A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately. A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the flood waters swept the man away and he drowned.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
Are we seeking God for wisdom, help, heath, peace, etc…but continuing down the same path? Are we like the man in the flood who cries out and then ignores the Lords provisions? The Word tells us to call upon the Lord and we will be saved. (Rom 10:13, Joel 2:32, 1 Cor 1:2) We are told to ask and we shall receive (Matt 7:7; Matt 21:22)...to call upon the Lord who gives wisdom abundantly(Prov 2:6; Jam 1:5). We cry out to our Savior for help in crisis. We ask for wisdom to raise our children. We petition for health and we call on Him for protection, wisdom and clarity. But what do we DO when he answers us? Do we continue to ask for help, or do we obey His instructions?
“And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. “ (John 2:2,5)
Mary calls for her son’s help at a wedding feast. The wine has run out and shame will be brought upon the house, so she petitions Jesus for help. What I love, is her response and instruction…”Whatsoever He says…do it.” She instructs the women to follow whatever he says. Her faith in Jesus, her savior, was faultless. She cried out for help, and then she did whatever he instructed.
We don't want to miss God's provisions because they don't line up with OUR plan to work it out. The man in the story, had the idea that God would save him, personally, and failed to recognize the provisions God sent to his rescue. In turn he perished. I am very sure the women did not understand why or how filling the barrels with water was going to help or remedy the situation. But they obeyed. When we seek the Lord, we must harken to his answer and follow his instructions, whatever they are, if we want His result.
I pray that I will recognize the Lord's answers and His provisions for my life. I don't my own agenda for God's answers to hinder me seeing His true provision that is at hand. We need to walk in this truth...that God's answers and provisions may not look like our expectations, but if we don't follow them we will continue to walk down the wrong path and be confused by what we think is a 'non-response'.
Let me leave you with one more story. This one is actually a TRUE story of how the Lord answered a woman's request to further His kingdom to answer another woman's cry for help. (I have changed the names.)
Sally woke one morning and during her time with the Lord she asks Him to use her to further His kingdom. She tells Him she will follow Him no matter what.
After dropping her kids off at school, Sally hears the Lord tell her to go to the grocery store. So she drives to the store. While in the parking lot, she says, OK, Lord, why did I need to drive here?" The Lord then tells her to go inside and stand on her head near the coke machines. She argues and says, "surely this is not You, Lord! I am in my bathrobe and curlers!"
He tells her again...this time with urgency. He reminders her of her prayer earlier that morning. She is embarrassed, confused, a little reluctant, but she obeys.
She walks into the grocery store and there is the coke machine. She walks over to it, and in her bathrobe and curlers...stands on her head! As soon as she does, a customer comes up to her and asked, "why did you do that?" Sally responds to her simply... "The Lord told me to." The customers eyes fill with tears as she explains to Sally that she was going home to take her own life. She had cried out to the Lord that if He is Truly REAL He would send someone to stand on their head."
You see, God's answer to "Lord use me to further your kingdom" was out of the box. But it was the answer to someone else's cry for help. Don't miss your answer because it looks different from your expectations.
Lord, open our eyes to see your provisions and answers to our questions. Give us strength and courage to follow your instructions. "For you know the plans you have for us, plans of good and not evil. Plans to give us a Hope and a Future." May we trust your answers, provisions and instructions that we will walk in that Hope.