God says “I tell you, do not worry” (Matthew 6:25) and what do we do? We lie awake at night worrying about the state of our finances, our children’s well being, our jobs … the list is endless.
God says “Do not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:6) and what do we do? We wake up in the morning filled with anxiety about what the day will bring.
God says “Do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9) and what do we do? As soon as something goes wrong – health wise, financially, relationship wise – we promptly forget that God is with us and become discouraged and depressed.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you”. (John 15:7)
A few years ago I heard the following story about a court case that took place in a small American town. Apparently it made the headlines of the local newspapers.
There was a derelict building on a plot of land directly across the road from a Baptist church.
It was bought by a night club owner who planned to renovate the building and have an Escort Agency and a pub operating from the premises.
The Baptist folk were horrified and they immediately started to petition against it and started lobbying the local council to stop the plans from being passed.
None of this worked and the plans were passed and building began on the site.
The church folk finally started praying!
They were very vocal in their prayers and would often stand on the border of the property and hold prayer meetings, petitioning God to put a spoke in the wheels and to stop the Escort Agency from being opened.
Alas, it seemed like God was turning a deaf ear to their pleas and the day of the opening of the Agency and Pub was fast approaching. Finally, it was the night before the grand opening and the Baptist folks gathered in the church across the road and continued to pray.
During the night there was a major storm, thunder and lightning, hail stones and gale force winds.
In the morning it was discovered that the roof of the Estate Agency building had been blown off, walls had collapsed and the water damage to the interior was estimated to run into thousands of dollars.
The Escort Agency owner sued the Baptist church for damages and loss of income.
The Baptist church denied all the charges.
When the case was finally brought before a judge, he dismissed the case with the following words:
“You church folk should be ashamed of yourselves! You prayed for months and months that God would intervene and then when He does intervene, you deny any responsibility of Him having done so. Obviously, the Escort Agency owner has far more faith than all of you”.
How heartbreaking is that and how true of so many of us.
Often we only go to God as a last resort and then we pray and pray according to God’s Word and when nothing happens, we either give up or we do not recognize the answer or solution that God has provided us with.