Pray without complaining
(#083 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
I have labored at no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in Yahweh’s hands, my reward is with my Mighty One. (Isaiah 49:4)
What does it mean to have struggled so hard to no avail? What does it feel like when you realize, by His revelation, that you have spent too much time operating in the flesh? You wonder what Isaiah meant when he said, “Yet what is due me.” It is what flows from Yahweh’s mercy and grace; attributes of His love for you. When you labor at no purpose, it is because you did not ask for directions; you moved too quickly ahead of Him in the flesh, the way you have become accustomed to operating. That will always be in vain. Yes, He is always out front, but you did not stop to consider this; your actions did not include His will. Nevertheless, He afforded you a new heart (mind) by the death of His Son, and He sees your efforts to honor the change. Now, it is time to start over. Wouldn’t you like to receive what is due?
The talents you have, the zeal you have for good things, yes, He placed those in you. Will you now go to Him for direction so He can use those gifts properly? Remember King David, how he desired to build a house for the Almighty, a temple made of cedar and stone? Had he not been stopped through the prophet Nathan, he surely would have begun the project. He did well that it was in his heart to do such a thing (2 Samuel 7:3). And yet, at the prophetic moment of his revelation, he was told, “No!” You see, had he proceeded without being held in check, much effort would have been wasted in doing something that seemed so good and so honoring, yet it was not for him to build!
Just give Yahweh a willing heart and He will draw the plans; He will hire the laborers; and He will pay the costs. Before you endeavor to begin anything, ask Him. Filter every thought, and therefore every action through Him! Oh, how He desires this kind of relationship with you. He will have this kind of relationship with you.
Ask Him! His manna will be far better than the bread you produce in your own abilities. This is yet another pattern, an inescapable pattern indeed.