Come Down, Lord #8 – Aligning with God
In Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Ivan endures all the horrors of a Soviet prison camp. One day he is praying with his eyes closed when a fellow prisoner ridicules him: “Prayers won’t help you get out of here any faster.”
Opening his eyes, Ivan answers, “I do not pray to get out of prison but to do the will of God.”
Prayer is not resigning yourself to some undesirable fate. Nor is prayer manipulating God to get what you want. Prayer is discovering what God wants you to do, aligning yourself with it, and then asking the Holy Spirit to enable you to do it.
As you align yourself with God, God’s heart, God’s purposes for your life, God comes to your help.
This is what the prophet Isaiah learned. “You [God] come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved?” (Isaiah 64:5).
You “gladly do right”. Not what you prefer or believe what is best. But learning to understand and follow all that God wants. For example, you prioritize justice and mercy and humility. You pray, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Psalm 143:10).
In so doing, you align yourself with God’s way, not wandering aimlessly. Your align yourself with God’s truth, not falling for the enemy’s lies. You align yourself with God’s life, not chasing some delusion that leads to death.
You also “remember” God’s ways in your life . . . how Christ saved you, forgave you, delivered you, freed you from your sins, led and guided you in making decisions, protected you from danger, encouraged and supported you through good friends.
You remember God’s gifts of love and grace and joy and peace . . . how you experienced God’s help and presence in painful situations in the past.
You also think of how God has delivered his people in the Bible, saved them in their distress, and how their spiritual journey parallels your own.
As you align yourself with God by doing right and remembering his ways, God comes down again to help you. “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” (Psalm 54:4).
Action Step: Take a minute to reflect on God’s ways in your life. Write them down to remember.
~ Pastor Dave