STREAMS IN THE DESERT by L.B. COWMAN
Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:12-13 KJV)
This verse is God's Word of encouragement to us to lift the hands of faith and to fortify the knees of prayer. All too often our faith becomes tired, weak, and listless, and our prayers lose their power and effectiveness.
The Lord's illustration here is quite compelling. He is pointing out to us that when we become so discouraged and fearful that even one little obstacle depresses and frightens us, we are tempted to walk around it. We would rather take the easy way than face it. Perhaps there is some physical ailment that God is ready to heal, but it requires exertion on our part. The temptation is to find help from someone else or to walk around the obstacle to some other way.
We tend to find many ways of walking around emergencies instead of walking straight through them. So often we are faced with something that frightens or overwhelms us and seek to evade the problem with the excuse: "I'm not quite ready for that now." It may require some sacrifice, or demand our obedience in some area. Perhaps there is some Jericho we are facing, or we are lacking the courage to help someone else and to pray through his concern with him. Perhaps we have a prayer that awaits completion, or a physical problem that is partially healed and we continue to walk around it.
GOD SAYS, "Lift up the hands that hang down." March straight through the flood, and behold! The waters WILL divide, the Red Sea WILL open, the Jordan WILL part, and the Lord WILL lead you through to victory.
Do not allow your feet to "be turned out of the way," but let your body "be healed," and your faith strengthened. Go straight ahead, leaving no Jericho unconquered behind you, and no place where Satan can boast of having overwhelmed you. This is a valuable lesson and is extremely practical. How often we find ourselves in this very situation!
Perhaps this is where you find yourself today.
Pay as little attention to discouragement as possible. Plow ahead like a steamship, which moves forward whether facing rough or smooth seas, and in rain or shine. Remember, the goal is simply to carry the cargo and to make it to port. Malthie D. Babcock
MAGNIFICENT PRAYER by NICK HARRISON
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart
And my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26
The essence of prayer doesn't consist in asking
God for something but in opening our hearts to
God, in speaking with Him, and living with Him
in perpetual communion. Prayer is continual
abandonment to God. Prayer doesn't mean asking
God for all kinds of things we want; it is
rather the desire for God Himself, the ONLY
Giver of Life.
Prayer is not asking, but union with God. Prayer
is not a painful effort to gain from God help in
the varying needs of our lives. Prayer is the desire to possess God Himself, the Source of ALL
life. The true spirit of prayer does not consist
in asking for blessings, but in receiving HIM who
is the giver of ALL blessings, and in living a life
of fellowship with Him. (Sadhu Sundar Singh)
Pray About It: Too often in prayer we seek the
gift, when to have the Giver is to have the gifts
as well. The best blessing from God IS Himself.
Today, let your desire for God be your prayer.
The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God,
not of the answer. (Oswald Chambers)
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