Thursday, May 27, 2021

Mission Importunate

Listen to the Audio Version here:
Luke 18:1 (NET) And Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not to lose heart

There is this movie franchise that is quite popular and has received great acclaim over the years. The movie basically shows how an agent of a particular security agency along with his team find creative ways to surmount daunting obstacles in their bid to save the world from impending dangers.

In contrast, Jesus told a parable in Luke chapter 18 about a widow who through persistence got her request met, she didn’t get creative in her method, she just applied the pressure of persistence until the seemingly immovable judge was moved to act in her favor. The first time Nadia heard Pastor Ken teach on this passage of scripture she was quite confused.

Is God being likened to an unjust judge? Why does He need us to pray for so long before He answers? Do I have to weary God out with my importunity before He answers and delivers me?

It is possible that these questions have plagued your heart at one time or the other. To provide some clarity, here are some things to note. Whenever you read about or study a parable, ask yourself what was the subject matter and what was the lesson the speaker was trying to pass across? For instance, in this parable, prayer was the subject matter and persistence in prayer was what was being highlighted. So, you see that the parable was never told to draw a comparison between the unjust judge and God but rather to highlight the importunity (persistence) of the woman.

Regardless, one might still wonder, if God is not like the unjust judge, then why the need for persistence? Well, you need to first understand that the bible has revealed sufficiently in scripture the willingness of God to answer the prayers of his children (1 John 5:14-15; Matthew 7:7-11), however, there are other factors that come into play when it comes to one receiving answers to prayers. For example, there are spiritual oppositions to be dismantled and this sometimes takes time. (See Daniel 10:1-13; Ephesians 6:12&18).

Again, some situations take time for the demands of justice to be met. See Genesis 15:13-16 for example, God was explaining to Abraham that one of the things that will determine the time that his descendants will spend in the land of bondage was the time it would take for the current occupants of the land He will deliver them to, the land of Canaan, to become deserving of being driven out. Yet you see that that is not the only condition, the Israelites were also to cry out to the Lord, which they did, so He can weigh in and deliver them from Egypt into Canaan (Exodus 3:7). There are so many other reasons, but one thing is constant, Jesus admonishes us to not lose heart or give up when we have prayed and circumstances appear to remain unchanged. At such times, just remember its time for Mission Importunate.

Go into today determined to be persistent in prayer. Don’t give up, don’t give in, pray until you win…and then pray some more.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Yearly Bible Reading: I Corinthians 15-16 (In Devotional Audio)
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