Exodus 14:13-15; 2 Chronicles 20:21-22; Daniel 9:20-23; 10:12-13; Mark 6:47-51; John 6:18-21
One of the questions we often ask as we go through life is what should I be doing right now? For example, we could be believing God for something and we have such tremendous faith that we see the vision so clearly. The question then becomes what should we be doing in the interim? Pray, fast and just watch?
Looking at a series of examples in the Bible, what is clear is that God often comes to people when they’re in an active state. In other words, they’re not simply lying idle and sucking their thumbs. See some four examples below:
- The first and perhaps the most striking one is when in Exodus 14, Moses told the Israelites to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, that God will fight for them. God immediately followed this by telling Moses “why do you cry to me? Tell the children of Israel to move forward!”. Think about it: these slaves were pursued from behind by the Egyptians, ahead of them was the Red Sea, and to their sides were enemy territories – basically they were sandwiched with terror all around. But God told them to keep moving forward despite all of this. It was as they moved forward that God revealed to Moses how the victory was to be gained, by raising his staff to divide the Red Sea. You see this same principle applied in Joshua 3 when the people were about to cross River Jordan into the promised land – the priests had to step into the raging river first before God caused it to part way. Remember they were carrying the heavy ark and the water could have tipped them over but God said step into it by faith then you will see me move! Always remember this when someone quotes you the verse: “‘be still and know that I am God” as a reason for you to be idle. That verse is saying don’t be anxious, quieten your mind and trust in God, that He will cause all things to work together for your good. You just keep trusting and moving and leave the rest to God. One day at a time He will provide and guide you on the steps to take.
- The second example was with Daniel, in chapters 9 & 10. In chapter 9, he had been praying and confessing his and the sins of his people in Babylon to God but nothing seemed to be happening. It was as he was praying that angel Gabriel showed up from God saying that “at the beginning of your supplications (i.e. earnest/humble prayers), the command went out…” Oh wow, it means that God didn’t delay in answering the prayer but the command went out from God instantly to answer Daniel’s prayer. But he had been praying for some time… 🤔
In Daniel 10, we get deeper insight into what sometimes causes delays in the answer to our prayer. In this scenario, the angel told Daniel that “from the first day you set your heart to understand and humble yourself before God, your words were heard.” Wow – how encouraging! But was there traffic on the road or why did it take the angel so long? 🙄😒 Answer: “But the prince of Persia withstood me 21 days…”. Basically, there are principalities and powers in high places that sometimes wrestle against the angels of God who by the way, move very swiftly when they receive a command from God (Dan 9:21). But fervent prayers, confessing the word, persistence, fasting and praise are some of the tools that break this hold. We see in Daniel 10:2-3 that Daniel had been fasting for 3 weeks and studying the word of God (Daniel 9:2) before He received these insights.
- Praise is another action that we see causes heaven to move on behalf of God’s children. One easy example was during the time of Jehoshaphat when there were great enemies gathered to attack the Israelites. He had prayed and God had told him that He would fight on the people’s behalf. The Bible however noted that it was as the people praised God that He caused confusion to come into the camp of the enemies and they all turned on each other and killed themselves. Again, it was as they praised that the victory came. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22.
- The final example is in the new testament story of when the disciples were in a stormy sea. They had been rowing about 3 or 4 miles all night, doing their best as humanly possible to get out of the situation. They were so overwhekmed by their troubles that even when Jesus came to them, they didn’t recognize Him. Shame! But in His mercy He opened their eyes and when they invited Him into the boat, they immediately got to land. 🙌🏾 Wow! Firstly, it was as they did all they could do on their own that Jesus came to them. If they simply prayed and did nothing else, because faith, they would probably all have died. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. We have a work to do in the faith walk and God will guide us as we commit our plans to Him. Secondly, we need to be in tune with God to recognize when He finally sends the answer our way. Daniel was in tune (studying His Bible regularly), the disciples weren’t (even after literally just seeing Jesus a few hours ago feed thousands with 5 loaves and 2 fish). Finally, as they brought Jesus into the situation, the storms died down and they saw a speedy resolution. Mark 6:47-51; John 6:18-21.
In summary: all these examples brought together show us that different things could cause heaven to move on behalf of God’s children. Studying our Bibles, fasting (subjecting appetite to the spiritual nature), persistent and fervent prayers, unwavering faith in God and God alone, making a plan and committing it to God, praising God for the victory in faith etc. are all tools in the toolbox that helps bring victory with God. We cannot afford to do one and forget the others. This is a complete armor that Christians need to wear, always.
Finally, remember, heaven moves as we faithfully do our own part to move. God hears all our prayers, every single one of them, from the very first moment we say them. Trust in Him with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in ALL your ways and He will direct your paths.🙅🏾♂️😇