It's been said that there are two ways for a believer to respond to a crisis in their lives; to either figure a way out of the situation, ending it as quickly as possible, or to allow Him to lead us in the midst of it so as to bring to Him the greatest glory.
Which are you and I more prone to?  I think if we take a few moments to examine some of our usual prayer requests in such situations, we'll have our answer.
    Many years ago, a couple were searching for a home, a much needed one, and were having a very difficult time finding it.  I remember them telling me that they were going to be looking at one that afternoon.  Before leaving the husband asked me to "pray that we get it."  His main interest was not for the Lord's best for them, and the glory to give to Him for it, but that the stressful process would come to an end, that it would be over.  This carries over into so many of our own prayers and requests to Him.  We go to prayer, and ask others to pray for us.  We ask them to pray that we or a loved one be healed, a financial need met, or a high pressure situation ended.  In other words, we want Him to do something to make it better, and to do it now!  How many of us in that place seek first to know what He may be trying to show us in that place, even the place of pain?  How many of us ask Him to give us discernment to understand His moving in that place, to hear what He's saying, understand what He's doing?  How many of us, when like the Israelites, we're standing at the Red Sea with the Egyptians closing in on us, really want to know how He might be glorified in the seemingly impossible situation?  Everybody wants the sea to part, but will it be for our self-centered desires, or His glory?  We want Him to remove all the blockages to our desires being fulfilled around us, but have little interest in His removing all the inner blockages in our hearts and spirits, which is where His greatest glory will be found.
     We have the idea that a truly abundant life is one where everything goes very well for us, and we enjoy robust health, relationships, and job or ministry satisfaction.  Yet this doesn't seem to be His idea at all.  Jacob was a man who always seemed to be one step ahead of his problems.  He was shrewd, and could always come up with some way or plan to get past whatever crisis or problem he faced, but finally, at the Jabbok River, he came up against His God, and none of his maneuvering and scheming could win out with Him.  Genesis 32 us that all night he wrestled with the Father, so mightily, that in the end, his hip was put out of socket, and for the rest of his life, he walked with a limp.  He was crippled, yet the Father said that the result was that in his crippled, limping dependence upon Him, he had prevailed.  It is our total, limping, crippled dependence on Him that truly brings the victory in life, that really makes for being an overcomer.  Few of us wish to have such a limp.  We just want to get across the Jabbok River with little trouble, and as quickly as possible.  Drawing more deeply into Him, knowing and discovering Him in ever more intimate ways, limping to wholeness, doesn't really enter into our thinking.
     If we're not yet at our Jabbok River, we will be.  How will we respond?  Get to work trying to figure out an escape plan?  Bombard heaven with requests to get us out, solve our problem, end the situation, or, wrestle in prayer, refusing to let go of Him till, like Jacob, we receive the fullness of His blessing?  A blessing that leaves a limp, but also gives a life.  Which will it be?

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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