“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy.” -Romans 9:16
The context of this verse is set in Israel’s hardening toward the gospel and the Gentile’s acceptance of it, but there is much application for each of us as individuals as well. You see, the same principle applies to our own salvation as well as our daily Christian living and to our ministries. Too often we think that if we follow particular steps exactly right we will get results. We hear this all the time with sermon titles like – “7 Steps to a Victorious Life” or “The Five Stones You Need to Slay Your Giants” and so on. The problem with this mentality is that God is not a system to be worked, and we cannot make Him do things for us simply because we “played by the rules”.
That is not to say that God doesn’t love to answer our prayers or help us when we call, but He doesn’t do so on account of our desires or efforts. He answers us on account of His mercy. That is why the title of this devotion is “Down is the Quickest Way Up”, because the only way we will ever see change in our lives, ministries, country, etc. is by humbling ourselves before God and depending solely upon His mercy.
There is one thing that the revivals recorded throughout history have in common – prayer! Humble, heart-felt prayer offered up in unity among all God’s people across denominational lines. So once again, it is high time that we seek God earnestly and in unison as believers. Let’s not rush ahead and try to make things happen by our own efforts; instead, let us throw ourselves on the mercy of God and wait for Him to answer.