the power over my desire to leave this world. That was almost 20 years ago. I experienced a “But God…” moment.
God stepped into my circumstance that day and had other plans. “But God” wasn’t ready to take me away from this world. No matter what I thought or wanted to do, God said no. These past 20 years or so, God stepped in more that just a few times. The Bible says in Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” God’s Word also says in Isaiah 14:24, “The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.”
In the bible the words, “But God” show up 66 times. That comes to me as a surprise. God determined that more needed to happen, something had to change, or that He needed to change the direction of the individual or nation so that His purposes could be fulfilled. In all of creation currently, of all the people occupying this world, God got a hold of me and in His still small voice said no. I have another plan. If I were to write in God’s Word, I would say, “And he determined in his heart that he would leave this world, but God…”
My story is my story. It’s no one else’s. I’m not standing on a soapbox here. But everyone has their own story. I made a choice to hear the still small voice of God. There is only one place in Scripture where God is said to speak in a “still small voice,” and it was to Elijah after his dramatic victory over the prophets of Baal. (1 Kings 18:20-40; 19:12). The point of God speaking in the still small voice was to show Elijah that the work of God need not always be accompanied by dramatic revelation or manifestations. Divine silence does not necessarily mean divine inactivity. Zechariah 4:6 tells us that God’s work is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” meaning that overt displays of power are not necessary for God to work.
Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. It’s not by our efforts but rather a move of God’s Holy Spirit. Frederick Baker II said this in his sermon on “But God”, “In ancient Israel, God told the people to set aside six cities of refuge to whom a person could run for safety in a crisis. This psalm (Psalm 46) pictures God as a “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” During any crisis, God is our refuge. Even when it seems as though the world is coming apart like mountains crumbling (Ps. 46:3), God’s people need not be afraid. Like the protective walls of a city, God is our refuge, surrounding and protecting us. David faced many crisis, and he knew to run to God for safety. To “be still” and know that He is God (Ps 46:10) means to rest in Him, even as the crisis swirls around us. Knowing who God is helps us to remember that He is ultimately in control.”
Friend, crisis and unfortunate circumstances are a part of this world. But we need not allow it to control us. Well, you might say that it’s easy for you to say. Well, writing a blog is a little impersonal, but I will tell you this. Faith in Jesus Christ and power of His resurrection helps us to stop and listen to what God is saying. All of us have “But God” moments in our lives. Yes, all of us. God cares for you because His desire is to spend eternity with you. He controls things because He desires to complete His purpose in you. Maybe you’ll never recognize your moments, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.
Take a look at what Matthew 19:26 says. “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” With God all things, yes all things are possible. You can count on Him. God is your refuge. God is our strength and God is our very present help in times of trouble. I want to hear God’s voice. I want more “But God” moments where He encourages me that His purpose is better than mine. I continue to have times of pride where I think I know more than God. I confess over and over and repent. But I’m human and get trapped in a snare of the world to move ahead of God. “But God” is with me. He stops and opens the snare, takes me by the hand and sets me again on the steps He has ordered.
I said previously that God has stepped into my situation many times. To that I say thank You Lord. God’s work in my life has forever changed me. God can move in your life too. And it’s free to those who simply believe. Yup, that true. I had to confess that I wasn’t able to live any longer on my own and that I needed a Savior to take over. I confessed that Jesus was my Lord and believed that He rose from the grave to overcome sin and death once and for all. Yes, for all. I’m no one special. I’m now a child of God who will spend eternity with Him in heaven. But more importantly, I’ve submitted my life into His hands. I’m living for Him, giving Him all of the glory.
Why is this blog in a post called, “Teach Us To Pray?” Well, that’s where it begins. It begins with prayer. Prayer changes things. Prayer touches God’s heart. If you want to submit your life to Jesus because you just can’t go on living your life with you in charge, it’s time to pray. If you feel that this just isn’t for you. That with time, all things work out. Well, time continues, yes. But time is NOT on your side. You don’t know what today has for you or if you will even continue another day. The time for your life and salvation is now. Don’t do this because of me. Make the choice for you. Open your heart to what God is saying to you right now. The choice is yours.
Dear Lord, I find myself in many situations that seem to rip away at my ability to continue on. I try to make the right choices but sometimes find myself on the outside of good decision-making. Sometimes it has led me to very difficult circumstances. It is then that I feel like a failure. Lord, I don’t want this for my life any longer. Lord, I am a sinner and confess that I need you as my Lord and Savior. Come into my life now Lord. I repent of my sins which you paid for at the Cross of Calvary. I believe that you rose from the dead so that I may live. I submit my life to you. In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, contact a local church to let you know what’s next. I’m sure that the Pastor will rejoice with you on your new beginning and new life in Christ.
Don’t believe me. Believe God!