A few months ago, I read the book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson where he challenges his readers to pray big prayers. He even says that when we pray big prayers that seem impossible to us, we will have no doubt that our prayers were answered by God. He explained that when we pray for something that could easily happen on our own, when it does happen we question whether or not God played a role. That is not to say that we should be praying over all things; however, if we never ask God to step in and do the impossible, we miss out on seeing the hand of God move in a mighty way. I can relate because there have been prayers that I have made for the ordinary (which is good), but when I see the fulfillment of them it is really easy to wonder if I did it or if God stepped in. It is in our prayers for the extraordinary that everyone who hears about it can have no doubt that God did a miracle. The story I am looking at is one of faith and a big prayer; please turn to Genesis 24:9-21.
I first want to look at one thing that I brushed over yesterday and it is mentioned again at the beginning of these verses. Abraham asked his servant to swear an oath by placing his hand under Abraham's thigh. Today, we see that the servant took this oath before setting off on his journey. I did a little research and found many differing opinions on what that means; however, there was agreement on the fact that this was a very solemn oath. Some scholars believe that it symbolized that he was swearing this oath on Abraham's seed. Some Jewish scholars pointed out that it was because Abraham knew how sacred the circumcision was in the fulfillment of God's promise and having the servant swear an oath near the circumcision was swearing by God and using something sacred to bind the oath. This is something we will see again later in the book of Genesis, so I just wanted to point out how this was probably the most sacred way a human could bind an oath.
We see that after making this sacred oath, the servant turned to God to fulfill this oath. The servant knew that he would need God to direct him to the woman God had set aside for Isaac. The thing I find interesting is that he prayed to Abraham's God; he didn't go directly to God as his God. I don't know if this marked his status as a servant or if he didn't have a relationship with God where he felt like He was his God; but I do know that as followers of Christ we have the confidence of going to our Creator's throne as our God. He prayed a big prayer where he asked God for some specific signs to help guide him to who he should bring back. The thing that made me chuckle is that God fulfilled the signs exactly as the servant asked and then the servant wondered if God had directed him to the right person. This makes me laugh because, I have asked God for confirmation and when He gave me confirmation, I still wondered if God wanted me to do that which I had asked for confirmation! We see that not only had God confirmed with him the right woman, we see that she met all of Abraham's qualifications (although the servant didn't know this yet).
We can go boldly before God's throne and ask for big things or for confirmation for our next steps (Hebrews 10:19-22). But when those prayers are answered, we also need to believe what God has given or revealed. When God reveals something to us, there is no need to doubt because He can do all things and He always does what He says He will do. But I also understand - I have asked for confirmation on some difficult things as well. When we receive confirmation for those things, it is easy to say, "Yes, but is this something God really wants me to do?" I guess that is why Mark Batterson wrote about the importance for asking big. When we ask big, we have no doubt when we receive the answer.
Do you need confirmation for something from God? Are you asking for big and specific confirmation?
This post is linked with Word-Filled Wednesday and iFellowship Blog Hop.