For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)
Do you enjoy the perks given in life? Have you ever started a new job and been pleasantly surprised on the first day to see your assigned parking spot in the front row? What about the parenthood – unending hugs and kisses, unconditional love, and homemade pictures to decorate the refrigerator?
Did you know there are perks to being a Christ follower? (Here is the definition of Christ follower as found in Romans 10:9, NIV: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”) When you enter into a relationship with God, not only are you promised the chance to spend eternity in Heaven, but God doesn’t stop there. He wants to bless you with so much more. He’s not about simply surviving – He’s about helping you thrive.
As with getting your own parking space or unlimited homemade refrigerator decorations, there are certain things that need to be done. You have to work at said company of the parking space and you have to actually be a mother – either biologically or through adoption or marriage.
There are things we Christ followers must actively do in order to receive some of those perks. One of those, and probably the easiest (depending how you look at it) is simply to ask.
The best way to ask is through regular quiet time. Our main pastor, Pastor Sunnock, gave a great sermon a few months ago regarding the benefits of quiet time, and the main one was hearing God’s voice. The more we practice listening to His voice, the faster we will hear Him.
When our family was going through our “faith test” last summer, I told God I needed a promise from Him that everything would be okay. I didn’t beg, but I approached Him as a child would a loving Father – expecting an answer. He gave me that answer in the form of a verse, Exodus 14:13-14 (NIV): “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. the Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still.”
The next step to receiving the perks from Your Heavenly is to claim the promise for yourself. For me, that meant praying the promise back to God daily. I took it one step further and I personalized the promise so that it sounded like this when I would talk to Him every morning: “I don’t have to be afraid. I need to stand firm and I will see the deliverance, You, Lord, will bring us today. The Egyptians that we see today (and I named all our challenges individually), we will never see again. You, Lord, will fight for us. We only need to be still.” Little by little, God started working through each issue for us. We are still praying for some of our Egyptians to never be seen again, but because God gave me that promise, even though I don’t know when it will occur, I know that God is working and they will be gone.
Then, for me, I wondered when God was going to release me from this promise…if it had an expiration date. I didn’t want an expiration date. I wanted Him to keep fighting for me. I wanted to keep resting and having Him tell me I didn’t have to worry (since worry was a big issue for me).
So, in January, I asked Him again. “Lord, do you want to release me from this verse? Do you want me to start fighting for myself again?” I will tell you how God answered the next time we get together.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014