“When you look at the crisis, your faith will fail. What we’re urged to do is look at God.”
When God redeems us, we don’t become passive onlookers in life that are detached from suffering and real life. We become warriors and partners with God in bringing His kingdom to earth and pushing back darkness.
John Eldredge of Ransomed Heart Ministries calls us to engage in prayer in a way that makes much of God while keeping our circumstances in perspective.
God is “growing us all up.”
We are at war.
We live in a world at war. Thankfully, we’re not asking a distant god to recognize our voice and intervene once in a while. We have a mighty God who is working in and through us in the battle. We also have an enemy who is involved in the equation. Relational tension or fallout, the breakup of a church, or financial distress can all be caused by Satan. We need to be mindful of who we are and whose we are if we’re going to recognize his tactics and counter them.
“If you don’t take the war seriously, you will end up blaming things on God that aren’t from God.”
John references a story from an old saint and follower of Christ who suffered from crippling headaches. She prayed that God would take them away, as they were a spiritual attack. Instead, God called her to command them herself, using His authority. The saint obeyed, and the headaches left in Jesus’ name.
“God invites us to rise up and begin to walk in the authority that we have in Jesus. [Praying small prayers] is like asking Him to put our socks on every day. At a point He just says, ‘No, you do it! I am growing you up as a son or daughter who is going to reign with Christ forever and so I’ve given you My authority. And now I want you to exercise it in the world.’”
When faced with those two truths, we can turn to fear instead of joy. John urges us to remember the sheer size and power of God.
“I love the way nature speaks of God…It’s like the vastness of the ocean or the radiance of the sun. That sun is so filled with power and glory… If you turn your attention to something that reminds you of the power and glory of God, your faith is going to swell. And if you see yourself as a son or daughter, and you’re not looking at the crisis but you’re looking at God, it’s going to change the way you pray.”
John Eldredge is an author, a counselor, and teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own heart in his love, and learn to live in his Kingdom. John grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles (which he hated), and spent his boyhood summers on his grandfather’s cattle ranch in eastern Oregon (which he loved).
Featured Songs: Same Power by Jeremy Camp; Warrior by Steven Curtis Chapman; On Our Side by Lincoln Brewster