The story is told of a man in a flood zone. There was a mandatory evacuation, but he decided to stay behind and ride out the storm. The winds and rain came and battered the whole neighborhood. Along the way, emergency personnel came through and tried to persuade him to leave, but he declined saying “Thank you, but God is going to save me!”
The waters rose and his house started taking in water. Soon, a crew in a boat came along and begged him to get in so that they could take him to safety. Again, he refused saying, “Thank you, but God is going to save me!”
The winds continued to blow and the waters continued to rise. The man climbed onto his roof to escape the waters. A helicopter came by and lowered a rope to him so that he would be saved from the storm and a certain death if he stayed. Once again, he held his ground and said “Thank you, but my God is going to save me!”
The flow of the water washed him and his house away. When he got to heaven, God met him to welcome him home. He said, “God, I have one question. Why didn’t you save me from the storm?”
God said “I did. I sent you first responders, a boat, and a helicopter, but you didn’t go with any of them!”
My mom told me this story over 30 years ago and I never forgot it. It just makes me wonder if we treat life the same way. How often have you heard someone say “What has God done in your life this week?” It seems to me that that statement depends on God to do something before we appreciate Him. Could it be that we should be more concerned with what we are doing FOR Him instead of what He is doing for us?
We need to take everything to God in prayer. He is desperately concerned with whatever concerns us. Prayer activates God, prayer aligns us with Him, and prayer changes our perspective of the world around us. But do you pray for Godly perspective, or do you simply ask for stuff? Do you constantly ask God to do things for you when He has already told you what you need to do to solve the problem yourself?
What if we simply applied the truths that we have already been given?
Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (ESV) Are you doing this? Are you putting God and other people first before yourself?
What about Phil 4:8? “…Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if the is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”. What do you think about?
My simple point is this: If things aren’t quite going right for you right now, you might want to go back to the basics that God gave you. Do everything out of love for God and for the people around you. Guard your thoughts and make them your slave. Make them work for you instead of allowing them to dictate what you do and how you feel.
God expects us to take action. Action is the catalyst between conviction and results. Success in any area of life does not exist without action. That is why James told us that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Rich Mullins, a Christian recording artist, said that faith without works is about as useless as a screen door on a submarine. (Allow yourself to visualize that.)
Next time, before you ask God to do something in your life, first ask yourself “Have I done everything that He already told me to do?” If you haven’t, chances are real good that He will take you back to the basics until you get those right.
Stop holding out for the miraculous, life changing, thunder and lightening events in life. Do what you know to do and you’ll be surprised how quickly your life is changed!