As many of us do these days, I was scrolling through Facebook. I came across a friend who had posted one short and to the point statement, or as Facebook calls it a “status”. Webster defines it as “a state or condition with respect to circumstances”.
His status or “state” was this:
“God hear my cry”!!!
The fact that this man is a friend of mine gives me some insight into what his “state” is right now. I happen to know that he fights an inner battle every day, a battle just like the Apostle Paul did when he said in Romans 7, “We know that the law is spiritual. But I am not spiritual. Sin rules me as if I were its slave. I do not understand the things I do. I do not do the good things I want to do. And I do the bad things I hate to do. And if I do not want to do the bad things I do, then that means that I agree that the law is good. But I am not really the one who is doing these bad things. It is sin living in me that does these things. Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good. But I do not do them. I do not do the good things that I want to do. I do the bad things that I do not want to do. So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing those things. It is sin living in me that does those bad things. So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. In my mind, I am happy with God’s law. But I see another law working in my body. That law makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and that law makes me its prisoner. What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death?”
This is the battle, or should I say “out and out war” that Paul and many Christians today find themselves in.
Old Indian folklore tells of an Indian Chief who owned two dogs, one black, the other white. They were constantly at each other’s throats. One day a villager asked the Chief who he thought would eventually win the fight and become the Alpha dog. The Chief’s answer was simple. He said, “the one I feed the most”.
Oddly, my friend’s status was enough to pique all sorts of emotions in his reading audience. Generally speaking, people often feel obligated to comment. Commenting shows their support and concern and they get a sense of satisfaction that they have done their duty. Then they scroll on, usually forgetting what they read in the first place. Sadly, I have to include myself in this sometimes.
In this particular case people offered some very positive encouragement, ie: “you can do it”, “don’t give up”, “he does hear you”. One offered a pleasant sounding scripture. Another commented, “I have learned that we don’t need to cry very loud for God to hear us! In fact I have whispered a prayer and received very quick replies from him!”
The fact is, these are all true! I too, have whispered prayers that the Lord quickly responded to.
But there are always two sides to every coin.
Let’s say heads is positive and tails is negative. Most people are eager to give the “heads side” of the coin. Most do not want to leave a “tails” comment. Personally, these “heads” comments usually stop me in my tracks. I am not an optimist. Neither am I a pessimist. I am a realist. (Thus the name of my blog, Righteous Realism).
The realism part of me came to a screeching halt. As I said above, all these “heads” comments are absolutely true. And often times they need to be said. Me however, being the realist, immediately thought, “yes, these comments are true. But, there have been many times in my life that God has left me me to cry. And cry. And cry. And cry. And CRY! Once, I cried every day, multiples times a day, on my knees, for four years, asking, pleading, begging God to cut a particular thing out of my heart (roots and all) that I knew was sinful and therefore, hurtful to me and those I love.
I learned a plethora of valuable lessons from that one experience. One major lesson is that now, looking back, I see clearly that all that struggling produced great spiritual growth. (and faith) If not for the struggle, if not for the crying and crying and crying, it would have been too easy for me and I could have easily fallen back into that same sin all over again. As it is however, I struggled and pained, and fought so hard to be free, that I NEVER want to go back there, ever! I never want to be found in that kind of situation again. Simply put, it made me greatly appreciative and grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ for my freedom in that area.
Be fervent: glowing hot, exhibiting great intensity of feeling passionate, vehement, burning with desire.
James 5:6 says, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”.
Luke 22:44 says that Jesus prayed so hard to his Father that he sweat blood!
There are many biblical cases in which Jesus did heal and rescue quickly and there are many where he did not.
Wherever you find yourself today, I encourage you to resolve it in your heart that you are right where you are meant to be. You may not understand why right now, perhaps you will later on. And perhaps you won’t. That is not within your control. It is all in God’s hands. But what is in your control is this: you can be fervent. You can declare until it becomes truth to you, that in the words of Horatio Spafford,