Enjoying the Journey
Dan Knickerbocker is a happy Christian, a dear friend, and an encourager to God’s people. He is being used of the Lord in evangelism all over the country and is constantly emphasizing the need for fervent prayer in our churches. I am honored to post this article and pray that God will use it to stir us all to seek the Lord. -SP
“…then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.”– Genesis 4:26b. “And Enoch walked with God – Genesis 5:22. “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with men..” – Genesis 6:3.
Some fall on their face before God because they love Him, many because of a crisis, and others to know God’s will.
Think of ABRAM. Genesis 17:3 says, “And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him,…” Do you know why God talked with him? Twenty-four years had passed in the life of Abraham when he and Sarah had expected God to give him a son, but it had not happened. Abraham had come to the point where he was doubting God. He was living in utter unbelief. When he fell on his face, he didn’t do any of the talking. It is not until verse 17 that we see him talking. “Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!” What had happened in the life of Abraham is that he had stopped falling on his face before God, and instead got his eyes on his circumstances, and thus lived in utter doubt.
Oh, I know God does not always come through for you when you want Him to come through. But that does not give you a right to live in unbelief. It does not give us a right to laugh at God. Sarah laughed at God. I believe the problem we see here is that Abraham was the leader of his family, and because he was not on his face before God, continuing to believe that God would keep the covenant He had made, this caused Sarah to allow and even suggest that he go in unto his handmaiden, Hagar. Thus, the Ishmaelites came on the scene.
Consider MOSES and AARON. The people of Israel murmured against them. We read in Numbers 14:1, “And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness. And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.” Can you imagine Moses and Aaron falling upon their faces to God before the people? People who murmur and complain will also fall, not on their face in repentance but in rebellion. God judges the sins of those who seek to hurt Gods work.
Look at JOSHUA. Beginning in Joshua 5:13 we read, “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord’s hosts said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” Then in chapter six that great general was told how to have a great victory.
Your greatest victories will come from the Lord when you let Him speak to you in prayer. Joshua had the formula for victory: fall down before the captain of the Lord’s hosts, the Lord Himself, and find the victory in Him. Isn’t it interesting that just after the great victory at Jericho, they had a stunning defeat at Ai? Look now in Joshua 7:6, “And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!”
One moment Joshua is on his face getting the formula for victory for Jericho, and then after the defeat at Ai, he had enough sense to get on his face before the Lord. Don’t you hear him complaining to the Lord? “Maybe we should have stayed on the other side of Jordan. Maybe this was just a big mistake.” Notice what the Lord said to him in verse 12: “Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” Just before God gave this announcement to Joshua, He told Joshua, “Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?” There are times when we need to spring into action and deal with things in our lives. Joshua was where he needed to be, but God said, “Get up, there is sin in the camp.” Achan was dealt with and the blessings of God came again to Israel.
Take ELIJAH as a pattern. Often we think about Elijah on Mount Carmel, how he prayed a 63-word prayer and fire came down from Heaven. But I want you to see the result of that 63-word prayer. I Kings 18:39, “And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.” That was the result of a man who was a prayer warrior who knew how to get a hold of God. The result is that the power of God was upon him and the people saw the blessing of God. They saw the power of God. They were convicted in their hearts, and they fell on their faces. It is not how fast you run. It is not how fast you walk through life. Rather, it is how well you learn to crawl on your face before the Lord.
Consider DANIEL. He rallied others to pray for the interpretation of the king’s dream in Daniel 2:17, “Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret.” He told them that they not only had to come up with an interpretation, but they had to tell the dream first. And if they failed to come up with the dream and interpretation, it is very possible that heads will roll! So don’t you think we ought to spend some time asking God what He thinks about this scenario? Those guys hit the floor, begging God for a dream and an interpretation, and God came through.
Our greatest example is always THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. In Matthew 26 He fell on His face in the Garden of Gethsemane. I had a chance to go to Israel and see this Garden. I often wondered what it would be like to see these great locations in Israel. I had the delightful privilege of preaching at Jacob’s well. When we entered the Garden of Gethsemane, my Dad came and put his arm around me and said, “Let’s pray, Dan.” I began to weep! I began thinking of Jesus being over there under one of those trees, which go back to the days of Jesus Christ, crying out in prayer to His heavenly Father, saying, “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.” And can you see Peter, James, and John over there sleeping? I became so convicted of my prayerlessness. Before it was over there were a number of other tourists in tears as they saw my Dad and I weeping. One of the dearest moments in Jesus’ life was when He was crying out to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is not our will that matters. It is God’s will.
A young professional had become involved with a young man and moved in with him. She drove by our church sign that read “GET RIGHT WITH GOD!” She came to church in repentance and moved out. She finally said, “Pastor, I’m going back home to my parents. There’s a good little church down the road from our house and I’m going to go and start serving the Lord. She later wrote me a card from Newark, California, “Pastor Knickerbocker, thank you for opening your church to me. I have enjoyed and learned from your teaching. The one phrase that did me in was ‘Get right with God’ and I did and I am.” In the old Billy Sunday tabernacles they posted in boxcar letters, “Get Right With God.”
What could God do in all of our lives if we would fall on our faces before Him?
For more information on Evangelist Dan Knickerbocker’s ministry visit revivalministries.net. He has recently co-authored a book on The Art Of Taking An Established Church. You may write him at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain this helpful resource.