Thursday, February 21, 2013

Put On Waders

I'm reading a good book right now, called "Draw the Circle". Apparently it's the sequel to a book called "The Circle Maker". It's basically a book about prayer and how to get serious about your prayer life. It's really good, but I especially like this chapter I just finished. It's called "Put on Waders" and I want to share some of the excerpts with you. (These are the author's words, not mine.)

This first part is in reference to a drought which happened in Mississippi fifty years ago.

A drought threatened to destroy a season of crops, so a rural church called for an emergency prayer meeting. Dozens of farmers showed up to pray. Most of them just wore their regular clothes but one farmer showed up in waders! He got a few funny looks, but isn't that faith at its finest? If we genuinely believe God is going to answer our prayer for rain, isn't that exactly what we would wear? Why not dress for the miracle? That farmer simply said, "I don't want to walk home wet." And he didn't. But everyone else did.

I can't help but wonder if that act of faith is what sealed the miracle. I don't know for sure, but this I do know: God is honored when we act as if He is going to answer our prayers. And acting as if means acting on our prayers. After hitting our knees, we need to take a small step of faith. And those small steps of faith often turn into giant leaps.

Sometimes we need to take a step of faith just to show God that we're serious. It proves our faith. Don't just pray about your dream; act on it. Act as if God is going to deliver on His promise.

This isn't some "name it, claim it" scheme. If it's not in the will of God, if it's not for the glory of God, it's a waste of time, energy, and money. But if the dream is ordained by God, then that step of faith honors God. And God will honor your faith.

We want God to go first. That way we don't need to exercise any faith at all. But we've got it backward. If we want to see God move, we need to make a move. If it seems like God isn't moving in our lives, maybe it's because we aren't moving. But if we make a move, God will move heaven and earth to honor our faith.

Based on my experience, that first step is always the hardest and longest step. It will require the most faith. It will feel the most awkward. But if we step out in faith, signs will follow. In fact, an avalanche of blessing will overtake us and overwhelm us. We'll be buried in God's blessings.

When the Israelites were on the verge of entering the Promised Land, God commanded the priests to step into the river. I'd much rather have God part the river, and then I'll step into the miracle. That way I don't get my feet wet. But if we aren't willing to get our feet wet, we'll never walk through parted rivers on dry ground.

At flood tide, the Jordan River was approximately 200 feet wide. That was all that separated the Israelites from their 400-year-old promise. But if the priests hadn't stepped into the river, they may well have spent the rest of their lives on the eastern banks of the Jordan River. And that's where many of us spend our lives. We're so close to the dream, so close to the promise, so close to the miracle. But we're waiting for God to part the river, while God is waiting for us to get our feet wet.

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