Whatever It Takes

Welcome  I have a pretty eclectic selection of music that I enjoy.  I mostly listen to contemporary Christian music, but I also listen to some current bands, “old” country, classical, jazz, and even some rock.  I like the band Imagine Dragons and especially their song, Whatever It Takes.

Whatever It Takes has a fast pace and upbeat music, but it’s overall message is very encouraging, in my opinion.  It’s message says to reach for your goals and be the best you can be, doing whatever it takes, no matter how many obstacles you face, no matter how many times you get knocked down.  The theme focuses on perseverance, hard work, and dedication, three valuable traits to have.  But when it comes to our faith, are we ready to do “whatever it takes?”

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Food For Thought  I hadn’t given much thought to “whatever it takes” from a spiritual perspective until I was doing a recent Bible study.  We were looking at the story of Elijah in 1 Kings, chapters 17 and 18.  Elijah was a “whatever it takes” kind of guy.  It seems there was this evil ruler, Ahab, in Israel, who “did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” (1 Kings 16:33; ESV)  To defeat Ahab and the prophets of Baal, Elijah called upon the Lord’s help, help in the form of a drought!  To right the wrongs of this evil king, Elijah wanted God to do whatever it takes, even if that meant no rain or dew for years (1Kings 17:1).

What did it take for Elijah to get God’s help in taking down this power in Israel?  Well, jump ahead to the New Testament and look at James 5:17-18 (ESV), “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.  Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”  What did it take?  Praying fervently.

Are you facing a struggle today?  Physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially?  Are you ready to do whatever it takes to make a change?  If so, may I suggest praying fervently.  “Fervently” means to do something enthusiastically or passionately.  God wants you to pray with passion and enthusiasm, but may I add a few more adverbs to the list when it comes to our “whatever it takes” prayers?  I would like to add: pray faithfully (Matt. 21:21-22), continually (1 Thess. 5:17), and universally (Eph. 6:18).

The other aspect of doing “whatever it takes” is that sometimes we have to be in an uncomfortable situation for a while for God’s answer to work through us.  For Israel, that came in the form of a three-and-half-year drought.  For us, it may look like leaving the security of a job or a comfortable home.  It may mean we have to sever ties with “friends” or give up habits we enjoy so much.  Asking God to do whatever it takes to help us through our struggle may not yield the answer we expect or desire, but if we allow ourselves to remain open to His will and direction, He may, in fact, be leading us to something much better.  “Whatever it Takes” prayers are not always easy or comfortable, but here’s what we know: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28; NIV)

Today’s Scripture  I am really working on application of these verses in my own life, not because I struggle with my personal prayer life, but because I struggle to ask others to pray for me.  I think I’m embarrassed by the things I need to ask God for help with, but maybe that’s my “whatever it takes” prayer, to bring my struggles in front of others so they may lift me and my concerns to God through prayer.  I will take this on as a personal challenge today.  Will you join me?

Today’s Bible Journaling Pages  From my Bible study time in 1 Kings and James 5, I created these two journaling pages.  I used my key take-aways as the focus for the pages.  Use for inspiration, if you like.

Today’s Suggested Products from Amazon  A few of my favorite Bible journaling supplies…

ESV Holy Bible, Journaling Edition, from Crossway Publishing

Sharpie Gel Highlighters

Sharpie Journaling Pens

Amazon Basics 3-Ring Binders, 4-Pack

Bostitch 3-Hole Punch

Faber Castell Bible Journaling Starter Kit

Faber Castell Gelatos Color Set

Dual Tip Brush Pen Markers