by Pastor Tim Burt
“God, please help us – we have so many needs in our life right now!”
Have you ever prayed or felt like praying that? When and if you have, did you pray it out of desperation with little or no faith, or did you pray it with great confidence knowing that He loves you and wants to help you? If you’ve ever felt out there on the edge without provision, you know how desperate the devil would like to make you feel. He works to create fear in this place. Many people in this place become so anxious, their character blows up. Their emotions might be all over the map. They might scream or be mad at any and everyone. They lose all hope and begin to imagine ways and schemes that can get them out of the trouble they are in. And, at this place of weakness, the devil begins to tempt. This is where many people fall prey to discouragement, dropping their guard and yielding to a variety of sins. They slip into darker places of survival mode thinking, “I’ve got to do whatever it takes to survive” casting aside integrity and appropriateness. They think they have to fix their own problems but that doesn't work out well. And before long, they are looking for sins of comfort and escape.
Proverbs 23:29-35 (NLT) says, “Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don't let the sparkle and smooth taste of wine deceive you. For in the end it bites like a poisonous serpent; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say, "They hit me, but I didn't feel it. I didn't even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can have another drink?"
God doesn’t want anyone to fall into this kind of desperation. He hates how alcohol and drugs destroys lives. This is why He makes promises of help – so we lean on Him, not alcohol, drugs, or any other vice as a temporary escape from the fear, worries, and pain. He wants us to learn to lean on Him day-by-day for the wisdom and provision of God promised to His children – to those that love Him and walk with Him.
Does falling to desperation and desperate behaviors that violate what you know is right seem better than learning of and trusting and leaning on God? There is no magic with God. He’s not a wishbone. He's not a genie with three wishes. He won’t magically make problems disappear but you can absolutely be sure that if you stick with Him, He will help you confront every problem and attack of Satan with authority and confidence. You will see Him move in your life in ways that would be hard to describe to people – what you might call little miracles here and there that no one else might notice that make your heart want to praise Him.
I remember a time when Renee and I were in very difficult place financially. We had four young children two years a part in age. She had quit her job and stayed home to raise the kids. That cut our income in half. I was working full time and trying to build a business. Our finances looked bleak to say the least. We were out of money and didn't even have enough for groceries. We sought God always and prayed through and took comfort in His promises. We prayed them over us. One night I had just put the kids to bed and came downstairs. I found Renee on the living room couch crying. I asked her why she was crying. She said, "We are out of groceries and I have no money to buy more." I reminded her that God promised to help us. We sat on the couch and prayed in faith, "Lord, I know your word says that you have never left those that belong to you, begging for bread. I know you want blessing and abundance for our life – not lack and despair. Please show us where our provision is."
The next morning our doorbell rang. A woman we knew said that God had spoken to her in her prayer time and told her to bring groceries over to us. We stood there in shock and awe! Renee cried happy tears this time. When she left, we praised God for his faithfulness and purposed always to lean on Him, chasing desperation away. Eventually he helped us get into a much better financial place where that never happened again.
God knows you and knows what you need before you ask, yet He teaches us to ask in prayer. Why? Because our relationship with Him is an act of faith. Your asking in faith is the outworking of that relationship and exercising your trust in Him. Matthew 6:8 says, "…your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!” He is not saying don’t ask. He is saying, “Ask in faith! Have a confidence that I hear you and love and care about you and as you ask, know that I am working in your life.” Avoid the temptation of HOW God should answer your prayers but instead just believe in faith. Philip. 4:6-7 says, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
Leviticus 26:6-13 “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep without fear... "I will look favorably upon you and multiply your people and fulfill my covenant with you. You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to get rid of the leftovers from the previous year to make room for each new harvest. I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt so you would no longer be slaves. I have lifted the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk free with your heads held high."
God doesn’t want you to be a slave to Satan or lack. He wants to help you hold your head high as He teaches you to walk in divine provision!
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT) "And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt