I thought about naming this blog, “How big is your God?”, because at times I wonder if we don’t make God too small, but I decided to go with, “What are you depending on?” because God is big. It’s our trust and dependence on God that is small. What do I mean by that? I guess I’ve seen in my own life and yes, in others lives as well, how here in America we depend on so many things and yet when it comes to depending on or trusting God we struggle.
We depend on our vehicles to get us places. We depend on our jobs and our ability to work to pay the bills. When we retire, we depend on that Social Security check every month. We try to depend on our families and sometimes friends or coworkers. We depend on our doctors, the medications we take so that we stay healthy. We depend on ourselves and our own abilities or at least the self-help information that is out there. We look to the internet for answers on everything from how to roast a turkey to how to fix a water leak. We depend on exercise and eating right to keep us healthy, but how much do we rely on or depend on God in our everyday lives? Is He our last resort? The one we call on when nothing else has worked? And what about for our family and friends? Who do we depend on to help in those situations where a family member or friend is having problems especially if for some reason we are unable to help at the time?
Recently, I’ve had some friends and family members who have been undergoing some real struggles with their health. Like many believers, my famous answer was, “I’ll pray for you!” when they shared their struggles and then I promptly forgot. Instead my mind went over all the ways I should or could help them. I found myself discouraged and frustrated with my lack of time and ability to be there for them as much as I would like to be. Then I realized that while it is important to love and help others when we can, what they really needed was God’s touch in their situations. I was reminded that I had totally forgot to pray.
Another incident that happened recently was when another friend did call me to pray. This time I did pray, but as I was praying with her, I found myself almost apologizing instead of simply asking. I prayed for her healing, but I made sure to note that if God didn’t heal her surely He had another plan and maybe we just needed to accept where she was at in life. Hmm… Perhaps I was partly right. Sometimes God does give us grace in our situations and sometimes He heals, Sometimes God chooses to use doctors and sometimes His healing is instantaneous. He may even take us through muddy waters, like Naaman, before we experience healing, but I was making God too little. I was forgetting to depend on God’s might power and simply bring my friend’s need to God, leaving it in His mighty hands. I don’t have to apologize for how God might answer prayer, I only need to join with my friend in prayer and both of us can trust Him for His healing and His direction. God is able to do way beyond what we can even imagine. Do I really believe that? Yes, I do and I am going to stand on that. Thank you God, for that reminder, Help me to remember, I don’t have to apologize for what you do, I only need to bring my needs and my friend’s needs before you and allow you to work in the miraculous ways that you do.
I want to be like the servant girl in the story of Naaman who dared to say, “I know someone who can help. I know someone who knows God.”
I want to be like Elisha who was so in touch with God that he knew what God was asking Naaman to do and how Naaman would be healed.
Where do I start on this journey of trusting and depending on God more? I think it starts on my knees in prayer. It starts by letting God be God, trusting and depending on Him when the way is clear and even when I feel like I’m walking in the dark. I’m thankful for all the dependable things in my life, my friends, mentors, family members and yes, even the work that God has given me to do. I’m thankful for doctors, counselors and even all the self-help information that I can find via the internet or other sources, but most of all, I’m depending on God because nothing else, no one else truly compares to our amazing God.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Forgive me for apologizing when I pray. It’s not my job to try to prepare my friends for disappointment should their prayer not be answered quite the way they had hoped or expected. It is my job or rather my privilege to agree together in prayer with them. Please forgive me when I have forgotten to pray or when I’ve tried to solve their problems with my own wisdom. Forgive me when I get frustrated with the problems in my own life and yes, even when I question why certain prayers have not been answered yet. I know you do amazing things and have done amazing things for me. More importantly, you have been a friend, a close friend who has never left me. I am depending on you. I ask that you would send revival to our land. I ask that instead of depending on everything and everyone else for answers, I would first look to you and depend on you. I pray this for my family, my friends, neighbors and for myself. Like a line from an old children’s musical says, “First you pray, first you pray, the moment you see a problem on its way. Most of the time, it’s last on your mind, but first you need to pray.” How I need to be reminded of that, Lord. Teach me to trust you more. Amen
HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD?
I wonder sometimes, have I made God too small? Do I really believe what He says in His Word, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you?” Matthew 7:7 Yes, I believe it, yet I often don’t act like I do. Here’s a few verses to hang onto in those moments when we are struggling with fear, doubt, unbelief or maybe just knowing how to ask. Hopefully these verses will help us depend on God and stand strong in His mighty power.
* “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen” (Love the part through all generations – yes that means the generations coming up too God is faithful!)
* “And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13 – There is power in the name of Jesus.
* “…. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be complete.” John 16:24
* “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Ps. 31:24
* “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. “ Ephesians 6:10
* “… I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20
When we don’t know how to pray, for ourselves or a friend, when we are struggling to see in the dark, when we aren’t sure what God is saying to us, when God asks us to do something we don’t want to do, we can rely on His faithfulness. He is and always will be with us.
SHARE A STORY:Naaman Is Healed – 2 Kings 5:1-15
Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Aram, there lived an important man named Naaman. Naaman had sores all over his skin and no one could make him well. He was very sad.
One day, his little servant girl said to his wife, “I know who can make my master well. Elisha, a man of God, in Samaria can make him well.”
So Naaman traveled to Samaria to see Elisha. When Elisha heard (Hand by ear.) that Naaman was looking (Pretend to look for someone.) for him and he said, “Send him to me then he will know that God can make him strong and well.”
When Naaman arrived at Elisha’s house, Elisha didn’t even come out to see him. Instead Elisha sent a servant to tell him, (Hand by mouth.) “Go wash in the Jordan River seven times and you will be made well.”
Naaman didn’t want to wash in the muddy Jordan River. Yuk! But his servant said, “Why don’t you give it a try?” So he did. He went down to the river and he washed one, two, three …. (Count to seven.) seven times. Just like that, his sores were gone! His skin was clean and new! God made Naaman well that day and God can also help you!
Now Naaman knew that there was no one like our amazing God. Elisha depended on God’s mighty power to make Naaman well and strong. Elisha was happy to help because he depended on God and because he did, Naaman decided he could depend on God too. God is amazing! He loves you and like Elisha you can depend on God too. Remember to pray everyday for yourself and others. God will make you strong as you remember to pray and depend on Him everyday.
MEMORIZE: Eph. 6:10 NIrV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
Depend on – (Clap hands.)
His (God’s) – (Point upwards.)
Mighty power – (Show muscles.)
Teach me to depend on you all the time. I know you are strong and powerful. You can do anything. Thank you for loving and helping me. Amen
KNOW: God heals and makes us strong.
TALK ABOUT: God’s Mighty Power
ASK: Who makes you strong? God makes me strong.
DO: Depend on God! Pray for others.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
* Pray for a friend this week.
* Watch for ways God shows His power.
* Play with your action figures in the bathtub while retelling the story of Naaman.