It’s not hard for me to believe God is real. One brief look at the mountains, the diverse array of snowflakes sprinkling my yard, or my children for that matter, and I’m convinced. That kind of intricacy just doesn’t happen by chance.
Devotional Scripture: Exodus 2:23-25
Key Verse: “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel – and God knew.” Exodus 2:24-25
Neither is it hard for me to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior. He’s God – why couldn’t he raise from the dead? But when it comes to believing he just heard that prayer I uttered five minutes ago, yesterday, last week, last year. The one I’ve prayed more times than I can count – the struggle is real.
Perhaps it’s because there’s typically no confirmation. The word “received” doesn’t show up in tiny letters like it does after I send a text. I can’t check my sent e-mail to see if it went through. Nor is there a check mark or a little profile picture in the bottom right corner to show me God’s got the message.
Usually – there’s nothing. Just me still sittin’ on the couch. Hoping my words made it past the ceiling. A lot little unsure my prayer efforts are having any impact. Which is why I’ve spent the last week edging my faith with the last three verses of Exodus 2.
A hidden treasure I would do well to dig up and keep forever, but I’m happy to share. It says, God heard the cries and prayers of the Israelites, he remembered the covenant he had made with Abraham, he saw the people, and he knew. (v. 24-25).
God heard, God remembered, God saw, God knew. (A precious gem of confirmation my friend. That’s what that is.) God heard every cry of his people. Every uttered prayer – the long ones, the short ones, the quick under the breath ones, even the undecipherable ones. Each went up to Heaven’s throne room and he heard them.
Psalm 34:15 says, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry” (NIV). Did you catch that second part? He’s attentive. Not like me who’s usually only half listening because I’m steeped inside my own thoughts. God’s all ears when it comes to his children.
Knowing our needs before we even ask (Matt. 6:8). But if we’re choosing sin over him – it’s a different story. In Prov. 28:9 God is quite clear, “If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable” (NIV). Or if we’re just asking on behalf of our own selfish desires, no need to expect much (Ja. 4:3).
But when we’re living in obedience. When we’re abiding in him and his ways, look out! “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). Pray with faith (James 1:15). Pray amidst mounds of thankfulness (Phil. 4:6). Pray with a heart of humility (Mark 11:25). Pray according to God’s will (Matt. 6:10). And pray always (1 Thess. 5:17). Because He’s listening.
And remembers every single thing He says. (Something I’m terrible at.) I will say one thing and have no idea what I just said five minutes later (Just ask my kids.) But God – He remembers. Choosing to forget one thing and one thing only – my sin (Isaiah 43:25). Everything else – God’s got at the forefront of his mind always with every person and each situation. (I’d never keep it all straight.)
But God does. And moves on our behalf because he remembers his promise to be with us; his promise to never forsake us. His promise to save and keep and work in our lives until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6). As he did here when he remembered his covenant with Abraham to be God to the nation that would come through Isaac. To bring them out of slavery and bless the world through them.
Beloved he’s not forgotten, he remembers. And He sees. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes” (Phil. 4:13, NLT). Even our thoughts are laid bare. Spread before God without delay (or apology for that matter).
Because He is ‘El Ro’i, a God of seeing, as Hagar came to understand alone in the wilderness. Desperate, tired, afraid, hurt, angry, unsure of the future that awaited her she saw God, because he saw her. Raw. Rejected. Riled by a life she didn’t ask for. Can you relate? He sees you.
Just as he saw the Israelites stuck inside the confines of cruel injustice and moved on their behalf, he sees you and me stuck inside the parameters of a sin nature. Unable to save ourselves. Unable to befriend righteousness. Burdened with a love for self and bought by the ways of this world.
So He himself stepped in. Seeing no one else to intercede God, “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
Because he knows. He knows we’re bogged down by the finite and baffled by the eternal. He knows we’re limited in understanding and led by perception. He knows we’re knee deep in desire. He knows we’re worried about tomorrow and worked up about yesterday. He knows we’re tired of the frenzy and feeling fatigued.
He knows we have plans yet hesitate about our purpose. He knows we’re anxious, scared, sad, uncertain, ready for a new adventure. He knows. He knows it all. Every longing. Every line item. Every little nuance we have.
But the LORD also knows – the reward is not in having our desires met or problems solved, it’s in knowing Him. (John 17:3) So his goal isn’t to make it easy, but to make it eternal. So that we’ll hear him, remember him, see him, and know him.
The question isn’t – is God listening? The question isn’t – does God remember? The question isn’t – does God see? The question isn’t – does God know? The question is – do we? Are we listening? Do we remember? Do we see him? Do we know him?
He knows my friend, so all we really need to do is concentrate on knowing him.
Contemplate and Evaluate:
Do you question whether God hears your prayers and understands your desires? When have you seen God answer your prayers above and beyond anything you could have ever imagined?
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