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Archive for the tag “Dry Season”

Dry Wood in This Season

In my newsletter for May, 2021, I wrote about Elijah’s prayer. When I was finished writing for the moment, I went back into my archives and found a post from 2012. I used 2012’s blog to write my second book. Since I was on a theme this month, I thought I would dust this off and post the longer “book” version. I hope this encourages you in this season we’re in…

One Sunday morning while sitting in my nephew’s Sunday school class, we were engaged in a discussion about Elijah and powerful prayers. We were discussing the prayer Elijah prayed to God to bring fire upon the altar in the confrontation with the prophets of Baal (see I Kings 18:16-39). Elijah told the servants to wet the sacrifice which in turn wet the wood and the ground. He asked them to do it three times. I have heard this story many times, but what stayed with me this time was the image of the wood. The drought had lasted at least three years at the time of this confrontation. The wood the servants would have been using was very dry. Dry wood would have soaked up the water being poured on the altar. Wet wood cannot be lit unless it’s done supernaturally!

James wrote in his letter that Elijah was just like everyone else. Elijah prayed for no rain, and it did not rain for over three years (James 5:17). Elijah prayed for the fire to come down to consume the sacrifice (First Kings 18). And God answered this bold prayer of Elijah.

Elijah was doing the work of the Lord. He was God’s instrument to bring Israel back into a relationship with Him. Elijah prayed and God responded. Not only was the sacrifice consumed; the wood and the altar were burned up and the water in the trench evaporated in one huge showcase of God’s power. God likes to display His power. God also likes to use us to display His glory. We have the capacity to ask bold prayers to display the wonders of God.

I think the majority of the reason we don’t pray such prayers is because we don’t believe He’ll answer or maybe we don’t believe He can do it. We deal with a lack of faith in His ability to deliver our requests. We should have the type of faith that we could attempt great things and expect great things from God. It honors Him when we ask bold prayers.

One of the things that I find remarkable in relational to Peter is his boldness after he received the Holy Spirit. Before he was filled with the Spirit, he was fearful – denying Jesus (Luke 22:54-62), sitting in a locked room fearful of the Jews (John 20:19). Once the Holy Spirit fills him at Pentecost, he addresses the crowd where three thousand believed his message – Jesus is Lord – accredited by God by miracles, wonders and signs; He died, and rose again because death could not hold Him (Acts 2:22-41)! The Holy Spirit changed Peter from coward to a bold message bearer. Boldness is one of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit. He enables us to be bold if we would have the faith to ask.

I chuckle every time I read about Peter being released from prison by a miraculous encounter with an angel. The story is found in Acts 12. Verse five says: So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The church was actively praying for Peter; God answered in a miraculous way. He shows up at the believer’s door; the people don’t believe its Peter, even though they had been in prayer for Peter’s release. Did the church believe that God was going to answer?

Yet, I am the same way. Why do I pray? What’s my motivation for prayer? I want to pray some really bold prayers. But I have to check my motives. I have to check if it’s something I desire for my own benefit or if it’s going to benefit others. Do I want to move God’s Kingdom forward by my bold requests?

God has given me an urgency to do more and to be more attuned to His will. I do believe too that we are going to see even greater things than what we could ever ask or imagine in the next few years. I think the time of dryness is over. We have to be bold in our prayers. We see these great men of the Bible and think they aren’t like us. However, they were nothing special. They were flawed individuals that God used in mighty ways. He likes weakness in us so that He will get the glory – not us. My prayers may not bring an end to a drought or change the course of history. But they could if I were to ask and believe – all it takes is the smallest of faith in a very large God. He is who He says He is. He is the miracle worker.

I think I have put God in a box. I expect small things from God. I seem to believe that He can only handle small things and not my huge problems. The problem with this theory is that my huge problem is nothing in the sight of God. The one who created the universe – the universe that we are still discovering is still growing. My perception needs to change. God’s story told through Scripture tells of a mighty big God. No matter the size of the box, it’s still too small to contain an awesome God. Scripture tells us that we have to have faith in the One to whom we bring our prayers. Hebrews 11:6 says anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Faith, as small as a mustard seed, can move mountains. Bold prayers offered in faith to a mighty God will be heard and answered.

…How much more do we need bold prayers at such a time as this. Let’s be bold and be brave and let God work through us! Amen!

Between the Rains

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about waiting patiently. It was a profound moment when God answered my ranting. Sitting still is hard. I have been studying the book of James for the last eight weeks with Beth Moore’s study called “James Mercy Triumphs.” Beth has been instrumental in my last few years of growth. She has the right teaching leadership that I can relate to. Her heart is so tuned to Jesus that it resonates with me. I want that kind of relationship with Jesus too. I know I can’t compare myself to her. I have my own relationship, but I want it to grow deeper still (yes, that’s a play on words – she has a teaching conference called Deeper Still)!

As I am writing this, I have just sat through one of the sessions in the James study. She spoke into the camera for a Holy Spirit moment that struck a chord so deep in me, I had to stop and praise God for it. She titled the session “Between the Rains.” She spoke about the times when we experience the dry seasons when God is silent. These are the times when we have to walk by faith and not by sight. I am in that season right now. I am looking for answers but none are found right now. She reminded the listeners that crops cannot grow at flood stage. The waters have to recede in order for the ground to be ripe for growing. It’s in the dry seasons of our lives when real growth happens. It’s all great when God is speaking and faith becomes sight. The mountain top experiences are wonderful, but that’s not where we live out our lives. We walk in the valleys.

When the season is dry and lonely, prayer becomes a necessity. We never walk through the valleys alone. It’s good to have reminders that God never leaves us or forsakes us. This is the promise I have been given many years ago. I have held on to it. Even when I don’t feel His presence, I hold to the promise – He’s here with me. Beth’s teaching on this particular morning, was spot on with what I needed to hear. The underlying message was on patience. God is all about the process to get us to the promise. We have to be faithful and remember He is faithful and trustworthy. He is a good God. He has the best in mind for us. Even when we pray for our hearts desire, we have to remember He will only give us our answer when it is in alignment with His will. Our process is about getting in alignment. This is the purpose of patience. He is doing a great work, and masterpieces always take time. Praise God for the process!

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:7, 10-11

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