A favorite promise box scripture, so worthy of bumper sticker, is found in Jeremiah chapter 29. I’m sure you are familiar with it:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
What most people don’t include on their sanctified T-shirt or bookmark is the context and what follows:
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12–13 NIV)
The plans, the prosperity, the future, and the hope, all spring from the well of passionate devotion to the practice of prayer.
Prayer is a wellspring of life springing from the inner man, bringing God’s plans to the surface. Divine blueprints reside inside, God’s design for your life, but without your absolute dedication to bring them forth, you may well be destined for disappointment.
Did God let you down? We’ve all faced the thorny mystery of unanswered prayers and frustrated hopes. But maybe the Almighty was not the bottleneck here.
Could it be a lack of “calling upon”? Too little praying through? Half-hearted seeking?
I for one am not willing to leave it to chance. I’m no shining example of unswerving faith and dedication to prayer. My “questions I’m gonna ask God when arrive on the doorstep of Heaven” pot is just as full as anyone else’s, but I have determined one thing. I will not be blaming God for the postponements and upsets. I won’t be accusing Him of not coming through on His promises.
Nor will I lean to the other extreme and lambast myself for lukewarmness or lame faithless living. I am what I am, and I do what I do, and will continue to lean in even if the results elude me.
Worst case scenario and I still don’t get what I want, at least when I stand before the Master I will be able to say that my lack of results was not the result of my meagre dedication to reach for them. I’m hot in pursuit, and very forthright in the requirement I place on Papa’s promises, at the same time learning to be comfortable that I am not the one responsible to produce the far-reaching results I seek.
I’ll bring the faithfulness and prayer to the table, in the best way I know-how, and let God bring the God-stuff, including whatever timing He chooses!
We deposit faith into the heavenly bank through our prayers, and the returns are exponential. Some we might receive here, others are bestowed in the world to come. Either way, God will never be my debtor, and the cost to return ratio is without compare.
Jesus is by far the best Advisor and one who understands history from beginning to end.
He offered this sage advice:
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matthew 6:19–20 KJV)
The greatest treasures are not physical. Examples include a virtuous woman being far more precious than rubies, and wisdom and knowledge being of greater worth than gold. Your reputation is more valuable than a quick buck, and the crowns and stewardship you will receive as rewards in the new world are not given for the best sales or contracts won this quarter. Let’s keep our perspective and keep sowing to the spirit, even as we seek to grow in the natural.
Ask a sick rich man what is more precious, his commodities or his health, and I think you’ll know the answer before he even opens his lips.
True prosperity is far more than money in the bank, and generous giving more than notes in the offering.
I believe in physical riches, prosperity through the covenant, but how much more treasured are the intangibles that are stored in Heaven awaiting your arrival.
How is your heavenly account accumulating?
Are you making regular deposits?
Sermonettes at offering time remind us that part of this process is having a generous hand in the natural (and we should), but the treasures of your time and your heart are the real slices of life you lay on the altar. Be sure that a precious portion is dedicated to purposeful, passionate prayer. Eternity will prove your prudence in doing so, even if the world ridicules the idea for now.
Every moment dedicated to the sincere practice of prayer is logged, stored, and begins gaining interest. Heaven pays dividends to its investors.
Papa will never waste one penny of the passion that you pour out.