An Egg or a Scorpion?
On this day, November 15th, in 1917, Oswald Chambers died of a ruptured appendix. The month before, in October, Oswald had traveled to Zeitoun Camp, a military training camp near Cairo, Egypt, to serve as a chaplain to British Commonwealth soldiers. He began to hold weeknight service and over 400 men would fill the hut where he spoke to hear him preach. He often spoke with them individually as these men were seeking to find God and hope in a war torn world. It is in the hard struggle of confused frustration that we tend to look for God the most, perhaps because we seem to miss Him the most, and even tend to pray for the wrong things. I'll come back to this in a moment. But during the time Oswald spoke with the soldiers at Zeitoun Camp, he would often quote Luke 11:1-4 while teaching them how to pray, and he referred to Luke 11:13 saying, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." Oswald Chambers is well known for his emphasis on the prayer life of believers. He is the pastor who once said, "Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” His many quotes were collected and published by his wife, who lovingly continued his ministry after his passing. When he died, one of the soldiers who had been led to faith in Christ by Oswald, honored him by having a marbled carving of a Bible with the message Luke 11:13 on its open page beside his grave. "How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" What greater work could Oswald have done than to lead soldiers in war to Christ and share with them the promise from God that if they would ask for the greatest gift, God would give it to them. The greatest gift is the Holy Spirit. It is also a gift that will bring serious frustration into your life. Let me explain. The Holy Spirit testifies to Christ and does the work of the Father inside of every believer. He guides, sanctifies, and convicts, and frankly those things can bring frustration when the man prays for something different than what God has willed for him. But the Holy Spirit does not simply frustrate to frustrate, for that would be evil and there is no evil in God, but the frustration is an EVIDENCE of the process of transformation, which is happening within the man at the time he is experiencing it. The man is wrestling with God. It feels awful, but is such a good thing. When that frustration occurs, the man has to be submitted in prayer. But what if the man doesn't know how to pray? What if the man doesn't know that he doesn't know how to pray? AH-HA!!! That is truly the question we fail to ask. What if I believe I am praying for an egg, but in reality I am desperately asking God to give me a scorpion? In Luke 11:11-12 Christ taught, "If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion?" That is when He goes on to say, if you wouldn't do this for your own children, God certainly would never do it for you. God is good and His gifts are good. So the Holy Spirit intercedes FOR him, on his behalf, with groaning that cannot be uttered. This means there is no spoken language of any kind here, but that a groaning, which does not come from the mouth of the man, comes out of the Holy Spirit within him, to pray for what God WILLS for the man. That frustration is the evidence of that groaning (Holy Spirit prayer) and it is a sure sign, when you experience it, that you must humble yourself to quietly seek and listen to know what God's will is for you. You want something God does not want you to have. What God wants for you is good and you don't realize that what you are after is not what is best. You think you are asking for an egg, but for you the egg is a scorpion, and God will not give you the scorpion. God is good and He gives good gifts, but man doesn't know what God knows. Man thinks that good things are good for everyone, but only God's will for you is good for you. God's will for someone else could mean bondage if given to you. For another person, to receive what you have prayed for would be an egg to them, but not for you, and God is wrestling with you through His Holy Spirit, which is interceding for you because you do not know how to pray. You haven't FAILED to pray, you have failed to pray WELL. I should go as far as to say, you have failed to pray HIS WILL. But nevertheless, He is praying it for you because it is a very important matter. Isn't it good to know that when we fail to pray well over very important things in our lives, God intercedes for us? When you begin to desire what God desires for you, then your frustration will subside and your hope will rise. And you will be blessed to look back and one day say, "Thank God I did not get everything for which I prayed."
I want to pray for you who are reading this.
"Father, I know not who reads this nor when it is being read. It could be today or three years from now, but time is in YOUR hand and You are not humbled beneath it. I pray for the person who finds frustration every time they turn around. I pray that if they are feeling defeated, rejected, and resisted, they will begin to recognize it is time to quietly seek Your will now and submit humbly to Your plan in their life, so they can fulfill Your purpose according to Your calling upon them. Lord, let their focus now be upon YOU. Let us pray just as Jesus prayed, "Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done." We've made known our will and our desires, and now, Lord, If that is not Your will, Let not our will be done, but Yours, Father God." Let the wrestling cease, let the battle end, let the frustration subside and give us a Your dream and Your desire, which is Yours for us, and help us to now walk in Your peace and with hope for a new thing. You are good and all your ways are good, Lord. Help us to trust in You. In Jesus name we pray, Amen."