“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, Give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness! And do not enter into judgment with your servant, For in Your sight no man living is righteous. For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have been long dead. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart is appalled within me.” Psalm 143:1-4
It has been a long time since America has seen the glory of God on a nationwide scale. It almost seems that evil is prevailing! Does the Lord have a Word for us here in the early part of the 21st century? As is often the case, the answer for today can be found in days gone by. God spoke through His prophet Jeremiah to let us know that He does not respond to half-hearted attempts on our part to seek Him, but He requires our whole heart. David modeled this truth, even in times of great opposition and adversity (Perhaps more so in such times) to break though to victory. “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” Psalm 4:1
David reminds us that the follower of Christ can prevail in prayer in spite of his worldliness! He confessed to God, “For in Your sight no man living is righteous.” Many years ago a wise man of God defined success in the Christian life in a way I have never forgotten. He said, “Success for the Christian is when what has been written of you can be said about you!” Think of the many things that have been written about the people of God in the Scriptures. “We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!” Romans 8:37; “You are the salt of the earth…the light of the world.” Matthew 5:13,14; “You have overcome the evil one.” 1st John 2:13; “God always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests though us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2nd Corinthians 2:14; “You are dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11. To the extent to what has been written of us can be said of us, to that extent we are successful. Little wonder that David wrote that no man can be seen to be righteous in the sight of God apart from the grace of God! Thank the Lord that by His grace, we are made righteous through faith in Christ (Romans 5:19).
David goes on to say that the Christ-follower can prevail in prayer in spite of his weakness. He wrote of feeling persecuted, crushed, overwhelmed and appalled by the enemy. Just as Jesus warned Peter that Satan had asked to sift him like wheat, we can be defeated by the devil when we face him in our own strength. At such times, the temptation is to give in to distress and depression, but that very scenario can be the springboard to great triumph when we give our heart to believing prayer!
August Bartholdi spent ten years of his life designing a lighthouse for an entrance to the Suez Canal as he visited the pyramids, but there was no funding to build it. Later, the country of France decided to give the United States of America his creation that would be known as the Statue of Liberty! What seemed like a devastating disappointment ended up a magnificent success!
Confronting our weaknesses can either be a cause for pity, or a call to prayer!