Earth’s resources may be diminishing, but heaven’s never do. Your promise is waiting, but you may have to do something illogical to receive it. However, these God opportunities sometimes have expiration dates.
I read the other day that over $800 million remains in unclaimed bank accounts in Canada alone. A $60 million lottery ticket currently sits unclaimed in Alberta. That sounds ridiculous to me. Somebody do something!
How many even more valuable promises sit in God’s hand waiting for somebody — anybody — to do something? God’s prompting to motivate us may hit a roadblock in my over-rationalizing mind or carry a risk I’m unprepared to take. Possessing our promise may take courage.
“And without faith living within us,
it would be impossible to please God.
For we come to God in faith knowing
that he is real and that he rewards the faith
of those who give all their
passion and strength into seeking him.”
Hebrews 11:6 TPT
Courage requires faith. Faith demands courage.
Peter had given up everything to follow Jesus, including his family, business and security. So, when the tax collectors came knocking Peter’s pockets were empty. Jesus instructed,
“…go to the lake and throw out your line.
Take the first fish you catch;
open its mouth and you will find
a four-drachma coin.
Take it and give it to them for my tax and your.”
Sounds little “fishy” to me! (That’s Canadian for unbelievable.) I like fishing, but the most unusual thing I have found in a fish’s mouth is another fish. Peter trusted Jesus’ words and took a risk. He did something perhaps no one else would have done. He obeyed.
You would think everyone who saw the day’s catch would go fishing. But they knew God gives a specific word to a seeking heart that is unique to that time and situation.
What if Peter chose not to listen? What if he failed to respond? Frankly, I don’t know why God often relies on the obedience of people.
Familiarity gives the absurd directives within bible stories almost a “normal” appearance. The way of us earth-walking humans and our infinitely minded God present distinct and contradictory opposites.
God recruits Moses, Egypt’s most wanted criminal and fugitive. When an entire nation cries out in panic as a fierce army corners them against the Red Sea, God tells Moses to point a stick at the water. Seriously?
“Why are you crying out to me?
Tell the Israelites to move on.
Raise your staff and stretch out your hand
over the sea to divide the water
so that the Israelites can go through
the sea on dry ground.”
Who would you rather be? Moses or the first person stepping into the ominous depths? As absurd as the instructions appeared, victory came as everyone moved forward in obedience. Moses knew the voice of God. His confidence rested not in himself, but in the faithfulness of the One speaking.
A promise is waiting for all who will obey.
Rebellion blocked Israel’s ability to hear God. Twisted attitudes and calloused hearts continue to affect our ability to hear clearly and respond fully to God’s leading.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear
a voice behind you, saying,
‘This is the way; walk in it.'”
Responding bridges hearing with receiving:
- Wash seven times in the dirty Jordan River and the leprosy will disappear. (2 Kings 5:10)
- Step out of the boat and you will walk on water. (Matt 14:29)
- After we make mud from spit and put it into blind eyes, go wash for healing. (John 9:6-7)
- Feed the starving crowd of thousands with a boy’s bag lunch. (Luke 9:13)
- Throw your nets on the other side. A great catch was waiting! (Luke 5:4)
If we ignore the prompting of the Lord, insisting on doing things like we have always done them, we will miss many miracles and divine encounters. Perhaps a promise is waiting today. Is anyone willing to move in a radical way to find out? Will we hold back looking for a risk-free formula to claim the blessing?
Though the bible is filled with such illustrations, none of these men or women moved in presumption. A sure word from God preceded each miracle.
“I will instruct you and teach you
in the way you should go;
I will counsel you
with my loving eye on you.”
Biblical examples abound of those who “presumed” they heard God and missed the mark. Others hesitated and decided too late to respond, with disastrous results.
Maintaining close relationship with God (through prayer and bible reading), while being in authentic relationships with mature Christians, creates a safe guard helping us discern God’s voice and respond appropriately. Having a mentor, coach or accountability partner will help us access God’s best for our lives.
But ultimately, the choice is ours. Will we trust God and risk?
“Trust in the Lord
with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
I have this verse etched on the wall at the foot of my bed. I need a constant reminder to resist the tendency to trust in my own strength, ability, or wisdom.
When my husband and I took over the family farm, my father responded, “What a relief! I never liked farmer.”
It was sobering to think that my father continued, for over 50 years, to do a job that he didn’t find fulfilling. As I questioned him further, I discovered that he kept doing what he always did because he lacked the confidence to risk change. His creative ingenuity remained largely untapped.
It can be the same with us. It isn’t easy to trust God in the unknown. Fear held my father back. Fear paralyzes many.
The psalmist declared,
“I will hurry, without delay,
to obey your commands.”
Those who accessed the promises and miracles of God hurried “without delay.” Those who say “Yes!” to God, continually and radically create pathways for the supernatural. They may leave families, businesses, securities and predictable lives in their obedience. These aren’t absent minded decisions. They have
sought God with all their hearts,
listened intently to His voice,
tested and weighed the word against scripture,
and listened to the counsel of others,
before moving toward God in obedience,
knowing a promise is waiting.
God alone knows the result. Will we shake cultural norms? Will we allow His Kingdom to come to earth in surprising ways?
“But when he,
the Spirit of truth, comes,
he will guide you into all the truth.
He will not speak on his own;
but he will speak only what he hears,
and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
So, if you ask me what I’m doing these days, don’t be surprised if I answer, “I’m walking with a stick.” “Going fishing.” or “Making mud with spit.” God alone knows the outcome. I don’t intend on holding back. A promise is waiting! Hopefully, there will be no unclaimed balances left in any of my spiritual bank account.