7 Aug 2012
Have you noticed that the extent of our thankfulness for answers to our prayers is usually directly analogous to the extent of the intensity and passion of our petition? We recently experienced this in a very small way as we prayed for rain. Our recent drought and need for rain have put into some of our hearts a growing and deepening desire to see God provide rain. As the intense heat continued day after day without rain the God given desire for rain became a bit more desperate.
If we were to evaluate our level of desperation on a scale of one to ten where ten is a major life threatening crisis, our little drought would no doubt not even get to a number one. Yet this experience has opened my eyes to the fact that we have little that drives us to desperation. Can you remember praying a desperate prayer recently?
Have you, in recent times asked God to give you a desperate heart? Most of us would rather have back to back root canals than to be given a desperate heart. Yet it is in this arena of desperate heartfelt praying where God is able to gain the maximum glory. Consider the crying out of the Hebrews standing on the shore of the Red Sea watching the dust from the wheels of the oncoming Egyptian army chariots. Those were desperate prayers. And the resulting answer from God to these cries was to bring glory to His name for all time!
We see a desperate prayer of a different kind by Hannah. Her prayers were so desperate that Eli thought that she was drunk. Yet it was out of this desperation situation that God formed His national leader and spokesperson to speak for Him and to lead His people. Let’s listen to the prayer of Hannah as she was delivering Samuel to Eli to serve the Lord for the rest of His life.
“ HANNAH PRAYED, and said, My heart exults and triumphs in the Lord; my horn (my strength) is lifted up in the Lord. My mouth is no longer silent, for it is opened wide over my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation.
2 There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides You; there is no Rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly; let not arrogance go forth from your mouth, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.”- [1 Samuel 2:1-3 (AMP)]
When God answers a desperate prayer there is more often than not great jubilation and praise and more importantly great glory for His Name.
Things are much clearer when we look back. We do not always understand history correctly but most things are easier to understand after a few years go by. The scripture seems to be very clear on this point; when God designs desperate situations in so doing He brings great glory to His name. This of course is not the only thing that He is doing, but along the path of His sovereign plan He seems to include desperate conditions. Perhaps God must do this because we are so stiff necked that it sometimes takes desperate measures to get our attention.
There are many things about God and how He is working that are difficult to understand, since His ways are not like our ways and His thoughts are not like our thoughts. Currently some folks seem to sense that God is turning up the heat toward desperate times for our nation. Could we find ourselves in the near future in desperate times?
During the reign of King Asa in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the people were led into a revival by this King. King Asa turned toward God in response to a prophet, Azariah, sent to him by the Lord.
“THE SPIRIT of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa and said to him, Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him, craving Him as your soul’s first necessity], He will be found by you; but if you [become indifferent and] forsake Him, He will forsake you.”- [2 Chronicles 15:1-2 (AMP)]
In this passage the Amplified Bible helps us understand the full force of the Hebrew words that are used. Azariah was instructing, as a spokesperson of the living God, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin to seek the Lord with desperation. As we consider this verse above, what part of the passage most describes our current day prayers, craving God as our soul’s first necessity, or perhaps somewhat indifferent? Do we equate indifference in any way with forsaking the Lord?
What were the results of Asa’s active obedience to the instructions of the prophet Azariah?
And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to yearn for Him with all their heart’s desire and with all their soul; - [ 2 Chronicles 15:12 (AMP)]
Asa led the entire nation into a revival seeking the Lord with all their hearts and with all their souls. The patience of God is amazing. He waits and waits for His people to repent, to turn away from idols and indifference and return to serve and worship Him. But all indications from His revealed Word remind us that His patience will at some point run out.
Are you desperate to see and experience God drawing near? In my heart is this prayer, Oh God place on me the spirit of desperation that I might cry out to you as I should. Will you join me in asking God to replace in His Church a spirit of indifference with a spirit of desperation? Create in us, oh God, hearts that cry out in desperation …… Lord, do anything in us and through us that will allow You to bring revival.