Friday, October 11, 2013

Seven Times? Really?

Last year I read the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  I'm currently in the middle of his Draw the Circle, a 40-day (ahem, or 3 month) devotional about prayer and seeking what God is doing in our lives.  The premise of the book and devotional is to be focused, specific, and dream big in our prayers.  (Read it - seriously... it's life changing.)  I won't get into too much of it here, but because of drawing circles in my life, something happened today.

I'm praying about something very specific related to this move to Las Vegas.  Something that I can do nothing in my own power to change--but that has to be changed in order for me to move.  It's actually caused my fear to rise and try to consume my faith.

But then God spoke last night.

I didn't hear an audible voice--I never have, actually.  However, I felt something deep in my heart say, "Start a prayer walk.  Circle this problem... not just in your words, but physically go outside and walk circles around it."

Folks, I am NOT a prayer walker.  I have tried.  For years.  I get about 27 seconds in and then I'm smelling a tree branch, laughing at a neighbor's dog, or creating a grocery list in my head.  I just can't focus!

This was pretty clear, however.  So I did it. 

I thought of the Israelites in Joshua 6.  God told them to circle the city of Jericho, to march around it once a day for 6 days and then on the 7th day, they'd march around 7 times... and the city would fall.  It would be theirs.  God would get the victory.  I didn't get the whole seven thing, but... I did it anyway.
So I went outside.
I started walking.
And I figured out why God said to go around the city SEVEN times.

  • On trip number one around your problem, you're doing it because you're told to.  It's easy to walk around something once.  
  • On trips two and three, you're just marching along.  Looking at the pretty tree.  Avoiding those pesky fall spiders.
  • By trip four (or was it five?), you start losing count and you're realizing the people are looking at you.  The kids playing outside are wondering about the crazy woman circling them.  The neighbors are looking out their windows.
  • On trip six, you know that you'd better change the path you're taking or the neighbors are going to call the police.  But then you get an idea... something slightly different to pray for about your problem, and you bring it to the throne.
  • But then trip seven starts and you're talking to God and you say, "God... I actually BELIEVE You can do something here.  I BELIEVE that You have something better planned and I'm going to think even BIGGER than I've been thinking because the bigger the answer to prayer, the more glory You get."

It takes seven trips around your Jericho because that's how long it takes for you to actually BELIEVE.

My problem feels insurmountable.  It really does.
But when I start marching around it and realizing that God is the one in control of this move--that HE is the one who wanted me to do this in the first place?  Well, it may take me awhile... but that's when I start to believe.

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