The Faithful Follower
How many times have you been in a situation that was perilous and called out to God? How many times have you mistaken a prayer answered as just plain luck or happenstance?
Consider a man on a ladder nailing down a loose shingle at the edge of his roof. A gust of wind springs up and causes the ladder to begin to slip. With upturned eyes the man cries out, “God, help me, I am falling! God, save me.”
A split second later his belt loop catches on a protruding nail and stopped his falling long enough for him to grab onto the rain gutter and set the ladder correctly. Without hesitation the man cries out. “It’s OK God, I handled it!”
I could cite example after example of situations where people cried out to God for their safety and when the situation was eased their next cry to God was, “It’s OK God, everything worked out!”
Who recognizes a prayer when it is answered? We do not ask God to, “Please, will You snag my belt loop on a nail long enough for me to grab the eave and straighten out my ladder?” No. We only ask for a solution, not a method.
It is often the same when people, who have been hospitalized with life threatening malaise and they, along with their relatives and friends, pray for healing. A hospital Chaplin wrote: In 2 of 2,000 such situations, where the sick (or dying) person regained their health, resulted in a spiritual change. The rest (1,998), after recovering forgot about God.
How would you feel if someone asked a favor of you, in an urgent manner, and once you granted that favor you never heard the words, “Thank you’? Really think about that.
Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Contrary to the ordinary man on the street a Christian believer who calls on God in with an urgent plea is quick to say, “Thank You Lord,” as they recognize that a prayer has been answered.
In my mind and in my heart I see anyone who fails to give thanks for a prayer answered as a person who denies God, believing him/herself to be beyond a need to rely on God.
Matthew 10:32-33 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
If we lived in a nation where God was not able to be discussed for various reasons I might possibly understand such denial. As we do live in a nation where God can be taught of and belief in God is possible, I find it deplorable to hear denial after denial and see men and women, who once professed belief, fall away.
In the Book of Matthew there is a Parable that says it all.
Matthew 13: 3-9 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear."
Jesus spoke these Words and after being asked by His Apostles for an explanation He said the following:
Matthew 13: 18 - 23 "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
The bottom line is a sad fact. That is, there are some who will abandon their Christian faith when trouble or possible persecution arises. They give up and deny the Lord.
I ask this of each of you and I ask it of myself, never be ungrateful for all He has and will give you and always be true to Him and willing to testify in His behalf.
In closing I say, be willing to say, ‘I am Christian…before your co-workers, before your family, before any that would hate you for this belief, before an enemy and most of all, before God Almighty.
Heavenly Father, our One and Only God, Yahweh, Elohim we praise You and say…Holy, Holy, Holy…You are God and there is no other god. We stand at Your altar and we worship You. You are our Salvation, our Redeemer and our eternal love.
Father, we thank You for the many times we cried out in fear or in need of Your acting in and on our behalves. Please be aware of our praise and love of and for You.
Lord, in times of strife, in times of fear, in times of chaos keep us ever in Your love and in Your protection. You are our El Gibbor, our Strength, and our Divine Rock.
We repeat our pleas that You watch over our military, our elected officials, our judges, our nation’s security personnel, our police, and our Christian brothers and sisters at home and abroad. Send your angels to do Your bidding as they will obey Your every command.
Father, please forgive us our transgressions and make us righteous in Your eyes.
Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord…God Most High.
We pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ who is One with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever,
Amen, amen and amen.