” 12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”[c]
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.”. Hebrews 3:12-18 NIV
I hope this will be the last devotion I write as I sit by my wife’s bedside at the hospital, but I am not sure. While this has surely not been a fun season to walk through, the Lord is revealing great truths to me in this time.
Israel prayed to be delivered and to enter the Promised Land when they were in Egypt, but they did NOT pray for the strength or courage to overcome the battles they needed to win in order to claim God’s promises. They wanted to inherit the rewards from God, but they weren’t willing to pay the price to claim those rewards. Their problem was not that God didn’t answer their prayers, but that they didn’t offer the prayer!
“I think it was FB Meyer who said the greatest tragedy when it comes to prayer isn’t unanswered prayer. The greatest tragedy is unoffered prayer. I’m more and more convinced that prayer is the best and highest use of our spiritual energy. We certainly need to work like it depends on us, but it’s the “pray like it depends on God” part that makes all the difference in the world.”. Mark Batterson
Through the last few weeks as Laura has undergone two part brain surgery, a shaved head (which is traumatic for her since her hair has been long for her entire life), and observation at the hospital, I believe that God is revealing the power that comes with persistent prayers coupled with bold steps of obedience. I believe that we are about to see the fruit of working like it depends on us and praying like it depends on God.
Thank You Jesus that Your Holy Spirit has empowered us and many friends and family to work hard and to pray hard. The miraculous awaits. Amen.