The Lever Long Enough
by Richard Graham
(c) 2011--all rights reserved
Archimedes once said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” The mechanism of a lever has four aspects or parts: the object that is being acted upon, the fulcrum on which the lever rests, the lever itself, and the person or force acting on the lever. In Archimedes’ example, the world is the first, a fulcrum is the second, a lever is the third, and he is the fourth.
God is outside of time, because He created it. That is why the Scriptures say that to Him, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8) That is why Jesus told the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:42) To Him, all of what is our past, present, and future is His Now (C. S. Lewis, in “The Screwtape Letters”). He sees everything in our world, our universe which He created, its past, present, and future, from its beginning of creation, the ages since then, and the ages or time until the culmination of it, as NOW. He sees it ALL at once and forever. He never stops seeing it happen, because to Him it is always happening and will always happen. Adam, Abraham, David, Jeremiah, Jesus, the apostles and the first century church, the church down through what we call history, our present day church, and the church that to us is not yet present but will be, down to the very last person who will become a believer in Him--are all still there to Him, and every aspect of their lives is still happening to Him. But all of these are also with Him, and like Him in His world, in what we call heaven or the new earth that will be created after the end of time, literally.
It is like a book, a novel filled with people who are moving through what to them are lives of past, present, and future, but He is the author who is simultaneously writing every moment of every day of every year of their lives of every person and creature, and of their world, from the beginning of the novel, all through its pages, all at once, until the End of it (C. S. Lewis says something similar to this in “Mere Christianity”). He is a totally benevolent and loving Author, who has created the people of the novel with the purpose in mind to bring them to be able to become like Him as He is in His “world,” and, when the novel is done (from our perspective), to join Him in that “world,” as creatures who are like Him in every respect, and fitted for that “world,” except not as great as He. In writing the pages, He takes into consideration all of the feelings, thoughts, words, choices, and actions of the people and other creatures who populate the pages of the novel, and incorporates them according to His plans into His writing of the novel. He is a proactive Author, continually writing and incorporating what they think, say, and do into His novel of the universe, while also moving the novel towards His design, will, plans, and ends for it.
In addition, the people of this novel can communicate with their Author, “praying” to Him as to the aspects of their lives, and as they do, He answers their “prayers” according to His plans and will for them and for the novel.
There are three ways in which He answers these “prayers.” 1. Every “prayer” that is in accordance with His plans and will for them and for the novel, He can and does answer in full assent, but also while bearing in mind the thoughts, wishes, and sometimes “prayers” that others in the novel have. 2. Every “prayer” that is close to being in accordance with His plans and will for them and for the novel, He can and does answer in as close and full assent as He can without contradicting His plans and will for them and for the novel, again bearing in mind what other people are thinking, saying, and doing. 3. Every “prayer” that is not in accordance with His will and plans, He does not want to answer in assent, and often does not. Often, the opposite or another alternative happens instead.
But He often allows what they request in their “prayers” and wishes to happen, even when it is not in accordance with His will and plans for the novel, for two reasons: First, Even as He has free will as to what He feels, thinks, says, and does, including how He responds to their “prayers,” He has allowed them free will to choose what they want to feel, think, say, and do in their lives, to the extent that they as individuals and groups can control. He respects their wishes, “prayers,” choices, and actions to that extent, even though things contrary to His will and plans happen as a result. Second, He allows these things because no one, e.g., a believer of His, has “prayed” differently or against them in the novel. He does so, even though these things are not in accordance with His will and plans. But He makes His decisions and steps to incorporate all things--things in accordance, things close to being in accordance, and things not at all in accordance with His will and plans--into the results, goals, and ends that He has decided will be the End of the novel. As Romans 8:28 says, “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.” (1984 NIV)
It follows then that the second very best “prayer” that can be “prayed” by the people of the novel to their Author is this: Your will and plans be accomplished in our lives, in our “today” and in everyday of our lives. See what is called the Lord’s Prayer or the Disciples’ Prayer in the New Testament, when Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. (Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:1) This is a general prayer to be prayed when we do not know specifically what His will is in a particular situation, life, or decision. And we are to want this, whatever it is, with all of our hearts and minds and bodies. We are praying FOR it.
The first very best “prayer” that can be “prayed” is this: first, determine and know exactly what His will is in a specific situation (from seeking Him and His will by the four ways that He reveals it: study of His written Word to see what He has said in such situations, prayer that seeks to hear from the Holy Spirit that He has placed in each believer, wise and godly counsel from mature and fruitful Christians around us, and the circumstances of our lives that “open or close doors” in ways that speak to what could be His will and plans in that situation) and then pray specifically that that specific will and plans of His be done. Again, we are to want this, whatever it is, with all of our hearts and minds and bodies. We are praying FOR it. George Mueller wrote and spoke a great deal about first discarding his own will in a matter, then praying to know God’s specific will in that matter, and only then praying that that specific will be done in that matter, never stopping that prayer until it was accomplished, because he knew he was praying for God’s specific will for that matter to be done in that matter!
This is the Prayer Lever that God has given us. The world in Archimedes’ statement is whatever situation, decision, and/or aspect of our lives and/or world upon which we know and believe God wants us to act upon or influence. (This includes literally everything, since Philippians 4:6 says, “In nothing be anxious, but in everything in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”) The fulcrum is God and His character, Who has given to us great and wonderful promises concerning the usage of prayer in all aspects of our lives. The lever is prayer itself, and especially prayer that can be prayed in full accordance with the plans and will of God concerning a specific situation, decision, and/or aspect of our lives and/or world. The person using the “lever” is us, the Christian believer “pressing” on the lever, applying pressure to the lever of prayer by praying, in order to have an impact upon, to move, the situation, the decision, and/or the aspect of our lives and/or world in accordance with the will and plans of God, our “Author.”
This is prayer in accordance with the will of God. This is us, working with Him in the accomplishment of His plans and will for our world, transforming and moving the world to the end that He has envisioned and towards which He is always working. Our prayers work with His will and plans, and we will see the accomplishment of the work He desires to see done.
It is as someone once said, “Prayer doesn’t get man’s will done in heaven; it gets God’s will done on earth.” (Ronald Dunn)
Let’s pray! Let us pray God’s will, God’s plans, God’s dreams and goals and ends to be done on earth as they are in heaven, the place of His throne and glory.
Archimedes once said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” God has said, “I have given you, My beloved Christian, a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, to move any situation, any person, any aspect of your lives and the lives of others, so that My will and plans are done in that situation, person’s life, and aspect, to My honor and glory and the accomplishment of my plans and will! The lever long enough is prayer for My will and plans to be done. The Fulcrum is Me. You are the one I have called to apply the pressure, using this lever and My character. You and I can move anything that is in My will. You and I can move the world. Come move the world with Me.”
Pray the 40 Days of Prayer with this principle in mind.
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