God loves to partner with us – He puts His stamp of grace on our words of faith and makes them happen. And, as we walk in step with the Holy Spirit, we find that there’s a time to prophesy, a time to pray, and a time to put God’s plan into action.
The Father loves it when we come up with faith-filled ideas!
Sometimes, we’ll say something really good, and the Father goes, “Yeah, I like that!” And then, boom! He puts His grace on it and makes it happen. It’s like when my child comes up and says, “Let’s eat this,” and I’ll go, “Yeah! Good idea!”
I think that’s what was going on in Exodus, just after Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt. They’re standing at the edge of the Red Sea, and they look behind them and see Pharaoh’s army closing in. And they’re panicking and crying out in fear to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!”
Moses is trying to calm them down, and he begins to make faith-filled declarations of what God would do (Exodus 14:13-14 NIV):
- Stand firm and you will see God’s deliverance!
- The Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.
- The Lord will fight for you, just be still.
Moses was prophesying, and it was true! God was putting His stamp of grace on Moses’ words.
There’s a time for prayer and a time for action.
In the very next verse, just after Moses’ faith-filled words, God’s doing the talking. And what is He saying? “Why are you crying out to Me?” I think that between verse 14 and 15 of Exodus 14, Moses prayed a prayer, something like, “Father! What are You going to do now?”
And God answers, “Why are you crying out to Me?
It’s as if God were saying, “Why are you begging? I already told you what to do! I gave you an assignment. What’s that in your hand? Why don’t you believe that you’re already equipped for what I’ve sent you to do? You are looking at the sea, and you think this is impossible? You’re saying, ‘Help God!’ and you’re begging? I already told you what to do!”
God was telling Moses that it was time for action. It was time to stop pleading and begging God, and it was time to take up what was in his hand and go to work! And what was in Moses’ hand? His staff – the symbol of his authority – the symbol of God’s miracle-working power!
God had already said He would deliver the Israelites. But Moses had to do his part in God’s plan. I think the Father was sitting back, going, “I can’t wait to see what Moses is going to come up with!” I think He was waiting for faith. He was waiting for faith to arise.
So, then it was like God was saying, “OK, son, I’m going to be really specific!” And God gave specific instructions – His plan of action:
- Tell the people to start moving;
- Raise your staff and stretch your hand over the sea and part the water;
- Take the people across on the dry land.
How do we know when to pray and when to act?
Isn’t prayer the correct response to difficult situations? Yes! But there are also times when God wants us to do more than pray – He wants us to act – to put forth our own best efforts, using the tools He’s equipped us with – especially the staff in our hand – His Holy Spirit power and His invested authority!
“Much prayer time is wasted by people asking God for two things that He will never do:
- To do what He has already
- To do what He has told them to do.”
— T.L. Osborn
When you’ve already heard God tell you what to do, and when He’s equipped you to do what He wants you to do, you need to move!
Sometimes we just keep wanting confirmation…you know, like…can you just rain on everything except the fleece? And….now could You just rain on the fleece but not on anything around it?
It’s so much better when we can say, “I know that I heard God. And now I’m going to obey, even when it doesn’t feel good.”
But, what if I don’t “feel peace” about it?
I hear people say all the time, “Well, when I feel peace about it… then I’ll do it.” Wrong answer! I get what you mean when you say that, but when you know that you’ve heard God, you better obey, whether you feel peace or not, because He is your peace!
How much peace do you think Jesus had when He was sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, becoming the curse for us? He wanted to know if they could come up with a different plan. He didn’t want to suffer, but He was going to obey the Father. Jesus finally prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
The point is – you’re not always going to have “peace” when you do what the Lord says.
True intercession, especially in times of persecution, is partnering with God in bringing His will to pass.
Intercession is applying God’s authority and Holy Spirit power – through prayer and action – to enforce God’s will in a situation. For instance, we know that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). So, yes, we pray for people to be saved, but we also share the plan of salvation with them.
If someone is sick or disabled, what is God’s will? God’s plan of action is that we pray for the sick, and His promise is that the prayer of faith will raise them up (James 5). As we rebuke disease, disability, and injury, we are enforcing God’s will – the healing that Jesus purchased by His stripes 2000 years ago.
What is God’s will when persecution comes because of our faith? God’s Word tells us not to be surprised when it comes our way. We don’t go looking for it, but we’re not undone when we go through it. We pray for ourselves and for the persecuted church worldwide that we will learn to persevere because it develops character – the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We pray that we will have a true encounter with Jesus, experiential knowledge of His goodness and of His love that lets us know He is with us in the fire.
As we pray, we also seek God’s direction for the specific part He wants us to play in His plan of action – to take up our staff and go to work! What has He equipped us to do to come alongside those going through persecution?
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:37-40 NIV)
Was this Article Helpful?
If this article was helpful to you, please consider linking this article to your own blog or sharing this through the social buttons below. You will also find other great articles at “Blog“.