"Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear." Isaiah 65:24
I read this verse the other day, and it's been on my mind ever since. Before we call, He will answer. Just think about how remarkable that actually is!
God knows when we are going to call to Him. God sees us, God knows us, and He knows when we are going to be calling on Him for help or for direction. The thing about God though, is that usually He isn't just going to send that answer our way before we ask. He wants us to ask. He loves to hear the voices of His children, and He wants us to ask Him for help.
I totally get this as a parent! As I watch my child take on a new task, I try to let them do it by themselves, knowing full well when they are going to need my help. But I don't just give them my help, I wait for them to acknowledge that they actually do need my help. I wait for them to turn to me and tell me that they can't do it on their own. Then I am more than happy to lend them a hand, or guide them in the right direction. But first I wait for them to come to me.
The longer I have kids, the more I understand things about the nature of God. He truly is a father, and He really and truly loves His children. All of them! The thing is though, we wouldn't learn anything if He just did it all for us. If, in the great path of life, God simply laid out the path wide open before us, we wouldn't learn anything. We wouldn't learn about asking Him for help, we wouldn't learn about discernment, and we wouldn't learn the joy that comes from an answer given. We would be a little like robots in a scenario like that. And God doesn't want a herd of robots, He wants His children to want Him, He wants His children to seek out His help and accept it when it is lovingly given.
He answers BEFORE we even call. I just can't stop thinking about how cool that sounds. Yet at the same time, it also makes me think of all those times when we struggle on by ourselves, determined to see something through and manage the task before us. And then finally, when we realize that there is just no way we can do it on our own, we call out to God, and He answers, and me manage to make our way through with His help. How much easier would the entire task have been if we had only swallowed our pride and asked for His guiding hand from the very beginning?
That makes me think of money again. Don't ask me where that thought came from- well, actually I do know where that thought came from, but how many of us really could use Godly wisdom when it comes to our finances. I imagine a lot of us- or most of us really. But think about the finances. Think about how we sit down with our checkbook and pay the bills. We go grocery shopping and fill the pantry, we pick up a few necessary items and fill the gas tank. And then we see how much more we need to pay, and we know there isn't enough left to do that with. So then, at that point, we ask God for interference. We ask Him to bless us, to help us get through to the end of the month. He always does, His love is never-ending. But what would happened if we did it in a completely different way?
What if, instead of spending first, and then praying and asking God for wisdom with what remains, what if we prayed before we even spent a nickle? How about, instead, sitting down, writing that tithe check first, and then asking God to help you wisely spend in the weeks ahead. Ask Him to help open your eyes to the ways to save money in the grocery store. Ask Him to open your eyes to need, and where you maybe need to stretch and give. Ask Him to help those finances stretch to pay ALL the bills, and not just some of them. Just think about the possibilities if we asked God for that help BEFORE we were down to the last few pennies.
God will hear us every single time. But first we need to open our mouths and call out.