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Monday, October 13, 2014

A Parent’s Prayer

Job 1 : 1 - 5, There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East. And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. NKJV
We hear many sermons about Job; they teach us that he was a righteous man, who loved God and abhorred evil. Nonetheless, have you ever heard a sermon about how good Job was at being a godly parent? Like so many parents today, Job seemed to be very concerned about the spiritual well-being of his children. The Bible tells us that Job offered sacrifices unto the Lord on their behalf, just in case they had sinned against God. Job stood in the gap for his own children. He continually came before God for them, offering an animal sacrifice to ensure that their sins were atoned for.
As a pastor, I can say that the most-requested prayer of our members is for physical healing. However, the prayer request that rivals the need for healing is parents’ requests for their children. Christian parents carry the spiritual well-being of their children on their hearts as much as their own well-being; this should come as no surprise. After all, don’t we all want the best for our offspring and shouldn’t the best include them having a personal relationship with Jesus and walking in His Word?
We’re instructed in Proverbs 22 : 6 to train up our child in the way that he should go; and when he is old, he won’t depart from it. Paul further exhorts fathers to bring their children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. As parents, we have a small window of time to shape the morality, ethics, and character of our children by teaching them the Word of God. After they reach the age of independence, we have to release them and their decisions to the Lord.
We read in today’s scripture that there came a time when God didn’t look to Job’s sacrifice for his sons and daughters; it was time for them to take on the responsibility of seeking God for themselves. At that point, God released Job from continually carrying the weight of their responsibility. No parent can obey God for their child. We cannot climb on their cross and make them serve God. Paul teaches us in Philippians 2 to work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling. Therefore, if your child is beyond your sphere of influence in spiritual matters and chooses to live for the pleasures of this world, you will need to turn him/her over to the Lord.
As a parent of three grown sons, I know a bit about the subject of “letting go” and giving them to God. What happens to them as a result of their decisions after they reach independence is out of your control and is in God’s hands. Are you continually “sacrificing” on the behalf of a rebellious child? Does guilt cause you to bear an impossible burden that you can’t bear any longer? If you are, then cast that care on God because He cares for you and your wayward child. You can rest in knowing that God loves your child or children far greater than you ever could. As a result of His great love, He knows what is best for them and will see to it that they receive His help in their hour of need.
We have a wonderful picture of a parent’s trust in God in Exodus 2. Moses’ mom hid him from Pharaoh so that he wouldn’t be killed by him. Nevertheless, there came a time when she had to let Moses go. His mother placed him in a basket and sent him down the river; then she told Moses’ sister to follow him to see what would become of Moses. We learn that Pharaoh’s daughter took Moses in and raised him as her own son. Now, let’s look at a couple of truths before I conclude today’s word. God caused Moses’ mom to release her INFANT son into a rushing river. TRUST! Then God allowed Moses to enter the very house of the one who was seeking to kill him. It was there, in the house of his greatest enemy, that God allowed Moses to be provided for and raised.
We might not be able to handle our children, but we know that God CAN and WILL. Even so, we have to take our hands off them. I pray that this word gives you encouragement, but more than that, I hope that you now have the faith to let your child(ren) go. Release them into God’s loving care and rest.
Letting Go and Letting God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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