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When Believing Isn’t Enough

Dictionary Series - Religion: faith

There’s nothing more exciting than having God speak to you about something. You know, when you get a simple revelation, that had to come from God, cause you’re not that smart. It’s like the Lord just dropped a little jewel into your heart. For me, it doesn’t happen everyday, but when it does, I just can’t wait to share it with someone.

The other day, I was in prayer, bringing several needs before His throne when suddenly a thought rang through. “It’s not enough to believe in prayer, you must depend on prayer.” Now, I must confess, at the time, I wasn’t praying like someone who was really depending on God to answer. I was just going over a list of needs and asking for some divine help. Have you ever noticed how the Lord has a way of rebuking you without making it sound like a rebuke? Well, anyway, I put down my list, and began to consider this issue of depending on prayer.

The dictionary description for “depend” is, “To rely, to place trust or confidence.” King David, in the Old Testament, was someone who fits this description. Over and over again he relied on, “the God of heaven” while facing hopeless difficulties. As a young boy he had to confront a lion and bear to protect his sheep. Each of these struggles prepared him for greater challenges.

When David told Saul he would defy Goliath, Saul urged the Hebrew boy to strap on his armor. (story in 1 Samuel 17) Saul’s armor had been battered by many battles and he felt confident that his ornaments of war would assure victory. But David had faced other battles leaning on his friendship with God through worship and prayer. He had witnessed God’s power in action. Look at the contrast. Saul believed in his armor, but he wasn’t willing to put it on and go out against Goliath. David depended on prayer and ran to meet the giant. Believing and depending are not the same thing.

Years ago there was a very famous tight rope waker named Blondin. He would often amaze people by walking on a wire over incredible heights. On one of these occasions, he was performing his act over Niagara Falls. A huge crowd was watching as Blondin moved confidently out over the churning waterfall and back. Turning to his onlookers, Blondin asked, “Who thinks I can push a wheel barrel across this wire?” They all shouted, “Yes, we believe you can!”. And so he did. On returning, he asked again, “Do you believe I can push a man across in this wheel barrel?” Again the crowd shouted in great confidence, “Yes!” Then Blondin said, “Which one of you will get in?”

That is the difference between believing and depending. It was easy for the people to say, “We believe you can do it!” Quite another thing to climb in the wheel barrel and depend on him to do it. Where are you, in your praying? Are you in the crowd shouting, “God can do it?” Or are you in the wheel barrel praying, “God, I’m depending on You.” Depending prayer can be scary, but it’s also the most rewarding. Let’s all hop in God’s wheel barrow, and live the adventure!

Personal Application

Dependency Checklist: How can you tell if you are just believing in prayer, or really depending on prayer? Consider these questions as someone who is in God’s wheel barrow.

-Do I feel vulnerable? -Being in a wheel barrow on a tight rope is a scary deal, even if God is the one who’s pushing.

-Do I have an alternative? Once you are out on the wire, there is no other way, you don’t have a plan “B”.

-Am I willing to accept whatever answer God gives me? – A wheel barrow passenger has no rights, he does whatever the driver says.

-Am I carefully listening for His answer, or instructions? – You bet you are! Your life depends on hearing anything He says.

-Am I tuning out all other distractions so I can focus on Him? Absolutely, the roaring water, the cheering crowd, all fade away as you train your ear on the Master’s voice.

-Do I have hope that God can make a way? Of, course! You would never get into the wheel barrow unless you had faith that He could get you across.

Wayne Dillard

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