7/18/15: Expect the Miraculous
Do we actually expect God to change things in and for others in miraculous ways as we intercede for them? Is it as clear to you as it is to me that some changes just aren’t going to happen unless God steps in? After praying about tough situations for a long time, it’s easy to get discouraged. We can start thinking things like:
- Maybe I’m going about this all wrong.
- Perhaps God doesn’t want this situation to change.
- I guess my prayers don’t carry much weight.
- It could be that God’s not really listening.
Well, before we throw in the towel, let’s be reminded of some miraculous changes God pulled off in the lives of two very prominent and headstrong individuals.
First, there was King Manasseh. Second Chronicles chapter 33 tells us of this guy who started reigning as king of Jerusalem when he was 12 years old and he held the throne for 55 years. His dedication to idol worship was so bad that it is said of him that he “seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel” Second Chronicles 33:9 (NKJ). However, when the Lord allowed the Assyrians to capture him, torture him, and carry him away, suddenly “when [Manasseh] was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him.” (Funny how that happens!) In His great mercy, God “received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God” Second Chronicles 33:12-13. After that, Manasseh made a complete, public turn-around, casting all the foreign idols out of the city. No one would have believed that this idol-worshipping king would ever change, but it became known far and wide how Manasseh had humbled himself before the Lord.
Second, there’s the story of Saul of Tarsus. Saul was an avowed Christian-killer. He was on his way to Damascus with official permission to do some in when Jesus stopped him. Acts chapter 9 tells of Saul being literally hit by the Light of heaven and tossed to the ground. The New Life Version of the Bible translates the encounter between Paul and Jesus in this way: “[Jesus] said, ‘I am Jesus, the One Whom you are working against. You hurt yourself by trying to hurt Me.’ Saul was shaken and surprised. Then he said, ‘What do You want me to do, Lord?’ Acts 9:5-6. As staunch an opponent to believers as Saul was, he made a 180 degree turn when personally confronted by Jesus. Saul’s name was changed to Paul and he ended up being the apostle to the Gentiles and writing much of the New Testament.
God cares as much about the deliverance and transformation of our loved ones as He did about Manasseh’s and Paul’s. God hears our prayers. It may only take a gentle nudge, or it might take some hard knocks, but Jesus is able to get through to them in a way that will make the conversion complete and permanent. Let’s be encouraged, keep praying, and keep our eyes peeled and our ears open to witness and hear of God’s miraculous move in their lives.
©2015 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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