Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with my mind spinning. There are thought of tasks to be done, responsibilities, obligations to others, and meetings to attend for the day ahead. I worry about anything and everything that just so happens to pop into my mind, until I worry that I can’t think of anything to worry about!
We can be in a position where we have so many people depending on us that it can be overwhelming. We do not feel strong enough to do all that needs to be done. We want to stand firm in our faith that God’s got this, but we can become so exhausted we begin to feel powerless. When we begin to feel this way, we must cry out for help and put our hope in the promises of God’s word, as the Psalmist says below.
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:147 NIV
When we wake early because our minds and hearts are unsettled, we can rest in the recognition of what our Father has promised us. He is with us and will never abandon us. He is power for us when we feel powerless. He is devoted to our growth so that we can live out our lives for His purpose. Listen, we don’t have to do everything! If we had to complete each day on our own strength, we would continuously fail over and over again.
When people say, “All we can do now is pray.”, it is as if we are placing prayer in the position of our last resort. But prayer should ALWAYS be our very first thought. This is something that must be learned, as the world around us does not see things the way we do. Many do not turn to prayer first when they are worried, tired, or defeated. But we know that prayer is our line of communication to our Savior, so why do we continue to pray last?
For our hope is in God and not in our own efforts. Prayer is powerful, and we should begin using it as our first response to anything – whether good or bad. When we pray, God gives us the strength to move mountains.
“Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.'” Matthew 21:18-22 NIV
This blog is a reflection on Pastor Steven Furticks’ sermon this morning.
Signs point to something deeper, something beneath the surface. Everything that God does for us is always pointing to something deeper. For example, in John Chapter 2, Jesus waited until the wine at the wedding had completely run out to turn water into wine. He did that to teach the disciples to have faith, a much deeper lesson which includes patience and knowing that He will provide. In the same way, God is revealing signs to us, pointing us towards something deeper. But see, not all signs are always miraculously shining so bright, in a way that we can’t miss it. The signs may be right in front of us, but we’ve been so busy looking in places where we expect to find them, instead of allowing God to direct us where He knows we can find them.
We may be struggling with a huge question in our life, such as “Where is my blessing?”, “Why am I going through this?”, or “What is my purpose?”. But the answer may not be in a place we would expect it to be. In fact, more often than not, it’s already available nearby, just waiting for us to notice it. Sometimes we don’t see the things right in front of us because it’s something common in our lives. We can’t see, hear, or experience it because we’ve grown accustomed to it. But if we were to see what God has laid out in front of us, and pour ourselves into what is already available to us, God will move mountains and our questions will become answers. Answers we’ve already had, but didn’t even realize it! Those who serve the Lord are those who already know.
Whatever answers we are looking for in our lives, we must begin looking for them. They’re so close that we will miss it if we aren’t actively looking for them. We must stop waiting for something special to come along that will be “the sign” we’ve been looking for. The sign may likely be something normal, something we see daily and don’t even notice anymore – because it is so common. You see, the Lord already knows what we’ve been praying for and what we’ve been waiting on Him to show us. That’s why lengthy prayers are unneeded. He already knows what we’re going through and what our loved ones are going through. All we need to do is have faith. Faith is a substance of what is hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is what enables God to move mountains in our lives. We must activate faith.
So many times we can get caught up in seeking advice from others instead of God. Sometimes it is good to reach out to the people in your community, but there are also times when the only one we need to reach out to is The One. The Almighty. The Savior. The Prince of Peace. THE LORD. You see, everyone is running low on something. We may not realize this while we are in the midst of it, but when we are continually going to someone with our issues, we are unknowingly draining them of what little they have. It is impossible for us to know when someone is running low, because so many of us tend to cover up our low or empty cups. That is why it is so important to take our requests to the Lord first. He will fill our cup so that we can have in abundance, which we can then pour into others! Flip the flow – instead of taking from others, let’s GIVE to others. The only way we can do that is to let the Lord overflow our cups with His knowledge, peace, patience, understanding, and so on…
Every need in our lives is pointing us to a deeper place of _______ (love, contentment, peace, joy, etc.)! Some of us need God to do something right now. The good news is, HE WILL! All we need to do is start moving in faith. In turn, He will make moves in our lives. We will begin to see the signs, the blessings, the answered prayers. His timing is based on our faith in Him! You can live for God wherever you are,right now! Flip the flow – if you would do what you know, you would know what to do!
We are so addicted to knowledge, but the funny thing is – we already know! However, it is not in the knowing, it is in the doing that provides results. Put your knowledge into action. We need to stop piling knowledge on top of knowledge, because it will do no good if we aren’t using the knowledge we already have! Make time for what is important. Stop saying “yes” to everything else and start saying “yes” to what God has told us to do! You see, we spend so much time pointing to what is not there, that we miss what is there! Flip the flow. God didn’t let it run out because we aren’t worth it, He let it run out because He has something greater for us! What is against you is not greater than what is in you. God already knows what is against you and what is in you. He knows everything. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
In closing, I wanted to let you know the most important take away from this message from Pastor Steven Furtick. “You may not run out of wine, but if you know The One who provided the wine in the first place, you will never be without.” He will always provide. All we need is to have faith and leave the rest up to Him. It is impossible to run out of anything good when we fill ourselves with faith in The One who created good. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14