Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Praying in Fear vs. Praying in Faith

I am reading a book by Tony Evans called, "Kingdom Man".  In the current chapter he has been talking about perspective.  Specifically David's perspective vs. Israel's perspective regarding Goliath (1 Samuel 17).  A key verse, a key turning point in the life of Goliath came in verse 23.  Unknown to him, someone different was in the crowd that morning, someone who walked by faith.  Someone who would eventually kill him. Here is what the verse says.  But read it by stressing the first and second words.  Watch what happens-
"Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel."

Read it again.  And consider what was about to happen to Goliath.  One man made a key difference.  Everything was about to change, nothing would ever be the same again for Israel, Saul, David, Goliath & all the Philistines.

Tony Evans said, "Men, never let the size of your giant determine the size of your God."  David saw the giant mocking the Lord.  David saw this 8' something man and saw that he was not under God's covering of protection (see circumcision).  David was anxious to move out in faith.

So it got me thinking, what are my giants?
What are things that eclipse God?
Here is one- I dropped my kids off at school today, for their first day.  But it wasn't a normal first day of school.  I just sent them to a Christian school.  Now you may say, "Good choice, I am sure they will be fine." But I know that I am not sending them to Heaven.  Sin and sinful people are even at Christian schools.  My fear, my giant is that they will hook up with knuckleheads, that they will have expectations of Christians that are not realistic and that unmet expectations will harden their hearts to Jesus.

So guess what?  I was up at 2:30 this morning praying for them.  Now I could have prayed one of two ways. Either out of fear, or out of faith. Here is how the flow of my prayer time went:
1. Prayed out of fear, laying my concerns before the Lord.
But I had to transition, otherwise I would have remained fearful and in anxiety.  So I had to move to another stage.  I thought, "I don't know the outcome or what will happen, but I do know God's character." So, number two...
2. Prayed out of faith, trusting God to answer prayer & to do what is good for my kids.
I thanked God for His faithfulness, His character and rested in the evidence of His direction in our lives.
(Now before you mistakenly think I am too spiritual, this has taken me about seven years to get back to praying in faith.  My difficult experience at my last post & in Israel really made praying in trust a struggle. I think the Israel trip rewired something in me that has taken years to rewire again. But hey, I am getting there).
3. Thought and prayed over 1 Corinthians 7:14, "For the Christian wife (and husband) brings holiness to the marriage.  Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy."  The children in my house are set apart to God, they are committed to God.  So I asked God to be faithful...which is not hard for Him.
4. I changed the picture in my mind.  Instead of thinking the worst, I decided to think of the good outcomes, the blessings that could happen.  Hey, I don't know what the end game of sending them to Granger Christian School will be, so why default to the negative?  Might as well trust God & see the good things God will probably do.  He honors faithfulness, kind of like He did with David.  For all he knew the giant could have certainly beat him. The odds were against David-from a human point of view. But David didn't latch onto this unknown perspective/reality. Instead he saw what God could do in and through him.






To give some quick pithy sayings to summarize my experience:
A. Why see the glass as half empty when you can see it half full?
B. Better to dream and it not happen than to nightmare and it does happen.
C. We don't know the outcomes, but we do know God's character.
D. David often moved from fear to faith in his prayers (see the Psalms).
E. Don't let fear become so big that it eclipses God.
F. Is there any giant too big for God?
G. God honors faithfulness.
H. Children in a Christian home, are set apart to God.
I. God is faithful.
J. God is faithful.  He cares for birds & flowers, how much more will He care for you?

Anyhow, that is my story and my thoughts from this morning.  Praise God!  He is good.

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