Disturb Me, Lord . . .
Challenged By A Prayer
DURING my 2002 ministry trip to England I came across the following little prayer (which I found hanging on the back of a bathroom door).
"Today I prayed:
Disturb me, Lord, when my dreams come true, only because I dreamed too small. Disturb me when I arrive safely, only because I sailed too close to the shore. Disturb me when the things I have gained cause me to lose my thirst for more of You. Disturb me when I have acquired success, only to lose my desire for excellence. Disturb me when I give up too soon and settle too far short of the goals You have set for my life. Amen." – Author Unknown.
WHEN I read that prayer I was impacted as to its truth. I was challenged at how easily we can settle for less than we should. In this article I want us to consider each part of this prayer, and see how we can help one another to accomplish greater things this year, and in the years to come:
"Disturb me, Lord, when my dreams come true, only because I dreamed too small."
Are we guilty of dreaming too small?
One of the major conflicts we Christians have – when we compare our lives to the promises of God in the Bible – is that we dream too small. We do not allow God to be God in and through us. We limit Him! We also tend to limit life’s achievements to that which we can accomplish, rather than dreaming about things that, unless He comes through in a big way, will not be accomplished. We all need to have a dream, a vision, of what are the divine possibilities that are now before us, because the living, resurrected Jesus Christ lives inside us right now through the same Holy Spirit that raised Him from the dead! (Romans 8 ). If we’re really honest with ourselves, we Christians are all dreaming too small! No wonder whoever penned this prayer used the words, "Disturb me, Lord!" We do need disturbing, so that we can break out of our too small mindsets that restrict us to only seeing small dreams realized. "Disturb us, Lord!"
"Disturb me when I arrive safely, only because I sailed too close to the shore."
This section really gets to me. Am I sailing too close to the shore? Am I "playing it so safe" that there is no need to be taking any risks in my Christian walk? Am I content to live a "safe, ordinary and mundane" existence that I will never know what it is really like to "Launch out into the deep"(Luke 5 ) of the high seas of life and see what will happen if I really trusted God? How easy it is to sail close to the shore. No dangers, no risks, and if by some chance something did go wrong, the shore is not far away. It’s time to let go the control, control, control, and let God be and do what He wants to in our lives! We men and women of God were born-again to sail the high seas of life, to trust God with our life and to prove what God can really do when we demonstrate our trust, faith and confidence in Him.
When it comes to sailing, the Bible says of Noah, "By faith he . . . "(Genesis 7:5 ; Hebrews 11:7 ). Have you ever stopped to think what faith is? It is our choosing to believe what God says more than what we say or think. It takes faith to act upon what God says, because it is always beyond what we naturally think we can do. Did you know that when Noah built the ark, the only window was in the top? (He was the first to have "Sky TV" – joke). Noah had to totally trust God when he went into that ark. He was not able to see where he was going. He had no natural, logical way of steering the ark! That’s why he sent out the dove and the raven, to see if it was dry enough to disembark (Genesis 8 ).
We glibly read and pass over the reality of what faith is. It is trusting in that which God tells you. To do that which God tells you means you have to believe God to cause everything to fall into its rightful place! If we can accomplish things in our own strength and ability, we do not need faith! Can you imagine captaining the ark, carrying the responsibility of your wife and family’s protection and future, yet not being able to see where you are going? Noah’s trust and confidence in what God said to him certainly made him a hero of faith (that’s why he is mentioned in Hebrews 11 ). Noah certainly didn’t "play it safe" and sail too close to the shore! He took huge risks in trusting himself to that (which to the logic) was sheer crazy. This year, are you going to push out into the deep more? How else can we show God we trust Him? "Disturb us, Lord!"
"Disturb me when the things I have gained cause me to lose my thirst for more of You."
This focuses on our motives and desires – how selfish are we in our prayers and service for God? When the Lord does answer our prayers, does it sidetrack us from our ongoing focus on Him? It is so important that we live for His glory, not for what "we can get out of Him" for our own selfish ends. How thirsty are we for more of God? What does that thirst make us do? "Disturb us, Lord!"
"Disturb me when I have acquired success, only to lose my desire for excellence."
What a challenge! Success can come in many forms. What is success to one may not be to another. The world’s idea of success is certainly very different to God’s idea of success! We all need to be motivated by the desire to keep improving ourselves. We can always do things better. In our Ministry we are seeking to improve our quality of presentation, to continually sharpen our giftings and callings. The better we are at fulfilling God’s dream for our lives means that more people will be divinely impacted by God through our lives. The more committed, the clearer the focus, and the clearer the focus, the easier it is to "see" where we are going. "Disturb us, Lord, from any sloppiness in our lives.
"Disturb me when I give up too soon and settle too far short of the goals You have set for my life."
How easy it is to give up too soon. One of the statements that made former Prime Minister of Great Britain a hero and a legend, Winston Churchill, was his declaration during the Second World War: "We will never, never, never, ever give up!" That determination brought about a victory in the face of defeat. So often we get defeated within ourselves because we give in too soon. We don’t carry a strong enough conviction that God has called us to be conquerors, over comers. His goals for us are to reveal His glory through us because of our accomplishing the goals He has set for us. Yes, God has goals for your life. Do you know them? You can rise to discover and then to fulfil the goals He has for you. "Disturb us, Lord, for we give in too often too soon."
May the heartbeat of this prayer grip you and help you to see that there is still so much more God wants to accomplish in and through your life. Trust Him more, see what He will do for you when you cast aside caution and restraint toward His promises to you, and demonstrate to the Lord that you really do have faith in Him.
Dream your dreams, push out further from the shore, cultivate your thirst, feed your desire for excellence, raise your goals, fulfil your destiny!
Before you move on, why not go back to the top of this article and read the prayer out aloud to your self? Then, continue to meditate upon what it is saying to you.
It’s okay to be disturbed!