Thursday, November 9, 2017
I woke this morning around 4:00 am and was praying about things that are burdening me in my life and ministry. I have prayed about these things for years and years, but sometimes it seems that God is just not listening. That is the time, of course, that the enemy suggests that God does not care, is uninterested, has better things to do, is not concerned about human suffering, etc.
While all this was going on I wondered, “Why did God allow the Communists to control half the world for the past 100 years and murder 100,000,000 people?” “Why did God allow a man like Hitler to start WWII and kill another 60,000,000 people?” While the Nazis and Communists were exterminating entire villages, millions of Christians were praying for God to intervene and bring an end to the insanity! But the killing went on for decades and even now is continuing, albeit on a smaller scale.
I don’t have answer as to why God did not stop Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. But I do know that it was not God’s doing—-it was the fault of the morally failed leadership in Russia, China, Europe, etc that allowed these monsters to come to power. In a real sense, the 160,000,000 souls that were lost represents what happens when the leaders in power have no fear of God—-all these men were avowed atheists or non-believers.
So how can I expect God to hear my prayers and effectively intervene in my problems like mine that are minuscule matters in comparison to the world’s issues? I believe that this is precisely what the enemy would like me to question and reason. This is his method for causing me to give up praying, believing, hoping and trusting. The enemy would have me forget that while bad things do happen, good things also happen——all the time. And while bad choices, godless living and arrogant leaders can led to the suffering and destruction of an entire nation, it’s not a 20th century phenomenon—-it’s recorded in the Bible by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as something that’s been going on since recorded history! Nations (and their citizens—young and old) are held accountable for the sins of the kings, dictators, despots, emperors, and so forth! When catastrophes happened to Israel, Judah, Rome, Babylon, etc. the people did not question “How could God allow this”, but rather, “How could we have been so stupid!”
I pray for my nation and the nations of the world that I have come to know and love. But when I turn my prayers to my personal needs it is with a different understanding. I pray for the nations by interceding for their leaders and citizens. But I cannot effect change in their hearts——and God will not make them bend their ears to Him. But when I pray for my own hurts, dreams, hopes and needs, I am able to responsively listen to what He tells me to do and chose to be obedient. There is an absolute, positive correlation between the effectiveness of my prayers when I am living in obedience.
I cannot make nation obedient—I can only pray for God’s mercy to fall upon it.