Saturday, July 14, 2007

The perfect recipe

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Isaiah 36, 37; Psalms 105, 106

Isaiah 37:14-15 (NIV)

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord.

Psalm 106:44 (NIV)

44 But He [God] took note of their distress when He heard their cry.

Good morning!

Do you like to cook? I enjoy trying new recipes, especially when I’m preparing for company. Before I serve my guests a “new dish,” I make time to take the recipe for a dry run. You just never know what you might end up serving if you don’t test the recipe in advance. One summer, my sister sent me one of her favorite broccoli salad recipes by e-mail. It sounded so yummy; I just had to make it for the next pot-luck dinner. In a mad dash, I whipped it up without taking it for a test run. The recipe called for seeds, and I did not realize the seeds needed to be hulled and crushed first. Can I tell just how awful that salad tasted? Not only did I end up scrapping the whole thing just before the meal, I found myself running to the store to buy a prefab salad to serve instead. Sometimes, we learn the toughest lessons in life by rushing through the recipe without testing it first.

King Hezekiah understood the secret to a perfect recipe. If you want amazing results, you must be willing to trust the Lord completely for the result. What did Hezekiah do when Sennacherib, King of Assyria, threatened the cities of Judah? Hezekiah knelt before the Lord in prayer. He knew who held the power, and it wasn’t him. The prophet Isaiah begged the people to pray for divine intervention. King Hezekiah knew the winning recipe would emerge from the hand of God, not from the evil schemes of men. And even when he could not see the outcome clearly, Hezekiah knew God had the power and purpose to deliver His people. So he took the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before Him. Hezekiah knew company was coming, even though they had not been invited, and Hezekiah needed a winning recipe, one that would not fail him.

Sometimes, we just have to stop and lay it all out before the Lord. He commands us to trust Him; to ask Him to provide for our every need and then believe that He will do it! Some people are burdened for the suffering of others. Prayer intercessors spend chunks of time each day lifting up the needs of the sick, those who may have lost their way, and for the ones who struggle to survive. There are others who pray constantly for their unsaved family members. Some people have a heart for little children, and find themselves drawn to pray for their needs. We have His Word that assures us God hears every prayer we pray. The answer may not always be clear; yet, we have a guarantee the solution is on the way. Sometimes when I pray, I find His answer may be silence, and there are moments when His silence becomes sweet music to my ears. For I know that my Lord sees the future I cannot begin to vision, and when I trust Him to take complete control of my life, He releases me from the need to see and understand the bigger picture. Laying it all before the throne of grace brings sweet relief to my heart every single time I pray.

The perfect recipe of grace and forgiveness was prepared for you at the foot of the cross, where Jesus Christ gave His life to save you. Take Isaiah’s advice and follow King Hezekiah’s lead. Do not hesitate to take your petitions, your visions and plans and lay them down at the foot of the cross today. Won’t you join me this weekend at Faith Church to pray?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the desire to spread it all out before the Lord. He is waiting for you to come to Him today. Why don’t you let God’s perfect plan become the recipe for your life?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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