The Initiative Against Despair
"Rise, let us be going."
The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake, and when they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say - "It is all up now, it is no use trying any more." If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken, it is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink into despair; and Jesus Christ comes and says - "Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost for ever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing." Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.
There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said - "Arise and do the next thing." If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.
Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.------------------------------------------------------
So true. Cannot let past failures fog your vision of what the Lord can do now!
Time to go...using free wifi at McCarran Int'l Airport in Vegas...time to board and head to San Fran..then HOME! :)
Holy smokes...a great day for devotionals!
|And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel . . .|
|Judges 3:7-9 (a)|
|Chushan-rishathaim means “double darkness.” And that’s what the king of Mesopotamia was - a very evil, wicked ruler. The Lord used Chushan-rishathaim as an instrument of chastening, that through him the Israelites might come to their senses. So too, we’re given over to double darkness when we don’t destroy those things we know must go. Depression sets in. Confusion fills our thinking. We’re in the dark about what we’re supposed to do, where we should go, who we are. It’s a double darkness. It’s the reality of sin.|
No doubt the Israelites prayed to the Lord all the while they were in bondage to Chushan-rishathaim. But it evidently took eight years for them to cry to the Lord, to reach a place of desperation and intensity in their prayer.
“Dear God,” we pray, “it’s really been (ho hum) a long day, so I don’t have much energy to talk to You tonight (yawn), but I really need help with my car payment (zzzz).”
If the Lord responded to us in the same degree of intensity and passion that we talk to Him, He would say, “(Yawn) Really? It has been a long day (stretch). And maybe I can get to it, but I can’t promise . . .” Then He would nod off.
This was not the way Elijah prayed. When he prayed for rain, Scripture says he put his head between his knees and prayed seven times (1 Kings 18:42-43). I suggest this was because this was the position of birthing in that culture. There was something being birthed by Elijah that day as he labored in prayer - once, again, a third time, four, five, six, seven times. And in answering his prayer, it is as if the Lord said, “I like that. In a world plagued by mediocrity, apathy, and laziness, it’s good to see a man who knows it’s dry in his soul or in his land and prays passionately and fervently for rain.”
Do you find yourself in bondage today? Let me tell you what the answer is: Cry out to the Lord. I’m convinced that we, as Christians, do too much talking about the Lord, and not enough talking to Him. We are very ready, very eager to receive counsel, but very reluctant to cry out. The reason counseling offices are filled in Christendom today is because people do not bow their knee and call out to the Lord in fervency. Throughout Scripture, God is consistently seen responding to His people when they cry out. Truly, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).