But if God is only your 9-1-1, you are not in a healthy relationship with Him. We may spend hours or days in a struggle praying and asking God for a miracle, but how much time do we spend praising Him when He answers our prayers? I think we need to consider how our thanks-giving compares to our miracle-asking.
There are multiple stories in Scripture that give us examples of how we should respond to God's miraculous activity in our lives. One such story is found in Exodus 15. God's people had been delivered from Egypt through 10 powerful moves of God. Then they get to a place where they are facing a sea in front of them, and the world's most powerful army behind them. It seems like there is only death in both directions. Have you ever been in a place where you were doomed if you went forward and doomed if you went back?
Like us, many of the Hebrews panicked. They had forgotten God's mighty hand bringing them out of the land of Egypt, but they apparently didn't exercise faith to believe that He would work in their present crisis. Others prayed. They chose to believe that God would not bring them to something He would not bring them through.
God opened the waters of the sea and they walked across on completely dry ground. When they arrives safely on the other side, they looked back and God was crashing the Red Sea on their enemy, the Egyptians. After seeing this they sang the following song...
I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.
This is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is His name.
He threw Pharaoh’s chariots and his army into the sea; the elite of his officers were drowned in the Red Sea.
The floods covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone.
Lord, Your right hand is glorious in power.
Lord, Your right hand shattered the enemy.
You overthrew Your adversaries by Your great majesty.
You unleashed Your burning wrath; it consumed them like stubble.
The waters heaped up at the blast of Your nostrils; the currents stood firm like a dam.
The watery depths congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy said: “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil.
My desire will be gratified at their expense.
I will draw my sword; my hand will destroy them.”
But You blew with Your breath, and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
Lord, who is like You among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders?
You stretched out Your right hand, and the earth swallowed them.
You will lead the people You have redeemed with Your faithful love; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength.
When the peoples hear, they will shudder; anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia.
Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified; trembling will seize the leaders of Moab; the inhabitants of Canaan will panic; and terror and dread will fall on them.
They will be as still as a stone because of Your powerful arm until Your people pass by, Lord, until the people whom You purchased pass by.
You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of Your possession; Lord, You have prepared the place for Your dwelling; Lord, Your hands have established the sanctuary.
The Lord will reign forever and ever!
Do we sing as well as we scream? Are we as quick to rejoice as we are to retreat? Does God hear our worship as loudly as He hears our worry? Does the world notice that we throw up our hands in holy praise as high as we throw up our hands in hopeless panic?
Today, call out to God in your time of need. Do it with faith. But when God delivers you, be a great thanker. Sing your favorite praise song... or make up your own.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.