May 28, 2013
Usually I start the day reading God’s Word, and then praying over the upcoming day.
But last Tuesday I made a change.
I had already written that day’s blog post, and knew one section needed maybe 5 minutes of revising.
So I thought that after reading God’s Word, I’d do the revising and post the article before praying.
Then, after praying, I’d have the rest of the morning to finish an urgent project.
So that’s what I did. Or tried to do.
I read the Word. Then I got to work on the blog post. I started rewriting the unclear section.
No, that’s not it.
So I tried a different approach.
No, that’s even worse.
Then I tried something else.
NO, that’s even WORSE.
I was 30 minutes into my 5 minute revision. Then — an hour. Then — two hours.
My brain felt like mush. Nothing I wrote was clear.
What’s going on?
Then it struck me. My plan had been to spend 5 minutes on the revision, and then pray for the day.
Which meant I had not asked for God’s help with the revision.
I had started writing as if I could do it without Him.
But then I thought — Wait a minute. Surely he would not withhold his help just because I had not prayed, would He?
So I thought I’d find out. Most of the morning was gone, I was making no progress on the blog post, and that other project was not going to happen.
So I closed my laptop, grabbed my cap and memory verse cards, and headed out to the creek to pray.
And as I prayed, I sensed the Holy Spirit convicting me of my self-sufficiency. I had thought that because it was just a little revision, I could do it without God’s help.
So I confessed my sin, asked God to forgive me through Jesus Christ, and felt assured of His forgiveness.
Then I prayed — and asked God to help me with the blog post. I asked for wisdom, clarity, and focus.
Suddenly — an idea popped into my mind. Exactly the idea I’d been fishing for all morning.
Then another idea. And another. The whole blog post was taking shape in my mind.
And when I got back home, it took about 10 minutes of writing — and there it was. Finished.
And I wondered — What was that all about?
The Lord Disciplines Those He Loves
Then I remembered what the book of Hebrews says about the discipline of the Lord —
My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Heb 12:5-6)
And I knew — God had lovingly disciplined me.
I was feeling self-reliant, and had not prayed. So he lovingly showed me that I can do nothing without Him, so I would understand how much I needed Him.
He helped me see why I must not be self-reliant, and why my most important activity every day is to pray and ask for His help.
It’s now Sunday afternoon. I wanted to get this post written by 3 o’clock, because I’ve got a 4 o’clock meeting.
So at 1:30 I knelt down at my prayer bench in my office, and prayed. I asked for His help. I asked Him to give me wisdom that I’d never have on my own.
It’s now 3 o’clock, and the post is finished.
I know — that’s not how God always works.
But that’s how He worked this time, to teach me a crucial lesson — apart from Him, I can do nothing (John 15:5).
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful –
- What About Unanswered Prayer?
- Praying With Faith
- Is This Trial From Satan Or God?
- How Spurgeon Saw His Trials And Suffering
(Picture from everystockphoto by photosteve101.)