Back in 1924 Dallas Theological Seminary faced bankruptcy. Every creditor threatened to foreclose by noon on a given day. That morning the founders of the Seminary met in the president’s office to pray that God would provide the needed funds. Harry Ironside was in the meeting and prayed in his usual pointed way: “Lord, we know that the cattle on a thousand hills are Thine. Please sell some of them and send us the money.” Meanwhile, a Texan entered the business office and handed the secretary a check. He said he had just sold two carloads of cattle in Fort Worth and felt compelled by God to give the money to the Seminary. Knowing the purpose of the prayer meeting, the secretary interrupted and handed the president the check. He stared at it in amazement because the check was for the exact amount of the Seminary’s debt. Recognizing the signature on the check as a big cattle rancher he said “Harry, God sold the cattle!”
Do we really believe God can work like that? Or have we been so lulled to sleep by all of the naturalistic philosophy that surrounds us that we no longer expect God to do anything usual. I remember Jesus’ important words to someone who came to him for healing: “Be it unto you according to your faith.” What would he do for you if His actions were dependent upon your faith? As a church family we are surrounded by challenges. We have a community to impact. We have people needs, equipment needs, leadership needs. If God is waiting upon our expectations before He acts, just what is it we really expect Him to do?
It is true that we don’t understand how God works. It is true that His ways are different than our ways. It is also true that we often don’t even know what we should pray for. But let us never allow our meager understanding to diminish our faith. When Jesus visited his home town of Nazareth Matthew tells us “he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:58). At the very time that we recognize the obstacles before us and our inadequacy to overcome them alone, let us not fail Him by being so unexpectant. For Jesus also said “Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 10:23)
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship