Down with Disappointment!
7Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God . . .
14Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, 15and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. —Psalm 50:7, 14-15
Something wonderful happens in the heart of God when His children get themselves out on a limb and gather up their hearts and say, "God, if it's not You, it's nothing now. We don't have another plan. We don't have another hope. All our eggs are in Your basket. Let's do this, God, in Your time, in Your way." When you lay that down before the Lord it becomes an awesome moment of trust! If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you might be experiencing what James is talking about when he says, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Crying to God is the kind of asking He listens for. There is a fervency that builds faith in your hearts. What an invitation! It echoes through Scripture:
Isaiah 40:9 says, “Lift up your voice with strength . . . lift it up, fear not.”
Psalm 116:1 reports, “I love the LORDbecause He has heard my voice and pleas for mercy.”
Romans 8:15 teaches, “. . . you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father’"
Psalm 50:15 renews the invitation, “Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
I’ve stood in front of believers long enough to know that for some, a series of verses like this creates a powerful stirring up. They can’t wait to pray! But I’ve also seen those who look away, and their body language says, "James, that's great for you, but I'm just afraid. If I get out on a limb like that, if I let my heart really want what God wants and it doesn't happen, what am I going to be left with then?"
Perhaps you're playing it safe, hedging your approach to God with spin like, "Maybe God doesn't want it. Maybe I shouldn't ask God for it. I could get real disappointed." But aren't you disappointed now?
The invitation to call out to God covers our only part here. The majority of the action in prayer has to do with God’s willingness to do all the heavy lifting. We put ourselves in the place to see what God will do when we call to Him. Once we do that, He takes it from there! —James MacDonald
· In what areas am I joining with other believers to “get out on a limb” in full dependence on God?
· What are some examples that show the difference between risk based on God’s faithfulness and risk based on my willfulness?
Prayer – Almighty Father, help me remember that risk in itself doesn’t necessarily honor You. I can’t force Your hand by taking foolish or selfish risks. I can’t make a rash wrong decision while assuming that You will pick up the pieces after the disaster I cause. But help me rejoice that what seems risky to the world out of obedience to You is no risk at all! I’ll look for You out on the limb. In Jesus’ name, Amen!