July 24

“Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. They soon forgot his works; they waited not for his counsel; but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalms 106:12-15

We read of Moses, that “he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Exactly the opposite was true of the children of Israel in this record. They endured only when the circumstances were favorable; they were largely governed by the things that appealed to their senses, in place of resting in the invisible and eternal God.

In the present day there are those who live intermittent Christian lives because they have become occupied with the outward, and center in circumstances, in place of centering in God. God wants us more and more to see Him in everything, and to call nothing small if it bears us His message.

Here we read of the children of Israel, “Then they believed his words.” They did not believe till after they saw–when they saw Him work, then they believed. They really doubted God when they came to the Red Sea; but when God opened the way and led them across and they saw Pharaoh and his host drowned–“then they believed.” They led an up and down life because of this kind of faith; it was a faith that depended upon circumstances. This is not the kind of faith God wants us to have. (Streams in the Desert)

Prayer and faith must align or our prayers are nothing more than wishes in the wind. My prayer list seems endless—the health of a prematurely newborn grandchild, a friend’s adult son whose life hangs by a thread following a home explosion, my wife’s illness that doctors and medical tests have failed to diagnose, our neighbor and house church worship leader facing heart surgery for 100% blockage of three arteries. If not careful, I content myself with offering benign requests, motivated more by duty than expectancy. Prayer is no time for trite and hackneyed platitudes—high sounding but milquetoast petitions. Scripture demands a bold approach to intercession.

“Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 | NRSV)

Intercession requires ardor and endurance. God lead us to pray, and deliver us from merely wishful thinking. Transform pipe dreams into dauntless declarations of God’s goodness. Reach out and grasp the hem of His garment and hold on for dear life.

“Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” ~St. Augustine

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