How many times have you turned something over to God expecting a miracle and yet nothing seems to happen? Does this frustrate you? Does it cause you worry whether God heard your cry or just has not acted upon it? Well, you can be sure that God heard your prayer and that, if properly motivated and is within His plan; He will answer your prayer in His time. But how often do we take it back and then start playing tug-of-war with God? We give it to Him only to take it back because He is not answering it fast enough for us or that we often times think we can do it better.
There is no “I” in God.
I wouldn’t normally put this out there for all to see but I cannot let my pride get in the way of making this point. I lost my job about two weeks ago. Of course, the first things that run through my mind were “How will I provide for my family?” and “How will I be able to feed them or pay rent or…?” and the list goes on and on. I became caught in a trap of “I’s.”
I was in prayer one morning when He spoke to me and told me that I cannot feed my family and I cannot provide shelter for them and I cannot be the provider but only HE can do that. He provides for my family…HE provides us shelter…only HE is the Provider. I broke down and cried and turned it over to him and have not waivered in my faith since.
Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Luke 12:22-26 (NKJV)
So what prevents us from turning these things over to God? Why are we not able to see that He alone provides for us and allow Him to work the solution out in our lives? How is it that our faith does not outweigh the doubt in our lives?
- There is an “I” in sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
Sin separates us from God. Although we are all born into sin, from the age of accountability on it becomes a choice. You have seen me say before that “life is full of choices” and the reason being is that He gave us free will. He wants us to choose Him and to choose Him to abide within us. The Israelites were God’s chosen people and when they were given the law they had to make a choice between life and death. We are given the same choices today but when we choose sin over God we alienate Him from our lives and therefore prevent Him from working in us.
- There is an “I” in pride.
When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 (NKJV)
Pride is probably the easiest trap to get caught in. It is so easy for us to say “I can take care of it” that we end up pushing out the One that actually can. My pride was getting in the way of Him providing for me. I became scared of how others might perceive me as a failure so I kept it to myself. I was so caught up on how I would make everything happen that I pushed Him out of the picture. I alienated myself from Him but thankfully He is full of grace and mercy.
Pride prevents us from experiencing God and allowing Him to reveal His nature to us. We live in a world of “instant” everything. Everything is at the swipe of a finger anymore. We can always find answers to our issues. Why do we need God? Because only through His redemptive grace can you ever experience life to its fullest. You may think that you are living it now, but believe me God has a lot more in store for you than anything this temporary residence which we call Earth can ever offer!
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10 (NKJV)
When you begin to remove the “I” from the equation, you should prepare for a battle. I’m talking about a real spiritual battle with Satan himself. He will try to come at you from any angle and even sneak into your camp and attack you from within. He will use anything you allow him to. That is why we are called to put on the full armor of God. As with any battle, if you are not careful you can allow your shield to become damaged and all Satan needs is a crack to sneak in and attack.
Since I have become unemployed with only $594 a month income, Satan has tried to convince me that there is no way to provide for my family, he has attacked my dreams at night, he has attacked my family and tried to create doubt in me through them, and he has even tried to hit me with depression and despair. However, I am strong and rebuke him in the name of Jesus Christ whose blood was given for my life. He has nothing that can battle that and he loses every time!
Sometimes in the mornings when I feel a weight upon me and I just want to cry, he tries to make me believe that if I do, then I am not being faithful. The Lord spoke to me today and reminded me that even Jesus cried when He was saddened over the pain that His friends were feeling over Lazarus’ death even though He knew He would raise him back up. I believe I am human and that I will still experience sadness and fear, but I cast them upon Him and He reminds me that He is still on the throne. I sing praises to him throughout the day and continually thank Him for what He has given me.
I realize that this will probably get worse before it gets better and the Lord will allow that to bring me closer to Him or to possibly bring my family closer to Him. I am already seeing Him work this to His good through my wife. She has turned all her fear and doubt over to God and He has given her the “peace that surpasses all understanding.” I will praise His holy name and will continue to give Him all the praise and glory.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
Dear Father in Heaven. My Jehovah Jireh. I come before you today humbled to be in Your presence. I thank you for you incredible mercy and grace that before I was even born, you sent your Son to die for me so that I would not have to live in sin but I would be able to spend eternity in Your Glory. I ask that you continue to work with me to remove any remaining pride or sin in my life that would separate me from You. I thank you for continuing to reveal yourself to me daily. I ask that you be with each and every person that reads these words that they may continue to turn to you. I pray for every person that may not know you as their personal Savior, that you place someone in their path that can share a message of hope with them. I will continue to give you all the glory in all that I do. I pray in Your precious Son’s name. Amen.