Monday Morning Devotion-September 13, 2021
Dream Big, Pray Hard, Think Long
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
The title of this devotion was going to be "Idiosyncrasies." You know like Webster says an idiosyncrasy is "any personal mannerism or peculiarity that connotes strong individuality." I had been reading about some of Mark Batterson's peculiarities. He is one of my favorite Pastor/Author types. And he had shared some of his idiosyncrasies in his immensely popular book The Circle Maker.
Batterson said: "Like everyone else, I have my fair share of idiosyncrasies. I don't know why, but I always set my alarm clock to an even number. An odd number would totally mess me up." He says that he always takes his shoes off when he writes. And here's one I like: "I never drive off after pumping gas without checking my left-hand mirror because the last time I did that (didn't look) I pulled the gas hose that was still in my gas tank right off of the gas pump." Can't you just picture that? It's funny but it is not funny!
Anyway, I decided not to write about idiosyncrasies because I discovered a more intriguing idea to share from that same article. Two phrases that came from Chapter 16 of
The Circle Maker called "Double Miracle" are the one at the top of this devotion which we will investigate; Dream Big, Pray Hard, Think Long.
And the second interesting sentence to consider is:
"You can't never sometimes always tell." That one is an attention getter for sure.
First things first. Batterson writes; "When you live by faith, it often feels like you are risking, your reputation. You're not. You're risking God's reputation. It is not your faith that is on the line. It's His faithfulness. Why? Because God is the one who made the promise, and He is the only one who can keep it. The battle doesn't belong to you; it belongs to God. The glory doesn't belong to you either. It belongs to God. He answers prayers to bring glory to His name, the name above all names."
Now God may not always give you the answer you were looking for. That's part of this omniscient thing. Since He sees ahead where we are not looking, God can tell when we ask or act amiss. In other words, in our limited vision, it might not be the best path to take. But as Batterson writes: "I can promise that: "God answers every prayer and God keeps every promise."
Can I throw in my favorite scripture here°one that is important to always remember? Here it is: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." That verse from Jeremiah 29:11 comes to my mind many times and always lifts my spirits.
Now on to the part about dreaming big and praying hard. According to Batterson: "God is not offended by your big dreams or bold prayers. He's a proud Papa."
Daniel Burnham who was the principal architect of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 said: "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood." His big dreams would lead to the creation of what is now Washington's Union Station. It had taken an army of laborers an entire year and four million cubic yards of fill dirt to fill the swamp for Burnham's grand vision to become The Union Station. Think about it. Make no little plans!
As Batterson says: "Every prayer is a time capsule. You never know when or where or how God is going to answer it, but he will answer it°You need to identify the times, places and practices that help you dream big, pray hard and think long. "
Oswald Chambers said: "Let God be as original with other people as He is with you."
What works for others might not work for you and what works for you might not work for others. So, keep in mind some of the things you pray for and about, to be answered, may require that others become involved. The situation, time or action may not work at that time, but it doesn't mean that it will never work. It doesn't mean that you should give up your dream. Praying harder and longer may be required.
You need to keep in mind a favorite saying in the Batterson family. "You can't never always sometimes tell." Which simply means "anything can happen." God can at any time in anyway show up and do the unexpected.
Hold onto those dreams. No dream is too big or too small to be considered by God. He hears them all. He knows your heart. He wants you to bring them to Him.
Keep on Dreaming Big, Praying Hard and Thinking Long because you can't never always sometimes tell."
With God all things are possible.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for watching over every dream as we pray hard and think long about the way you answer prayers when the time, your time, is right. Amen!