Go-Getter or Sit-Backer?
I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:2-3)
There are two kinds of people in life: go-getters and sit-backers. Go-getters see the possibilities and do everything they can to make something happen; sit-backers feel that if something is going to happen, it will happen, and there’s nothing they can do about it. In the Bible, there’s no doubt that those God blesses are the go-getters; those who understand his promises and who ‘go for it’.
Daniel was a go-getter. He was so confident about God’s promise that Israel would return to their land, that he prayed it into being. He didn’t say, ‘God has promised it, so it will happen whether I do anything or not,’ but rather, ‘God has promised it; therefore I will pray it into being.’ God’s promise was the reason for prayer, not the excuse for inactivity; the reason for activism, not the excuse for fatalism. Within just a few months of that prayer, King Darius of Babylon was gone, and Cyrus sent the Jews back home, just as Jeremiah had prophesied. God had promised it; Daniel prayed for it; and it happened!
Discovering God’s promises is part of what it means to pray ‘according to his will’. This phrase is not a let-out for unanswered or unbelieving prayers; it is about finding out God’s promise from the Scriptures and then confidently praying for it, sure that our prayers are bang on target and therefore will be answered! God’s unfailing promises are given as both the stimulus and the basis for our prayers. We can confidently ask for whatever is promised and, like the persistent widow in Jesus’ parable, stick at it in prayer until the fulfilment of the promise is with us.
Don’t let go of what God has promised you. Don’t be a sit-backer; be a go-getter!
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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