Friday, July 30, 2010
When Praying is a Disguise for Distrust in Your Heart
Has God ever called you to something repeatedly and you pray and pray and then pray some more, just to be sure He's really calling you to it? And then, when He tells you, "Yes, child, I'm calling you to this" you go and pray some more. The pattern repeats itself until one day you realize you might be stepping into the land of disobedience.
In Numbers 13, the Israelites were in the desert and the Lord told Moses to send men to explore Canaan, which the Lord told Moses He was giving to the Israelites. So Moses sent out the leader of each of the tribes, 12 in all. He sent Reuben, Simeon, Caleb, Igal, Hoshea (Joshua), Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi, and Geuel. Moses sent them out and told them to explore the land and the people-to get to know both and to bring back some fruit. So, for 40 days, the 12 went up, explored, gathered fruit, and returned. When they returned, they gave the report-it does have fruit, but there are giants present. One man, Caleb, spoke up and told them they should still go up and take possession because they could do it. Lest you think Caleb was relying on his own strength to do this, we find that his heart was set whole-heartedly on following God (Numbers 14:24) But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't..."
How many times in my life, have I listened to the majority, rather than following what God tells me? How many times has God shown me He is leading me to a new Canaan, only for me to see the giants and turn back?
I know God calls us to pray without ceasing. I know Jesus prayed alone to His Father. I know praying is communicating with God. But I believe it's always about our heart, where our heart is on an issue. For example, when we were praying about adoption, God had made it clear to us that it what we were to do. What if we were still praying today, just to be sure, it's really what he would have us do?
Sometimes my praying is not because I want to know what God would say, it's because I don't trust Him. I think I often trust my husband or my friends more quickly than I trust what God is saying to me. There is a particular thing I believe the Lord has called me to. I have reacted similarly to the people who heard the report from the 12 leaders who explored the land. They listened to the majority, rather than trusting God. I have practically declared that I can't do the thing. Like them, I've wept over it. Like them, I grumbled. Like them, I said I just knew I would "die" doing this thing-out of embarrassment-yes, my positiion still is important to me, apparently...ergghhh.
Today I ask myself, Do I really want the Lord to ask me, as He asked them, "How long will you treat me with contempt? How long will you refuse to believe in me, despite all the miraculous signs I have performed among you?
Do you know what happened to the people who didn't trust, who had contempt for God? God promised that they would never see the land he promised to their forefathers. Never.
To me, the thing the Lord is calling me to, has seemed optional in the past. There are so many other people who do it, and I assume can do it with more skill than me. But when I look back on adoption, or quitting my job, or selling our house...anything the Lord has called us to worth eternal treasure, each one initially seemed optional.
Is God's Will, His best for me, really optional?
Oh God, make me a Joshua or a Caleb or a Mary. Make me someone who obeys you without question. Lord, grant me discipline. Grant me wisdom and listening ears, especially from my husband and ultimately from you. Help each of us Lord, to trust you in the new "land" you are calling each of us to today. May we not listen to the majority or grumble and practically declare ourselves as good as dead, as the Isrealites did. Lord, I pray that all honor and glory are yours alone.