March 1 – Today’s Readings – Luke 7-8 and Psalms 61
Good morning. Do you ever wonder about all the violent words the Psalmists prayed concerning their enemies? It hardly seems Christian! When I re-read these words however, I begin to imagine my real enemies – my spiritual enemies – all Satan’s forces of evil – enemies that attempt to hold me back or pull me down – the enemies of my soul. “O God, break their teeth!”
It’s easy to bear my soul and speak frankly to God about the devil’s attacks – “They lie in wait for me!” What a great way to approach problems. Opening your heart before God, and praying down fire on the devil’s schemes!
In Psalm 59 David twice addresses God with the words “O my Strength”. We don’t normally think of Him as “My Strength” but it certainly is a title that fits. If we learn to find our emotional strength in Him, we will become easier to live with – and if we lean on Him when our physical strength is failing us, we will find that our energy comes from a different source – and that our spiritual strength emanates from the Holy Spirit within us. “O God Our Strength – push back the enemy’s schemes, that we may lead lives the way we were designed to. Amen.”
In Luke today we see Jesus reversing the natural laws continually at work in our sin-sick world. He performed “miracles” so that people might see the Glory of God – so that they would believe in Him – the Christ – the Messiah of God. He did miracles because He had compassion on all kinds of people – enemy soldiers – widowed and destitute women – chronically sick people – rich people who humbled themselves – religious people who trusted Him – Jews and Gentiles – people with “great faith” – people with only desperation – and people so full of demons that it made Hollywood horror movies look mild! He even commanded the forces of weather so that the disciples could be safe and believe.
Let’s keep the subject of miracles simple because God hasn’t changed. He still wants to reveal Christ and show forth His Glory so that people are drawn to His kingdom. He still has compassion on all kinds of people and delivers those under the power of the Devil. Our faith doesn’t have to be special, it just needs to be regular faith because faith is one of the gifts that come from the Spirit. We trust in God who loves us and cares for us. A sincere, compassionate request is all that is needed with God – then we must rest and trust in His provision. We should never put God in a box, thinking that He “doesn’t do that stuff anymore” nor should we ever presume that all things will go the way we want them too. The Holy Spirit gives miracles to people in the same way as he gives wisdom or salvation – its by faith and God’s gracious compassion.
1. Name some situations where it would be appropriate to pray a “violent” prayer.
2. Name a situation in your life today where you should be praying for a miracle. (I hope all readers will join their prayers to yours!)