July 18, 2016

Psalm 108:6 Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.

This goes against my grain, but right now the turn of phrase in the NIV strikes me as a prayer to be enabled to help others. That is quite out of context and is almost certainly not what David wrote, but it is a valid prayer nonetheless. However much we love people, we must remember that God created them and He loves them more than we ever could. We also need to remember that however much we want to help people, true salvation comes only from the Lord. He often uses people, and He may even use us, but the salvation, the power, are His. I am reminded of the parable someone told of a person who had been trapped in their house by a flood, but each time someone came by to rescue them they declined, saying, “God will rescue me.” Finally, after they had been swept off of their roof and drowned, they accused God for not having rescued them. His response was, “What do you mean? I sent person A and person B and person C didn’t I?” It is a privilege to be an instrument of God’s right hand, but we must be available and not presumptive. Countless situations have been made worse by well-meaning people who have tried to do God’s job for Him. Actually, any time we pray for any sort of situation we need to offer ourselves as instruments for God to use in answering our prayers. The phrase, “You’re an answer to prayer,” is far more than a cliché. But again, we must remember that the power, the wisdom, the salvation itself, come from God alone, and so give Him all the glory.

I could literally sit here all day listing situations about which I am concerned. Ones far away are relatively easy to yield to God because that’s all I can do. However, ones close to home are more complicated. That’s when I have to keep reminding myself that God loves that person more than I do. In all probability, God is far more patient with that person than I am! Material concerns are one thing, because though they may be pressing, they are ultimately temporal and thus temporary. However, people are what Jesus came and died for, and there it gets more complicated. We are on this earth to have opportunity to know God, to choose to commit ourselves to Him in faith so that we may live with Him throughout eternity. Everything else is secondary: most specifically, creature comforts. Just as God delights to bless His children but knows better than to spoil them, we need to meet needs but also give God space and time to work in people’s hearts through their circumstances. I have demonstrated many times that I don’t have the wisdom to make that call accurately on my own, so I’ve got to stay on my face before the Lord, figuratively and at times literally, to hear and thus do what He would direct. Only then will His salvation be manifested as He intends.

Father, thank You for this clear, unexpected Word. You know who is on my heart particularly right now, but again, there are many. Help me be so in step with Your Spirit that I don’t get in Your way, but rather am useful to You in however You want to manifest Your salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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