I think at some point in all our lives, we'll have that feeling of giving up on something. You know the point were we can either go on or throw in the towel. Whether its a project, or a dream, or a goal, we all face moments when we have to decide to go forward or not. Thats why I love to hear the stories of those who decided to persevere; those who decided to keep going even when it felt impossible.
Carol's story was so beautiful this past Sunday. Not only did she have a dream from God to come to this country but a dream that she would be a helicopter pilot. As she shared about her struggle, she had an honest moment and shared that at one point it felt like too much and she wanted to go home. But something inside her told her she wasn't finished yet. She decided to keep going in spite of the hardships, the set backs, the discrimination, she keep pushing. She was one of the only women in her class and now she is one of the few female helicopter pilots out there. WOW.
Has God ever given you a promise or a dream and it hasn't happened yet? What do you do in the in-between? The middle part of the story when it feels like the answer is too far away. Do we keep going? What do we do?
The Parable of Shameless Audacity
Jesus shared with his disciples a story about prayer. It's one of my favorite parables because not only does it teach us about prayer but it teaches us about what to do when you feel like giving up. The Kingdom is full of people that have not given up.
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at might night and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
*Remember when reading the scriptures to first make general observations of the stories your are reading.
- Friend - This story is about two friends. One has a need and goes to his friend that could help.
- Don't bother me, I can't get you anything - This was his first response. He had already put his kids to bed and was in bed himself too, so he did not want to answer.
- Because of his friendship - His relationship with his friend was not enough to get what he wanted. He needed more than just his relationship alone.
- Because of your shameless audacity - He didn't care how stupid he felt, he was not going to stop. He cared too much. How about you?
Do you ever give up on prayer because you feel stupid? Do you ever give up on faith because you feel ashamed?
Here are two observations from the parable above:
- The mere relationship was not enough to get the answer! It wasn't the relationship that got the answer, it was the shameless audacity. God doesn't just answer our prayers because we have a relationship with Him. There are some prayers that will be answered because we didn't give up praying, we didn't stop asking. Even when we felt stupid we kept knocking.
- Do you ever give up on prayer because you feel stupid? Do you ever give up on faith because you feel ashamed? KEEP GOING
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
Three step to shameless prayer:
- Ask - When you ask God for anything you are humbling yourself by admitting that you need help. All throughout the scriptures we learn that God draws close to the humble but moves away from the proud. Never stop asking.
- Seek - Heb 11:6 "God is a rewarder of those who diligent seek him." When you are seeking God for something you might not get the answer you are looking for but you will always get a reward from God. Don't stop seeking.
- Knock - This requires physically acting. Acting on what you believe God is going to do before he does it. Continue to move forward knowing that God is with you. Be shameless with the doors you need to knock on. Never stop knocking.
1. Spend time in prayer. It doesn't matter if it's 5 minutes, try to take time to pray everyday this week.
2. Do you have something we can pray for?
Vision: To Develop a core group of spiritually strong individuals who are committed to building a life-giving community together in Los Angeles.
Plan: We are having a big dinner on FRIDAY OCT 19th.. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. Also we need your help! Can you contact email@example.com and let her know you can help?