and what shall I say?
Father, save me from this hour:
but for this cause came I
unto this hour.
“Please save me!”
"Why aren't you helping, God?”
Our God is in the deliverance business! Most of us have testified to friends and family about how God has rescued us or delivered us out of terrible situations. Those great testimonies get the headlines in the church don't they? Hallelujah!
Then there are those other times. Times when we're wondering if God has just earned enough travel points to take a long vacation, right? Some comfortable place just out of ear shot when we need him most. Well, we're not alone! We're in good company...
Abraham waited 25 years for an important promise to come to pass. Bet he wondered where God was a time or two.
Then there's Job. Now that's a big box of misery! He had no idea what was going on in the spirit world.
I love the honesty of the scriptures like the first few verses of Psalms 22...
...why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent...All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him...
The writer of that Psalm was intimate with discouragement. He clearly wondered where God was and wrote prophetically about Jesus too. Those are valid feelings and emotions. And lest we forget, our bleeding, dying savior didn't shout, “I love my job!” Rather, he cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
I'd prefer immediate deliverance from trouble, but it doesn't always work like that. Why not? I don't have all the answers, but I might have stumbled upon a few for consideration. Here's an important verse that is often misquoted...
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
That's NOT what that verse says. Here's the actual verse (John 8:32):
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
There's a big difference between being set free and being made free. Let me use this real world example to explain.
How many of us would love to win the $10 Million Dollar state lottery? How would that change our lives? Would we be better off? We'd like to think so. But according to Chelmsford wealth counselor Szifra Birke, roughly one-third of lottery winners find themselves in serious financial trouble or in bankruptcy within five years of turning in their winning ticket.
Birke says, "For many people who come into wealth suddenly - whether they win the lottery, receive an insurance settlement or an unexpected inheritance - if they have not acquired good money skills prior to this windfall, often they struggle and make poor choices. If someone is in trouble financially, if they're spending more than they are making or are relying emotionally on the lottery to bail them out, then that's a big problem." Click here to read the whole article.
We may want sudden deliverance like winning the lottery (set free), when God wants wise financial stewardship (made free). The difference is that we become more usable and responsible members in the Kingdom of God.
We may be praying to be delivered from a lousy job, while God is using that lousy job to teach us to be better employees who are worth promoting into a better job.
We may pray to be delivered from recurring sin, when God wants us to learn to make better choices to avoid temptation altogether.
We might want immediate healing, when God sees a greater glory coming later from our pain now. See John chapter 9 for more on that.
God wants us to be overcomers. He wants us to have the mastery over our flesh, the world and the devil. That won't happen if he hovers like an over protective soccer mom. Pain and disappointment are important teachers. We don't do some things anymore because it hurt the last time we did it, right? That's valuable!
Our Heavenly Father will never put on us more than we can bear. We tend to do that all by ourselves. If we're feeling overwhelmed, overburdened or stuck and we're praying for deliverance, let's ask him for wisdom and understanding about where we're at and what to do next.
Jesus Christ is in the deliverance business. It's just not the only wrench in his toolbox.
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